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Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith: Storm Stops Dela Torre, Iron Boy 29 Re-Cap

Boxing Fans, 21 year old boxer Harmonito Dela Torre (16-0-11 knockouts) was unable to make his highly anticipated USA debut on the Iron Boy 29 card in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday 10/23 due to turbulent weather in the Philippines; Typhoons have a way of changing plans. Thankfully, the Filipino fighter weathered the storm as did his family. As of 10/27, the death count (attributed to Typhoon Lando) reached 64 persons and could claim even more lives after the painful search is complete. The hardest hit area (Luzon Province) received 43 inches of rain and high velocity winds causing widespread flooding and property damage estimated at 9.4 billion Pesos.

Word of his absence on the Celebrity Theatre show came late Wednesday, 10/21 from an Iron Boy Promotion spokesperson in concert with partnering promoters Roy Jones Jr. Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and GH3 Promotions.

Team Dela Torre spokesperson Adam Wilcock (Fight Card Promotions out of Australia) sent an email expressing regret and suggesting Dela Torre (WBF World Super Featherweight Champion) might secure his debut fight date in America by the end of 2015. Phoenix and other towns and cities within Maricopa County boast a population of almost 100,000 residents of Filipino descent; so the cancellation was greeted with sadness
Boxing Noise: Wild West Boxing Promotions is revamping their Friday November 13 Desert Heat III show at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Tucson. WWBP dropped super welterweight Jose Pena 1-0 from the card after a spat with Pena Manager Jesse Haro. Pena has been signed to fight on the BMBP card in Phoenix on November 7. Wild West Boxing is finished doing business with Mr. Haro and the dispute runs deep. 1st fight (Desert Het III) commences at 8 PM, doors open at 7PM; tickets $35.00-$45.00 are available online and at the box-office. Already slated to rumble are Rafael ?El Loco? Garcia, Jesus Aravelo, Roshawn McCain and heavyweight Ramon ?Dinamito? Cardenas.

Inside Stuff: Featherweight contender Jose Cayetano (17-4) was scheduled to sign with Arizona Based Fight Hard Promotion on Wednesday 10/28 at Fuentes Boxing Gym in Phoenix, but his travel plans were altered; so the signing ceremony is on hold. FH plans to build a card around Cayetano in early 2016?? Phoenix Super Middleweight Andrew ?Hurricane? Hernandez (9-2-1) takes another shot at a title when he meets Jeff Page Jr. in Wichita Kansas on November 7 for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation Super Middleweight Title. Andrew negotiated the title bout; an indication that he isn?t happy with GH3 promotions; his contracted promoter.

I talked briefly with Hernandez at Iron Boy 29 and was hoping to ask him about returning to the super middleweight division after fighting Louis Rose (loss) as a junior middleweight; but it didn?t happen due to time constraints. ??Our interview with Top Rank announcer Lupe Contreras will be published in the next column?.Arizona amateur boxers Chris Gonzales and Eben Vargas were eliminated from USA Olympic Team consideration in Memphis, Tennessee at the Qualifier III competition. Vargas lost in the second round of the qualifier; Gonzales failed to get past his first foe-nice try men.

Adrian Servin is the only remaining Arizona fighter in the hunt for a berth on the 2016 USA Olympic boxing team. The 108 lb. pugilist will travel to Reno, Nevada for the final qualifier, December 7-12. The Arizona Boxing Community can support Team Servin by calling 623-826-9616 and making a donation. Adrian is coached by his father (Mike) and Carlos Moreno of Guadalupe Boxing and both men will make the trip along with Adrian?s mother.

