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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: McGregor vs. Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr. in Mexico

Boxing Fans, I am on record telling esteemed journalistic colleagues that writing about the upcoming McGregor/ Mayweather Showtime PPV event on August 26 at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas would be violating journalistic principles and stooping to reporting fake news. As the event nears, I find myself doing an about face and listening to the fans who tell me I am duty bound to cover the story and review the fight. It is easy to get caught up in all the hype and hoopla surrounding the match-up and forget that the event is sanctioned; so, the horse is out of the barn therefore and I have an unbridled obligation to cover the story.

From the advent of the announcement that the fight was officially sanctioned, boxing purists have ridiculed the bout as a publicity stunt created to line the pockets of greedy entrepreneurs. Boxing luminaries like Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya have openly criticized the competition as deferential to the sport of boxing.

And they may be right; however, the public is genuinely interested in this P T Barnum like promoted matchup and fans can’t stop talking about the two sports icons (Mayweather & McGregor) who are taking “smack talking” to a new level. Industry observers expect the event to gross more than the Pacquiao/Mayweather PPV spectacle; miracles never cease.

Journalists are supposed to be objective. Yes, I will admit, with deliberate hesitation, that UFC Champion Connor McGregor (0-0) has a chance to defeat 5 time boxing champion Floyd Mayweather (49-0). Upsets are always possible in sports; but this contest seems tilted towards one direction, Mayweather’s. And my personal experience of watching MMA fighters make the transition to boxing isn’t positive for the most part.

Tale of The Tape: McGregor is a UFC fighter and Mayweather is a boxer. The Irishman began his amateur career in MMA at age 18. Mayweather was virtually born into boxing. The Michigan born pugilist posted an amateur mark of 84-8. He won a Bronze Medal in the 1996 Olympics. Two years later, he won the first of 5 world titles.

AGE: Mayweather is 40 and McGregor turned 29 in June.

Height: Mayweather is 5’ 8”—McGregor is 5’ 9” Weight last fight: Mayweather weighed 146 –McGregor weighed 155 *both men have agreed to fight at the junior middleweight, super welterweight limit of 154.

Stance: Mayweather is orthodox—McGregor is southpaw. Reach: Mayweather measures at 72”-McGregor’s reach extends the tape to 74.”
Records: Mayweather’s boxing record stands at 49-0-26 knockouts) His last knockout (Victor Ortiz) was recorded on 9/17 2011. McGregor’s MMA record is 21-3-18 knockouts). In the ring, “Money” has fought 387 rounds while his foe (McGregor) has recorded a mere 37 rounds in comparison.

Last Fight: On September 12, 2015, Floyd Mayweather scored a unanimous decision over Andre Berto. Connor McGregor stopped (TKO) Eddie Alvarez in the second round on November 12, 2016. At Stake: boasting rights and a boat load of money. According to the Nevada Athletic Commission there is no title at stake even though rumors have suggested awaits the winner.

Interesting Note: The commission describes the match as a very special 12 round bout. Fans of both fighters are anxiously awaiting the showdown at T Mobile on August 26 and ABNN believes a beefed up security force will work the venue and controlling the crowd and keeping scalpers in check could be very interesting and worth watching. It could be as wild as attending a Gun N Roses concert of 10 years ago!

Prediction: Bob Bennett, Executive Director, Nevada Athletic Commission will recommend officials to work the Mayweather vs. McGregor event on August 16th at the Commission meeting. If the third man in the ring allows McGregor to rough up Mayweather, it bodes well for the UFC fighter. I don’t think Mayweather has the power to knockout the Irishman; but, he does have the boxing smarts to make McGregor look foolish and a TKO (cuts) is possible. I think Mayweather may be underestimating the power of McGregor whom, I predict, will come out swinging in round 1 and if the southpaw connects, he could send Mayweather to the canvas for only the second time in his professional career; there you have it, please don’t bet based on my opinion.

I like Mayweather by decision to up his record to 50-0. If he does score the win, an asterisk should be attached to his record out of respect for H.O.F. heavyweight Rocky Marciano (49-0) and the sweet science of boxing.

Where to Watch: In Phoenix, at least 40 sports bars told our staff stringer that their facility would be showing the August 26 Showtime PPV event promoted by Mayweather Promotions and “The Money Team.” According to our staffer, the best deal can found at Twin Peaks on Camelback Road in Phoenix by adhering to a $10.00 cover and $20.00 minimums spend. I prefer the 2 Peaks franchises because the number of screens and quality of food and drink choices. Half Moon Sports Bar & Grill is an option but more expensive and their 2 establishments are taking reservations. At least three strip clubs: Essex, Bandaids and Chicas in Phoenix are advertising the August 26 event. AMC Theatre downtown told ABNN, the fight is a no go for them. For a complete list, take to the internet and Google a list of sports bars in your area; then make a call and ask for details.

