Author, Media Personality Mike Lupica Added As Guest Chair Umpire For August 21 Johnny Mac Tennis Project Event at Sportime Randall’s Island
The Johnny Mac Tennis Project today announced that New York media personality and best-selling author Mike Lupica will serve as a guest chair umpire on Thursday August 21 at Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Island, for its the 2014 benefit night. Lupica will join the announced lineup of Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Hall of Famer John McEnroe, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton, World No. 17 Lucie Safarova, 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ and now USTA National Boys 18’s Champion Noah Rubin, NCAA Number One Jamie Loeb, for a fun night of tennis prior to this year’s 2014 US Open.
“I am very pleased that my old friend Mike has decided to join us for a fun night of tennis that will raise funds to help us continue our mission of bringing tennis to young people in and around New York City” McEnroe said. “He better bring his eyeglasses though, because if he misses any line calls, he’ll be hearing from me.”
The JMTP benefit night will feature Djokovic, World No. 1 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, taking on John McEnroe Tennis Academy star Noah Rubin, the 2014 Wimbledon Junior Boys’ champion who more recently won the 2014 US National Boys 18 title in Kalamazoo, MI, earning him a wild card into the main draw of the upcoming US Open at Flushing Meadows.
The evening will open with a match-up of 2014 Wimbledon singles semifinalist Lucie Safarova taking on another McEnroe Academy standout, Jamie Loeb, who recently finished her freshman year at North Carolina as the 2014 NCAA Player of the Year.
The benefit night will conclude with the eagerly awaited pro-celebrity doubles match featuring Djokovic, McEnroe, Lundqvist and Norton, with long-time NY Daily News columnist and ESPN Radio personality Mike Lupica presiding from the umpire’s chair. All net proceeds from the evening will go to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2011.
The twin purposes of JMTP are:
• To make tennis accessible to hundreds and even thousands of under-resourced kids from the NYC communities surrounding Randall’s Island each year, and to do so in a manner that allows those kids to excel at the game of tennis and to progress as far as their talent and interest takes them.
• To help train a smaller group of NYC kids to be serious players, with many receiving college scholarships, with the hope that someday soon many of those young athletes will be coming out of these community programs and outreach efforts.
JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships and no-cost programming to young players in New York City and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.
Tickets to the event start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages or to become a sponsor, go to JMTPBenefit.com, call (888) 988-6921 or e-mail JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.
'Guardians Of The Galaxy,' David Boreanaz Q&A's, Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival, Creator Sessions, TV & Film Screenings Headline Programming At Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
In its largest and most diverse programming schedule to date, Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will feature more than 150 hours of Q&A’s, movie and TV screenings, special events, creator sessions, meet and greets, parties, fan-driven panels and more over four full days at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Thursday through Sunday, August 21-24. Most programming is included as part of the standard event admission.
Sure to be among the most popular panels are the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival (13 film screenings and several themed panels) and exclusive screening of the highly anticipated new Fox drama series “Gotham” (Sat., 1 p.m.). Q&A’s featuring Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy standouts Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Michael Rooker (Yondu) (Saturday, 5:15 p.m.), “Doctor Who” stars Matt Smith and Gillan(Sunday, 10 a.m, requires additional ticket), David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”) (Saturday, 2 p.m.), John Barrowman (“Torchwood,” “Arrow”) (Saturday, 4 p.m.), James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Caprica”) (Friday, 1:30 p.m.), Karl Urban (“Buffy,” “Angel”) (Saturday, 11 a.m.), Stan Lee (Sunday, 11 a.m.), a Skype session with Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”) (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.) and other celebrities are also big fan favorites. “Bruce Campbell vs. the Audience” (Sat., 6:30 p.m.) as well as Wizard World Presents: Bruce Campbell’s Fanatic’s Face-Off, a frenetic game show (Friday, 7 p.m.) are among the offerings hosted by the inimitable star.
