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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: AZ. Boxing Commission Meets, Boxing Schedule, Stone Update

Boxing Fans, It is time for a touch of the glasses and a toast to the Arizona Boxing Commission for finally holding a monthly commission meeting after several last minute cancellations spanning a period of 3 months plus a rescheduled date for September. At the conclusion of the ?latest? commission gathering, I was prepared to ask several questions, but I couldn?t find anyone willing to hang around and chat. I got the impression that everyone had left a Pot Roast on the stove at home and had to abruptly leave to avoid my questions or to save the imaginary roast; take your pick!

The meeting was held on Thursday September 17, originally scheduled for 9/15, and the designated room was much smaller than the spacious conference venue normally used. When I arrived at the office of the Gaming Department on the fourth floor I didn?t know where to go, so I buzzed the receptionist who asked me to take a seat in the hallway while she (Kathy) tried to find out where to send me. Kathy told me the meeting was being held in a nonspecific room on the second floor. I followed her directions and tugged on the door of the conference room, it was locked.

I began pulling on several doors until someone (Al Hill) heading to the meeting directed me to the proper venue. As I entered the room I was literally stunned to discover that the meeting room is tiny and barely a sufficient size to hold a George Pataki for President Pep Rally. I counted 13 chairs filled by invited guests and one journalist. Seated onstage were Commissioners Fletcher, Pennington and the rarely seen Scott Peters with Executive director Matthew Valenzuela and his assistant Norma Rivera situated near the dais. Thank goodness, two of the participants joined in via telephone which avoided a possible squabble over the single available unoccupied seat. I didn?t ask if the commission had the capacity to retrieve another seat or two if needed.

Ms. Rivera told me at the conclusion of the intimate affair that the scheduled October 19 (Monday) meeting would be held elsewhere, but she didn?t have a clue as to where; so, I suggested the following possibilities: Holiday Inn broom closet, commission parking garage or inside and outside of one of the commissioner?s car. The suggestions drew laughs and reminded those listening of the obvious hard times facing the embattled and underfunded boxing division of the Arizona Gaming Department. The reality can?t be sugar coated.

The first order of business on the agenda was to hear an application request from heavyweight Chad Davis (5-13) to fight Anetelea Opetai (1-1) on the September 26 Iron Boy 27 card at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona. The unbridled Davis badmouthed his previous management teams as part of the reasoning behind his poor record. One of the commissioners asked the athlete if he bore any responsibility for his less than sterling record and Davis changed his blame game to admitting personal responsibility in a New York minute. The commission approved his application allowing the 36 year old Phoenix boxer to fight Opetai, but they told him the commission could revisit the issue after his September 26 bout. My sources tell me Davis was knocked down and manhandled during a recent sparring session with his upcoming opponent; that reported claim was never brought up during the extended conversation with Mr. Davis. It should be noted that Box-rec lists Chad?s record at 1-1 while Executive Director Valenzuela reported won lost mark at 1-2. Opetai confirmed his Box-rec stat (1-1) as correct.

BMBP Approved: Maritza Miranda Saenz, CEO of Bout Maker Boxing Promotions, stood before the commission on 9/17 and asked that her request for a boxing event be held at Arizona Event Center in Mesa, Arizona on November 7 and the request was approved. Ms. Saenz had prior conversations with Center Management about using the facility for boxing, but couldn?t reach an agreement. The venue is capable of seating 1,000 plus depending on the configuration of the room. Ms. Saenz and her team appear to be stepping up their game with a bigger venue. JR Cardenas remains the official announcer for BMBP.

It is too early to announce the bout sheet listing, but it safe to assume that none of the three fighting Riddell brothers will on the card in light of their father?s labor dispute with Center Management. Papa Riddell claims the Arizona Event Center owes him money for a boxing ring he built for the entertainment and Sports complex. A spokesperson for the center told me the work was ?inferior? therefore the balance owed was never paid; a claim Mr. Riddell vehemently disputes. Both sides reported their complaints with the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission. The center offers a diverse menu of entertainment including boxing, wrestling, MMA, Theatre and Music.

Concussion Discussion: A year ago the Commission openly discussed a need for some type of baseline testing of boxers for possible signs of suffering concussion symptoms. It was a spirited discussion with on hand experts and the question of which test would be best, cost and who would pay for it was asked and tabled until a future date. On September 17 the issue was brought up again and tabled once again until the Arizona State legislative legal department could do some research. After the meeting I pulled Dr. Starling (Mayo Clinic) aside and she suggested I submit questions and she or another qualified person would answer my questions quickly. A week later, I did receive an email from Lee Brush (Concussion Program at Mayo Clinic) and after reading it I was convinced that I should consider concussion testing for myself. Dr. Starling did tell me that I could suggest to any individual or group of athletes beyond the age of 10 years of age that they call 480- 301-8100 and ask about free concussion testing. I hope readers will pass along the concussion program number; waiting isn?t wise!

