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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: T Mobile Meltdown, Ward vs. Kovalev & More


PhilBoxing.com




Boxing Fans, I won?t insult your intelligence by misleading you into believing the 5/6/2017 fight between Alvarez and Chavez Jr. at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was anything but a bomb and an embarrassment to the sport of boxing. I watched the HBO PPV televised event at Twin Peaks Bar & Grill on Camelback Road in Phoenix with permission of Andy & Carolyn Bayless, franchise operators of the popular night spot that proudly boasts to be the best sports bar in the Valley of the Sun. I never argue with Carolyn!

The delightful couple also oversees the TP venue in Scottsdale. As usual, the food and service was excellent. I should point out that my drink choice on the evening consisted of two glasses of peach flavored tea. I never drink alcoholic beverages while working; but, I do frequently indulge in liquid refreshments stronger than coffee or tea away from assignments.

In my tenured role as a sports journalist, I always listen to fan banter when I am watching an event with them. After forty years of observation, I can tell readers that at least 99% of the viewers at the Twin Peaks establishment shared my opinion that the PPV event fell far short of its? promise and although it was definitely a pro Canelo audience, they wanted to witness an all-out war between the two Mexican fighters. A generous sampling of alcohol eased the pain and disappointment for some boxing patrons.

What they saw was a backpedaling and lackadaisical Chavez who suffered a bloody nose and noticeable cuts around the left eye during the bout. His head and heart was never in the fight and his lack of enthusiasm at the onset prompted me to tell two colleagues that the 31 year old year old son of a legend was going to have a long night, he did. I had him losing 11 rounds and the one round I scored in his favor was up for discussion. As for the performance of Alvarez, he was the aggressor; but, why he wasn?t able to knock out Chavez Jr. is still a mystery to me and a possible confidence builder for GGG, his next opponent. The undefeated Ukrainian pugilist (37-0-33 knockouts) was grinning ear to ear during a post-fight interview; they meet in Vegas on September 16.

The under-card was highlighted by a dominating performance by welterweight Lucas Matthysse (38-4-35 knockouts) who ended the night for an outclassed Emmanuel Taylor (20-5-14 knockouts) with a 5th round TKO at the 2:21 mark. Matthysse is one of the sport?s most exciting performers.

Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux (38-3-33 knockouts) tattooed durable Marcos Reyes ((35-5-26 knockouts) early and often with big punches in scoring a unanimous decision in their 10 round bout. The face of Reyes was a bloody mess throughout the contest.

In the first televised bout of the evening, unbeaten featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0-13 knockouts) was more aggressive in defeating Manuel Avila (22-1-8 knockouts). Avila was working with a new trainer and that may have been a factor in his loss by unanimous decision.

In summation, it was a poor headline bout outshined by the Matthysse TKO victory and other performances by the under-card performers.

Ward vs. Kovalev: On June 17 boxing fans will pack the Event Center at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to watch Ward vs. Kovalev 2. At stake is Ward?s WBA, WBO and IBF world light heavyweight title belt. On November 19 of last year, Ward won a controversial unanimous decision over Kovalev that was greeted with a strong chorus of boos. It is only fitting that the two warriors meet again and settle the matter. If Kovalev wins, fans may demand a third meeting between the two great light heavyweights.

Boxing fans are eager find out what it will cost to watch the HBO PPV championship fight and ABNN. We don?t have details on possible closed circuit venues or cost; but, we do know the event will be aired on Saturday June 17 at 9 p.m. E.T. and the cost for standard definition viewing is $59.99 and $10.00 more for HD definition. To subscribe call your local cable provider.

Tale of the tape: Andre Ward-age (33) ?record (31-0-15 knockouts)-HT 6?-reach-71?-style-orthodox-nationality ?American-Sergey Kovalev-Age(34)-record (31-1-1-26 knockouts)-HT 6?-reach-72?-style-orthodox-nationalality-Russian. Common Opponent: Both men met and defeated Darnell Boone; Kovalev by split decision and Ward beat Boone with a unanimous decision.

Outlook: ABNN expects a great fight and we have requested credentials for the event and see no obstacle in covering the fight. Co-Promoters for the event are Jay Z?s Roc Nation Sports (Ward?s Promoter) and Main Events Boxing (Kovalev?s Promoter) with Roc Nation Sports taking the lead. ABNN will update fans on any new details leading up to the fight. ABNN isn?t ready to predict a winner; however, we will go out on the proverbial limb and predict the PPV buy numbers will exceed the Alvarez/Chavez Jr. PPV totals.

