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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: A Win for Las Vegas, RJJ Show, Muay Thai Show & More

Boxing Fans, despite early reports that Dallas Cowboy Owner Jerry Jones had the inside track to land the Golovkin vs. Alvarez boxing extravaganza on September 16, Las Vegas (T Mobile Arena) scored the winning bid to host the event and Promoter (Golden Boy) said the decision came down to the entertainment factor. Los Angeles (a major suitor) and Dallas are great cities; but, neither can match the swagger and prestige of Vegas, a city that parties hard and never sleeps.

In our opinion it was imperative for Vegas to win the GGG/Canelo sweepstakes especially after the Alvarez/Chavez less than epic battle staged at T Mobile Arena. Once again, Las Vegas maintains its? foothold as the boxing capitol of the world.

Remarkably, it will be the first time GGG has fought in Vegas and the event will be an HBO PPV event. No word on PPV price or date when tickets will be available to the public. Locally, Twin Peaks Bar & Grill (2 locations) and Band Aid Show lounge have already committed to showing the event and we will inform our readers of details as they break. Movie theatres are expected to offer the fight on multi screens. This extravaganza could set a record for buys; promoter Golden Boy Promotions has a sure fire hit in the making.

Update: Iron Boy Matchmaker Mike Sanchez is tinkering with the idea of adding Heavyweight Adam Stewart and Cruiserweight Frank Sanchez to the Iron Boy 39 Card at the Celebrity Theatre on June 24, 2017. Stewart (6? 6?, 245 lbs.) made his debut recently at a private show in Phoenix and scored a quick and sensational 1st round knockout win. Sanchez, from Cuba, is handled by H.O.F. announcer Richard Steele. Don?t know much about him. It is good to know that Iron Boy is open to presenting bigger fighters on Iron Boy 39 than in previous shows that featured lighter weights. Heavyweight B.J. Flores (33-3-1-21 knockouts) is the headliner vs. Nick Guivas (13-5-2). And co-main event: Casa Grande welterweight Abel Ramos (17-2-2-12 knockouts) is inked and ready to go against Oscar Mora (7-3-6 knockouts). Also appearing on the card; Top Rank welterweight prospect Danny Valdivia (14-0) in a special bout presentation matches his skills against former Mexican Olympic qualifier Oscar Molina (13-2-1).

Changes on the card include: Arizona super welterweight prospect Jaime Bojado after the former marine accepted a sparring offer from Adrien Broner who faces Mikey Garcia at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York on July 29. Other casualties include super welterweight Eben Vargas (injured wrist) and newcomer Mark Garcia (unable to find match).

The remaining card lineup includes: exciting Arizona flyweight Adrian Servin (4-0-2 knockouts) vs. Joel Cano (2-6), Bantamweight Ryan Riddell 4-0-3 knockouts) vs. TBA, Super welterweight Cliff Jordan vs. TBA, , super bantamweight Edgar Ortiz (4-1) vs. TBA and middleweight Daniel Segura (2-2) vs.TBA. 2-3 additional other bouts are expected to be added. All bouts are subject to change and a reminder; tickets are still available at the Celebrity Theatre box-office. Doors for the June 24 show open at 5 p.m.

Muay Thai Show: I didn?t know what to expect when I was invited by Puma Entertainment to cover their debut Muay Thai show at the Legends Event Center on Tuesday, June 6. Most boxing or combat sports show are set for weekends; so I went thinking I would find a small crowd and very little to write about. I was wrong. The venue on Camelback Road & 43 Avenue in Phoenix is impressive and Puma Entertainment deserves kudos for making everyone feel comfortable including this veteran reporter. The event was made possible by official sanctioning from the World Muay Thai Alliance and its? commissioner Clement Vierra. He is a veteran of martial arts and onetime owner of Hard Knocks boxing in Phoenix. Security was visible; but, not overbearing.

