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List of Articles by Don Smith

Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Lomachenko vs. Linares, Brito Update & Much More

By Don Smith
08 May 2018

Boxing Fans, It is estimated that millions of boxing fans around the world will be watching (on ESPN) Vasyl Lomachenko’s attempt to win Jorge Linacre’s WBA super lightweight title on Saturday May 12. A win would further fuel the widespread notion that Lomachenko, aka “Hi-Tech” is planning to eventually fight Mikey Garcia; winner of four divisional titles. Some boxing partisans call it a dream match.

Beating Linares would give “Loma” a second divisional championship and a leg up to try for a third and possibly a fourth. Only Garcia, Pacquiao and Marquez have reached that magical and elite boxing plateau.

Garcia calls “Loma” a copycat in stepping up in weight to win other divisional titles. Mikey told ABNN in Texas, he expected the double Gold medal Olympic winner from Ukraine to fight light weight champion Ray Beltran; wrong, Linares is considered a much tougher hombre.

He has 44 wins against a mere 3 losses. Since his last loss to Sergio Thompson in 2012 the 32 year old warrior has reeled off 13 consecutive wins. His other 2 defeats came at the hands of Antonio DeMarco and Juan Salgado, 2 top notch pugilists.

Our source tells us the MSG held event is close to a sellout. As of 2 weeks ago available tickets ranged $56.00 to $506.00 including facility fees. Cross your fingers and call Ticketmaster at 866-858-008 if you want to watch it live; there are alternatives.

ESPN will show all the fights on ESPN 1, 2 & 3 commencing with the first bout at 4:30 p.m. ET. The co- main (Adames vs. Barrera) event airs exclusively at 8 p.m. followed by the main event. The under-card is filled with former Olympians such as Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medal winner Faziddin Gaibnazarov, Canadian Michael Conlan, Honduras Olympic representative Teofimo Lopez, American Olympian Mikaela Mayer and James “Semper Fi” Herring a former US Marine and Olympian who will enter the ring with a record of 16 wins – 2 losses . ABNN hopes to interview the former Marine and his story will touch every heart; our request is in! A total of 9 fights are scheduled.

Boxing junkies can watch pre-fight activities on ESPN beginning with Wednesdays media workout (5/9 1 p.m. ET). On Thursday, the final press conference begins at (1 p.m.). Friday’s mandatory weigh-in hits the scales at 4:45 p.m. ET. It is a fun week; soak it up!

Remember the action starts early; so mow the lawn and take care of other chores earlier in the day on Saturday, May 12. Adames opponent Alejandro Barrera (27-4—17 knockouts won’t be available for the media workout but is expected to join Adames (13-0-11 knockouts) at the final press conference on Thursday. It is a card with great depth.

Corner Talk: A win is a win but undefeated super featherweight Ryan Garcia (15-0-13 knockouts)was less than impressive in his win over veteran Jayson Velez (26-5-1) at the Stubhub Center in Carson California on Friday, May4. Velez exposed a need for the cocky Garcia to work on his defense. I had Garcia winning but not by the lopsided score announced by ringside judges: 99-91 x 3.....Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1-34 knockouts)looked almost beatable in the first round of his HBO televised middleweight championship battle versus Vanes Martirosyan 36-4-1-21 knockouts)at the Stubhub Center on May 5th. Abel Sanchez, his trainer, told the Kazakhstan fighter, after the end of the first stanza, to loosen up and GGG wasted no time in delivering a barrage of punches that ended the night (second round) for Martirosyan who praised GGG as the hardest puncher he ever faced. Boxing insiders think the undefeated middleweight champion will meet Saul Alvarez on Saturday September 15th (Mexican Independence Weekend). Alvarez is serving a Nevada Athletic Commission imposed six month suspension for failing two random drug tests administered in February of this year.

Alvarez aka Canelo has his defenders over the Nevada’s decision to suspend the boxing superstar. . One unidentified boxing official told me that Mexico preserves meat by using a heavy dose of steroids and therefore Alvarez’s claim of digesting contaminated meat is understand and possible. I have no comment; but, I do wonder what effect the incident will have on the immense popularity, Alvarez enjoyed before his meaty alibi and subsequent suspension.

Short Jabs: 17 year old Arizona amateur boxing sensation Jesus Ramos Jr. (Ramos Boxing) and nephew of Welterweight contender Abel Ramos has signed with Journeyman Promotions and will make his professional debut in Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico on May 26. Ironically, Uncle Abel (18-3-2) is the co-main on a Fight Hard Promotions card. Shamarian Snider (8-1-1) is the headline attraction and other members of the FHP boxing ensemble traveling across the border include Chris Sullivan (1-0) Marcos Dominguez (6-1-1), Rafael Casas (8-3), Jose Adolfo Caro and David Reese Haywood. ABNN will supply an update with possible changes in our next issue; if warranted.

