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Banks Defends NABF heavyweight title vs. Gavern

Press Release: May 19, 2010

NABF heavyweight champion Johnathon Banks makes his first title defense May 29 on the “Fists Of Steel” pay-per-view event, featuring WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko against challenger Albert “The Dragon” Sosnowski, live from the 61,000-seat Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Detroit punisher Banks (24-1, 17 KOs), ranked # 7 in the world by the WBC and #9 by the IBF, takes on veteran Jason “The Sensation” Gavern, rated in the top 15 of the WBC, in the 12-round co-feature.

“Fists Of Steel,” presented by K2 Promotions and Klitschko Management Group, is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Bell TV, Shaw PPV and Viewer’s Choice in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.

A 3-time U.S. national amateur champion, Banks captured the NABF crown last March in what was voted NABF Fight of the Year, stopping Travis Walker (34-3-1) with a dramatic KO in the sixth round of their title fight in Germany. The former NABO and IBO cruiserweight champion, Banks has been the chief sparring partner for the Klitschko brothers for the last three years. He has now emerged in his own right as one of the top heavyweights in the world.

“We’re excited by the progress Johnathon has made in the heavyweight division,” said Tom Loeffer, managing director of K2 Promotions. “He was struggling to make weight as a cruiserweight when he lost to Adamek, but now he is much stronger as a heavyweight. By winning the NABF title the way he did, Johnathon has established himself as one of the top heavyweights in the world today.”

Gavern also won a title in his lasts fight, when he captured the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation title with a win over Manuel Quezada. In what turned out to be the biggest win of his career, Gavern beat Quesada (29-4), rated #7 at the time by the WBC, by a 10-round decision to capture the title. The battle-tested Floridian has also defeated Cisse Salif, Jermell Barnes and Raphael Butler during his 7-year career.

In the 12-round main event, Sosnowski will attempt to upset Klitschko to become the first Polish heavyweight champion of the world against 3-time heavyweight champion Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs), who returned to the ring after a 4-year retirement to regained his WBC championship belt by stopping Samuel Peter in 2008. He has since defended his title three times by stopping Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola, and winning every round against Kevin Johnson last December.

Sosnowski (45-2-1, 27 KOs), now fighting out of the United Kingdom, became the European champion by capturing the European Boxing Union heavyweight title in his last fight. He won a 12-round decision last December against Italian Olympian, Paolo Vidoz.

For more information about the Klitschko-Sosnowski PPV event go to