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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Arizona Trainer Carlton, CFN & Boxing News

Boxing Fans, Our assignment desk received an informative email dated 3/17 /17 from Brad Carlton, Neutral Corner Gym owner and licensed trainer. Mr. Carlton?s facility is located in Tucson and the 46 year old athlete remains active in ?Master? Division boxing competitions across the country.

In his most recent ring challenge, the wiry 155 lb. pugilist defeated Heath Gizoni (Carnegie, PA,) to win a championship belt in his bracket at the 6th Annual Ringside Masters Championships held in Lenexa, Kansas at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Other 1st place finishers representing Arizona at the event were Geoff Ronning (Litchfield Park, Arizona) and Paul Demoranville from Tucson, Arizona.

Ronning scored a major upset in defeating formidable foe Keith Stock of Odessa Missouri. It was described by one of his friends as comparable to Buster Douglas?s historical victory over Mike Tyson-not! And the fourth Arizona participant, Tyson Stuhr of Gila Bend, Arizona finished 2nd after losing to Aaron Edwards of Edmond Oklahoma.

The win for Demoranville, aka ?Paulie the Brawler? was his 9th consecutive victory and 3rd Ringside Masters Championship out of 6 tries. Sonny?s boxing in Goodyear Arizona will host a Masters Event, 11/ 17-18, 2017. For more information, dial Sonny at 623-806-2421.

In his communiqu?, the popular trainer/gym manager acknowledged that he was recruited by the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission to evaluate, demonstrate, and train commission inspectors to administer proper hand wrap techniques needed to protect athletes and avoid serious hand injuries. It is an area of concern that has been clouded by controversy for several years. The meeting took place at Watson Chevrolet in Tucson, Arizona on September 4, 2016 during Matthew Valenzuela?s tenure as Executive Director of the Commission. Brad sent a photo confirming the meeting with the inspectors.

Valenzuela replaced past Director Dennis O?Connell 3-4 years ago and the current Executive Director Juan C. Estrada has decided to examine other states rules and regulations and Nevada, in particular, as part of the process to update Arizona?s boxing statues.

According to a Commission spokesperson, Carlton?s recommendations will not be included in the final analysis; however, his opinion and contributions from respected local boxing figures like Mike Sanchez, 6 time world champion Michael Carbajal, Jesus Fuentes, Tom Garcia , Alan Viers and other knowledgeable boxing insiders is welcome and encouraged by the commission and its members frequently read Arizona Boxing News & Notes.

As previously reported, the commission is pouring over the existing statutes governing the sport of boxing and will forward recommended changes that will be eventually submitted to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey who will have the final say on whether to give a thumbs up or down on some, all or none of the suggested changes. The question of how much tape to use when wrapping is just one of a myriad of issues facing the commission. Commission officials are expected to draw conclusions before the end of summer and forward the final report to the state?s chief executive after all boxing related issues are evaluated. ABNN hopes the governor will study the review and act accordingly.

Celebrity Fight Night: Sorry, we delayed our report on the 23rd annual Celebrity Fight Night that was held on March 18 at the posh Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Several concerned readers called to see if I had decided to drop my column or perished from the planet.

Here is the scoop! A week before the event, I came down with a severe case of flu that almost reached the level of Pneumonia. I was advised to skip the annual gala but, my birth sign is Aries and I was born in the ?Show Me? State of Missouri so I went despite feeling like a walking dead journalist. For the record, my symptoms were chills headache, slight fever and an upset stomach that rendered me weak and very tired.

I certainly wasn?t feeling well enough to play point guard on any one 0f the final four bracketed teams in the NCAA Men?s Basketball tournament; but, I promised readers we would be on the red carpet to meet and possibly interview celebrities who knew Ali best. Our credential gave us access to work the Red Carpet Ceremony; but, due to a lack of space, we didn?t receive permission to stay for the Ali Tribute, live charity Auction and entertainment presented in the Saguaro Ballroom at the Marriott following the 45 minute Red Carpet journey.

Unfortunately a few of the invited ?A? listed guests were no-shows or chose not to walk down the Red Carpet towards the spot where ABNN was positioned at the end of the Red Vinyl runway. Just as in boxing, all appearances were subject to change. Many of the ?celebs? stopped and turned around after they talked to the contingent of television reporters, positioned first in the media buffet line. Yes some kissed ABNN off and I was nattily attired!