I was told the head count reached 1,600 (a fair estimate) and most fans paid ticket prices of $10.00 (with coupon), $25.00 & $50.00, kids of all ages were let in free. There was no alcohol served and I overheard a discussion between the facility owner and co-promoter that suggested Puma may introduce alcoholic beverages at the next show; but, no definite decision has been made. I talked to one of the promoters (name withheld) and he said he didn?t care for the cost of liability that serving alcohol would bring. The other promoter disagreed with his partner. The Legends Event Center is a popular venue for weddings and Quinceanera celebrations.

Fight Hard Promotions staged a boxing show there last year and the size of the crowd was much smaller. In addition to featuring Muay Thai there was music performed by National recording star Paulina Manzo who performed America?s and Mexico?s national anthem. Special guest stars in attendance include former NFL all Pro Simeon Rice and retired Arizona boxing standout Johnny Vasquez.

The fight card opened with 3 under 18 aged contests and the best performance from that category of the MT-1 3-2 minute round contests belonged to 14 year old Alexis Ortega ((Hard Knocks Gym ) whose laser like focus and pinpoint punching earned him a unanimous deism decision over Xavier Epstein from AZ Top Team 1. In the opening match, Diego Cruz (Finito?s Gym) earned a split decision and Kevin Munoz (Finito Gym) followed with split decision over Armando Lucio 111 (Cobra Fight Team). The only scratch on the card was Hubert Mason (Busted Knuckle) who skipped the event after his son was rushed to a nearby hospital 24 hours before the show.

I especially liked action in three other bouts., Jesse Sandoval (Hard Knocks Gym) had the upper hand in his battle with Adrian Melendez ((AZ Top Team) until a kick from Melendez in the 3rd and final round stunned and led to a TKO victory for Melendez at the 1:28 mark. I would like to see a rematch.

In a spirited female battle between Leslie Hernandez (Busted Knuckle) and Shannon Renteria (Renteria Gym) the verdict (UD went to Shannon who appeared stronger and was able to keep Leslie at bay. At times, Hernandez was able to get inside; but, Renteria?s strong jab effectively ended any sustained momentum from her foe. It was a very good fight and Shannon hopes to turn professional by September. Good luck to both talented women.

The last fight of the evening pitted Danny Torrez (AZ Top Team) and coached by Brad Carlton against Bryce McDaniel (Sexy Muay Thai). Torrez entered the ring with a mediocre record of 3-3; however his total of reaches close to 20 and aren?t included in his Muay Thai resume. He dominated McDaniel and as a result won the WMTA State MT-2 Featherweight title. Torrez hopes to turn pro and at age 29, he would be wise to do it now. He is fun to watch.

Some fans polled, thought the best fight of the evening was between Jerome Jones Jr. (1on1 Fitness) and Kaharyree Davis (AZ Top Team) for the WMTA Arizona State MT-1 Middleweight Title. It was a rough and tumble battle that ended with Davis being disqualified after several warning and continuing alleged violations. It was a wild, ugly and embarrassing exhibit of poor sportsmanship.

In other action: Martin Sanchez (Independent) retired against Ricardo Jiminez (Dragon Snake MMA) when he injured his shoulder after being knocked down. Jiminez is a beast and was very impressive in his debut win and in my opinion would have prevailed if the injury hadn?t occurred.

Other winners included Juliet Correa (Finito Boxing Gym), Tanner Quintanal (Renteria Boxing), Calen Spencer (Justo?s MT Gym), Ian Scott (Wicket Way MT Utah) and Jonathan O?Neill (Justo?s MT Gym).
The evening was a success partially because of the fine work turned in by Announcers Jeff Way and Thomas Treiber. Jeff announced the first three bouts and displayed a strong voice and a passion for the sport of Muay Thai. Treiber, a well-known ring announcer has appeared on Showtime, HBO, ESPN and other broadcast entities. He is a class act. Puma hopes to present a show every two months on a Tuesday. The debut was very impressive.