Mail Bag: ABNN reader Mario Gomez asks who we list as the best of the all-time boxing trainers and who makes the list of current top trainers? Here is a short list of our all-time favorites in no particular order: Gil Clancy, Lou Duva, Emanuel Steward, Angelo Dundee, Freddie Roach and Cus D?Amato. Freddie Roach is on our best active list as well as Abel Sanchez, Shane McGuigan, Ronnie Shields and Robert Garcia?..Lois Taylor enjoyed our recent interviews with Jeff Horn and Ray Mercer. She wants to know if we have any more interviews planned. We are always open for interviews; but, some boxers don?t have the time or inclination to do so. We forwarded questions to GGG and Manny Pacquiao with permission; shall we say they must have been lost in the mail! Please email your comments and questions to: dswriter1928@gmail.com

Boxing News: The smoker scheduled for 5/13 at Central Gym in downtown Phoenix (17th Avenue & Van Buren) has been cancelled due to a lack of a doctor??..Our investigation team reports that two local strip clubs, Scores Phoenix Gentleman?s Club & Jaguars Club in Phoenix) were recently hosting unsanctioned cage fights at their venues which is a violation of state law. Juan Estrada the Executive Director of the Arizona State Boxing/MMA Commission showed me a statute that gives the department authority to enforce such violations; however, I was told the Commission doesn?t have the money or manpower to enforce the issue, so it?s a catch 22 situation. The Pink Rhino, in Phoenix, featured unsanctioned boxing matches between strippers until their closure due to unrelated violations. Former world champion Danny Garcia was scheduled to referee one of the events at the club, last year. His appearance was advertised on social media??. Undefeated Arizona flyweight Adrian Servin (4-0) will fight on the June 24 Iron Boy card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. According to his mother, ABNN named him Andre in a recent column; sorry we missed the error before we hit the send button. Adrian has a tentative fight for June 24; but the contracts aren?t signed??.Arizona super welterweight Eben Vargas (4-0) has been added to the Diego De La Hoya/ Erik Ruiz show (shown on ESPN) at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson on May 18 produced by Golden Boy Promotions. His opponent is 30 year Rodolfo ?Rudy? Gamez (1-2) who turned professional 10 years ago and to put it mildly has been virtually inactive as a fighter. It could be quick and painful night for Gamez; the 19 year old Vargas is a very good prospect. Eben is scheduled to fight on the June 24th Celebrity card if all goes well with Gamez?..Phoenix middleweight Andrew Hernandez is no longer fighting on May 13 and June 1 as previously reported; cancelling fights has become a frequent habit with Hernandez and it is starting to annoy one local matchmaker?.According to reliable sources, the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission has told at least one local fighter to start accepting better opponents or risk being left off the card??..USA Boxing Arizona is needing volunteers to work amateur boxing events; please accept the clarion call and help by picking up a phone and dialing Richard Soto at 602-702-7053.

Comment: Golden Boy Promotions and ESPN are being roundly criticized for not working with Arizona media in promoting their ESPN televised May 18 boxing show at Casino Del Sol in Tucson. The headline bout is Diego De La Hoya vs. Erik Ruiz in a 10 round junior featherweight contest. Tickets start at $30.00 and here is updated under-card as advertised on the ESPN website: D?Mitris Ballard vs. Denis Douglin-10 round super middleweights, Hector Tanajara Jr. vs. TBA - 4/6 rounds junior lightweights, Robert Manzanarez vs. Erick Martinez - 8 rounds lightweights, Jonathan Navarro vs. Ricardo Fernandez -6 rounds junior welterweights, Joshua Franco vs. TBA-6 rounds junior bantamweights, Phoenix native Eben Vargas (4-0)will take on Tucson?s Rodolfo Gamez (1-2) in a 4 round super welterweight contest. Failure to work with in-state media may cause a dip in ticket sales and a rift between Golden Boy and some local journalists. It is so easy to communicate. Also, GB could have put more Arizona fighters on the card. Native American super middleweight Alberto Alvarez (2-0) from Sells, Arizona would have been an excellent choice for the show at the Casino. Some promoters risk alienation with the Arizona boxing community by not using at least a few of our local boxers on their cards.