Good Ali friend Billy Crystal was absent due to illness but the actor/comedian forwarded the text of his prepared speech to event emcee and Grammy winning singer Reba McEntire who read the entire Ali tribute to a hushed audience. Crystal said the ?dash? between the birthdate and passing day told Ali?s story and ?the Greatest? used his dash to the maximum.

Ali?s Widow (Lonnie) summed up the obvious mood of the evening when she said she felt the love in the room for her husband and a stream of speakers supported that sentiment with warm tributes for the champ who passed in June of 2016. Almost every reporter on the Red Carpet (within hearing) asked guests what the mood would be without the champ?s physical presence and the consensus answer was ?bittersweet.? The ballroom was filled with pictorial images of Ali adorning the walls of the venue and a neon lit sign bearing his name hung above the stage, an actual boxing ring.

My favorite tributes came from actress Sharon Stone and CFN sponsor and Ali friend Bob Parsons, founder of ?Go Daddy and renowned philanthropist. I missed Larry King?s tribute to Ali; but was told it was very compelling. The ageless talk show interviewed the champ more than 100 times and described the legend as the ?best? and said there was no one in second place.? LA Dodger World Series Hero Kirk Gibson stirred a few tugs on the old heart strings when he announced that he is battling Parkinson?s disease.

Stone met Ali when she 19 and a contestant at a Miss Pennsylvania beauty Pageant. In a passionate speech she identified with the champ?s fight against Parkinson?s disease by sharing the story of her personal battle to overcome a 2001 stroke and a subsequent brain hemorrhage that lasted nine days. She emerged alive from the life threatening experience thanks to her own will power and the innovative but risky surgical process performed by distinguished neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lawton and his team of neurological specialists. The 57 year old award winning actress introduced the neurosurgeon and head of Barrows Neurological Institute in Phoenix to the audience and Dr. Lawton humbly thanked Ms. Stone for her gracious introduction praise of his successful effort to save her life. He said it is a miracle she is still alive.

Mr. Parsons, a billionaire entrepreneur, was given a number of 4x6 inch Ali signed photos with this memorable piece of Ali advice; ?if you ever get in trouble anywhere in the world, show my picture to whomever is bothering you and you will be okay?. MR. Parsons said he was never in trouble; but, he tested Ali?s belief when he traveled to a remote region in Africa. Bob waved he picture in front of several native Africans and although they lacked access to newspapers and television, they recognized a picture of the man they simply identified as the boxer.

In years past, a number of Ali?s boxing friends were present but this year, six time world champion Michael Carbajal and former heavyweight contender Earnie the ?Black Destroyer? Shavers were the only boxers I saw at the event. Former WBO heavyweight Champion was in town to visit Phoenix Native and six time world champion Michael Carbajal and he wanted to attend Celebrity Fight Night; but, couldn?t secure a ticket. Michael and Ray were members? of the 1988 Olympic team with Michael winning silver and Ray taking home Gold in the Seoul, Korea Olympics.

The 72 year old Shavers told me the passing of Ali reduced the number of surviving heavyweights from his era to three: Earnie, 67 year old Larry Holmes and 68 year old George Foreman. He didn?t include Michael and Leon Spinks who are 60 and 63 respectively.

I asked him about his health and he said he was he had no vices and he was glad he listened to Rocky Marciano, Sugary Ray Robinson and Joe Louis when they told him to take care of himself and drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
I chided him about being married 5-6 times and he laughed and admitted that maybe he had one vice; but, he is now happily married as evidenced by the smile on his current wife?s face.
Earnie posted a career record of 74 wins-14 losses- 1 draw with 68 knockouts. He went the distance with Ali in Madison Square Garden and had the champ in trouble the last three rounds; but, Ali won the fight. Earnie holds victories over former heavyweight champions Jimmy Ellis and Ken Norton as well as wins over contenders Jimmy Ellis and Joe Bunger.

I asked the hard hitting puncher if the defeat changed his relationship with Ali who nicknamed the bald headed fighter ?Acorn? and the Alabama born native told me Ali was his friend before and after the fight. Did the nickname of Acorn irritate him? Earnie laughed and said the nickname made him money so he trademarked it and he told me Ali was a very kind man whom he loved him like a brother.