Brito Update: In our last edition, we announced the arrest of Phoenix featherweight and his transfer to an immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona. We have since learned through his wife (Erin) that the detainee was charged with DUI and disorderly conduct. We believe one of the charges (disorderly conduct) has been dropped; however, he faces deportation issues because he let his DACA status elapse while he buckled under personal stress. Edgar married his wife recently after a short romance.

Arizona Boxing News & Notes contacted Mrs. Brito and she contacted her husband who asked ABNN authorization to investigate the charges and forward our findings to her. After his thumbs up approval, we contacted Eloy Immigration Center and they basically thumbed their nose at our request for basic information; so, we took a detour and asked US Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ, District 3) to intervene and his office is looking into the matter.

So far, we have discovered that the isolated Immigration Center in Eloy has been accused of misconduct, in the past, and a request for disclosure of the nature of complaints and names of judge(s) mentioned in complaints was denied access to the person(s) who requested the information through the powers granted by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Judge Richard Phelps was on the bench during that era and he will be presiding over Edgar Brito’s case. ABNN is aware of the raised questions about the fairness of the court and told Mrs. Brito about a story printed in the Casa Grande Dispatch. We must stress that ABNN isn’t aware of any wrongdoing by Judge Phelps or his colleagues.

It is a serious matter that has prompted the family to hire Phoenix Attorney Bruno Gitnacht and he met with Mrs. Brito who now has the power of attorney to speak on her husband’s behalf. Furthermore she has authorized the office of Congressman Grijalva to ask questions and contact the Immigration office directly. If the stories that we hear about te center are true: it is going to be a tough fight to get him out.

I propose that his friends and supporters write letters to Judge Richard Phelps. The letters of support should be sent to 1705 E. Hanna Road Suite 366, Eloy, Arizona 85131 addressed to: Honorable Judge Richard Phelps. If you want to call for visits, call 520-466-3671 and ask how a visit can be consummated.

Freedom of Press: When I feel that my journalistic right to pursue the truth is impeded, I always recall the words of former US Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) who said: “When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of their liberties we hold dear are endangered”. In working on 2 stories recently, I was denied immediate answers to unclassified questions. I eventually went around the undeniable wall of resistance to obtain the information but in a true democracy; responsible and accredited members of the press are allowed to ask questions without going through a deliberate and dehumanizing process. All that does is create a story within a story. Remember, “Freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose”... singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson.

Upcoming TV Fights: Haney vs. Menard May 11, Showtime....Lomachenko vs. Linares May 12, ESPN.... Ali vs. Munguia May 12, HBO.... Gonzalez vs. Duno May 17, ESPN....Stevenson vs. Jack + Russell vs. Diaz May 19, ShowTime ....Escandon vs. Nymabayar May 26, FS1.... Ancajas vs. Sultan May 26, ESPN + J Benavidez vs. Frank Rojas...Salgado vs. De La Hoya June 8, ESPN...Crawford vs. Horn June 9, ESPN....Santa Cruz vs. Mares 2 June 9, ShowTime.... Spence vs. Ocampo June 16, ShowTime.... Ramirez Sanchez vs. Angulo, ESPN June 30 and Tyson Fury vs. TBA, July 9, BT Sport +Flanagan vs. Hooker; enjoy the fights. It is up to each fan where they watch boxing. Personally, as readers know, I occasionally watch championship bouts at Twin Peaks on Camelback Road in Phoenix because I like the inner action from fans and the food offerings at Twin Peaks is far better than the majority of Sports Bars I the metropolis and surrounding areas. Where ever you call; make sure the establishment is showing the fight.

Arizona Boxing Results: A special thank you from F-1 boxing coach Duane Mitry and USA Arizona boxing official Richard Soto for sending a list of Arizona State J.O. winters to our assignment desk. The tournament was held at Sonny’s boxing gym in Goodyear, Arizona and as usual; his staff was unable to send a complete list of winners who advance to the J.O. Regionals in New Mexico. Once again, we thank Richard and Duane for their assistance.

We hear good things about the level of competition but there was a score of complaints about the admission price of $15.00 per person. One person called and she and her group (total of 9) left after being told they needed $135.00 to enter. Here is a list of winners and we hope our list includes all of the winners. Best boxer trophy went to Moises Rosales (Fuentes Boxing) and Team Trophy was awarded to (F-1 Boxing).