Stone Update The controversial Craigslist ad advertising former Stonehard Gym instructor Damien Stone?s boxing and fitness services has been dropped. Stone posted the ad more than two months ago and it raised concerns knowing that the 41 year old parent was arrested in 2014 for propositioning a female uncover Police officer who told Mr. Stone she was 16 years of age and he, according to the official police report, said it didn?t matter. Stone?s court Trial date is set for November 3 in Maricopa County Superior Court, Phoenix, Arizona.

Stone made an appearance at the Greenfield Elementary School (10th Street in Phoenix) 9/19 boxing smoker event and was asked to leave by USA Boxing Arizona Official Walt Hoskins when Stone approached one of the boxing corners where a teenage boxer was awaiting the start of his fight.

USA Boxing Arizona stripped Stone of his membership within the organization and told him to stay away from kids until his court matter is settled. He left without resistance and it wasn?t the first time the former member has been sighted approaching kids at a boxing event or local gym since his arrest and ban. The online ad was seeking youth and adult clients for training at his home residence.

More Boxing News: 5 time world champion Michael Carbajal celebrated his 49th Birthday on 9/17 and will join Phoenix Sports Television Sports Director Bruce Cooper (NBC affiliate channel 12) for a taping session (9/24) to be aired on 9/26 sometime before or after the NBC televised Deontay Wilder Fight. The champ (Carbajal) is currently working with a couple of young fighters who plan to change their amateur status to professional, soon; stay tuned?..Boxing publicist Michelle Rosado, a former Phoenix resident, turned to the internet recently to voice her opinion that boxing promoters shouldn?t give away any free tickets; I hope she wasn?t including veterans and disadvantaged youth. She said the practice was harming the boxing industry. In her tweet, she used stronger language. I think her position is inane... ?.Super Middleweight David Benavidez (12-0- 11 knockouts) is fighting in Mexico on October 23?..Valentino?s, 43rd & Indian School Road in Phoenix, may open its? doors to boxing in November; good location and size.

AZ. Boxing Schedule: In between the upcoming PPV boxing shows, the state of Arizona has several shows to tout and we would be guilty of not informing the boxing consumer if we didn?t share the latest Arizona Boxing show confirmed dates: 9/25 Tucson Arizona: Wild West Boxing Promotions presents 7 bouts (Desert Heat 2) in the TCC Grand Ballroom on Friday 9/25. For tickets, directions and show time call 520-448-5032. Doors open at 6 Pm and first bout commences at 7 PM. Matchmaker Eddie Rodriquez arranged the following lineup card: Rafael Garcia 4-1 vs. Ernesto Hernandez 1-1 (Super welterweights-4 rounds), Carlos Castillo 3-0 vs. James Stewart 1-2 (SuperLightweights-4 rounds), Rashawn McCain vs. Moses Alvizo (Super Welterweight-4 rounds), Edward Ceballos 2-0 vs. Mario Ayala 2-2 (Super Bantamweights-4 rounds), David Damore 1-1-3 vs. Cesar Ruiz 1-1 (Cruiserweights-4 rounds), Jose Pena 1-0 vs. Steven McCray 0-5 (Super Welterweights -4 rounds), Franco Muro 1-1 vs. Mulapi Enjani 1-0-2 (Super Bantamweights-4 rounds). Your ring announcer is Ralph Velez Jr.

9/26 Phoenix Arizona: Iron Boy Promotions returns to the Celebrity Theatre on Saturday September 26. The official open to the public weigh-in is set for Friday September 25 at the very popular Club Palazzo, 710 N. Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix at 5 PM. Here is the aligned card as we went to press: Main Event Carlos Castro 12-0-5 knockouts vs. Jose Silveria 15-17- 6 knockouts (126 lbs-6 rounds), Roberto Leon debut vs. TBA (124 lbs. 4 rounds), Junior Rodriguez aka Jose Rodriguez Herrera 2-0 vs. Misael Chacon 1-10 (123 lbs. 4 rounds),Gerardo Avila 4-6-2 vs. Paul ?Ziggy? Romero 5-0-1 (123 lbs.- 4 rounds), Jason Thompson 0-4 vs. Danny Montoya 1-1 (lightweights-4 rounds), Chad Davis 5-13 vs. Anetelea Opetaia 1-1 (Heavyweights-4 rounds), Ernest Muhammed 1-0 vs. Clifford Jordan 1-0 (147 lbs. ? 4 rounds), Brian Mendoza 8-0-5 knockouts vs. TBA (4 rounds - Super Welterweights),Mario Hermosillo 12-20-4-2 knockouts vs. Abel Ramos 13-0-2-8 knockouts (6 rounds -142 lbs.), Luis Rangel Guerrero 1-2-1 knockout vs. Joshua Greer Jr. debut (4 rounds-122 lbs.), Daron Williams 1-0-1 knockout vs. TBA (4 rounds- 118 lbs.), Kelin Sharpe 2-1-2 knockouts vs. Adam Ramirez debut (4 rounds-124 lbs.), Pablo Batres 8-12-1-2 knockouts vs. Kevin Lavalee 13-0-1-10 knockouts (6 rounds-132 lbs.).

