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Search for More Boxing Fans, Iron Boy 28 Recap & More

Harmonito De La Torre (R) to fight in Phoenix this Friday.
Boxing Fans, In Arizona the common formula used by Promoters to lure patrons to live boxing shows is to focus advertising dollars and social media attention heavily on the Mexican American boxing fan and present a boxing card featuring predominantly fighters of Latin or Mexican descent. In reality, the increasing popularity of MMA and the arrival of new promoters to the Arizona boxing landscape has left Matchmakers scrambling to find adequate talent and motivate fans to question the strategy and current product.

Every recognizable dilemma has a solution and Arizona Boxing News & Notes has done a bit of research into the matter and here is our analysis and common sense antidotal suggestion to a simple problem.

The Arizona talent pool is thin and over rated. Simply put; fans are tired of watching recycled fighters who in laymen?s terms lack the ring skills and heart to perform up to fan?s expectations. This isn?t an indictment on all fighters. It is more a judgment call on promoters and the Arizona Boxing Commission.

I know the current Executive Director (Matthew Valenzuela) and I share differing opinions on a variety of substantive issues including addressing concussion awareness with a plan and deadline, smarter deployment of referees and a more pen dialogue with journalists without fear of reprisal. In addition, the commission is under staffed and the appropriated budget lacks the dollar power needed to address obvious problems. I also question the state legislature?s role in addressing boxing issues.

Boxing needs to undergo a facelift; expand the fan base by bringing in Asians and other ethnic groups to change the face of boxing. Pinoy (Filipino) boxers showed the strength of their popularity by posting huge viewer numbers with their televised Philippines against the world boxing exhibition on The Filipino Channel, 2060 in Phoenix, 10/17. Statistically, Phoenix (Maricopa County) is home to almost 100,00 Filipino Americans, but my sources told me that Filipino boxing enthusiasts aren?t cultivated in Arizona even though rising Filipino Super Featherweight boxing prospect Harmonito De La Torre (16-0) is slated to fight Angel Luna (12-1) at the Celebrity Theatre on Friday, October 23. I talked to the assignment desk editor of the Filipino American Journal in Phoenix and the publication knew nothing about Torre fighting in Phoenix.

It is imperative that promoters of boxing keep boxing menus fresh by bringing in new faces and schedule diverse weight classes instead of presenting a steady diet of mostly lighter weight boxers. I asked fans to sound-off and here are the 10 most common voiced complaints:

(1) Boxing Shows rarely started on time (2) Camera person(s) block view of spectator (3) Security was slow to reprimand rowdy fans (4) Concession prices are too high (5) Some announcers talked too much (6) Lack of entertainment during intermission break (7) Sound system was sometimes in-adequate (8) restroom lines too long (9) Lineup changes without fans knowing in advance (10) Introduce new fighters with winning records.

Boxing News: New York based Greg Cohen Promotions and GH3 Promotions out of New Jersey are playing an integral role in the Iron Boy 29 boxing show at the Celebrity Theatre on Friday, October 23 in Phoenix, Arizona. A spokesperson for Roy Jones Promotions (VP Lisa Veltre) asked that Arizona Boxing News & Notes list GCP & RJJ Promotions as co-presenters of the show in association with Iron Boy Promotions and GH3; consider it done.

GCP, a familiar name in boxing circles, will be introducing 4 new fighters to Arizona boxing fans on Friday, October 23 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Welcome Middleweight Robert Brant (17-0), Super-featherweight Harmonito De La Torre (16-0), Light-heavyweight Lavarn Harvell (15-1) and undefeated heavyweight Jarrell Miller (14-0). Brant and Louis Rose (13-2-1) battle for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Champion ship. The event will be televised by Showtime. Phoenix fighters Keenan Carbajal, Alexis Zazueta and Emilio Garcia provide a strong under-card. Matchmaker Mike Sanchez was hoping to squeeze Chicago sensation Ed ?Bad Boy? Brown 13-on the card, but a worthy foe couldn?t be found. Tickets for Iron Boy 29 are available at the Celebrity Theatre; main doors open at 5 PM and first bell chimes at 6 PM on Friday, October 23.

