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List of Articles by Don Smith

Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith: Thank You Saul Alvarez, Meet & Greet & USA vs. Mexico

By Don Smith
13 Apr 2018

Boxing Fans, When boxing superstar Saul Alvarez tested positive twice for a banned substance earlier this year I was hoping his temporary suspension might motivate sports in general to rethink doping, testing and the haphazard way the FDA labels body building additives and weight loss supplements. In case you have been sleeping, the market is saturated with various products that promise naïve customers a chance to acquire traits of super heroes with a simple purchase.

The problem, decades in the making, has reached a crisis level. I don’t propose massive government regulation because I am not a political lefty but let us be pragmatic; ignorance and tolerance of an obvious wrong; isn’t bliss. So the obvious question is how do we educate the athletic community or do they know; but don’t care?

The worst thing we can do, in our opinion, is call for congressional hearings that mirrors what we are watching in the Mark Zuckerberg FaceBook interrogation into social accountability over the unbridled gathering of personal data. The televised event appears to be nothing more than a “nothing burger” so far.

My solution is to demand that the FDA, Anti-Doping organizations and athletic commissions meet and hammer out an educated and comprehensive approach to the problem. Once formulated, the findings could be distributed to gyms, schools, etc. Of course, the will to do something has to be there. Hopefully, we won’t be hearing the now familiar “I ate contaminated meat” excuse in the future.

Here is an update on the fate of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: “Mr. Alvarez is pending a Nevada Commission hearing on April 18, 2018 to address his two positive tests for Clenbuterol on February 17th and 20th. It is also a possibility he could enter into a settlement agreement before the hearing”. Thank you for your interest! Have a great day: Bob Bennett, Executive Director/ Nevada Athletic Commission.

In breaking recent tradition, Las Vegas will not host a big fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend for the first time in a decade. What the cancellation of the GGG vs. Canelo bout means to the city of Las Vegas is a huge financial loss. Meanwhile, Golovkin is scheduled to fight at the Stubb Hub Center in Carson California on May 5; interesting choice of location. His challenger will be announced in the next few days; Sergiy Dervyanchenko (12-0-10 knockouts) is considered the frontrunner.

Amigos Celebration: Amigos Meats, 4239 South 43rd Place in Phoenix, is the place to be on Saturday April 14; noon-4 pm. The Arizona community is invited to eat; drink and listen to live music provided by “La llegadora” a popular local band. A Mexican style buffet will be provided by the host, Amigos Meats-free of charge. Liquid refreshments will be served; but, no alcohol.

Boxing fans are invited to come to the event that features a meet and greet 4 hour session with boxing champions David and Jose Benavidez Jr who will sign posters, pose for pictures and mingle with their fans. They’re driving down from California and will leave promptly at 4 p. to resume training; so come early and enjoy.

A few surprises are planned and everyone is invited to tour the spacious and modern facility. Amigos Meats serves customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix. The popular business is open 7 days a week; 365 days a year. As for the surprises; come and be surprised.

Amigos Meats is a proud sponsor of the brothers. David (20-0-17 knockouts) was born in Phoenix and Jose (26-0-17 knockouts) was raised in the state. Their partnership with Amigos Meats has been a successful blend of business and friendship.

Jose is the former WBA super lightweight champion. His career was interrupted when a cowardly mad man shot him in a knee. It took him 2 years of rehabilitation to recover and now he is back with a vengeance as a welterweight. The 25 year old former champion won his ring return bout in Corpus Christi earlier this year. On May 26, Jose faces Artemio Reyes (25-2-20 knockouts) in Las Vegas; televised on ESPN. If there was an award for comeback fighter of the year, it would be his hands down.

David is the reigning WBC super-middleweight champion. His power is self-evident; 85 % knockout ration. David won his title at age 20 in 2017 making him the youngest super middleweight to win a world title. His title win over Ronald Gavril was declared one of the best fights of the year. Benavidez aka “El Bandera”/Red Flag will defend his title against Russian Matt Korobov (28-1-14) on the Errol Spence card, June 16 in Dallas. He is also the third native born Arizonian to win a world company placing him alongside H.O.F. legends, 6 times world champion Michael Carbajal and 2 time divisional champion Louie Espinoza; both champs remain in Arizona.