10/14: Ring Pros, TGP Promotions and Fight Hard Promotions are listed as promoters and the show is broadcast on ESPN from Gila River Arena in Glendale. Doors open at 3 PM on Wednesday 10/14. Attempts to flesh out the full card were unsuccessful, but we do know the main event features Devon Alexander 26-3 w/14 knockouts vs. Aaron Martinez 19-4-1 w/ 4 knockouts with the winner in line for a title shot. IBF featherweight Champion Lee Selby defends his title against Fernando Montiel in a 12 round co-main event bout. Television time starts at 6 PM EST. Tickets are on sale at the Arena box-office. Sorry, I can?t report names of local fighters, if any, on the card.

10/17: Iron Boy Promotions & Top Rank INC. team up once again to present boxing show (Iron Boy 28) at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on Saturday October 17.. According to our sources, undefeated Jesus Gabriel Magdaleno 21-0-15 knockouts will fight in the Main Event and Top Rank Light Heavyweight sensation Trevor McCumby (Busted Knuckle Boxing) 20-0-16 knockouts is on tap for the Co-Main Event. SMS prospect Luis Olivares 8-0-5 knockouts returns to ring action after recuperating from a rib injury. Also, Popular Phoenix fighter Emilio Garcia 9-1-2 w/2 knockouts is on the card along with boxing heartthrob Francisco C. De Vaca (12-0-4 knockouts.
In a special bout, newcomer Johnny Tijerina, coached and trained by five time world champion Michael Carbajal, will make his professional debut. The bout marks the professional coaching debut of the boxing legend and Phoenix native. Call the Celebrity theatre for seating arrangements.

10/23: Showtime, RJJ Promotions, Cohen Boxing Promotions and Iron Boy Promotions are working on an intriguing show that will be broadcast from the comfortable Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on 10/23. Details are sketchy, but we do know local favorites Victor Castro (15-0) and Paul ?Ziggy? Romero (5-0-1) will represent Arizona on the undercard. What we know about the rest of the card is printed on Showtime?s Website: Louis Rose (13-2-1) vs. Rob Brant 14-0 (Championship bout), Wanzel Ellison 11-1-1 vs. Harmonito Dela Torre 16-0, Lavarn Harvell 15-1-0 vs. Samuel Clarkson 16-3-0 and Jarrell ?Big Baby? Miller vs. TBA. Broadcast time begins at 9 PM EST, but to see all the fights traveling to the Celebrity allows fans to see all of the action; doors open at 4:30 PM and tickets are currently on sale. Castro returns to action after recuperating from a back injury and when I saw him at the last Roy Jones Jr. produced Show in Arizona he was growing a full beard. He is too short to play President Lincoln.

2 Good Causes: The 5th annual Felipe Corral Drive for the Future Golf Tournament benefiting the Isac Amaya Foundation tees off on Sunday September 27 (8 AM) at the Legacy Golf Course in Phoenix. Felipe is Univision Arizona?s main sports anchor and if you are able to donate time or auction item; please call 602-384-5535 and someone will handle your socially conscious donation.

Boxing Coach Juan Mendoza (Mendoza Boxing) is taking three of his prized boxing pupils: Fernando Martinez, Bernardino Hernandez and Luis Retana to Oxnard California 9-26-15 to participate in a PAL Tourney and Team Mendoza needs the boxing community to buy raffle tickets so the boys can represent Arizona proudly. Raffle prizes include championship boxing tickets, meals, boxing equipment and more. Please call 602-413-9750 to purchase tickets and support amateur boxing.