Some of the other Wizard World Chicago Comic Con programming highlights include the following:
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” Reunion Event, hosted by William Shatner and featuring series stars Sir Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) (Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Sunday, 5 p.m. requires additional ticket)
“Arrow” stars Katie Cassidy and Michael Jai White in a discussion of all things Starling City (Sat., 5 p.m.); and “How to Survive a Killer TV Show” with Sarah Wayne Callies and Scott Wilson (Sun., noon)
FILM:CON Presents Special Guest Kevin Conroy, the animated voice of Batman in dozens of films and shows, includes screening of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and discussion (Saturday, 6 p.m.)
Individual Q&A’s with Josh Peck (Fri., 3 p.m.), J. August Richards (Fri., 4:30 p.m.), Erica Durance (Sat., noon), Jason David Frank (Sat., 3:30 p.m.), Nicole Behaire (“Sat., 4 p.m.), Peter Criss (Fri., 5 pm.), “Elvira” Cassandra Peterson (Sun., 1 p.m) and others.
Informative discussions with noted comics creators Marv Wolfman, Tom Richmond, Jason Yungbluth, Danny Fingeroth, Dan Mishkin, Alan J. Porter, Gillian Porter, Michael Golden, Jenn Blake, Leinil Yu, Kevin West and more
Screening of The Crow (Saturday, 7 p.m., preceded by 6:30 p.m. “Creating the Crow with James O’Barr”) as well as exclusive viewing of the pilot of “Scorpion” (Sat., 3 p.m.)
Evening Events including “Wizard World Game Night” (Thurs., 8:30 p.m., Five Roses Pub, 5509 Park Place) (21+ only); “Creator Pro Am: Drink & Draw, (Fri., 8:30 p.m., Five Roses Pub) (21+ only); Wizard World After Party (Sat., 8:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr) (21+ only)
“Con Radio Live” with host Mo Lightning and Aaron Sagers, with special guest Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 4:30 p.m.)
Costume contests for adults (Saturday, 7:15 p.m.) and kids (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.), plus cosplay-themed sessions with featured cosplayer Eric “The Smoke” Moran and others
Wizard World Comic Con Film Festival, featuring selected shorts and music videos (Thurs., 3-8 p.m., Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sat., 10-11:30 a.m., Sun., 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
Sci-Fi Speed Dating (Thurs., 5 p.m.; Fri., 2 p.m., 5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m..; Sun., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.), 90-minute sessions
Meet-and-greets with Jason David Frank (Fri., 11:30 a.m.; Sat., 9:30 a.m.; Sun., 10:30 a.m.)(paid events) and Joel Hodgson (Sat., 3 p.m.)
Kids Day (Sunday), with an array of kids and family activities designed just for the younger set, highlighted by the Half-Hour Of Power With The Green Power Ranger (1:45 p.m.)
Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted. (*Note: Frank and Hodgson Meet & Greets, “Doctor Who” panel with Smith and Gillan, “Star Trek: TNG” Reunion require separate respective tickets.)
Wizard World Chicago is the 10th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions. For more on the event, visit http://www.wizd.me/ChicagoPR.
Morena Baccarin, Karen Gillan, Evan Peters, WWE Phenom The Undertaker® Headline Celebrity Guests At Wizard World Austin Comic Con, October 2-4
Morena Baccarin (“Homeland,” “Stargate SG-1”), Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,” Guardians of the Galaxy), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story), WWE Phenom The Undertaker® and Katie Cassidy (“Arrow,” “Gossip Girl”) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Austin Comic Con, Thursday through Saturday, October 2-4 at the Austin Convention Center. It is the 13th of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.
Baccarin and Peters will appear on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3-4, while Gillan and Cassidy will attend on Saturday only. The Undertaker is scheduled for Friday only (4:30-8:30 p.m.).
Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Kaare Andrews (“Astonishing X-Men,” “Iron Man”), Bob Layton (“Avengers,” “Captain America”), CAFU (“Earth-2,” “Trigon – Villains Month”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Ramon F. Bachs (“Infinity: Heist,” “Red Robin”), Rob Prior (“Heavy Metal,” “Spawn the Impaler”), Kevin Maguire (“Justice League,” “Batman Confidential”), Greg Horn (“Walt Disney,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) and many others.
Other notable celebrities on the Wizard World Austin Comic Con roster include Manu Bennett (“Arrow,” The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Rebecca Mader (“Once Upon a Time,” “Lost”), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Shannen Doherty (“Charmed,” “Beverly Hills 90210”), Holly Marie Combs (“Charmed,” “Picket Fences”), Christopher Judge (“Stargate SG-1,” “X-Men: Evolution”), Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Silver Spoons”), Grant Wilson (“Ghost Hunters”), Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead,” Guardians of the Galaxy), J. August Richards (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Angel”), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”) and Eric Roberts (“Doctor Who,” The Dark Knight).
Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Austin Comic Con show hours are Thursday, October 2, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, October 3, 2-9 p.m.; and Saturday, October 4, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more.
Wizard World Austin Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.
John McEnroe Tennis Academy Student Noah Rubin Completes Sweep Of Singles, Doubles In Kalamazoo, Earns US Open Wild Cards
When Noah Rubin’s new classmates at Wake Forest ask him what he did this summer, he’ll have quite a list to rattle off. The Wimbledon juniors champion and John McEnroe Tennis Academy student completed a sweep of the singles and doubles championships at the USTA Boys 18’s National Championships this weekend, defeating defending champion Collin Altamirano in three straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in singles action in the final today.
He teamed with Stefan Kozlov as the No. 2 seeded duo to win yesterday’s doubles championship, 6-2, 6-2 over Altamirano and Deiton Baughman.
Rubin, the No. 3 seed, won seven matches in the 128-player draw, dropping just two sets along the way.
The two victories earn Rubin the automatic wild card entries into the main draw of the US Open singles and doubles championships later this month in Flushing. Play begins in men’s singles on Monday, August 25.
He also became the first to win the Wimbledon juniors and USTA Boys 18s titles in the same year since Van Winitsky in 1977.
“Noah has had a tremendous summer, and by following up the Wimbledon title with a win at the USTA’s he has shown exceptional resolve and determination,” said Hall of Famer John McEnroe, “Everyone at the Academy is excited to see him play on August 21 at the Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit match at SPORTIME Randall’s Island and in the US Open the following week.”
"Noah played very well today in his first best of five match. He got broken serving for each of the first two sets at 5-2 but held at love serving for them again at 5-4," said JMTA and SPORTIME Director of Tennis Lawrence Kleger. "Other than those two hiccups he played a near flawless match. Winning singles and doubles here is quite a feat so I am extremely proud of his accomplishment. I’m thinking he is going to be a tough out in men’s draw at the Open!"
In addition to McEnroe and Rubin, the JMTP benefit will also feature World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon Semifinalist Lucie Safarova, National College Player of the Year Jamie Loeb, N.Y. Rangers superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and actor Edward Norton for a gala evening of tennis and fun.
Neal Adams, Leinil Yu, Rafael Albuquerque, Salvador Larroca, Jim Cheung Headline More Than 315 Comics Creators At Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24
Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Leinil Yu (“Hulk,” “Wolverine”), Rafael Albuquerque (“Superboy,” “American Vampire”), Salvador Larroca (“Avengers vs. X-Men,” “Captain America”) and Jim Cheung (“Iron Man,” “Fantastic Four”) are among the more than 315 comics artists and writers scheduled to attend Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. It is largest and longest-running of the 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature more than 50 celebrities as well as a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.