More Stuff: Amateur boxers Carlos Hernandez and Mario Ruiz have left Broadway Boxing and joined the Strong Enough Boxing Team coached by Andrew Mendez?. Featherweight Oscar Valdez (17-0-15 knockouts) may fight at the Tucson Convention Center on December 12 according to rumors circulating at the recently concluded Copper Gloves Event held at the Arizona State Fair. Arizona Boxing News & Notes first got wind of the proposed show from Ricardo Jiminez (Valdez public relations representative). Light Heavyweight Trevor McCumby, Featherweight Francisco C. De Vaca, Featherweight Paul ?Ziggy? Romero, Super Lightweight Luis Oliveras, Cruiserweight Robert Garcia, Heavyweight Anetelea Opeia, Super Featherweight Carlos Castro and Super Lightweight Cliff Jordan may be considered for the under-card if the show comes to fruition.?. Cesar Alan Valenzuela (11-4-1) no longer trains at J&C Boxing in Phoenix?? boxer Francisco C. De Vaca aka Panchito (Iron Boy Promotions) is drawing national interest after his impressive showing on the Iron Boy 28 card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix?..USA Boxing Arizona Board of Directors election will be held December 1-14 online. Arizona Boxing News & Notes will not endorse any candidate regardless of their reading habits (ha-ha)?.Super middleweight David Benavidez (Sampson Promotions) is scheduled to fight at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 14?.Phoenix boxer Walter Santibanes was seen at the Arizona State Fair on Thursday 10/29 where he told me he is launching a comeback on a Bout maker Boxing Promotions card early next year. Walter (8-2 record) quit boxing after filing to make weight for a bout and he wanted to take time to deal with personal issues. We wish him the best.

Time To Act: David Benavidez attended the Iron Boy 29 Show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. He kept the same seat throughout the event while 3-4 members of the press (including myself) were told to move by a venue attendant who gave our temporary seats to ticket wielding fans. All we had was a blue & white paper wrist band that didn?t identify us as journalists or ticket holders; anyone can carry a notebook and pen. We found refuge and comfort across the aisle sand remained there for the course of the event. I would like to know the names of the fans who cheered when the usher asked us to forfeit our seats; just kidding, of course!

Iron Boy quit issuing press badge credentials several shows ago. On record, the budgetary move hasn?t been greeted with enthusiasm by the mainstream press corps; but wearing a badge does nothing for the creative juices.

Another noticeable trend in boxing is handing out ticket vouchers or free tickets. PBC Promoter Al Haymon was referenced when I asked a spokesperson why the promoters of Iron Boy was handing out free ducats and told me to ask Mr. Haymon. It was a joke! In retrospect, I would have been better off lobbying for one of those free tickets instead of accepting the flimsy wrist band: another joke!

Rumble in the Desert 2: Bout Maker Boxing Promotions presents Rumble in the Desert 2 at the Arizona Event Center on Saturday November 7 in Mesa. Here is the latest posted lineup: Joshua Greer Jr. 3-0 vs. Mario Ayala 3-2 (Bantamweight-6 rounds), Cesar Alan Valenzuela vs. TBA (Super featherweight -6 rounds), Kandyce Williams 2-1 vs. Lena Taylor 3-0 (Lightweight-4 rounds), Elihu Soto 2-0 vs. Gabriel Guerrero 0-1 (Super Flyweight-4 rounds), Franco Chavez 1-0 vs. Gabriel Rodriguez debut (Super Flyweight-4 rounds), Cesar Barrazza 2-0-1 vs. Freddy Contreras 1-0 (Super Middleweight-4 rounds), Darr Stalling debut vs. Billy Schmidt 1-2-2 (Light Heavyweight-4 rounds), Jose Pena 1-0 vs. Vernon Demetrius Brown 1-0 (Super Welterweight-4 rounds). Doors open at 6 PM and 1st bell sounds off at 7 PM. Tickets available at the box-office or by calling 602-252-0553.

Journeyman Promotions prospect Ernest Muhammad Jr. (3-0) is off the card after suffering a cut to one of his hands; no timetable on when the Native Chicagoan will return to ring action.
?Showdown in Arizona? Victory Outreach in Phoenix hosted Showdown in Arizona on 10/24 and the show gave local boxing fans an opportunity to watch 21 bouts featuring some of Arizona?s best amateur boxers. Rodriguez Boxing won the team Trophy and bout #15 (Alicia Martinez vs. Jazlyne Cardenas) e won recognition as fight of the event. Martinez represented Knockout Gym and Cardenas works out at Busted Knuckle Boxing. I was very impressed with the hardware given to the winning fighters and the second place finishers.

