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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Commission at Work, Flores-One More Time, News


PhilBoxing.com


Boxing Fans, to paraphrase singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, the times are changing at the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission. ABNN is glad to hear that the Commission is scrutinizing fight matchups more carefully than in the past and we have been told that debut fighters must pass a workout test in the prescience of a commission representative(s) as part of the licensing process. In addition the commission will review the amateur record of all debut fighters before granting licenses to first time applicants.

It is a welcome change in policy and we hope this innovative move means additional boxing reforms are forthcoming. Our advice to the commission is to alert the media when all changes are instituted and announce them publicly; so, everyone connected to boxing is informed and aware of the implementation of the changes.

I am encouraged by Executive Director Juan Estrada?s decision to evaluate existing commission regulations and upgrade them where logic dictates a need. Don?t expect miracles! And I applaud the 5 main people who are performing the much needed makeover. The team includes Executive Director Juan Estrada, Norma Rivero (Boxing & MMA Assistant) and Public Information Officer Kristian Fasching and Agency Counsel with the Arizona Gaming Department. Sorry, we don?t have the names of the other two members? of the updating team.

We appreciate their effort and ABNN has forwarded questions and suggestions through the proper channels. One of the primary functions of journalists is to accept and pursue the role as a watchdog for the good of the public and to inform readers and consumers of our findings. When we know, you will know! Mr. Fasching was unable to give a deadline for the changes. Kristian has replaced Amanda Jacinto who is now assigned to the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. We wish her the best and shame on us for not telling our readers that she is no longer with the Arizona Gaming Department. The next monthly commission meeting is scheduled for 2/22 at 10 a.m. and the public is invited to attend with questions. Dial 602-364-1721 for more information?.remember, ?An open government is a better government?-Don Smith/2017!

Boxing Notes: Super Flyweight Sulem Urbina Soto Ochoa (3-0), a resident of Phoenix, was scheduled to fight on the Golden Boy Card, Saturday, 1/28 in California but the bout was canceled. We heard rumors that Roy Jones Promotions was trying to squeeze Sulem on their 1/28 Card at the Celebrity Theatre; but, we weren?t able to confirm the rumor. Speaking of the Celebrity Card, Edward Ceballos (4-1-1) is off the bout sheet due to a head butt incurred during a sparring session with Keenan Carbajal (12-2-1) at Fuentes Boxing Gym in Phoenix.

An eye witness told ABNN that Carbajal leaned in and butted Ceballos with the top of his head (back portion). The butt opened a cut on or around the eye lid of Ceballos and Edward is expected to be out of action for 1-2 months.

I had a brief chat with Super featherweight Cesar Alan Valenzuela (14-4-1) and the name of his opponent has changed twice. Alejandro Ochoa (7-12-2) failed to pass the muster for unknown reason. He is coming off two consecutive knockout losses that could be a factor. Cesar hopes to be on the 1/27 Celebrity card; but it looks highly unlikely. RJJ is working around the clock to find a replacement. If you go, first fight at 7:00 p.m. and the Main Event contest features WBA-NABA USA super welterweight champion John Vera (15-0-knockouts) vs. Salim Labri (20-6-2). In the Co-Main, Keenan Carbajal (12-2-1-6 knockouts takes on Mexican veteran fighter Gustavo Molina (23-13-9 knockouts). Team Molina predicts an upset over the favored Carbajal. Tickets ($24.00-$44.00 & $79.00) can be purchased at the Celebrity box-office?.see you at the fight. Our review will be in the next issue. On the undercard, Phoenix fighter Ryan Riddell takes on Tucson neighbor Francisco Muro (3-5) in a contest between two fighters with non-stop styles. Personally, I am eager t catch the battle between highly regarded Russian prospect Ilya Usachev (1-0) and tough Phoenician Cliff Jordan (Hammer Boxing) in what could be a dandy of a super lightweight battle?once again, see you there!