Tourney Results: The Arizona State JO Championships were held at Sonny?s boxing Gym in Goodyear, Arizona on 5/6-7. The event started early on Saturday because fans wanted to get home and watch the Alvarez/Chavez Jr. fight and hey the event was completed in a record time. Here is a complete list of the Arizona champions who will compete in the 2017 Four Corners Junior Olympic Regional Tournament held in Longmont Colorado on May 26-27, 2017. Qualified boxers should contact their coaches for travel preparation info. Team Arizona: 11-12- 60 lbs. Ray Maldonado (Unattached), 11-12 - 65 lbs. Andrew Corona (Knockout Boxing), 11-12 -70.lbs. Jameel Maldonado (Azteca), 11-12 - 75 lbs. Marques Silva (Mendoza Boxing), 11-12 - 80 lbs. Angel Velazquez (Sonny?s Boxing), 11-12 85 lbs. Elijah Olivas (Unattached) 11-12 -105 lbs. Joel Marquez (Rodriguez Boxing), 11-12 - 114 lbs. Leonardo Gonzales (Salvation Army), Female 11-12- 70 lbs. Alezet Valerio (Martillo Boxing),

13-14-75 lbs. Alex Gonzales (Broadway Boxing), 13-14-80 lbs. Jose Ramirez (Tucson Southwest), 13-14-85 lbs. Hyrum Correa (Azteca), 13-14-90 lbs. Jose Angel Escarcega (Fighters First Boxing), 13-14-95 lbs. Bryant Miranda (Millers Boxing), 13-14-101 lbs. Gadiel Rosas (Tucson Southwest), 13-14-106 lbs. Thomas Valerio (Martillo Boxing), 13-14-119 lbs. Brandon Lobatos (Fighters First Boxing), 13-14-125 lbs. Carlos Luzanilla (Central Boxing),13-14 132 lbs. Daniel Vasquez (Salvation Army), 13-14-135 lbs. Elijah Garcia (Hammer Boxing), Female 13-14-75 lbs. Female Mariah Martinez (Knockout Boxing), Female 13-14-80 lbs. Mariah Bahe (Damon- Bahe Boxing), Female 13-14-90 lbs. Reina Ruiz (Campiones Boxing), Female 13-14- 106 lbs. Denyse Salgadoi (Fighters First Boxing), Female 13-14- 138 lbs. Viviana Perez (Salvation Army),

15-16-101 lbs. Adrian Rodriguez (AR Boxing)*, 15-16-106 lbs. Dorian Kahn Jr. (Fighters First Boxing), 15-16-110 lbs. Micky Scala (Broadway Boxing), 15-16-114 lbs. Colby Maciel (Central Boxing)**, 15-16-119 lbs. Toby Wooten Jr. (Fighters First Boxing), 15-16-125 lbs. Mario Ruiz (Campiones Boxing), 15-16-132 lbs. Luis Retina (Mendoza Boxing), 15-16-138 lbs. Moises Rosales (Fuentes Boxing), Female 15-16-101 lbs. Nieldra Harvey (Damon-Bahe), Female 15-16-110 lbs. Lily Keating (Busted Knuckle Boxing), 15-16 125 lbs. Helenie Vasquez (Sonny?s Boxing), 15-16 -132 lbs. Hermoine Dela Torre (Sonny?s Boxing) and 15-16-138 lbs. Victoria Gaytan (Salvation Army). * Adrian Rodriguez was named outstanding boxer in the tournament. ** Colby Maciel (Central Boxing) won his weight and age class but failed to receive a belt afforded to all JO champions. ABNN is in solidarity with Colby in his attempt to obtain his hardware he rightfully earned at the Arizona JO Tournament in Goodyear, Arizona at Sonny?s Gym. We hope the issue can be resolved ASAP and we wish Team Arizona good luck in Colorado. Very special thanks to boxing coach Duane M. Mitry (Fighter First Boxing) for helping to complete this list.

Special Salute: ABNN would like to salute 12th Round Fit Boxing in Scottsdale Arizona for joing the national movement to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of Parkinson?s patients through non-contact boxing training. Feel free to call 480-540-5086 for more information? Please, remember our mothers; past and present?...Until Next Time!


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


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