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List of Articles by Don Smith



Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith: Boxing at the Genesis Centre, What about Manny?

By Don Smith
PhilBoxing.com
21 Oct 2017

Boxing Fans, On October 12, I boarded an Air Canada flight and headed to Calgary, Alberta Canada to watch a Pro/AM boxing show produced-promoted and presented by Dekada Promotions on October 14 at the Genesis Centre Gymnasium, a pristine facility built five years ago and ideal for boxing. Attendance for the evening of boxing was estimated at 1,250 including an unknown number of complimentary tickets.

Comparing Dekada’s “Premier Fight Night” to other boxing shows I have covered over the years would be unfair because of high end fees paid to various entities including The City of Calgary Combative Sports Commission that exceed logic in my estimation. What do I know, I am an American?

In an attempt to gain access to regulated and mandatory payouts, I contacted Kent Pallister, Chief License Inspector, and he provided with a list of event and official fees: E$6,000.00 Event fee for facility with less than a capacity of 6,000-$6,000.00-Doctor weigh-in fee, $500.00- Doctor Fee for event, $800.00- Physician’s Assistant Fee for weigh-in, $100.00-Physicn’s Assistant for Event, $100.00-Ring General, $300.00-Referee $250.00-Judge $200.00-Timekeeper, $100.00, Knockdown Timekeeper $100.00-Scorekeeper $100.00, Senior Dressing Room Inspector $150.00- Dressing Room Inspector ,$100.00- Paymaster, $150.00and Back-up Official, $150.00.

In additional to the listed fees,ABNN was informed that the cost of boxing package ranges from $13, 00.00 - $17,000.00 and it is our understanding that this amount is a separate charge covering the venue rental fee. The promoter is entitled to proceeds from food and beverage sales; but there is a $900.00 cleaning fee.

The Genesis Center provides the following amenities with venue rental: Professional Audio & Visual w/Audio Visual Techs, Chairs (unlabeled) and tables. The package deal also includes uniformed police security and plain clothes security.

In addition, it is the promoter’s responsibility to pay the fighters, hotel expenses and other incidental expenses incurred such as travel, advertising and food/water for some participants.
Boxing in Calgary competes with Hockey and the Calgary Sun (Calgary’s Main newspaper) is very gratuitous in providing space to the Calgary Flames and annual events such as the Calgary Stampede. The Sun doesn’t have a writer on the staff that specializes in covering boxing; so any mention of boxing events is a gift or trade out with the promoter.

Dekada partners Dennis Herrmann and Michael Short have produced 7 shows since the likeable duo formed the Calgary based company in 2013. Short is a former boxer (8-8) and Hermann gained some prominence as a wrestling promoter with the Calgary-based Stampede Wrestling from 1993-99.

The two promoters seem to genuinely care about their fighters and there was a sense of a “We are Family” bond between the performers and two bosses at the official weigh-in and press conference. Short told me he scheduled the weigh-in and press conference in concert with each other so the boxers with jobs wouldn’t miss any more time than they had to.

The majority of the performers in the show are part-time fighters who hold full-time jobs and have a family. For example, amateur boxer Chris Souster (8-2) is a practicing barrister in Calgary and at age 47, he wants to continue working out at Bowmont boxing and stay active in the boxing community as a judge, coach, referee and boxer. Every boxer, on the show, has a story and that storyline is an integral part of Dekada’s theme and purpose for being. Lethbridge boxer Janks Trotter is the owner of a handyman business, Kandi Wyatt (4-0) is a 26 year old woman from Edmonton who wants to bring a world title to Canada and Lee Mein is a gym owner fitness guru and an athlete who continues to fight at age 50, he loves it. We talked about Calgary Boxing for a few minutes and he told me he promotes shows in Lethbridge, Alberta because of the cost and other factors. Lee fought 42 year old oil field worker Dwayne Lewis, stopping him in the first round after knocking him down three times. Lee has a son (Jordan) who is a blossoming MMA fighter.

The show presented 6 amateur bouts and 6 professional fights; here are the results with a brief comment: In the first amateur contest, Light Heavyweight Brad Davis (better suited as super middleweight) defeated Eddie Terstakian in a back and forth contest that saw both men tire in the last round.

Medicine Hat heavyweight Wade Peterson scored a unanimous decision over Calgary’s Dale Belcher in a battle that left both men gasping for breath.

In a tense welterweight battle, Zach Schjins scored a split decision over Odan Scott by being more aggressive and displaying a better jab. Scott is strong but missed often.

Junior welterweight Jordan McNaughton proved too athletic in his victory over Abdi Mohammed in his UD victory over a game but out maneuvered foe that lacked the movement to keep up.