Pacquiao/Horn Update: The undercard for the July 2 Pacquiao/Horn WBO welterweight title fight, ?Battle of Brisbane? has been released and in addition to the WBO welterweight tussle, two other title matches are on tap: Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1) vs. Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1) for the IBF world super flyweight title and Umar Salamov (19-0) squares off against Damien Hooper (12-1) to fill the vacant IBF Australian light heavyweight title and lay claim to the WBO International light heavyweight title. Remaining Scheduled Contests: Shane Mosley Jr. (10-1) vs. David Toussaint (10-0) in a clash of middleweights, Brock Jarvis (7-0) vs. Andika Sabu in a battle of super bantamweights, super lightweight Jonel Dapidran ((8-1) faces Brent Dames (5-3) and highly regarded super bantamweight Michael Conlan (2-0) takes on Jarrett Owen (5-4-3). Ticket sales for the Brisbane, Australia show have reached 45,000; only 10,000 away from a stated goal of 55,000. The number has far exceeded the biggest boxing crowd in Australia-38,000 when Azumah Nelson defeated Jeff Fenech at Princes Park in Melbourne in 1992, quite an accomplishment.

Once again, the event takes place on July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. All bouts are subject to change and tickets are still available through Ticketek. Duco Events and Top Rank are listed as promoters for the show. The weather is expected to reach moderate temperatures of 47-65 Fahrenheit; so dress accordingly. ABNN will arrive in Brisbane on June 27. We still don?t have word on television coverage. American boxing fans should be aware of the time difference between the two countries. We will continue to update our readers of new developments and we thank Duco Events & Top Rank for helping us serve our readers.

Boxing News: The rating numbers for the recent Fox Sports 1 televised David Benavidez vs. Gilberto ?Porky? Medina super middleweight title eliminator bout set a new record for boxing presented on Fox Sports 1. The network invited David to take part in ringside commentary for the 6/11 Fox Sports-1 televised Brandon ?Bam-Bam? Rios (33-3-1-24 knockouts) vs. Aaron Herrera (32-6-1-21 knockouts) super welterweight main event. It was quite a prestigious moment for a 20 year old boxing Phenom. Iron Boy publicist Emily Pandelakis shouted out congrats to David after his time at the microphone. Watch out Ralph Velez Jr. The Phoenix native may fight again on October 14; more details in next column. In fight action, Rios (34-3-1-25 knockouts) stopped Herrera in the 7th round and will continue a career that was going South until his victory.

Quick Jabs: Central Boxing gym manager Tom Garcia is expecting his first grandchild in late October or early November?..Knockout Boxing is moving again after a very brief stay at Central Boxing?.contrary to reports, Phoenix fighter Paul ?Ziggy? Romero is unattached and looking to fight out of state soon?.21 year old former Arizona State and Gene Lewis Tournament Champion Arturo Ochoa will announce his transition to the pro ranks soon. The 5? 10? super welterweight prot?g? is trained by Gustavo Valenzuela Gonzales and works out at 12 Avenue Boxing Gym in Tucson, Arizona. We wish him the best?..Super fan Geoff Ronning, also a winning pugilist in the master division, attended the recently conclude IBF H.O.F induction ceremonies (6/8-6/11) in New York and forwarded a picture of 6 time world champion Michael Carbajal seated with fellow Hall of Famer Humberto ?Chiquita? Gonzales at the event. Who can forget their three epic battles? The 2017 inductees included Evander Holyfield, Antonio Barrera, announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. and the late Johnny Tapia. Michael and his finance/publicist Laura Hall attended and Laura reports that the 6 time world champion was mobbed as if he was a rock star. Michael is one of the good guys in boxing?. Knockout boxing is moving again. Andrew Soto?s team of boxers was training at Central Boxing; but, the arrangement is over for unknown reasons. We hope the team is able to find a workout place?.Arizona boxer Joey ?The Boxer? Ruelas is back in the gym, but return to action has been undetermined??Smoker Boxing Tournament is scheduled for July 8 at the Kroc Center in Phoenix; call 602-425-5000.