As for grading today?s fighters, Shavers believes fighters from his era trained harder and they are more respectful of the sport. His motivation to take up boxing was to leave his rough childhood neighborhood in Alabama and earn enough money to support his family.

Shavers officially retired in 1995 after suffering serious retina damage that impaired his vision. Today, he attends boxing events as a special guest and he also signs autographs for a fee. He doesn?t watch boxing anymore but he will always be grateful for the opportunities he earned from boxing.

Before we ended our amicable chat, he handed me his business card and told me his agent would call me when a revised edition of his 2002 autobiography ?Welcome to the Big Time? is completed sometime this summer. I hope to finish our interview session after his agent contacts me. We didn?t have time to complete our interview session because his assigned Red Carpet escort was telling him he had to move along. In reality I was one of two reporters who knew that Earnie Shavers is a former fighter. As a precaution, I tested the phone number listed on his card and it is an actual working number. We chatted for a minute and he agreed to follow up on his promise. I told me I could email him questions and that idea was nixed when he told me he wasn?t much of a computer person.

Michael Carbajal and his publicist/ finance Laura Hall took time to walk the Red Carper course start to finish, a feat not undertaken by Sharon Stone, Larry King, Michael Phelps and superstar actor Harrison Ford. Laura looked chic in her Carline Herrera ensemble. Michael was wearing a Custom made tailored Tuxedo designed by Celebrity Tux and Tails in Phoenix. The well-dressed couple stood out like a shiny dime amongst the fashion conscious celebrities. The only fashion offenders, according to whispers, were a pair of local reporters who came dressed as if they showed up for a friendly game of horse.

I know Michael and Lara well so I skipped an opportunity to talk them on the Red Carpet knowing that I will have future times better suited for an in-depth conversation with the Champion. I did snap a picture of the couple as they posed with singer Sam Moore (Soul Man fame) and his wife.

My brief chat with billionaire John Paul Dejoria was a positive experience. Readers may know him as the face and co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products. He is also the co-founder of the Patron Spirits Company. Jean Paul walked the carpet with his lovely wife and he must have flashed the peace sign a dozen times before he reached the end of the runway. We didn?t have time to talk about his foster home up bring and his plan to offer half of his wealth to philanthropy during his lifetime or later. The former janitor said people should share their success and he told me he will continue to be a sponsor of Celebrity Fight and when I asked him what was the best snack with Tequila, he first suggested Caviar and when I told him caviar was a bit high maintenance for common folks; he smiled and replied-?Guacamole is fine?. He also admitted that he was a big boxing fan and he said Ali will be missed because he was a giver with a big heart. Sorry, I didn?t have a bigger chunk of time to spend with him; a very interesting man.

Smooth sounding singer Brian McKnight stopped to chat and he said he doesn?t worry about the current trend of popular music. He feels his new album titled ?Genius? to be released in September will find an audience. Brian?s music has been nominated 16 times for a Grammy without winning. He plans to tour when the album is released and when I asked the physically fit performer if he had ever boxed; he just smiled. The laid back singer sang a medley of his hits in the entertainment segment of the event.

Country & Western Superstars Brooks & Dunn stooped at my marked station and talked fondly of Ali as a man of courage and conviction. I asked them if here was a particular issue they would defend as Ali defended his stand against the Vietnam War. They both agreed that a democracy and all that it stands for is worth defending. Merle Haggard was a big influence in their musical career and the duo was proud to tell me that they shared some time with him before the legend passed. They described him as a musical giant and artist who will never be forgotten. Brooks & Dunn performed a medley of songs in the ballroom.
Actor/singer Dennis Quaid performed at the event with his band (The Sharks) but he didn?t walk the Red Carpet. Robert Kennedy Jr. was there also and I wanted to talk to the author /environmentalist; but, he remained seated in the ballroom and wasn?t being approached by reporters. Singer Smokey Robinson and Basketball player Nancy Lieberman were advertised to appear; however I didn?t see them. Beach Boy co-founder Mike Love was there and performed a medley of Beach Boy songs that had people dancing in the aisles. He also dedicated a song to rock N roll legend Chuck Berry who died on the morning of the event.