180 lb. Chris Souster pursued Geoff Hewlett around the ring for 3 rounds in their Masters Division Matchup. The amateur boxer/Attorney would have been better served if he set up his punches with the jab; but Hewlett was backing up the whole contest; so, he didn’t have an answer for Chris’s aggressive style that enabled him to win a unanimous decision over Hewlett from Vancouver, BC.

Main Event: Excellent strategy for Dekada to pit Filipino Alvin Tam (13-6) vs. fellow lightweight Jesus Perez from Mexico. The plan drew in a large contingent of Filipinos and Hispanics who made a lot of noise and created excitement. Perez was the more aggressive and he proved Tam into making mistakes. Perez won by a split decision but I had him winning a majority of the rounds.

The best fight of the fight saw Kandi Wyatt (4-0) from Calgary used her experience and size to defeat (UD) Mexico’s Heidy Martinez (2-0) in a relentless battle that had the Mexican pugilist bleeding from the nose from the second round to the finish. yours truly and Fight Fan.com reporter Joe Bruiser were airmailed samples of blood by Martinez and Dekada Executive Michael Short saw the evidence and offered to pay Joe’s cleaning bill but the veteran reporter vetoed the offer. Referee Joel Scobie was a little loose in the officiating but it was a fight to remember.

The co-main featured Janks Trotter (10-5-1) versus Albert Onolunose (21-1-1) in a battle of middleweights. Neither boxer is a natural middleweight. Albert had a pound scraped off after his first weigh to make the catch weight. They both had their moments. Janks rocked Albert in the second stanza an Albert had Trotter staggering in the sixth. In the end, judges scored it a majority draw. I asked Michael Short if he would like to see a rematch and he said n. Bottom line: a gritty performance despite the poor conditioning of both men.

Gwyn Lewis (1-0) wasted no time in knocking out Justin Sluchnisk (1-2) from Calgary. He pounded Justin until the 28 year old fell crumpled to the floor. Lewis can punch and he may be someone to watch in the future. Referee Andy Social wisely stopped the contest in the first round.

In other bouts, Lee Mein (4-3) stormed out of his corner and laid some heavy shots on helpless foe Dwayne Lewis (2-1) who met the canvas thrice and the contest was stopped in the first round.

In the opening Professional contest, Zach Manywounds upped his record to 2-0 by out counterpunching Trenton Rowell (0-1). Both men stayed busy but lacked the power to do much damage. It was an interesting evening and fans I talked to enjoyed the evening and when asked if they would return to the next presentation, all responded with a resounding yes. My thanks to Dekada for making me feel welcome during my stay in Calgary.

Golden Boy Show: ABNN would like to extend a high five (all five fingers) to Arizona based boxing matchmaker Mike Sanchez for adding Tucson’s Christopher Gonzalez to the November 2 Golden Boy Show at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson. The 20 year old amateur standout will make his professional debut against Jesus Arevalo (2-1) from Sierra Vista Arizona in a four round contest. Golden Boy has also inked Phoenix’s junior lightweight Cesar Valenzuela (14-5-1-5 knockouts) to fight Ryan Garcia (11-0-10 knockouts) for the Junior NABF Super featherweight title; scheduled for 8 rounds.

A 4th Arizona fighter, Nogales welterweight Judas Estrada (1-0) will face rising prospect Ivan Pandzic (5-0-2 knockouts) in a 4 round bout. Arizona junior welterweight Alfredo Escarcega Jr. (3-0) was scheduled to fight on the card but was scratched due to an injury resulting from a sparring injury. It is gratifying to see nationally recognized promoter book 4 local talents on their show.

On paper, the Casino show looks like a winner. Headlining the card is rugged 35 year old veteran welterweight Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4-24 knockouts) vs. power punching Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1-18 knockouts) in the 10 round main event. Karass has dropped 4 of his last five and bouts; a loss could question his future in the sport.

In other listed bouts, undefeated junior lightweight Genaro Gamez (6-0-4 knockouts) meets Jesus Serrano (17-4-2- 12 knockouts) and junior lightweight Hector Tanajara Jr. (10-0-4 knockouts) will put his undefeated skein on the line against a yet to be determined opponent. Additional fights are expected to be added and all bouts are subject to change.

Ticket prices for the event are $45.00, $85.00 and $125.00 for ringside. Fans can purchase them online or at the Casino Box-office on the day of the event. If you stay at the casino/resort you may bump into resident golf pro Noah Begay who designed the Del Sol golf course and attended Stanford University with fellow golfer Tiger Woods; everyone enjoys a dab of trivia. 1st bout commences at 6 pm at the Event Center; venue holds an estimated 1,500 fans and ESPN Television will broadcast selected fights.