It was a well officiated event, but Knockout boxing coach Andrew Soto disagreed and called out referee Jerry Grimes when one of his fighters (Gabriel Quijada) literally picked up his opponent (Myron Bridges) and body slammed him to the canvas. Grimes wisely penalized the 16 year old and Soto, out of retaliation, began shouting at veteran referee. Soto urged Grimes to penalize Bridges for holding and he did so following the WWE like body slam.

Soto also verbally attacked me calling my column stupid and accusing me of being solely responsible for injuring a 10 year old boy at a smoker event held in September at Greenfield Elementary School in Phoenix. I reported accurate details of the incident in-depth in a column days after the tragedy occurred and testimony from un-biased witnesses confirmed my printed version of what actually happened. At some point during his two separate verbal attacks towards me, I reminded him that Victory Outreach was a faith based venue and he should refrain from yelling and screaming obscenities in the presence of children.
Despite my PG 13 warning, Mr. Soto continued to rant and angrily stated that I should compensate the family for out of pocket medical bills ($600.00). In reality the bill was covered by the school (according to a spokesperson for the event) and I don?t believe Mr. Soto was at the smoker event to witness what really happened.

His outburst at Victory Outreach was unfortunate and I would like to thank Juan Valera and his congenial cadre of Victory Outreach volunteers for their service to the boxing community and I apologize for Mr. Soto?s behavior and hope he will harness his anger at future events. I wanted to ask him about the circulating rumor that he was a candidate for President in the upcoming USA Boxing Arizona election, but dropped the notion after mulling over his blistering diatribe against me and my journalistic work.

**To become a candidate for the following positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chief of Officials or Athlete Representative in the USA Boxing Arizona organization; applicant must forward (via email) his or her name and position desired along with membership ID to no later than November 10, 2015. Applicants will be sent an application and a background check (mandatory) will be conducted at no cost to the applicant. The election will be held December 1-14 (online) and please urge qualified people with energy and vision to run.

Victory Outreach Boxing Results: On 10/24, the following young amateur warriors celebrated victory at the Showdown in Arizona Smoker: David Vera (Busted Knuckle Boxing), Marques Silva (Madison Boxing), Adrian Rodriguez (Unattached), Joel Marquez (Rodriguez Boxing), Sebastian Valenzuela (Madison Boxing), Faustino Gonzales (Maricopa), Anthony Hernandez (J&C Boxing), Oscar Ponce de Leon (Fuentes Boxing), Jonathon Garcia (Rodriguez Boxing), Anthony Clark (San Luis), Leslie Hernandez (J&C Boxing), Omar Lugo (Salvation Army), Alejandro Salcido (Sonny?s Gym), David Rubalcaba (Rodriguez Boxing), Alicia Martinez (Knockout Boxing), Erick Bermudez (Fuentes Boxing), Zion Perrins (Rodriguez Boxing), Daniel Teran (Broadway Boxing), Moises Rosales (Fuentes Boxing), Trini Ochoa (Benavidez Gym), Myron Bridges (Unattached).

Copper Gloves: On October 28-29 overflow crowds attended the 45th annual Copper Gloves Tournament at the Arizona State Fair Grounds. The number of bouts totaled 6 for first night and 5 matches for final night and every participant was awarded a shiny trophy. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made the event, possible! Here is a list of the 1st place winners with the name of their gym; unless the participant is unattached: Adrian Rodriguez (Glendale), Luis Retana (Mendoza Boxing), Jose Vargas (Hammer Boxing), Aaron Garcia (Fuentes Boxing), Oscar Jacobo (Madison Boxing), Moises Rosales (Fuentes Boxing), Thomas Velerio (MCS Boxing), Joel Harris (Title Boxing), Chris Bojorquez (MCS Boxing), Bernandino Hernandez (Unattached) and Louie Lopez (MCS Boxing).

