Toro heavyweight Dante Stone riding 15-fight win streak into first 10-round bout

LOS ANGELES (April 8, 2024) – Arizona heavyweight Dante Stone (15-1, 10 KOs) will be riding a 15-fight win streak into his first scheduled 10-round fight this Friday night (April 12) at Blue Sports Stable in Superior, Colorado.

The 29-year-old Stone will face Matthew “El Matador” McKinney (16-7-3, 12 KOs) in the main event on a show presented by Airtight Boxing in association with Toro Promotions.

Stone is coming off his best performance to date, in which he won a unanimous eight-round decision over his Toro Promotions stablemate Alexander “The Great” Flores (18-3-1, 17 KOs) last January 4th at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. Stone dropped Flores, whose previous three career losses were all to world champions, in the eighth round.

Stone was introduced to boxing at the age of 10 by his father as a way to hang out together. His father, Damien Stone, who boxed and played football in his younger days. Stone went on to become a solid amateur boxer and, as he explained, because he turned out to be good at it, but like Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, he also lost his pro debut.

“My opponent is a little older and taller than me,” Stone said, “but I’m going into this fight seriously like I do every fight. My loss was a wake-up call. I was out of shape and tired. I have the support of my coaches and that will never happen again.” 

Stone is part of Toro Promotions’ growing stable of promising heavyweights that also includes 2016 Ukraine Olympian Tsotne Rogova (6-0, 6 KOs), who is fighting in the April 12th co-featured event, Flores (19-4-1, 17 KOs), and Kingsley “The Black Lion” Ibeh (12-2-1, 10 KOs), the cousin of infamously retired heavyweight contender Ike Ibeabuchi (20-0, 15 KOs).

“The more the merrier,” Stone added. “I like it that my promoter (Toro Promotions) has a lot of good heavyweights because I’ll have a lot of sparring partners. I always do my best and Toro has been helping me do that.

“In my current state, I’m taking it one fight at a time, but, if I’m offered a big shot this year, I’ll take it.”

First, though, he has to get past McKinney, who has won three fights in a row. 

Rogava meets Jesse Bryan (21-8-2, 16 KOs) in the eight-round co-featured event. Not only has Rogava won all six of his pro fights, but he’s also knocked out each of his opponents, needing only a total of eight rounds.

Born in Georgia, Rogava lived for several years in Ukraine until moving last year to Marina del Rei, California. The 6’ 5”, 270-pound Rogava successfully transitioned to boxing from his world class Muay Thai and kickboxing career, highlighted by his three-time IFMA World title-winning performances in Muay Thai as an amateur, along with an ACB kickboxing crown.

Toro has one other fighter on the April 12th card, 2016 Armenia Olympian Aram “Warrior” Avagyan (10-1-2, 4 KOs), who has been idle since his only loss on July 23, 2021, to 10-0 Martino Jules by way of an eight-round decision. Avagyan takes on 44-fight veteran Juan Santiago in a four-round bout.


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