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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heated Rivals ‘Krazy Horse’ And ‘Joe Boxer’ To Meet In Highly Anticipated Grudge Rematch

Courtesy of Pro Elite, Inc.:

ShoXC Returns To SHOWTIME Saturday, Aug. 25
Live From Vicksburg, Miss. At 11 p.m. ET/PT

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 16, 2007) – To infer that “Krazy Horse’’ Charles Bennett and Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela do not like each other would be an understatement of classic proportions.

“I don’t want to say I hate the guy because the word hate is a little harsh, but I definitely don’t like him,’’ said “Krazy Horse” (18-13-2), of Ocala, Fla.

“He thinks he beat me in our first fight. I am going to hush ‘Joe Boxer’ up. All he is doing is using my name to try to make himself look good and to make a name for himself. He’s trying to take the spotlight away from me, but that’s impossible.

“I look forward to kicking his butt, shutting him up and showing him what a real beating is. He is not at my level, so why does he continue to talk like he is? He’s made this fight personal, very personal.

“Now that I think about it, yeah, well, I pretty much hate him,’’ Offered “Joe Boxer” (5-2-2), of Covina, Calif.: “I can’t stand ‘Krazy Horse.’ He’s got a big mouth. He got a gift against me and he knows it. Anybody who saw our first fight knows I beat him. I wanted a rematch right away. The only reason he didn’t lose was because the referee didn’t stop it.

“He was done, fried, toasted. Any other fight, the ref stops it. I plan on shutting him up once and for all. Fighting on his home turf, I don’t have faith I can win a decision, so I will be going for a knockout for sure. I am really going to try and knock him out this time around. I have waited a long time for this.

“It’s just too bad ‘Krazy Horse’ was in jail and we couldn’t fight June 22 as scheduled. Actually, I think he went to jail on purpose. No matter how he acts or what he says, he doesn't want to fight me.’’

The fighters – surprise, surprise – have been keen to get back at each other since their initial encounter on Aug. 5, 2005, at San Jacinto, Calif., ended in a controversial, highly disputed draw.

At the finish of a two-round fight, “Krazy Horse’’ lay flat on his back – seemingly unconscious.

“He was totally finished,’’ said Valenzuela,’’ who faces Bennett in the main event of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Vicksburg, Miss., on SHOWTIME. “He couldn’t get up. Two rounds and ‘Krazy Horse’ had nothing left.’’

“I was not unconscious, just overheated, tired and exhausted because I wasn’t in shape,’’ insisted Bennett. “The question is, did ‘Joe Boxer’ beat me unconscious? If he thinks that way he's dreaming; he is not from planet earth. This time I am going to leave no doubt.

“I let it go after our first fight, but ‘Joe Boxer’ didn’t. So, now, it has become what it is. No way am I lacking motivation for this fight. In fact, I am motivated already. I am not drinking. I am a clean machine. I am in shape. I will knock him out in three and a half minutes.’’

The fighters’ verbal exchanges began almost immediately after the first fight and quickly escalated into a full-fledged war of words.

Tension reached a near crescendo after a May 2006 show in Laughlin, Nev. After each had won his match and swapped sarcastic syllables at the post-fight press conference, they nearly came to blows at the host fight hotel’s bar and casino.

“Actually, we had our little differences before the first fight, then we fought and I got the raw end of the deal,’’ Valenzuela said. “I have been waiting for a rematch since. He’s been trying to provoke me for two years. He likes to take digs at people; he taunts you. Every time I see him, he is smiling, showing me his fists, talking crap.

“I don’t know who he thinks he is, or who he thinks he is talking to or messing with. I can’t think of any grudge match that compares to this. It is just too bad it didn’t happen in June.’’

As unlikely as it may have seemed a year ago, “Krazy Horse” has become a bonafide MMA superstar. He has won four in a row, all by knockout.

“It’s a wonder what one victory on SHOWTIME can do for you,’’ he said. “My life has changed a lot ever since. I am more serious than I have ever been. There is a lot of money to be made. Guys are staying on top of me. I have people believing in me. That means a lot.

“For anyone to think I could one day become a star is unbelievable.’’

“Krazy Horse’’ scored a jaw-breaking, first-round knockout over KJ Noons in the first MMA bout ever shown on premium television—the SHOWTIME premiere of EliteXC (Feb.10, 2007, in Southaven, Miss.).

“Some people still think I landed a lucky punch,’’ Bennett said. “I am not getting the credit I deserve. But I know the only way to get credit is too keep winning. Going into that fight, they thought I was old and done. But the Noons’ fight only made me stronger. It rejuvenated me.’’