Boxing News: Arizona welterweight Abel Ramos believes his next fight will happen somewhere in Iowa on November 11 at a venue to be announced soon; still waiting for confirmation...….. Phoenix middleweight Andrew Hernandez has volunteered to travel to Montreal and spar with David Lemieux (38-3-33) as the former middleweight champion (Lemieux) prepares to fight current WBO Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders at a venue being negotiated; the Bell Centre is the early favorite. Wonder how many of our readers know that Montreal was originally known as the “City of Mary.”

Before he gets an invite and buys a ticket, Andrew must get past Mike Gavronski (24-2-1) on November 18 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. The two 31 year old veterans square off for the WBA-NABA super middleweight title. Andrew knows the clock is ticking and he better be sticking and moving against the talented Gavronski. Mike is one day younger, probably won’t make a difference……Christopher Gonzalez makes his professional debut on the Golden Boy Card (11/2) and Gonzalez cousin (Robert Mercado) tells ABNN that Chris is working at Pullmans Gym with former world champion Buddy McGirt and expects to mix it up with the likes of Sergio Lipinets, Abel Ramos and Adrian Granados; good guys to learn from. Gonzales plans to attend Pima Community College (Tucson) in the spring. He was introduced at the Iron Boy 42 show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on 10/14…..our prayers go out to Iron Boy publicist Emily Pandelakis who skipped the Iron Boy show due to not feeling well….Trainer Rico Hoye slipped ABNN an email predicting he would have Mario Esparza ready to fight by the end of the year and he is already talking to matchmakers and promoters about Mario’s return to the ring; good luck!

More Boxing News: Boxing trainer Jose Benavidez SR. doesn’t plan on celebrating his birthday (10/25); but his wife Daisy and his three children may surprise him, who knows. ABNN called Jose to wish him a happy B Day and to ask him about rumors that he called Central Boxing in Phoenix to book space for David Benavidez (19-0-17 knockouts) to prepare him for his first title defense. Speculation was that David was preparing to defend his WBC Super Middleweight Belt in a rematch with Ronald Gavril in Glendale, Arizona early next year. Jose denied the rumor and said he is waiting for Sampson Promotions and PBC to give him a date. In the meantime, David is working out in Oregon; staying fit and ready for the call to come. Older brother Jose Jr. (25-0-16 knockouts) was hoping to fight in Australia at the end of this year but he remains waiting. Jose is a former Interim Junior welterweight champion and a bizarre shooting incident last year has him rehabbing a knee and we hope his eventual return to the ring will be successful…..The Copper Gloves Tournament at the Arizona State Fair was shortened by a day due to lack of participation. I was at the event on Wednesday October 11 and here are the names of participating fighters who won 1st place on the one day event at the fair: Paul Felix (Preida Boxing), Juan Gomez (Martillo Boxing), Joaquin Camberos (Tucson INC.), Fabio Ortiz (12th Avenue Boxing), Israel Arismendi (Salvation Army) and Ernesto Martinez (Calderon Boxing). We couldn’t confirm the correct surname of Israel from the Salvation Army Boxing Club in Phoenix; so, we printed it as it was presented on the bout sheet; sorry to hear the second night of boxing was cancelled.…..At the one night event, we were told that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Boxing Club program was defunded earlier this year but the coaches thought they had a promise from the New Sheriff (Paul Penzone) that every effort to restore the program would be made; so far, nothing has happened and coaches are digging in their pockets to keep the program afloat. I sent an email to the sheriff asking him to give ABNN a status report and we are still waiting for a response. I was told the organization will rename the club to honor MCSO Coach Walt Hoskins who passed last year. No date on when the official change will occur!

What About Manny? Several of our readers have inquired about the whereabouts and future of boxing Legend Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao. Mr. Pacquiao is back in the Philippines fulfilling his duties as an elected senator. I have contacted his promoter (Top Rank) and a spokesperson said there wasn’t anything to report. Manny lost his WBO Title to Jeff Horn on July 2 in Australia and since that loss there has been no definitive answer concerning his future. Fight fans thought a rematch with Horn was inevitable but Horn appears to be looking elsewhere and fight insiders are whispering that the market value of Manny doesn’t come near past Pacquiao purses. The legendary Champ turns 39 in December and it would be a shame, in my opinion, if he leaves the sport fter a loss in his last ring appearance. My prediction, Manny will fight one more time and then retire and I hope he goes out a winner, he deserves it.