Mike Zeck (“Spider-Man,” “Punisher”), Marv Wolfman (“DCU Online,” “Crisis on Infinite Earths”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Greg Horn (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Avengers”), Rob Prior (“Heavy Metal,” “Spawn the Impaler”), Andrés Guinaldo (“Superboy,” “JLA’s Vibe”), Alvaro Martinez (“Cataclysm,” “Ultimate X-Men”),Carmen Carnero (“The Punisher,” “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man”), Michael Golden (“Batman,” “Hulk”), James O’Barr (“The Crow,” “Uncoffined”)), Mike McKone (“Justice League United,” “Astonishing X-Men”) and many others will appear in Artist Alley throughout the four-day convention.
In addition, VIP attendees will receive a free copy of Guardians of the Galaxy #17, featuring an exclusive variant cover drawn by Martinez. Many other artists will have exclusive lithographs and prints, provided free to VIPs and available to all fans for purchase.
David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” Boondock Saints), Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,”), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow,” “Gossip Girl”), Patrick Stewart (X-Men, “Star Trek: TNG”) William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”) and comics legend Stan Lee top the celebrity roster at the event. Wrestling fans are geared for the appearance of five WWE standouts, including WWE® Superstars John Cena®, Batista™ and Bray Wyatt™, WWE® Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino™ and WWE® Diva Paige™.
Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Chicago Comic Con show hours are Thursday, August 21, 3-8 p.m.; Friday, August 22, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, August 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, August 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more on the 2014 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, visit http://wizd.me/ChicagoPR.
Marvel Comics & Wizard World Reveal ‘Death of Wolverine #1’ Cover By John Tyler Christopher For Richmond Comic Con
Marvel Comics and Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) today revealed the latest edition of its 2014 series of exclusive variant covers of the best Marvel titles with the unveiling of Death of Wolverine #1, drawn by noted artist John Tyler Christopher.VIP attendees at the inaugural Wizard World Richmond Comic Con, September 12-14 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, will receive a free copy of the limited-edition book at registration.
Christopher, who also drew the Amazing Spider-Man #1 variant cover for Atlanta Comic Con in May, is scheduled to be on site at the event to sign copies of Death of Wolverine #1 (autograph fees may apply). Leading professional comic grader CGC will also be on hand to accept books for grading and Signature Series.
The exclusive version of Death of Wolverine #1 will be limited to 3,000 copies and provided free at registration to all Wizard World Richmond Comic Con VIP attendees, including any celebrity VIP packages.
Carpenter’s work follows the first nine entries in the Wizard World variant cover series: Miracleman #1 and Miracleman #2, both drawn by Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams for Portland Comic Con (Jan. 24-26) and New Orleans Comic Con (Feb. 7-9), respectively; Wolverine #1, illustrated by noted cover artist Greg Horn, for Sacramento Comic Con (March 7-9); Daredevil #1 by Michael Golden for Louisville Comic Con (March 28-30); Wolverine & The X-Men #1 by David Mack for St. Louis Comic Con (April 4-6); Hulk #1 by Mike Grell for Minneapolis Comic Con (May 2-4); Christopher’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 for Atlanta Comic Con (May 30 – June 1), Amazing Spider-Man #1.2 by J.G. Jones for Philadelphia Comic Con (June 19-22) and 100th Anniversary X-Men Special #1 by Jorge Molina for San Antonio Comic Con (Aug. 1-3). Alvaro Martinez has completed a cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #17 for Chicago Comic Con (Aug. 21-24).
“John Tyler Christopher has proven time and time again why he’s one of the best cover artists working today,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “He knows how to make a cover that really jumps out at you and we couldn’t be happier with the design he’s turned in for this exclusive cover for Richmond Comic Con.”
Christopher is an illustrator from Seattle, Wash., currently based out of Atlanta. A member of Studio Revolver, his work has appeared on the covers of Witchblade, as a designer for Star Wars Miniatures, and in the pages of Dungeon & Dragons, a variety of White Wolf publications & Mutants and Masterminds.
“’Wolverine’ is one of the classic Marvel characters, always well represented at Wizard World shows, and John Tyler Christopher has done another excellent job in the latest version of this popular series,” says John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO.