ABNN hopes to see you at the event and a special thanks to Amigos Meats and the Benavidez family for being so gracious; see you there!

Loma Time: He has several aliases and one day he may meet up with Mikey Garcia. I am referring to Vasyl “High Tech” Lomachenko (10-1-8) who returns to ring action on May 12 versus WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight champion Jorge “El Nino” Linares (44-3—27 knockouts) at the historic Madison Square Garden. Does the move up in weight for “Loma” sound familiar; a reminder of Mikey Garcia, perhaps!

Produced by Top Rank and seen live on ESPN. ABNN will break down the card in our next issue. Two former Olympians Stevenson and Conlan made the lineup. Fans are seeing some good cards on ESPN and hopefully we can see local fighters Carlos Castro, Abel Ramos and Francisco C de Vaca fight on television in the near future.

Short Hops: UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship returns at the Glendale Arena on Saturday 4/14 at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Suggested time to show up is 5:30 pm to avoid choke hold and congested traffic....Philadelphia welterweight boxing prospect Jaron “Boots” Ennis will fight on a Now Boxing Promotions 8 round event in Norfolk Virginia versus Maryland’s Samuel Amoako (23-17-17) on Saturday April 14. Ennis is managed by renowned manager Cameron Dunkin who expects a tough fight for “Boots.” I wonder what he is drinking, chump juice? Ennis in 4......Wednesday (4/25) is the next MMA/Boxing Commission meeting at 10 am. ABNN is still waiting to see who replaces outgoing Juan Estrada as the Executive Director of the Arizona MMA/Boxing Commission....special thanks to Karla Schmick for her contributions to boxing and a special high five for her promoting the Meet & Greet event with the Benavidez brothers at Amigos Meats on April 14 in Phoenix.

News Bits: Words are beginning to fly between supporters of fly weights Luis Espinoza (8-0-3) and Adrian Servin as they prepare for their Iron Boy promoted April 28 title battle at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. At stake is the vacant ABO super flyweight title (115 lbs.). Andrew Soto, manager of flyweight Elihu Soto is spreading the word that his fighter deserves a shot at the winner; first things first.

Espinoza backers say Luis is a different fighter since he started working with trainer Joel Diaz in California. One ally says his buddy (Espinoza) has added power and possesses better focus to his game and will dominate Servin when they meet at the celebrity.

Servin supporters laugh at that prediction and point out the fact that the two boxers fought years ago when they were kids. One source close to the fighter predicts Servin’s speed and “superior” technical skills will be too much for Espinoza to handle and he made sure that ABNN knew that Servin won the last 3 of their 6 amateur encounters. If their words match their action in the ring; fans can expect a 6 round toe to toe war.

As for Soto, he is a bit of an enigma. Elihu (5-0-3 knockouts) hasn’t fought in 2 years. A standout as amateur, he is now 29 years old and I talked him recently and he said he is ready to resume his career. It is difficult for flyweights to find action because of a limited number of fighters in the flyweight division. 2016 Olympian Nico Hernandez (4-0-3 knockouts) told me in Vegas recently that he didn’t fear Servin or any of the Arizona flyweights; time will tell. Poll Result: I forgot to mention the result from our poll that sought to find out what smokers in the community are the best. The top three selected are Salvation Army, San Luis (PAL) and Duckey Boxing at Lake Parker. Arizona, in my opinion, is starting to produce some fine amateurs and if they stay focused; they may become even better professionals; please stay focused!