I don’t think fans want to pay 30-50 dollars at the door and stand throughout the fight without a table to place their cool one or be forced to balance a plate of food on the shoulder of a stranger. Your home or a reputable sports bar is the best option if you can’t afford the trek to Nevada. If you go to Twin Peaks and recognize me, say hi….enjoy the fight… and don’t gamble foolishly; rent and mortgages have to be paid.

Iron Boy 41: Iron Boy Promotions will present their next boxing show (Iron Boy 41) at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on September 2 not 9/9 as previously announced. I talked to IB matchmaker Mike Sanchez and he is lining up 15 fights hoping 10-11 bouts will come to fruition for Iron Boy 41. Super welterweight Eben Vargas (5-0-3 knockouts) is iffy due to a hand injury; but, the following fighters are expected to appear on the card: super bantamweight Carlos Castro (18-0-7 knockouts), Featherweight Francisco C de Vaca (16-0-5 knockouts), Super Flyweight Luis Espinoza (7-0-3 knockouts), Bantamweight Alexis Zazueta (9-0-5 knockouts), Flyweight Adrian Servin (4-0-2 knockouts), Featherweight Edward Ceballos (6-1-1-3 knockouts), Super Bantamweight Edgar Ortiz (5-1-3 knockouts), 130 lb. Jesus Ibarra (1-0), 170 lb. Eduardo Ayala (debut), Lavar Whittington (debut) and 115 lb. Mark Garcia (1-0). Ayala was scheduled for Iron Boy 40; but, was bumped.

The inclusion of Castro, and de Vaca on the 9/2 card marks a return to boxing for the popular duo absent from the past two Iron Boy cards; welcome back, men. Tickets are on sale at the Celebrity Theatre and Online. Iron Boy MMA 7 is scheduled for 8/12 at the same venue and further info (bout sheet) will be released in our next column if received. If you go to either event, ask a member of the commission or Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda (A regular guest) when baseline concussion testing will be implemented for the safety of fighters.

Our email address is and we welcome comments and information. Please, go out and support boxing and if you have time, contact USA Boxing Arizona (602-702-7053) and become a volunteer.

Mikey Remains Undefeated: I was invited to watch Mikey Garcia (36-0) take on Adrien Broner in a 12 rounder ShowTime televised bout at the Ringside Bar & Grill (3 television screens) in Phoenix on Camelback Road just west of 19th Avenue on the north side of the street - Saturday July 29. It is a working class establishment owned and operated by Abel and Tiffany, last names were never addressed. My burger was thick, juicy and moderately priced. I left a 40 % tip although the service was barely adequate. Another wait person or two would have been appreciated by the SRO crowd.
It was a boisterous crowd on hand at the neighborhood pub & eatery and 85 % were supporting Garcia who won a unanimous decision over Broner with scores of 116 -112 x 2 and 117-111. In a post-fight interview, the loser thanked God and touted his contributions to the sport. The loquacious fighter didn’t give much credit to Garcia; but the former world champ did remind us that he was the winner of four world titles and would eventually become a member of boxing’s hall of fame after all was said and done; typical noise from Broner.

A spokesperson for Ringside told me the facility will show the McGregor/Mayweather (August 26) and Canelo/GGG (September 16) PPV events for a $20.00 cover per head. A word of caution: customers watching will be given a wristband after payment is received; no exception unless they’re a staff member. If you go, be prepared to be real cozy & close for 2-3 hours.

If Garcia decides to defend his light weight title, he has a challenger in Ray Beltran 33-7-1 who has called out Garcia in recent months. Before that match can happen, Beltran , a resident of Phoenix, must get past Bryan Vasquez (35-2) whom he faces in Los Angles (Saturday, August 5) to lay claim on the NABF & WBO NABO lightweight title belts. The two contenders battle on the under-card of the Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1-6 knockouts) vs. Miguel Marriaga (25-2-21 knockouts) for the WBO junior lightweight title. The event can be seen on ESPN and ESPN Deportes live.

McCumby Update: According to a report that was sent to our assignment Desk, Arizona Light Heavyweight boxer Trevor McCumby (23-0-18 knockouts) has been suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission after the boxer failed a mandatory drug test administered subsequent to his TKO victory over Donovan George in the state of Nevada, November 2016.