According to a press release, Celebrity Fight night has contributed millions of dollars to Barrows Neurological institute over the years and a live auction at the event netted over one million dollars for 2017. And Lonnie Ali donated 20 Ali signed gloves that were sold for $5,000.00 each with the proceeds going to the non-profit Celebrity Fight Night charity. In addition there was dozens of sports collectible item online for bidders to bid on. I wasn?t able to find out the revenue generated by the online auction; but, I think pe0ple can go to the charity website and find out how much is actually donated to aid the cause.

It was a good show for a good cause. The entertainment was top notch and I particularly liked Colbie Callet?s performance and I thought the Shadow boxers, a young group out of Nashville, hit the mark with their rendition of a Prince Song. Dennis Quaid and his group the Sharks were surprisingly good considering Quaid is better known as an actor.

After reading this column, people will wonder how ABNN was able to cover the entire event when we only held a credential restricting us from covering anything but the Red Carpet event. Here is what happened.

I was about to leave the facility and head home when Phoenix Socialite Shirley Milner approached me wearing a media credential like mine. She asked if I was going inside and I politely told her I didn?t have the proper credential to do so. She laughed and said come with me.

I met Ms. Milner three years ago at a political gathering I was covering for an independent periodical. At the time she was married to a businessman who was pretty solid financially.

We walked beyond the roped off press area and headed towards the ballroom. She stopped and looked confused. That confused look she flashed suggested to me, that she might not have the proper credentials to enter the ballroom. I see impostors at events all the time at various media affairs. Thinking the worst I walked her over to the open bar and told her to order what she wanted. She asked for a glass of wine and I ordered a coke and tipped the bartender 5 dollars. She said thank you and wished me luck with my cold; it was obvious.

Shirley kept fussing about her hair and told me she had an appointment to fix her hair; but, the stylist took ill so she had a drag queen style it and she was bitter about the way it looked. Honestly, it looked like the rear end of a poodle put through a ringer-but her cleavage was good and she could flirt with the best, so I knew we had a chance to get in even if she didn?t have the proper credential to get in.

We then proceeded to walk in the ballroom and no one stopped us or asked questions. I asked her the number of her table and she said 75. We walked around a bit and she couldn?t find it which was odd. I was feeling a bit weak so I retreated to the rear wall and looked for an empty table.

When I spotted one, we sat down and began sipping our drinks. Two minutes later, the ballroom manager came over and asked if the table we were seating at was ours. Shirley told the gentleman that our table was # 75. He offered to take us there; but, I told him I would prefer remaining where I was because I was suffering from flu like symptoms and I wanted to be considerate and not contaminate anyone. Then I said, is that okay? He said can I get you anything and I replied I don?t know if I am able to eat anything? Abut soup he said in a very sympathetic vice and I replied what kind do have and he replied what kind do you want? I settled for vegetable soup and a young server brought me a pot of hot tea with honey. We were also served a plate of chocolate delicacies bearing Ali?s name on one piece. I took a picture and chocoholic Shirley ate the dessert.

We stayed at the table until the evening was over and the server kept bringing me tea and honey. As we left, former Suns basketball player Tom Chambers spotted me and said hi and asked how I was doing. I said fine, he remembered I used to cover the Suns and his wife took a picture f us together and then I left and went home to rest. I am still not sure if Shirley had a table and I am not sure I want to know.