The shocking victory could not have come at a more opportune time for the second oldest of 12 children, who has literally been on his own since age 14.

“I grew up in Florida, but mostly everywhere and nowhere,” said Bennett. “One thing I have been trying to do is find all my brothers and sisters because I don’t know all of them. Our mom and dad were both drug addicts. They took mom away when I was five.

“My whole life has been a fight, a survival test. I live day by day. I didn’t make it through high school. I graduated from jail. According to the computer, I have been arrested 22 times since 1997. I’ve been busted for marijuana five times. But I’m clean now and ready to fight.

“I understand the opportunity presented to me in EliteXC and I’m going to make the best of it. I am going to show everybody. Until recently, nobody believed in me. I am going to shock them. For me to overcome so much, to look back at where I was to where I am today, is truly unbelievable.

“Can you believe it? I may become the face of EliteXC!’’

Regarding their first fight, Bennett says “I thought I beat ‘Joe Boxer’ -- and after watching the tape, I knew for sure I did. But I can’t argue with the judges’ call.

“The difference this time is that it is going to be a clean KO. I won’t be in a rush to take care of business. I learned against Noons I have to be more patient and pace myself.’’

Said Valenzuela: “He can try and pace himself all he wants, but I am going to be taking the fight right at him. He couldn’t make it past two rounds the first time. What makes you think he can go three?

“For him to agree that our fight was a draw; well, what does that tell you? He knows he lost. Everyone knows he lost.’’

“Joe Boxer” moved five years ago from Covina to Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he trains at Millennia Gym. He got his nickname shortly after going to a gym where the vast majority of athletes specialized in jiu-jitsu.

“Practically every one except me was into jiu-jitsu,’’ he said. “I grew up in La Puente (Calif.) in the world of boxing. My uncles fought; one was an established pro who was killed on a flight on the way to a fight. I was always holding mitts. I grew up in a gym.’’

Valenzuela will be trying to fight his way back into the win column on Aug. 25. On the June 22 EliteXC/Strikeforce event in San Jose, Calif., Valenzuela lost by first-round submission (heel hook) to late substitute Edson Berto, who was subbing for “Krazy Horse.”

“I’m not going to make excuses, but for my last fight I was training for a stand-up guy. But when “Krazy Horse” couldn’t, or wouldn’t, fight me, they threw me in with Berto on just a couple days’ notice.

“At the time, I knew nothing about Berto, but everybody I talked to said he fought stand-up. When he came at me with knees and kicks, he caught me off-guard. I wasn't prepared for him to be diving in.

“I thought Berto would stand and bang, which is what I want to do. I want to stand and bang and please the crowd. Nobody wants to watch guys rolling around. But I got surprised. I won’t be surprised on Aug. 25. I didn’t show my best against Berto. I will on Aug. 25.”

“Krazy Horse,” who cleared legal trouble in Florida, was cage-side on the night of the fight in Santa Ynez, Calif., and had some choice words for Valenzuela after the fight.

“This guy thinks he can hang with me and he loses to Edson Berto in 47 seconds? You have to be kidding, right?” said “Krazy Horse.”

“What a class act and total sportsman,” said “Joe Boxer’’ sarcastically. “He gives new meaning to the word ‘tasteless.’ I can’t wait to get him in the cage.’’

Valenzuela feels he is a much better fighter than the one “Krazy Horse’’ faced first time around.

“For sure I am very confident,’’ he said. “When we fought before it was only my second MMA fight. I was still really just learning. I was basically a boxer with no ground skills -- well, maybe a little, but I am much more improved now.”

EliteXC announcer Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play for ShoXC with highly regarded color analyst Stephen Quadros, The Fight Professor, at his side. The executive producer of ShoXC is David Dinkins, Jr. with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For more information on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series, EliteXC and other MMA-related stories, including bios, stats and photos, please visit EliteXC.com

About Pro Elite, Inc.

ProElite Inc. [PELE.PK] delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight Community TM

About Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND™ and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV.


Showtime Networks Inc.
Chris DeBlasio / Ivy Moon
(212) 708-1633 / (212) 708-7319

EliteXC (Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.)
Dan Clavadetscher / John Beyrooty
(818) 462-5602 / (818) 462-5601
DanC@bzapr.com / Johnybey@aol.com

ProElite, Inc. (The Rose Group)
Whitney Ashley

Note from Ric: Sure, this isn't the most-tasteful way to promote a fight, but, for me, it's sure damn effective!