Short Jabs: I contacted the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission to find out if there was a fine or suspension assessed when Oswald Ortega was disqualified by referee Wes Melton for excessive holding (6 times) during his October 17 bout with victorious California heavyweight Bernardo Marquez and the commission failed to address my question?.Amateur Fernando Martinez now trains with Mendoza Boxing and not Fuentes Gym as reported in last column?..Johnny Tijerina (Carbajal Gym in Phoenix) wasn?t on the Iron Boy 28 Celebrity Theatre Card because his opponent was 17 years of age which doesn?t meet the Arizona State minimum age requirement of 18??Top Rank executive Bruce Trampler attended the October 17 Iron Boy 28 show as did lightweight contender Ray Beltran who hopes to return to action in February or March?.recently retired 4 time middleweight Champion Carl Froch is tinkering with the idea of returning to the ring to fight GGG?.. former Arizona boxing coach Damien Stone faces a pretrial hearing on November 3rd over his sexual solicitation charges and the hearing held at Maricopa County Superior in Phoenix at 8 AM is open to the public?..Desert Heat III is set for November 13 at the Clarion Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Jose ?Raging Bull? Pena and Francisco ?Cisco Kid? Muro are on the card and for further information go online to or call Coach Ray at 520- 448-5032.

Iron Boy 28 Recap: Iron Boy and Top Rank served a hands up winner on October 17 with the presentation of Iron Boy 28; 7 fights, one DQ, 3 knockouts and an unexpected sensational flat footed scissor styled ring entrance leap over the top rope of the ring by budding light heavyweight Que Deng who cleared the top rung by a good 6 inches. It was a very impressive leap; Deng is a Top Rank Boxing prot?g?.

The opening fight pitted Heavyweight Bernardo ?Tarzan? Marquez vs. Oswald Ortega in a rematch. Ortega was warned 6 times to stop holding, but the fighter from Mexico failed to comprehend, so Melton pulled the plug at 2:45 in the 4th and final stanza. Marquez won via TKO in their first encounter.

Undefeated Victor Castro (16-0) returned to ring action after recovering from a lingering back issue to defeat pesky Victor Capaceta (4-9-3) in a six round lightweight contest won by Castro in a majority decision. The underdog clearly won the first 2 rounds and the crowd was split over the final decision (MD). Castro did capture the last two rounds, but the middle two could have gone either way; Castro is lucky he was fighting in his hometown and not Tijuana Mexico where Capaceta resides. There were calls for a rematch; entertaining fight.

Top Rank prospect Trevor McCumby (21-0-16 knockouts)suffered a third round flash knockdown in the third round from a back of the head blow from fellow light heavyweight Dustin Echard (11-2-8 knockouts). The punch was legal because McCumby bent over exposing the back of his head to Echard?s right hand. It is a bad habit he needs to correct. He came back strong in the fourth round on his way to a 78-73 x 3 UD Victory.

The 23 year old McCumby told me after the fight, he was embarrassed over the knockdown and I asked him if he was depressed and he replied he was just disappointed over his performance. Echard was very happy to go the distance with McCumby even though his right eye looked as if it were attacked by a flock of rabid bats. Fans gave the bout thumbs up and the 29 year old Echard, who is a late convert to boxing, told me he would like to have a rematch.

The fight of the night honors goes to Phoenix Super Bantamweight Francisco C. De Vaca (13-0) and Mexico?s Ricardo Proano (11-3-9 knockouts). Both men put the pedal to the medal and fought at a fast and furious pace throughout the contest. Fans gave them a standing ovation and UNIMAS Television was very happy with the result of the televised bout.

In the main event, highly regarded Featherweight contender Jesse Magdaleno (22-0-16 knockouts) showed why his fans are confident the 23 year old Las Vegas fighter is very close to competing for a world title. It took Magdaleno 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the 1st round round to end his battle with Philadelphia fighter Vergel Nebran (14-10-1) who was downed twice during the round. Magdaleno told me he is ready for a title shot now against anyone of the current featherweight champions. The young man doesn?t lack confidence.

In the final bout of the evening Light Heavyweight Que Peng (9-1-1) entered the ring with a giant scissor styled leap over the top rope of the ring and awaited his introduction. Moments into the contest with Mexico?s Lauro Alcantar, he was pushed by the Mexican fighter and the 6? 3? Chinese Pugilist responded with a stiff lethal right hand to the head of Alcantar (9-5-1) prompting referee Wes Melton to halt the contest at 1:22 of the first stanza. To celebrate his victory, Peng picked up a Chinese flag and wore it as a cape to the delight of the fans that didn?t seem to care that America is in debt with China, big time. It was a fun evening of boxing. Until Next Time!

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

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