Boxing News: Arizona middleweight Andrew ?The Fighting Pride of Phoenix? Hernandez (18-5-1) has dropped plans to fight in Connecticut on April 15 and instead will concentrate his preparation to fight on the Iron Boy 38 show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on April 22. On the subject of Hernandez, we printed a major error in our last column when we claimed that the Phoenix boxer fought and defeated Arif Magomedov (18-1) at the Treasure Island Casino and Hotel last year. In reality, the two men fought at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center and the show was produced by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions, one of several whistleblowers who caught the inexcusable mistake and informed our assignment desk of the error. Hernandez beat the Russian; however, he lost to Jesse Hart at TI (3rd round KO) in November of last year??The Arizona Boxing Community is in mourning after hearing that longtime USA Boxing Arizona Official Walt Hoskins passed away on Saturday March 25. His legacy of more than 5 decades in boxing will endure and replacing him will be difficult. Service for Mr. Hoskins is scheduled for Wednesday April 5 at the Crystal Rose Funeral Home (11 AM) in Tolleson at 9155 West Van Buren. Our condolences to his family and the hundreds of young men and women he mentored during his coaching career.?.The next monthly Arizona Boxing/MMA meeting will held on Wednesday Apri1 19 10 AM The commission is located at 1100 West Washington in Phoenix. Administrative Assistant Norma Rivero can be reached at 602-364-1721 for questions. Guests are required to sign in upon arrival at the meeting. ?? Arizona?s talented super middleweight David Benavidez knockouts) is fighting Rogelio ?Porky? Medina (37-7-31 knockouts) on April 22 in Los Angeles not in New York (Madison Square Garden) or on 4/15 as originally planned. The winner is promised a title shot after the victor of the Smith/Dirrell WBO title bout makes his first defense against Turkey?s Avni Yildirim (15-0-10 knockouts). I talked to David?s trainer (Jose Benavidez Sr.) by phone in Oregon where they are preparing for Medina and it is hard to believe the modest young man has an opportunity to become the third fighter born in Arizona to win a world boxing title at age 20. If you guessed Louie Espinoza and Michael Carbajal as our first two; go to the head of the class! David?s older brother Jose is working out and looking good according to unconfirmed reports. We hope he can resume his career after taking a bullet in the knee. We have been told that Victor Ortiz (36-6-24 knockouts) takes on battle scarred Brandon Rios (33-3-1-24 knockouts) on the card; but, we don?t know which bout is the co-main and the Benavidez camp didn?t know either. Rios has lost 3 of his last five fights while Ortiz has dropped 4 of his last 6 bouts and the loser of this questionable bout may be headed for boxing?s scrap yard?.26 year old Native American boxer Shannon Renteria (Madison Boxing in Phoenix) has decided to turn professional and after five years of preparation, she needs to pull the trigger and do it. When she does, Shannon, a former student at Greenway High School in Phoenix) will represent the Navajo Nation proudly.

More Inside Dope: Bantamweight Alexis Zazueta (9-0-5 knockouts), managed by Cameron Dunkin, hasn?t fought in more than a year and he wants to fight on the Iron Boy 38 Card on 4/22; but the young prospect needs a release to do so??.Alfredo Escarcega Jr. (a prime time Arizona prospect) makes his long awaited pro debut at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario California on April 14 Antonio Duarte (2-0) from Tijuana, Mexico. Alfredo hasn?t fought in over a year so the accumulation of ring rust and nerves could be a concern early in the contest. I watched Alfredo move up the amateur ranks in Arizona and I consider the 140 lb. youngster the real deal; now it?s time to show his stuff? ? Several boxing promoters and matchmakers are telling us that it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain travel visas for fighters from Mexico. We were unable to ascertain whether or not the election of Donald J Trumps has anything to do with alleged border crossing snafus or the problem is linked to increased number of visa requests.. We plan to contact the Mexican Consulate and investigate the claim??Phoenix lightweight Ray Beltran (32-7-1) will meet Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) on 5/20 in a 10 round matchup in New York?s Madison Square Garden in. A win will put the popular fighter one step closer to a title bout?..the reported spitting incident at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix during a MMA show is being reviewed by the Arizona Boxing/MMA commission and a decision will be forthcoming on the degree of punishment administered to anyone involved in deviant behavior during the regrettable spat, yes I went there?.Super Middleweight David Lemieux vs. Marcos Reyes has been added to the Alvarez vs. Chavez mega fight at T Mobile Arena on May 6 in Las Vegas. Lemieux has risen in middleweight stature with his impressive KO victory over Curt Stevens. Event is sold out; so, viewers have the option to pay the piper (HBO PPV ) or catch it on closed circuit. ABNN has applied for credentials and we hope our request is accepted??.21 year old bantamweight Ryan Riddell hopes to fight at least three times this year beginning with his 4/22 bout on the Celebrity Theatre card in Phoenix.