The beginning of the end is now here…The Death Of Wolverine! Three Months To Die, the loss of Wolverine’s healing factor – all led to this, the single most important X-Men event of the decade. Logan has spent over a century being the best there is at what he does…but even the best fade away eventually. Over the years, Logan has been a warrior, a hero, a renegade, a samurai, a teacher-and so much more. But now, the greatest X-Men hero will play a role he’s never played before in this special weekly event brought to you by industry superstars Charles Soule and Steve McNiven.
Steven Yeun, Sarah Wayne Callies, Michael Rooker and Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead,” Adam West and Burt Ward of “Batman”, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit, “Arrow”), Dave Bautista (a.k.a. WWE® Superstar Batista™, also starring in the summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy), WWE® Hall of Famer Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat™ and James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Richmond Comic Con.It is the 11th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.
In addition to Christopher, superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams (“Batman,” “X-Men”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Kevin Eastman (Co-Creator, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), Joe Caramanga (“Iron Man & The Armor Wars,” “Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man”), Kevin Maguire (“Justice League,” “Batman Confidential”),Golden(“Hulk,” “Star Wars”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) and Horn(“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Avengers”).
For more on the 2014 Wizard Richmond Comic Con, go to http://www.wizd.me/RichmondPR.
About Wizard World:
Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, cosplay, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.
About Marvel Entertainment, LLC
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com.
The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.
The John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) today announced that it will be accommodating its growing Long Island base of students with a move of its home facility on Long Island to SPORTIME Syosset Tennis & Multi-Sport this fall. The flagship JMTA location remains at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, and SPORTIME Bethpage will remain a valuable Academy resource.
Long Island JMTA students will benefit immediately from the more easily accessible location of SPORTIME Syosset (75 Haskett Drive) as well as its larger and more diverse space. In addition to a much larger functional training room, a full multi-sport court, a large pro-shop with on-site stringing service, the beautiful SPORTIME Syosset facility offers both hard court (deco-turf) and clay (har-tru) surfaces, ideal for tournament training throughout the competitive seasons.
Private coaching and match play will now be available at SPORTIME Bethpage with more day/time options, as well as an expanded schedule of “home club” tournaments.
“The Academy is really starting to take hold here on Long Island,” said Mike Kossoff, JMTA Director, “And with SPORTIME and JMTA student Noah Rubin having just won the Wimbledon Junior title, the phones have been ringing. The move to SPORTIME Syosset, with its multiple surfaces, larger training space, and other amenities, will help foster that growth for all of our students, including the many elite players who train with us.”
DYNASTY BOXING’S HIGHLY TOUTED 2008 CHINESE OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST “BIG BANG” ZHANG ZHILEI TO MAKE MUCH ANTICIPATED PRO DEBUT ON ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS ON AUGUST 8
Here’s the latest “Big Bang” theory: Just win, baby! “Fight Week” has finally arrived for “Big Bang” Zhang Zhilei, as the Chinese heavyweight Olympic Silver-Medalist makes his professional debut on August 8. DiBella Entertainment and Dynasty Boxing, in association with Rumble Time Promotions, head to Fallon, NV, to host ESPN Friday Night Fights/ ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates.
The 6-foot-6 southpaw will open the card in a four-round heavyweight special attraction against Curtis Lee Tate of Tennessee, a knockout artist with six KO’s to go along with his 7-4 ring record. ESPN will begin live coverage at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.
For Zhilei’s promoter, Dynasty president Dino Duva, it is the culmination of a five-year journey. “We’ve all been waiting a long time for this moment, for Zhilei’s first pro fight,” says Duva. “I’ve been waiting almost 5 years! This may very well be the first fight for a very historic boxer’s career – his goal is to be the first Chinese world heavyweight champion. I feel he has the potential, but it’s going to be a learning process that will take much hard work and dedication from Zhilei” Duva and his heavyweight depart for Nevada on Tuesday.