More News: Arizona amateur sensation Fernando Martinez (Mendoza Boxing) is currently engaged in international contests racking up experience that will help him qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The kid is determined to make America proud?..Middleweight Daniel Garcia (Busted Knuckle Boxing) is in California working out at an unknown gym. Garcia thinks his career is better off if he hooks his wagon to the west coast for now?..The site for the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight has been determined, yet?..ABNN encourages all Arizona boxers to sign up for the 2018 Phoenix Rock N Roll Marathon held annually in the month of January?..The Arizona boxing Commission is studying other state boxing commissions while deciding what changes are viable for Arizona. We hope the Commission accepts input from promoters, fans and anyone with an interest in boxing including super fan Geoff Ronning. It would be good PR for Arizona boxing and a way to raise money for athletes suffering from brain trauma.

Short Jabs: we surveyed 25 boxing fans and 14 patrons think Canelo will beat Chavez Jr. in their upcoming title bout on May 6?.. The annual Golden Gloves State Championships will be held at Sonny?s Boxing Gym in Goodyear Arizona on 2-17-18-19. The event will be hosted by the Fenn Family and call the Gym for more details??Tucson Southwest Boxing will host an Amateur Event in Tucson, 3/04; call Pete at the venue for more details?.Fighters First Boxing will host a smoker on 3/11. Please call Duane at F-1 for more details?.Golden Gloves Regional tournament set for Las Vegas, March 4 & 5. ?. More details forthcoming.

Iron Boy 37: Former Cruiserweight Champion B. J. Flores (32-3-1-20 knockouts) has consented to headline the Iron Boy 37 card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on 2/25. The 37 year old Scottsdale resident lost his bid to capture the WBO Cruiserweight crown when he lost via knockout to titleholder Tony Bellew in the UK last year. In the Celebrity Theatre 12 round match-up, at stake is an undetermined heavyweight title and the opponent is still subject to signing but an official announcement is expected soon.
This new development rearranges the previously announced card and here is the latest update for the Iron Boy Show. Keep in mind; all bouts are subject to change even after the ink on the signed contract has dried.

Main Event: B.J. Flores 32-3-1-20 knockouts vs. TBA for undetermined heavyweight title. Co-Main: in what is billed as middleweight title bout, Andrew Hernandez (17-5-1) takes on arch rival Sijuola Ade Shabazz (6-2-5 knockouts). According to folk lore and word from a self-proclaimed boxing whisperer, Sijuola defeated Hernandez as an amateur fighting out of New Mexico. On 1/21, Hernandez fought in Mexico where he quickly disposed of Charley Soto. We don?t know if his very recent activity will affect his place on the Celebrity card. We hope not because Hernandez is a good showman in the ring and out. Shabazz is a good friend of former champion Austin Trout and the two pugilists used to work out together. Both fighters are married and hope to send a belated Valentine Card to their better half with a victory. Special Bout: In a six round contest, Phoenix favorite Paul ?Ziggy? Romero 7-0-1-1 knockout) hopes to win a WBU title against a TBD opponent in a 6 round challenge. Under-card: The remainder of the card pits young fighters in 4 round bouts still under construction: Luis Espinoza (5-0-1 knockout) vs. Christian Bartolini (1-2) in a super featherweight contest, Phoenix featherweight Edgar Ortiz (3-1-2 knockouts) vs. Charles Medina (1-2), Former USA Olympic hopeful Adrian Servin (2-knockout) in a flyweight contest with a yet to be determined opponent. It is a deep card filled with young promising fighters.

Remaining Scheduled Bouts: Ukrainian Phenom Yulian Tembotov (1-0-1 knockout vs. TBD in a super welterweight contest; this kid is special based on his professional debut performance in Phoenix last year. Always entertaining Daron ?Sweet Tay? Williams (5-0-2 knockouts) returns to Phoenix against a to be determined opponent. Lenny Correa (Pro Edge Boxing) fights Gabriel Rodriguez (2-0) in a super featherweight tussle. Joel Moran (Pro Edge Boxing) makes his professional debut against Jesus Ibarra-there is no record for Ibarra and we are assuming it is a welterweight contest. Chris Gruler is a well-trained MMA heavyweight fighter making the transition to boxing and getting rave reviews from observers who have attended his workouts. He takes on Walter Cortez in his debut also and nothing is known about him that we could find. He is on Facebook, big deal. Jaime Bojado had a promising amateur career in Arizona; but decided to postpone becoming a professional boxer to serve his country as a US Marine. The war veteran will make his debut on the Celebrity Card, 2/25 against a yet to be determined foe; thank you for your service??.Until Next Time!


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


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