Former four-time heavyweight world titleholder Evander Holyfield, who earlier this year announced his entrance into the promotional side of boxing with the founding of Real Deal Sports & Entertainment, is making moves as the company gets ready to put on its first card this summer.
With longtime promoter Sal Musumeci already in place as the president and CEO, Holyfield, who will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June, announced the hiring of the highly respected Eric Bentley as chief operating officer on Tuesday. Bentley came on board after his recent resignation from the New York State Athletic Commission, where he worked as an event coordinator and director of boxing. He also has experience as a matchmaker, having worked for Musumeci's Final Forum Boxing and DiBella Entertainment.
"I am extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to oversee this company for Evander and Sal," Bentley said. "I see unlimited potential for Real Deal Sports & Entertainment. After our initial conversation, it became an easy decision for me to leave my position at NYSAC and join the team. Evander's main goal is to provide today's fighters with the opportunities and knowledge he didn't have at the outset of his career, which is a conviction this sport desperately needs and of which I'm proud to be a part.
"In the coming weeks, we will be rounding out our staff, expanding our stable of talented fighters and announcing several key partnerships and initiatives that will revolutionize the sport of boxing."
The company also announced that is has signed three fighters: Jeyson Minda (13-0-1, 8 KOs), a 24-year-old middleweight from Ecuador; middleweight Devaun Lee (7-2-1, 3 KOs), 30, of Queens, New York; and welterweight Peter Dobson (8-0, 5 KOs), 26, of Bronx, New York.
"We are excited to announce the signing of these future stars," Bentley said. "I am very proud to have them join our team and anticipate our roster growing with many more rising prospects searching for the right outlet to successfully guide their careers.
"Jeyson Minda had a stellar amateur career in South America and is a world-ranked middleweight just a few fights away from title contention. "'Pistol Pete' Dobson is someone very special to us, as he is one of the most motivated boxers with whom I've ever had the pleasure to meet. He has traveled all over the country, constantly pushing himself outside of his comfort zone. He is willing to face anyone and his all-out aggressive style makes him a very crowd-pleasing fighter.
"Devaun 'Unique' Lee is another fighter who takes on all comers. He is a tough assignment for anyone and deserves the opportunity to showcase his talents to the world."
Real Deal Sports & Entertainment cards, "Real Deal Championship Boxing," will air monthly on CBS Sports Net. An announcement of the first card is expected later this week.