Headlining the card will be top-rated junior middleweight contender Willie Nelson (22-1-1, 13KO’s) taking on the hard-hitting and dangerous Mexican Luis Grajeda (17-2-2, 13KO’s) in the 10-round main event. In the co-feature, fast-rising 18-year-old phenom Norbert Nemesapati (14-0, 13KO’s) will be looking make a splash in his US debut when he faces fellow unbeaten Lennox Allen (17-0-1, 10KO’s) in an eight-round super middleweight matchup.
"On behalf of Dynasty Boxing, we are happy to be working with DiBella Entertainment and ESPN, and extremely grateful for them giving Zhang Zhilei the opportunity to showcase his professional debut on ESPN," said Dino Duva, President of Dynasty Boxing, promoter of Zhang.
Says Zhang Zhilei: “I’ve trained very hard for this fight. Everything has been going smoothly getting ready for this moment. I stick to the training schedule and stay disciplined.
“I’m extremely excited about my first professional fight,” adds the “Big Bang”. “It’s an important fight and I’m looking forward to it. As everybody knows, ESPN is biggest sports TV network in the world with hundreds of millions of viewers. And Friday Night Fights is an important part of ESPN shows. I never thought that my first fight would be broadcast on ESPN. I’m very thankful and will perform my best.”
“Opening up the card, you have Zhilei, a silver medalist who many believe has the ability to be a future star in the heavyweight division,“ said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a big event for the people of Fallon and we are excited to be a part of it.”
"From top to bottom, this is a terrific event, featuring up-and-coming local talent in exciting fights on the undercard and three intriguing televised bouts on ESPN,” added DiBella. “Willie Nelson is knocking on the door to a world title opportunity and an impressive performance against the hard-punching Grajeda moves him in that direction.”
"The Fallon Fights: The Rural Rumble is one of Fallon’s premier special events, drawing visitors from northern Nevada and California," tourism director Rick Gray said.
"Fallon welcomes ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. We have worked hard to put on a top-notch event that would draw the attention of the network," Fallon tourism director Rick Gray said.
"The fights are a labor of love. All of the City’s departments worked together to support the production of the event," Fallon Mayor, Ken Tedford, said.
The Undertaker will make his Wizard World debut at Austin Comic Con on Friday, October 3, as announced today by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD). He will sign autographs and pose for photo opportunities from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
For more than two decades, The Deadman has loomed over the WWE landscape like a menacing shadow, spelling out doom for those who dare cross him. Imbued with seemingly mystical abilities and preternatural in-ring ability, The Undertaker is a WWE great in a class by himself, and no list of legends would be complete without him.
First introduced at Survivor Series in 1990, it wasn’t long before he began to battle with WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan. This clash set the tone for Undertaker’s dominant career. No one was too big and no one was safe from his gloved grip.
“We are honored to announce The Undertaker’s first Wizard World appearance,” says John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “The Undertaker is one of the most recognizable entertainment figures in the world, and this will be a memorable experience for the entire WWE Universe.”
The Undertaker joins such noted pop culture figures as Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker of “The Walking Dead,” Morena Baccarin (“Homeland,” “Stargate SG-1”), Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who), Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow,” “Gossip Girl”) and others currently scheduled to attend Wizard World Austin Comic Con, set for October 2-4 at the Austin Convention Center. Additional celebrities will be announced in the coming weeks.
Wizard World Austin Comic Con is the 13th of 16 events scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions. Show hours are Thursday, October 2, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, October 3, 2-9 p.m.; Saturday, October 4, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
For more information on Wizard World Austin Comic Con, please visit http://www.wizd.me/AustinPR.