In no particular order; here are the names winners: Sierra Bojorquez (Walt Hoskins Boxing), Marques Silva (Mendoza Boxing), Robert Romero (Hammer Boxing), Mitchell Crites (Unattached), Adolfo Benitez (Hammer Boxing) Elias Garcia (Hammer), Jesus Cimedo (Sonny’s Boxing), Andrew Corona (Azteca Boxing), David Vera (Unattached), Esteban Inzunza (F-1 Boxing), Victor Ruiz (New Corner), Sebastian Mitry (F-1 Boxing), Jeremiah Teran (Broadway Boxing), James Bahe (Bahe Boxing),Miken Carranza, (Unattached),James Maldonado (Azteca Boxing) and Mariah Martinez (Unattached). Next amateur event is scheduled for Saturday May n12th at the Greenfield Elementary School, 7009 South 10th Street in Phoenix. For more details, contact Coach Ricky Ricardo at 602-434-7770. The school has quality air conditioning.

Extra Stuff: ABO boxing official Alan Santana has a book signing in Huntington Beach California on May 19 and on May 12 will be filming on location in Los Angeles in the feature film, Shadow Boxer; directed by Pete Bollinger...set for release in 2019.

Mr. Santana and I became acquainted when I inquired about the ABO Organization who worked with Iron Boy Promotions recently when Luis Espinoza and Adrian Servin fought for the vacant super flyweight ABO title. As I recall, our initial chat was several months ago when I asked if Arizona welterweight Abel Ramos still maintained his ABO championship belt and I was told that Ramos relinquished it by not defining it within a required time. Winners of an ABO belt have to defend it a minimum of three times within 12 months and the first title defense must be made within the first 9 months of receiving the belt. Adrian Servin plans to fight for a more prestigious championship but won’t rule out defending his recently won ABO belt. The Abo organization is growing as evidenced by news that 4 bouts on the Fight Hard Promotions Card in Aqua Prieta card (May 26) , Sonora Mexico will compete for ABO Belts.

Arizona Boxing News: Iron Boy’s private show at the Camelback Inn in Phoenix on May 17 was set but matchmaker Mike Sanchez began looking for replacements for heavyweight Adam Stewart (4-0-1) and bantamweight Chris Sullivan (1-0) when their foes were withdrawn after notification of suspensions on both. Stewart (Main Event) and Sullivan will remain on the card facing TBD opponents.

The co-main is inked with undefeated prospect Hector Lopez (9-0) vs. Eduardo Rafael Reyes (8-12). In other action, veteran junior middleweight Ulises Jiminez (23-22-1) fights highly regarded prospect Yulian Tembotov (6-0) in a 6 round contest. Hard luck lightweight David Courtney (1-7) hopes to break in the win column again with a 4 round bout versus unbeaten Oswald Hernandez (2-0) and Adam Lopez (9-1) matches his skills with featherweight Francisco Jose Camacho (5-7-1) in a 6 round bout. Middleweight Joan Abraham Zavala makes his debut vs. TBD foe. It is a private show; so, any attempt to crash will be blocked by Bruno and a choke hold; just kidding.

Peltz Boxing and Raging Babe Events are bringing a boxing show to Tucson’s Desert Diamond Casino on Friday July 13. The Diamond Casino features several fighters I know and I think the show will be very entertaining. A source told me the venue has a capacity estimated at 1,800 and the local lure of the card should draw well. Here is the limited info we snared off Box Rec and an independent source. As always, all bouts are subject to change. Main Event: Alfonso Olvera (10-4-1 vs. Wilberth Lopez (20-8). Both fighters are warriors; so expect a war. Co-Main: Jensen Ramirez (5-2-3) has taken a couple years off; but, I saw him when he beat then prospect Emilio Garcia a few years back and boxer showed some nice boxing skills. The Tucson resident is looking for an opponent. Hard hitting Christopher Gonzalez (2-0) is never boring to watch. He was head butted during his first matches; expect him to move his head more and push out of the clinches. His foe is yet to be named.

3 other fighters are listed to appear on the card: Emmanuel Guajardo (1-0), Nicholas Rhoads (1-0) and Judas Estrada (1-0). All of the fighters listed for the July 13 event have Arizona ties. Tickets can be purchased by calling 267-575-0000

A Salute to the Benavidez Brothers: It was belated but ABNN appreciates the recent communiqué (dated May 7) from Francisco Meneses, Jr., Executive Director of the Arizona Boxing/ MMA Commission: “On behalf of the Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission, we congratulate David Benavidez on his February 2018 World Boxing Council World Super Middleweight Title. Both Benavidez brothers (David & Jose) demonstrate that Arizona’s boxing community trains and produces top quality fighters much like Michael Carbajal –a homegrown, Arizona fighter who won many title fights during his career.”...Francisco Meneses, Jr., Executive Director, Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission.

Immediately after receiving the tribute, I called the Benavidez family and read the communiqué and without deliberation; they said to thank everyone in the commission including Arizona Gaming Department Deputy Director Raul Casillas, who agreed previously; that a congratulatory salute is appropriate for the Benavidez brothers who give back so much to the Arizona community..... Until Next Time!

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