Iron Boy Update: A quick conversation with Iron Boy matchmaker Mike gave us some insight to the Upcoming Iron Boy 44 card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on Saturday April 28. All bouts are subject to change. David Courtney (1-6) was expected to fight Jesus Ibarra before he suffered a hand injury so he is a scratch while Jesus hopes for a replacement. Headline Bout: Adrian Servin 5-0-1-2 knockouts for ABO super flyweight title (6 rounds), Under-Card: Moises Alvizo (3-8) vs. Fidel Hernandez (18-4) in a middle weight tiff, Edgar Ortiz 6-1-1 vs. Ryan Allen 5-1, Christopher Gonzalez 1-0 vs. Marcos Francisco Rodriguez (debut), Rico Ramos (28-5) vs. Christian Esquivel (30-13-1), Adolfo Ramos vs. Lenny Correra (0-1) in a super middleweight contest and Brandon Lyle vs. TBA. Additional bouts include: Markey Garcia (1-0) vs. Christopher Sullivan (debut), Adam Stewart vs. TBA and Waldo Cortez vs. TBA. Expect more bouts to be added. Lyle is facing a Russian born fighter in a debut bout but ABNN withheld his name until we recheck the spelling of his John Henry.

More Short Jabs: Maryvale super bantamweight Paul “Ziggy” Romero (7-1-1-1 knockout) has stepped away from boxing to take care of family matters. We wish the 27 year old the best.... one of Alexis Zazueta’s handlers is talking smack about potential rival Ryan Riddell (8-0-5) and Riddell’s peeps tell ABNN that Ryan will beat the expletive out of Zazueta (9-0-5 knockouts). Alexis hasn’t fought in 2 years and he is no longer managed by Cameron Dunkin.

A spokesperson for Riddell say the fight won’t happen on an Iron Boy card because the dollar amount offered wouldn’t reach their demand. Iron Boy and the Riddell Clan have major issues....Promoter Michelle “Ragin Babe” Rosado has been asked by members of the Tucson boxing community to produce a show at the Desert Diamond Casino near Tucson; no word on date or fighters on the card. We hear there will be an emphasis on local fighters if the show comes to fruition...Tucson’s Christopher Gonzalez (1-0) is sparring with Trini Ochoa for his (Gonzalez) upcoming fight on the Iron Boy 44 undercard.....former Arizona boxing trainer Willy Borchert faces surgery in Tennessee in the next few days; we wish him the best.... boxing coach Ray Martinez(Phoenix Sports Academy) is coming to the Meet & Greet on 4/14 at Amigos Meats in Phoenix and he told me he has the 1992 Olympic training glove of Sergio Reyes signed by Oscar De La Hoya and he is thinking about auctioning it off to raise money for the Phoenix Sports Academy; good gesture, Ray.... Iron Boy is trying to lure Sulem Urbina Soto Ochoa (6-0-1 knockout) on an upcoming card. The 27 year old pugilist needs to be more active and taking a fight in Phoenix would be a good career move. Her trainer is husband Andrew Soto; he also trains Carlos Castro.....for those asking, Robert Vargas is CEO of Iron Boy Promotions......6 times world boxing champion Michael Carbajal celebrates an anniversary this month; does anyone know the occasion. ....We wish super fan Geoff Ronning good luck with his foot surgery on Friday 13. As a result, he will miss the Meet & Greet at Amigos Meats, Saturday April 14.

USA vs. Mexico: The 6th annual USA vs. Mexico boxing tournament takes place in Calexico California at the Baja Club for 3 days: 4/20, 21, 22. F1 Boxing is sending Sebastian Mitry and Esteban Inzunza as their representatives. Sebastian won his weight and age class last year at the event and the ring savvy Mitry is ranked #7 in the nation by USA Boxing after finishing third at the Western Qualifier in Albuquerque, New Mexico last month. 95 lb. teammate Inzunza is also one of Arizona’s finest boxers.

Fuentes Gym is sending Moises Rosales and 2 other competitors while Ramos Boxing (Casa Grande Arizona) will be represented by Jesus Ramos Jr. At least 8 gyms from Arizona were planning to send boxers. ABNN will try to follow up with a list of Arizona winners, if possible. We wish all of the competitors, good luck! Until Next Time!

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