MMA Show: Ringside Promotions, LLC and RUF MMA forwarded a press release, to our assignment desk, alerting sports fans that on Saturday April 29, the promotional company will present a cage fighting show at the Ultra Star Amphitheatre on AK-Chin Indian Community located at: 16000 Maricopa Road in Maricopa Arizona. The tentative fight card (subject to change) lists 19 bouts with a Main Event and Co-Main feature bout. Promoter and matchmaker Joel Lopez promises fans will be wowed by the show and the configuration of the comfortable venue. What else would a savvy promoter say? All of the combatants are Arizona based.

In the Co-Main, former UFC fighter Drew ?The Master? Fickett will battle Jeff ?The Threat? Fletcher at 155 lbs. Headline honors belong to former heavyweight champion ?Dale Sopi? and his opponent is former Bellator Contender ?Dan Charles? 10-3. According to the press release, venue doors open at 5:30 PM-same time as preliminary bouts. Fans should call 520-233-2441 to make sure the time listed is correct. General Admission tickets are priced at $25.00-Cage Side seats at $40.00-VIP High Top seating at $200.00 and VIP Table seating at $400.00. The AK-Chin Community lies 58 miles South of Phoenix and the scenic drive suggests taking pictures along the way; drive safely and enjoy the show.

Iron Boy 38: Iron Boy Promotions hasn?t put its final touches on their latest (IBP # 38) show; but the bout sheet is starting to add names and we know the following fighters are and fights are tentatively scheduled for the April 22nd show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.
The Main Event bout will feature Phoenix super bantamweight Carlos Castro (17-0-7 knockouts) vs. Nicaraguan Juan Ramon Palacious (29-7-2-22 knockouts). Carlos is returning to the ring after suffering an injury that placed him on the inactive list for several months and Palacious has lost 4 of his last five bouts plus at age 36 he has to be approved by the Arizona Boxing Commission. The co-main is undecided. At present, the nod may go to super middleweight James Anthony McGirt aka Buddy Jr (25-3-1) or Phoenix Middleweight Andrew ?The Fighting Pride of Phoenix? Hernandez (18-5-1). A decision will be made next week along with the naming of their opposition. Both fights are penciled in for 8 rounds.

Fighting at 122 lbs. Daron ?Sweet Tay? Williams (5-0-2 knockouts) will take on a TBA opponent in a 6 round battle. A second 6 round skirmish features lightweight Joshua Zuniga (5-0) with his TBA foe still unsigned.

The evening will offer at least 8 fights representing several weight classes. Heavyweights Waldo Cortez and Vagelis Rolussi will square off in a debut 4 round bouts with some buzz surrounding the power of both men. Arizona welterweight Jaime Bojado (1-0) and a former Marine Corps soldier is set to do battle with Cordell Powell (0-1). Bojado served in Kuwait and trains at Sonny?s Gym in Goodyear, Arizona. Powell, according to BoxRec hasn?t fought in 3 years and the 28 year old resides Las Vegas. Their bout is scheduled for four rounds.

The rest of the card contains 4 round bouts and we can confirm only one pairing: Ryan Riddell (2-0) vs. Joe Diaz (debut) in a 122 lb. tussle. Here are boxers waiting for opponents: 112 lb. Adrian Servin (2-0-1 knockout), 118 lb. Edgar Ortiz (3-1-2 knockouts), 130 lb. Jesus Ibarra (1-0), 115 lb. Luis Espinoza (6-0-2 knockouts), 165 lb. Lenny Correra (debut), 147 lb. Ilya Usachev (2-0) and 115 lb. Mark Garcia is on board for his debut bout.

ABNN was told to expect an update before we sent this edition; however\, we were unable to wait. Our next column, scheduled for 4/4 will include the card changes and we apologize for constantly changing show details; but, that is the nature of boxing.

Venue doors open at 5 PM with 1st bout starting at 6 PM. Ticket prices are listed for $55.00 for rows 1-8 - $40.00 for rows 9-13 - $30.00 for general admission tickets. As usual, a surcharge is charged on all tickets. Good seats remain available and can be purchased at the box-office. The venue is located on 32nd Street just North of Van Buren in Phoenix, Arizona.