Upcoming WWE® Superstar, Diva and Legend appearances at Wizard World Comic Cons include:
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
-Thursday, August 21st from 3:00pm-7:00pm: WWE® Superstar John Cena®
-Friday, August 22nd from 3:30pm-6:30pm: WWE® Superstar Bray Wyatt™ and WWE® Diva Paige™
-Saturday, August 23rd: WWE® Legend Bruno Sammartino™ (11:00am-2:00pm) and WWE® Superstar Batista (2:00pm-5:15pm)
Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
-Saturday, September 13th: WWE® Legend Ricky Steamboat (11:00am-2:00pm) and WWE® Superstar Batista (2:00pm-5:15pm)
Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
-Saturday, September 27th: WWE® Kane® (12:30pm-3:00pm) and WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™ (3:30pm-6:30pm)
Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
-Saturday, November 1st from 1:00pm-4:00pm: WWE® Superstars The Wyatt Family™
Philadelphia’s The Awesome Fest, in partnership with Wizard World Inc. and horror icon Bruce Campbell, announced today the first ever Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival, running August 21-24, 2014 in Rosemont, IL. The four-day event will coincide with Wizard World Chicago Comic Con and will feature the best in independent horror cinema with a full slate of film premieres, panels, special guests, movie marathons, and of course, Bruce Campbell!
“We could not be any more thrilled to partner with Bruce Campbell on this festival”, said fest director & programmer Josh Goldbloom. “From the ground up, we’ve been able to design a world class slate of independent films that share the same sensibilities of his eclectic work.” Film programmer Scott Weinberg added, “Bruce Campbell is a genre movie hero. We think fans will be excited at many of the discoveries and festival favorites we’ve lined up to screen.”
The festival will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, the Muvico Rosemont, and inside the Dome at Rosemont Ballpark.
“Many Wizard World fans love horror – and Bruce Campbell is the perfect ambassador,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World President & CEO. “The Awesome Fest Presents: Bruce Campbell’s Horror Festival is a great way for those fans to celebrate the genre and a perfect introduction to what they can enjoy at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in August and Bruce Campbell’s Horror Fest in March.”
Tickets for ALL screenings are free to attend with admission to Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. A limited number of festival badges, with exclusive access to the screenings, are on sale now for only $50. Badges for the festival can be purchased through www.theawesomefest.com & www.wizardworld.com.
The direct link to the ticketing page can be found here: http://wizardworld.ticketleap.com/awesomefest.
Early next year, March 6-8, 2015, Bruce Campbell will return to Chicago to emcee his recently announced Horror Fest, also presented by Wizard World Chicago. Fans can expect to see some of their favorite genre stars, directors and writes from great television shows, movies, graphic novels, and comics.
The Awesome Fest Presents: Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival
(Director: Jordan Rubin, Writers: Jordan Rubin, Al Kaplan, Jon Kaplan)
An action-packed horror/comedy in which a group of college kids staying at a riverside cabin are menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers.Yes, really.That’s the plot!
(Directors: The Mo Brothers, Writers: Takuji Ushiyama, Timo Tjahjanto) A dark look into the minds of two men with nothing in common: Nomura, a self-obsessed serial killer residing in Tokyo and Bayu, a failing journalist who lives in Jakarta. Connected through a series violent incidents, both men inexplicably start to feed off each other. (Not literally). Co-directors “The Mo Brothers” (Macabre, V/H/S/2) deliver an epic tale that works as action, suspense, and disturbing horror at the same time..
North American Premiere
(Director: Marc Carrete, Writers: Marc Carrete, Mike Hostench) Written by Mike Hostench (Deputy Director of Sitges Film Festival), Asmodexia documents five days in the lives of an exorcist and his granddaughter working in the Barcelona area. If you think you’ve seen every exorcism angle imaginable, prepare to be surprised. And a little grossed out.
SUBURBAN GOTHIC U.S. Premiere (Director: Richard Bates Jr., Writers: Richard Bates Jr., Mark Bruner) Raymond can channel the paranormal, but he’s afraid of chatting with a cute girl.. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, Ray recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to help solve the mystery. From the director of the admirably strange Excision, and starring Matthew Gray Gubler, Ray Wise, and Kat Dennings.