Madison Boxing Show: ABNN was invited to cover a smoker at the Greenfield Elementary school on June 10 and it will be the last amateur boxing event held at the school unless a policy change is granted. Host Ricky Ricardo Rodriguez told the assembled he would be looking for a new site to hold his USA Arizona Boxing sanctioned amateur shows in the future. The June 10th show presented 11 bouts. Alexis Ortega (Hard Knocks Gym) backed out of his bout after performing on another card (June 6). Joey Ruelas Jr (Busted Knuckle Boxing) won best bout trophy and Campeones Boxing won team trophy. Here are the names of the 10 remaining winners and their respective boxing gyms: David Garcia (Busted Knuckle Boxing), Benjamin Figueroa ( Campeones Boxing), Luis Retina (Mendoza Boxing Club), Ramon Ruiz (Campeones Boxing), Desmond Spikes (Renegade Boxing), Julio Munoz (Neutral Corner Boxing), Victor Alcantar (12th Avenue Boxing). Special mention for three fighters who won impressively with the referee?s decision to stop their contests: Kory Dyer (Madison Boxing), Christopher Romero (IronGloves Boxing) and Jose Torres (12th Avenue Boxing). It was a very auspicious debut for 12th Avenue Boxing and it was a bit of a surprise that the Tucson Boxing facility didn?t take home the team trophy; no disrespect to Campeones boxing. 12th Avenue Boxing hopes to host a smoker in the near future, welcome to the Arizona Boxing Community! ABNN tries to attend all amateur boxing events that we are invited to if our schedule permits. *One coach approached me and chided me for not attending a past tournament at his gym and the answer is I was out of town at the time and wasn?t invited. He went on to point out that Arizona Boxing News & Notes is taking time to travel to Australia to cover the Pacquiao/Horn fight in Brisbane on July 2. I fail to accept the analogy as fair or realistic. ABNN is tendered several invitations each moth and we consider all extended invites based on what best serves our readers across the USA and abroad and of course they?re time constraints.

RJJ Show: On July 15, Facebook subscribers can Live Stream Championship boxing from Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona. Roy Jones Promotions has partnered with Linacre Media and Facebook to present boxing to fans around the world. The innovative approach is ?years ahead? of anyone else in the industry according to Keith Veltre, CEO & Co-Founder of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions. The concept was introduced in May, 2017 (Fight Night Live) and pronounced a success.
Spectators who prefer to be physically present for the event can purchase tickets starting at $25.00. Coverage of the show starts at 6 p.m. (PT) and 9 p.m. (ET). The official announcer is Ray Flores (PBC, Showtime, HBO & CBS Sports) and he will be joined at ringside by veteran analyst Michael Woods.

Main Event: John Vera Jr. (16-0-10 knockouts) vs. Daniel Rosario (11-2-10 knockouts); at stake, Vera?s NABA Super-Welterweight Championship title. Co-Main: Rico Ramos (27-5-13 knockouts) vs. Tony Lopez ((12-2-4 knockouts); at stake, NABA Super Bantamweight Championship. Under-Card: Abel Ramos 17-2-12 knockouts vs. Emmanuel Robles 15-2-5 knockouts (8 round welterweight bout), Randy Moreno (8-1-7 knockouts) vs. Ivan De La Madrid (4-1) in a 6 round super featherweight bout, Edward Ceballos (5-1-2 knockouts), vs. TBA in a 6 round featherweight battle, Ilya Usechov (4-0-2) vs. TBA in a 6 round welterweight contest and Guillermo Dighero (debut) takes on Jordan Alvarado (0-2) in a four round lightweight fight. Tickets are on sale at the Casino??Until Next Time!

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

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