Magic City Casino to host premiere of ESPN ‘Friday Night Fights’ season

Magic City Casino, Miami’s first casino to offer Las Vegas style slot machines, will host the 2013 season premiere of the popular professional boxing series, ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights,” live from Stage 305 on Jan. 4, 2013 at 8 p.m.

The evening will be headlined by a 12- round super featherweight bout featuring Cuban dynamo Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) who will look to continue his undefeated run against fellow undefeated prospect and Afghani- Canadian Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs). The event is being hosted in partnership with Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions.

“Magic City Casino is thrilled to host the season opening event of ESPN’s ‘Friday Night Fights’ from Stage 305. The new venue will be packed, and the main event featuring two world-ranked undefeated fighters is sure to be a battle to remember,” said Scott Savin, chief operating officer of Magic City Casino.

The series may be viewed on ESPN2 and ESPN3 and online at Tickets can be purchased at www.magiccitycasino.comor at the Magic City Casino Players Club. Ticket prices range from $35 to $100. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the first bell rings at 8 p.m.

In the co-featured televised bout, junior middleweight contenders will tangle when young Puerto Rican powerhouse Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) takes on highly regarded Philadelphian Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).

“We are really excited to start off our 16th season of ‘Friday Night Fights’ on Jan. 4 with a solid main event down in Miami, which will be a hub of excitement leading up to the BCS a few days later,” said Doug Loughrey, director of Programming and Acquisitions at ESPN.

“It is an honor to be putting on this year’s premiere broadcast and, clearly, it’s a solid night of action-packed boxing between four world-class fighters hungry to step up to the next level. The Magic City Casino is a beautiful destination in Miami, and we’re looking forward to putting on an unforgettable night of boxing,” said Leon Margules, president of Warriors Boxing.

“We are delighted to showcase ‘Kid Blast’ in Miami once again and to inaugurate the first sporting event at the spectacular new venue, Stage 305, at Magic City Casino,” said Richard Dobal, managing member of Bad Dog Productions. “Barthelemy has had success at their outdoor facility, but the new indoor arena is a sight to behold. Bad Dog and Warriors Boxing expect Stage 305 at the Magic City Casino to become the ‘Mecca for boxing’ in Miami.”

For more details, visit <www.magiccitycasino. com> or call 305-649-3000, ext. 3507. Magic City Casino, located at 450 NW 37 Ave., offers complimentary self parking and valet parking is available as well.

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