TCOYD Conference: If you or anyone in your family is struggling with Diabetes, consider attending the Take Control of Your Diabetes Conference and Health Fair on Saturday November 21 at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa in Glendale Arizona. Call 858-792-4741 for more details. Billy Mills, 1964 10,000 meters Olympic Gold Medal Winner, is one of several special guest speakers. Registration fee ranges from $10.00-$20.00.
Iron Boy 29: If the applause meant anything, the majority of Boxing fans who attended Iron Boy 29 at the Celebrity Theatre 10/23 would like to see middleweights Louis Rose (13-3) and Rob Brant (18-0) agree to a rematch after Brant won a war of attrition to earn a 10 round Majority Decision over Rose and capture the vacant WBC Continental Americas Championship. I asked Keith Veltre (Roy Jones Jr. Promotions) if it could or would happen and he was non-committal, but he didn?t close the door on the idea.

I had Brant ahead on my scorecard because he threw the harder and more meaningful punches. The superbly conditioned Rose?s defense fell prey to the constant pressure applied by Brant who scored repeatedly with a hooks and vicious uppercuts. The gambling Brant entered the ring with a game plan and it worked. A rematch would definitely find an audience.

The upset of the evening came when Super Bantamweight Jose Silveria (16-18) scored a majority decision over Phoenix fighter Emilio Garcia (9-2-2) whose lack of power appeared to motivate the more aggressive Silveria. Garcia may want to rethink his future in boxing based on his past two performances: a questionable draw and an obvious loss. I watched both Garcia fights and I thought the draw was a hometown gift and his 6 round bouts with Silveria weren?t even close. Garcia may need a breather from boxing to sort out some things; it happens to the best of us.

The first bout of the night featured Jeremy Nichols vs. Jeremiah Davis in a four round welterweight contest. Davis was introduced as being from Phoenix, but I found a bio that lists Las Vegas as his place of residence. The time it took executes the introduction and fight instructions lasted almost as long as the bout; Jeremy Nichols (also from Nevada) ended the contest at 2:02 into the first round with a series of blows.

In the past, I have been critical of Keenan Carbajal (8-2-1) because he fought timidly and failed to use his height and reach advantage against most of his ring foes. In his bout against Angel Monrreal (5-8) he showed improvement and ended Montreal?s night in the 3rd round of their scheduled for 6 contest. His next career step should be to find better opponents.

Highly touted Heavyweight Jarrell Miller (15-0) powered his way to victory with a third round stoppage of a poor conditioned Akhror Muralimov (16-2) who ran out of gas in the middle of the second round. Hard to gauge the talent level of Miller based on the quality of his opposition, but the big guy has awesome power.
Texas Light Heavyweight Samuel Clarkson (17-3) knocked down Lavarn Harvell (16-2) before Wes Melton referee stopped the mismatch at 48 seconds into the second stanza. The bout sheet incorrectly listed Clarkson as fighting out of the Red Corner when he was actually representing the blue corner as were all of the boxers listed under the Red Corner Column. It was an early Halloween prank on ring announcer Jeff Huston who is a real treat to listen to.

Arizona Boxing News & Notes would like to thank Iron Boy Promotions and Roy Jones Jr. Promotions for the invite and we look forward their future shows in Arizona. Also a tip of the hat to Showtime for bringing their crane camera to the Celebrity Theatre to complement their world wide broadcast; good job!
Boxing Action: Arizona Silver Gloves is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday November 7-8 at the Taqueria Paz Cantina, 1011 North 3rd Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Bout times begin: Saturday at 5 PM-Sunday at 2 PM. Weigh-Ins will be conducted Saturday & Sunday at the Central Boxing Gym (1755 West Van Buren) in Phoenix between the hours of 7-9 Am, 11/7-8. All boxers ages 8-35 years old welcome after completing paper work; call Mike Sanchez at 480-560-8114. Until Next Time!

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

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