Amateur News: I was sent a limited schedule for upcoming Arizona amateur boxing events and the agenda may change given the tragic announcement that USA Boxing Arizona Registration Chairman and Treasurer Walt Hoskins has passed away after a long illness. Madison Boxing hopes to present ?Olympic Style? boxing at the Greenfield Elementary School in South Phoenix on Saturday April 8. 1st bout starts at 2 PM and it would be wise to call Ricky ?Ricardo? Rodriguez at 602-434-7770 for weigh-in and ticket information. The venue is located 7009 at South 10th Street in Phoenix on 4/8. Over 20 bouts are planned and the ?Star Spangled Battle? event pits Arizona vs. New Mexico; see you there.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Hopeful Fernando Martinez (Mendoza Boxing) is heading to Colorado (Olympic Training Center) in 2-3 weeks and then to Germany for the World Championships. We wish him the best??boxing matchmaker Chris Vasquez and his wife are celebrating the birth of a son (Adrian) born on my birth date, March 26 ? Aries rule and ?yo? Adrian!

The 6th annual Showdown on the River Smoker, hosted by Duckey Boxing will be held in Parker, Arizona at the Pirates Den Resort on Saturday, April 15. General Admission is set at $10.00 (kids under 10-free) and 1st bout begins at 1 PM. I talked to Gym Manager Charles Duckey and he said anyone needing rooms should contact him at 928-575-6653. It is Easter weekend and boat races are scheduled for the everyone to enjoy; so take a camera if you go?..USA Boxing Arizona officials are still looking for a venue to hold the annual Junior Olympic tournament scheduled for 5/5-6-7) and we suggest you call Sonny at 623-806-2421 for updates.

More Amateur Action Central Boxing on Van Buren I & 17th Avenue in Phoenix will open their doors to a smoker on Saturday, April 22 with 1st bout starting at 1 PM. Please call Gym Manager Tom Garcia at 602-451-0689 for further details. Central will host a second smoker on 5/13 at the same venue and a third Central Boxing smoker is set for 10/07 at the popular training facility.??.The annual Gene Lewis Invitational Tournament is sanctioned for 11/ 09-10-11 at 59 E. Broadway Road in Mesa Arizona; more information forthcoming.

Short Jabs: Fight Hard Promotions is producing and promoting a show in Mexico (Agua Prieta) on May 13. FHP fighter Jesus Serrano (15-4-2) is fighting for a Mexican National title in the headline bout and Phoenix?s Edward Ceballos may be on the card?.. No word on when FHP will return to Legends Event Center in Phoenix for another show??.Our message to middleweight Jesus ?El Martillo? Gonzales is return to boxing or retire. It has been more than 4 years since his last fight and it is time for him (in our opinion) to take a bow and move on with his life- A message to Jesus ; please address the rumors and face reality.

New Kid on the Boxing block: Rebel T Promotions, in association with Roy Jones Promotions, is launching their first show on April 15 at the Marriot Burbank Convention Center in beautiful Burbank California. The event will showcase bouts featuring Rolando Garza (9-1-5 knockouts), Ronaldo ?Akeem? Ellis (14-0-10 knockouts) and Seniesa ?Superbad? Estrada (8-0-1 knockouts), also in the mix: highly touted Lorraine Villalobos will make her professional debut against Kaiyana ?Rain? Tan (1-3). Adam Lopez ((4-0-2 knockouts) & brother Hector Lopez Jr (4-0-3 knockouts) are fighting on the card and the undefeated brothers are fun to watch. Adam will take on Arizona?s Francisco Mura ( 3-5) in a 6 round contest while Hector is poised to fight veteran Alejandro Ochoa (7-13-2-1 knockout) fighting out of Bell Garden California. Two more scheduled fights: Cruiserweight Sean Loeffler (7-0-7 knockouts) hopes to remain undefeated against Oswald Ortega (I1-4) and Ricardo ?El Ni?o? Sandoval (7-0-7 knockouts) is still looking for a worthy opponent. All bouts are subject to change and additional buts will be announced soon.

On paper, it is an intriguing card with ticket prices ranging from $58.00 for general admission to $120.00 for VIP seating; taxes and fees apply. For more info and ticket purchase: click on ?.. ??..Rest in Peace, Walt Hosking: - your no-nonsense attitude may have rubbed some people the wrong way; you?re your heart was in the right place. Our next column will feature telephone interview with former heavyweight champion with Ray Mercer and a look at the May 6 bout between Alvarez and Chavez. ??..Until Next Time!

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

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