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March 07, 2017


Press Release: On Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the Skylands Event & Conference Center in Randolph, New Jersey, junior middleweight Skender Halili (13-1, 13 KOs) of The Bronx, New York takes on the Dominican Republic's Jonathan Batista (16-10, 9 KOs) in an eight-round main event. Also featured will be Halili's brother, Enver Halili (8-0, 2 KOs), in a six-round, 154-pound appearance, as well as the professional debut of Hasim Rahman Jr., son of former undisputed world champion Hasim Rahman Sr., in a four-round heavyweight bout.Tickets can be purchased from by Greg Cohen Productions at
"Training is going great," said Halili. "I'm feeling sharp. I've haven't taken any breaks since my last fight. After every fight, I take two days off and I'm back in the gym."
Halili, who gained acclaim for Ring Magazine's 2016 Round of the Year for round two of his war against Jason Thompson last May 27th, says he's ready for his first career main event, against Batista.
"It feels good to be fighting in the main event. I'm prepared to go in and take care of business. I've got a full house coming, including my Albanian fans. There should be a couple hundred of them there. They yell and scream and go crazy at my fights. I love it."
The 26-year-old Halili says he doesn't chase brawls deliberately. "It's just natural," he explained. "You can't try to be an exciting fighter. That's not it. I'm a power puncher and if I feel like I'm losing, I go off and do something crazy and things seem to fall into place; like they were meant to happen."
Halili says he's aware that Batista has a reputation of his own. "I know he's a very dirty fighter. Every fight I watch of him, he's low blowing somebody four or five times a fight. But boxing is a rough sport and I can learn a lot from him before I get him out of there. I'm prepared to go the distance, but I think I can knock him out. I just have to stay focused and not let him get in my head. If he hits me low I can't lose my focus. That's what he wants."
After about 30 amateur fights with mixed success, Halili says he decided to listen to the people telling him his style was more for the pros... a decision he's now glad he made. "Soon as I turned pro, I started doing better. People were telling me I'd make a great pro because I set up my opponents. At first, I turned pro just to give it a try But then when I started doing good, my confidence skyrocketed and I began to believe I can really do this."
On the undercard will be Baltimore welterweight Malik Hawkins (10-0, 7 KOs) and Baltimore super featherweight Glenn Dezurn (8-0, 6 KOs) in separate bouts. All opponents are TBA.
The show will be broadcast, tape-delayed, on Sportsnet New York (SNY ).

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