STARRY EYES Chicago Premiere (Director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer, Writers: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer) A hopeful young starlet uncovers the ominous origins of the Hollywood elite and enters into a deadly agreement in exchange for fame and fortune. From the producer of Cheap Thrills and Jodorowsky’s Dune, Dennis Widmyer & Kevin Kolsch’s Starry Eyes is an occult tale of ambition, possession, and the true cost of fame. Leading lady Alex Essoe is an absolute revelation, but there’s a lot for horror fans to get behind here.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL Chicago Premiere (Director: The Vicious Brothers, Writers: The Vicious Brothers) A group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods find themselves terrorized by alien visitors, who promptly chase everyone all over the place. So it’s a slasher movie, a suspense thriller, and a pretty gruesome alien abduction tale all at once. Plus it’s got some solid humor and an amazing final shot. From the directors of the found footage horror flick Grave Encounters. Oh, also Michael Ironside pops up!
DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (Director: Tommy Wirkola, Writers: Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel, Tommy Wirkola)
If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you’d have to assume that things couldn’t get much worse. In Martin’s case, that was only the beginning. From the director of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and (of course) Dead Snow.
(Director: Levan Gabriadze, Writer: Nelson Greaves)
While video chatting one night, six high school friends receive a Skype message from a classmate who killed herself exactly one year ago. A first they think it’s a prank, but when the girl starts revealing the friends’ darkest secrets, they realize they are dealing with something out of this world, something that wants them dead. Told entirely from a young girl’s computer desktop, Cybernatural redefines ‘found footage’ for a new generation of teens. From producer Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted).
(Director: Seth Grossman, Writer: Glenn Gers)
Inner Demons follows an ‘Intervention’-style reality show crew that films an episode about a sixteen-year old girl, a former A-student, who is fighting addiction but may in fact be suffering from something even more destructive: demonic possession. Director Seth Grossman was a producer on A&E’s award winning series “Intervention,” which certainly lends an air of authenticity to a gradually more unpredictable horror story.
MEET ME THERE
(Director: Lex Lybrand, Writer: Brandon Stroud)
After several years of sexual dysfunction, Ada and her boyfriend, Calvin travel to her hometown in rural Oklahoma in the hopes of piecing together her fragmented childhood memories. They find their answers, but can they find their way back home? Starring WWE’s Goldust & DC Comic’s Jill Thompson.
BRUCE CAMPBELL VS. THE AUDIENCE
Best known for his roles on the big screen in cult classics Army of Darkness and Evil Dead, as well as his role as Sam Axe in the hit TV series Burn Notice, Bruce Campbell has proven to be a force to be reckoned with as an actor, director, and author. Don’t miss your chance to ask him your most interesting questions as he makes an appearance at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.
A CHAT WITH JOHN CARPENTER
Join us for this very special occasion as we honor the Master of Horror with a conversation spanning his entire career.
THE MANY TALENTS OF JON SCHNEPP
(Metalocalypse, Dethklok, The ABC’s of Death, The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?)
Death Metal is the horror genre of the music industry and Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse may just be its greatest tribute ever. Join us as we chat with one of the masterminds behind that show (and so much more), as well as his discuss his upcoming feature: The Death of “Superman Lives.”
THE EVIL DEAD MARATHON!
The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead 2 (1987), and Army of Darkness (1992)
You’ve almost definitely seen the Evil Dead movies before, but we guarantee you’ve never seen them like this! Join us under The Dome at Rosemont Ballpark as we screen the original entire Evil Dead trilogy on a giant 30 foot movie screen.
Special surprises, and guests TBA. This marathon is completely FREE for all to attend! No badges or Wizard World ticket necessary.
A CRITICAL DEFENSE OF B-MOVIES
Panel discussion and Q&A with film critics Steve “Capone” Prokopy (Ain’t It Cool News), Erik “The Movieman” Childress (Chicago Film Critics Association), & Scott Weinberg (FEARnet, The Horror Show). Special guest filmmakers will also be joining the panel!.
More to come….