Jack Perone Fulton, founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Championship Boxing (ICB) and driving force behind boxing’s move to an MMA-style cage, proudly announces that UFC superstar hall of famer Stephan Bonnar and Las Vegas-based Silver Wolf Nutrition CEO, Joaquin Rivera, have joined the ICB team.
The trio also are announcing the opening of ICB’s second Fight Zone Fitness location, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fight Zone Fitness is a state-of-the-art training facility where Bonnar will teach his American Psycho MMA and Striking System, part of which is a specialized fighting style tailored to ICB-style cage boxing as well as overall combat-sport fitness.
“I’m thrilled to be adding Stephan Bonnar and Joaquin Rivera to the ICB and Fight Zone Fitness teams,” said an energized Fulton. “Stephan with his world-class MMA and boxing experience will be instrumental in helping athletes from all combat sport disciplines transition to boxing in the cage. And he not only will be training fighters in our Fight Zone Fitness facilities, but also working in the front office with the development of this new combat sport league.”
“To complement Stephan’s involvement, Joaquin Rivera’s experience in nutrition and training is a great addition to our combat-sport company,” said Fulton. “His groundbreaking nutritional supplements and expertise in strength and conditioning training is next level. We are very fortunate to have him on the team.”
Bonnar is best known for his unforgettable 2005 war with fellow hall-of-famer Forrest Griffin in The Ultimate Fighter 1 light heavyweight finale—a fight UFC President Dana White calls the “most important fight in UFC history.”
“I think it has tremendous potential,” said Bonnar of cage boxing. “This is going to redefine combat sports. I’m excited to be part of ICB and Fight Zone and looking forward to us giving the fans what they really want to see: people slugging it out and not having 25-minute leg-kick battles.”
Bonnar said he’s looking forward to the same kind of “whatever it takes” mentality that surrounded him and the select few others who helped make the UFC the entertainment juggernaut it is today.
“Officially, I’ll be teaching my American Psycho MMA and Striking System at Fight Zone Fitness Gyms,” said Bonar. “But back in the early UFC days, I had about 30 jobs for them until things took off. I did everything from live TV and entertainment to merchandising, marketing and PR. I love this idea and I’ll do whatever it takes to help make this happen as well.”
Rivera, a successful Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, founder of internationally respected Silver Wolf Nutritional Supplements, a strength and conditioning coach and a men’s classic physique and master’s physique competitor, said he’s happy to be linking up with Bonnar and Fulton.
“This is the next generation of fighting,” said Rivera. “I’m really excited to be helping pioneer this next phase of combat sports. Stephan helped make the UFC what it is today. He’s a legend. I’m extremely honored to be working with him. He’s such a good, down-to-earth guy outside the ring and such an animal inside.
“And Jack, I love his energy and his ambition,” said Rivera. “He has the drive. I love to work with people like him who are always thinking forward and not set in a traditional way of doing everything. Jack is thinking way ahead. That’s how I run my business. We had an instant connection.”
Rivera said, initially, he wasn’t 100 percent sold on the concept of cage boxing, but seeing is believing.
“It’s extremely exciting to be on the ground floor of this innovative vision,” said Rivera. “We are going against two established sports, boxing and MMA, to grow an audience. Boxing in a cage is a new concept and, to me, it sounded a bit crazy until I saw how action-packed it is. I was amazed. It’s for real.”
Fulton said the Las Vegas Fight Zone Fitness is the second location now open for business, joining one in Norfolk, Virginia, approximately 15 minutes from ICB headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia. All Fight Zone Fitness locations nationally will be equipped with ICB’s Nevada State Athletic Commission-approved “Fight Zone,” a specially designed 24-foot, six-sided fenced hexagon cage built to maximize hand-to-hand combat action.
ICB representatives say the final NSAC referee practice session will be the first week of August, with an anticipated event announcement shortly thereafter.