Amateur Events: 10/10 Greenfield Elementary School at 7009 S. 10th Street, Phoenix 85042; first bout at 2 PM?.call 602-702-7053 for more details??South Mountain Boxing Club hosts a smoker on 10/24 at Victory Outreach on McDowell Road in Phoenix; no further details. Call 602-702-7053 for further details: maybe...Annual Copper Gloves during the Arizona State Fair on Tuesday-Wednesday October 27-28 for the price of a general admission entrance ticket to the fair. As a bonus, fans who go on Wednesday 9/28) can attend folk/Rock legend singer Jackson Browne?s concert at the coliseum at no additional cost unless you prefer a reserved seat. And the fair is offering free entrance to the annual show every Thursday between noon-1 PM. Another way to save money is to present a 3 day milk/cheese/yogurt receipt and receive $3.00 off one ticket purchase. The 2015 Arizona State Fair opens on 10/16 and ends on 11/8. Other concerts scheduled include Flo Rida on October 30 and the nostalgic Old School Jam on 11/7?.The annual three day Gene Lewis Boxing Tournament (Mesa, Arizona) is scheduled for 11/12-13-14 and the tournament hopes to use 3 rings to move the process along a bit quicker than in years past. Action on Thursday and Friday starts at 7 PM and Saturday?s square off begins at 1 PM Call Josh at 480-834-1216 for more details.

Good News: We reported in a recent column that 10 year old Erick Munguia was injured at a boxing smoker in South Phoenix as a result of an accident that wasn?t his fault. He suffered two nasty gashes at the back of his head when he was knocked to the cement floor by someone (an aging boxing writer) who was pushed into Erick. It was a weird incident and I talked to the young boxer/student who is on his way to a full recovery. I was assured the facility (Greenfield Elementary School), where it happened, would pay his medical expenses and Fight Hard Promotions graciously gave the family 4 tickets to their upcoming ESPN televised October 14th Show at Gila River Arena. Fight Hard Promotions is co-promoter of the event with Ring Pros and TGP Promotions.

Smoker Results: I attended the 9/19 boxing smoker held at Greenfield Elementary School and I want to extend a special word of praise for the volunteer concession workers who donated their time and energy to raise money for the school gym. Here is list of winning boxers and their respective training gyms if made known: Silva Marquez (Madison), David Vera (Unattached), Jeremiah Teran (Broadway), Xavier Gloria (Guadalupe Boxing), Jacob Girardot (Hammer Boxing), Daniel Teran (Broadway), Sage Williams (Unattached), Carlos Hernandez (Broadway), Angel Ortiz Reyes (Broadway), Fabian Montes (Phoenix Boys Center), Anthony Cortez Jr. (Indio Boys & Girls Club), Jorge Valenzuela (Mohave Valley), Manuel Flores (Indio Boys & Girls Club), Tony Flores (Indio Boys & Girls Club), Sammy Contreras (Palm Dale California), Aaron Garcia (Fuentes Boxing), Samuel Garcia (Madison), Oscar Elvis Lopez (Madison), Alexis Martinez (Mendoza Boxing Club), Rashawn Lewis (Central Boxing), Luis Gamez(Boxing Inc. East), Myron Bridges (Unattached). It was a good afternoon and evening of boxing; only 3-4 disputed verdicts. Next Greenfield Elementary School smoker is scheduled for 10/10 at 2 PM.

Boxing Tidbits: Journeyman Promotions continues to introduce new ring faces to Phoenix fight fans. Making their Arizona debuts at the Iron Boy 27 Celebrity Theatre show on Saturday 9/26 is Andrew Zack managed pugilists: Kelin Sharpe, Joshua Greer Jr. and Ernest Muhammad Jr; Zack always brings a cigar or two in anticipation of victory? Undefeated Arizona fighter Abel Ramos signed with Journeyman 2-3 years ago and he is also on the Celebrity card?.. A special salute to Rigoberto Ledezma (Fight Hard Promotions) for passing out free boxing tickets to military personnel stationed in Phoenix; so, they could attend his ESPN televised show at Gila River Arena on October 14 in Glendale, Arizona. Fight Hard is co-promoting the event with Ring Pros and TGP Promotions. In addition, Fight Hard also gave a select number of free ducats to a local non-profit organization whose mission is to provide scholarships to quality students who are college ready, but money is an issue. We applaud any promoter with noble intentions?..Before few sent this column on its? way to readers, I was made aware that Arizona boxers are going online and casting votes for their favorite active professional Arizona boxer and leading all nominations in votes is undefeated Abel Ramos fighting out of Arizona City?..I would like to thank the reader who sent me a picture of a local male boxing coach/ trainer wearing a pair of women?s panties and fish net stockings; hardly fetching. I assume the shocking photo was a joke and not a preference of lifestyle; I deleted the image, quickly?..Until Next Time!

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Don Smith.

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