Heavyweight Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-1, 15 KOs) headlines the final Fight Night edition of 2014 with a ten-round battle against Frederic “Big Fred” Kassi (18-2, 10 KOs) on Nov. 8 from Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA. The Mansour-Kassi match-up will serve as the main event of a tripleheader.
This will be the third Fight Night appearance for Mansour, the Southpaw from Philadelphia, PA who lost a narrow decision in a Fight of the Year candidate to Steve “USS” Cunningham in his last Fight Night appearance on Apr. 4 in his hometown of Philadelphia.
“If a guy sits there and bangs out with me, he’s going down,” said a confident Mansour. “I just go in there with the mindset that whoever my opponent is they are going to fight the best fight they ever fought against me so that’s what I prepare for. Whoever it is, I’m prepared for them to come out to be their best.”
Mansour is trained by Howard “Moses” Mosely who said, “From what I gather, [Fred Kassi] is a slick-type of boxer with a lot of slick moves and can give anybody problems, but he’s not going to give Amir any problems with the way I’m training him.”
Joe Hand, Sr., Mansour’s manager, added, “We’re anxious to fight this guy. Amir feels he has the power to take care of Fred Kassi. After his last fight with Steve Cunningham, we were finding it hard to find opponents because of Amir’s knockout power, so we welcome this match-up against Kassi. Top-ranked fighters refuse to take a fight with Amir. With Amir’s style against Kassi’s, we expect him to take care of business.”
Kassi hails from Cameroon, Africa and now resides in New Orleans, where he assisted with the recovery of the New Orleans community after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. He has never been stopped and 10 of his 18 wins (55.5%) have been by way of knockout.
Mansour may be the favorite, but Kassi isn’t intimidated: “I like being the underdog, it motivates me, whenever I was told I couldn’t do something, I did it,” explained Kassi. “I have nothing but respect for Amir Mansour. He’s a big hitter and comes out swinging. I understand the challenge and look forward to showing the boxing world what I’m about. This is going to be a great fight.”
The telecast will kick off a big night of boxing at at 8:00 PM ET with a ten-round showdown between two undefeated light heavyweights, Russian Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin (16-0, 9 KOs) and Brazilian Jackson Junior (15-1, 13 KOs).
The current WBO Oriental and PABA Light Heavyweight Champion Vasily Lepikhin, 29, is coming off a fifth round TKO over Robert Berridge in his Fight Night debut in August where he earned both titles and impressed many viewers with his skill and power. He said, “I am very excited to be back fighting in United States. This is going to be my second fight on NBCSN and I am looking forward to another victory.”
Brazilian Jackson Junior, known as “Demolidor” in the ring, has an outstanding knockout-to-win ratio (13 of 15 for 87%). He impressed many in his U.S. debut in January 2013 when he scored a first round KO of former U.S. Olympian, Dante Craig. Jackson said, “I am thrilled to be fighting in the USA again and grateful for this opportunity. I know my opponent is good and will be ready to give a good fight. My goal is to win this fight and get my rhythm, stay active and win a world Championship for Brazil and for me.”
The middle bout features ten-rounds of welterweight action between undefeated Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (17-0, 6 KOs) of Russia and Emmanuel Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs) of Ghana.
This will be the first Fight Night appearance for Mikhaylenko, 28. Dmitry made his US debut last month with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Sechew Powell in Atlantic City, NJ after which he signed a co-promotional agreement with Main Events and German Titov Promotions. “I am very happy to be back with Main Events and fighting on NBCSN,” said Dmitry. “I will do my best to show to my fans what I am capable of in the ring.”
Emmanuel Lartey, known as “Ice Cold”, hails from Ghana, Africa and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. He is a dynamic southpaw fighter who has drawn many positive comparisons to Ghana’s greatest boxer, Azumah Nelson. “My goal is to be a world champion and a victory on Nov. 8 gets me one step closer to accomplishing that goal. I’m working very hard to ensure my arm is raised as the victor on Nov. 8,” said Lartey.
Lartey is managed by Sidney Martinez Jr. who added, “We understand that fighting Dmitry Mikhaylenko is no easy task and will be prepared to go a strong ten rounds in order to pull off a decisive victory. Lartey has made many sacrifices and traveled a long way from his native Ghana to get this opportunity and will show the boxing world that he belongs within the upper echelon of his division.”
Both Mikhaylenko and Lepikhin are co-promoted by German Titov Promotions. German Titov said, “I would like to thank Main Events for giving us another opportunity to showcase these two very hot Russian prospects, Lepikhin and Mikhaylenko, who are fighting here in United States. We have no doubt these fighters will deliver a good performance.”
Both Russian fighters are also managed by Egis Klimas, the same manager who advises WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev. Egis added, “It is my pleasure to represent both of these fighters here back in the United States and I am sure they will do a good job in the ring on Nov. 8.”
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “Saturday, November 8th will be a huge night for boxing. This card, featuring three bouts and six fighters that have a combined record of 103-5 with 61 knockouts between them and not a single stoppage loss, is a perfect way to start the night early at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. I expect all of the winners, and perhaps even some of the losers, to go on to much bigger fights from their start here, as we’ve come to expect from Fight Night.”