Muay Thai Show: On Tuesday October 12, Puma Entertainment presented its’ second Muay Thai show at Maya’s New York Pizza, Bar & Grill in Mesa. The next Puma Entertainment Muay Thai presentation will be held at Legends Event Center in Phoenix on 12/2; the site of the first show earlier this year.

I arrived at Maya’s an hour before the scheduled 7 PM event tart and walked around Maya’s to get a feel of the place. It is a laid back neighborhood establishment frequented by regular customers. Also, I noticed the servers take their time approaching customers and menu items are priced 10-15% higher than they should be based on the decorum and ambiance of the facility.

It was an entertaining show; but, several glitches prevented the night from being memorable. I don’t know who Okayed the use of a drone to film the event but the miniature spy plane annoyed and scared some paying customers who complained to me on one or two occasions. Early in the program, the remote controlled drone flew directly over my head, lifting my notes 2 feet off the the table before I was able to bat them down. My second complaint was the announcer (Jeff) who was loud, corny and sweated profusely throughout the event dripping on his gold colored shoes. Jeff is a nice guy; but, he needs to tone it down a bit.

On a more serious and somber note, ABNN is sad to report that Muay Thai performer Alex Suarez was scheduled to fight Ricardo Jiminez (Dragon Snake MT) for the WMTA Arizona State MT-3 Light Heavyweight Title until he discovered the dead body of his grandmother in her home a few hours before his fight. On a mere two hours’ notice, Patrick Tetrault (AZ Training) stepped into the ring and fought Jiminez who won the title with a first round TKO.
In other title bouts, Ismael Munoz Sr. (Hard Knocks Gym) and Jonathan O’Neil (Justo’s MT Gym) went an extra round before Munoz turned up the heat and won the title. Afterwards I talked to Hard Knocks coach Arturo Ortega and we agreed that Ismael didn’t need the extra round to win but when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Cruiserweight Dionte Riggs (11-0) went into his contest with Calen Spencer (5-3-1) nursing a touch of the flu but summoned enough strength to best Spencer in a highly tested contest. Riggs will turn his sights to a pro career soon and we wish him the best. Dionte represents Hard Knocks Gym while Calen hangs his loyalty with Justo’s MT Gym.The 25 year old Riggs is now the reigning WMTA Regional MT-1 Light Cruiserweight champion. Hard Knocks Gym will hold a fundraiser to help kids; no date but keep reading and we will post the event when the word is sent.

In other bouts, Austin Worums (Empire Martial Arts) bested Princeton Jackson (Dragon Snake) to capture the WMTA Arizona State MT-3 Super Middleweight Title. Bryce McDaniel won over Antonio Ruiz to claim the WMTA Arizona State MT-5 Bantamweight Title.

In preliminary bouts, Janette Montero (1 on 1 boxing) and Mychelle Allen (1 on 1 Boxing) opened the show with an exhibition that wasn’t scored. In the second bout, Jennifer Beckman (Championship Fight Team) threw in the towel against Belinda Apadaca (Dragon Snake) after Belinda showed a spin move that surprised Jenifer who thought it was a boxing match and not a Muay Thai fight. Jenifer, told me after she left the ring that she should start reading the memo. Terrell Moore (1 on 1 Boxing) ended Blest Silva’s (Independent) night early via TKO and Jerome Jones Jr. beat the living daylights out of Patrick Casas in what was 1 of 2 mismatches of the evening.

During the intermission, retired boxers Johnny “The Torch” Vasquez, Arturo Ortega and Obet Sullivan were introduced and applauded. It is good that we remember the past. In summation, the announcer was annoying and so was the Drone but the quality of the title bouts made up for the annoyances; laughter is the best medicine.

Parting Shot: When I returned from Canada, I was surprised to learn that Adrian Servin (5-0-1) was held to a draw by Francisco Chavez (2-0-1) in their 6 round skirmish at the Celebrity Theatre on 10/14 and Luis Espinoza (8-0) slipped by Manuel Manoz (0-5-2) with a split decision on the same card; several people called me to suggest Manoz was robbed. The best way to settle the argument is to have a rematch… Irving Martinez is now training Phoenix Middleweight Andrew Hernandez; he has left Busted Knuckle..….4 upcoming smokers to catch: Central Boxing Gym on 10/28, call Tom Garcia at 602-451-0689 for details, Disorder by the Border in San Luis Arizona, call Detective Prieto at 928-919-3990 for details, 11/09-11/11 Gene Lewis Invitational Tournament in Mesa and Sonny’s 2nd Annual Masters Tournament at Sonny’s Gym in Goodyear…..Until Next Time!


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