The fight decision has been changed to “No Contest” and here is a summary of terms of Agreement negotiated facing the Arizona Athlete: 18 month suspension, lifts on 5/26 2018-Fine of $3,750.00, AGO Fees-$1,017.52 * if he competes in Nevada again, he must pay for and provide negative in/out of competition tests for steroids, diuretics, drugs of abuse. 30/15 days from competition-file his license at least 30 days prior to competition-suspended until paid in full or approved payment plan.

My experience with McCumby has always been positive (no pun intended) and I hope he can put this negative experience behind him. McCumby signed on to abide by the commission’s punitive decision and ABNN hopes the young boxer will share his unfortunate experience with other boxers who are tempted to cheat.

Roy Jones Jr. Sighting: Boxing manager Danny Riddell (Ryan Riddell) reports that he invited boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. to Chihuahua, Mexico Friday 7/28) where Danny’s son Ryan (125 lbs.) upped his record to 6-0-4 knockouts) with a unanimous decision . Dad was a little disappointed that 3 knockdowns (according to him) executed by Ryan were counted as slips by the working referee. Jones had one victorious fighter (Shady Gamhour) on the card and the superstar was mobbed by fans who sought autographs and pictures; Jones obliged and suggested he may return to Mexico with more fighters at a later date in Rocky Point, a popular resort town near the USA border; keep reading ABNN for updates.

The trip was arranged by Fight Hard promoter Rigoberto (Rigo) Ledezma who transported Riddell, Edward Ceballos and Mark Garcia (1-0) and watched the Americans win; Ceballos scored a knockout win while Garcia made his debut successful with a victory by decision. 29 year old independent boxer Roxberg Patrick Riley (11-0-6 knockouts) won by TKO as did 26 year old middleweight Shady Gamhour (3-0-2 knockouts) who is a member of Team RJJ Boxing.

FHP fighter Rafael Casas (Mexican National) notched his 5th win against 3 losses. Ledezma thinks Casas can become a champion now that he has good management; time will tell. The next boxing show promoted by FHP is scheduled for 9/9 in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Boxing Notes: The following Arizona amateur boxers medaled at the July 22 Jr Golden Gloves Finals: Julian Rodriguez 9/10 65 lbs. 1st- Esau Valerio 9/10 75 lbs. 1st-David Vera 9/10 80 lbs. 1st-Thomas Valerio 13/14 106 lbs. 1st-Adrian Rodriguez 15/16 101 lbs. 1st- Aaron Garcia 15/16 145 lbs. 1st-automatic winner Elijah Garcia 13/14 154 lbs. 1st-Moises Rosales 15/16 138 lbs. 2nd- Jake Girardo 13/14 114 lbs. 2nd-Fabian Montes 13/14 110 lbs. 2nd-Bryant Miranda 13/14 95 lbs. 2nd-Cruz Miranda 9/10 70 lbs. 2nd. ABNN is proud to congratulate Team Arizona for finishing 3rd in all around team competition. Special thanks to Barry Boxing for forwarding the results.

Arizona Super welterweight Andrew Hernandez (19-5-1) fought Patrick Teixeira (27-1) at the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona where he dropped a unanimous decision to the victorious Brazilian fighter. At age 31, Hernandez is at the crossroad of his career and he must take a hard look at his future in boxing; we wish him and his family the best…. Arizona’s Paul “Ziggy” Romero (7-1-1) lost to undefeated Adam Lopez (8-0) in a highly contested 6 round super bantamweight bout held in Bakersfield, California on the Victor Ortiz card 7/30. Romero rallied late in the 6 rounder to make it close; but, judges saw Lopez winning by a majority decision.

Romero’s gritty performance has earned him a tentative future fight in California according to a spokesperson for the fighter. Romero plans to continue booking fights outside of Arizona, where the money seems to be greener. We wish him the best!

Main Event: Former world champion Ortiz (36-2-25 knockouts) won his headline bout via knockout over Saul Corral (25-10-16 knockouts) and the win could give him a legitimate chance to challenge and contend in the welterweight division. His career was thought to be dead; but, perhaps he will find glory again as did aging Erik “El Terrible” Morales when he upset a much younger and bigger Pablo Cesar Cano in 2011to win the vacant WBC world super lightweight title……

Boxing Note: Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Bennett and I recently chatted about an issue that was raised in our last column. Promoter Sterling McPherson and matchmaker Peter McKinn accused Mr. Bennett of “hindering” their June 7 Las Vegas show at the Westgate Hotel and Casino. Both men thought the director wasn’t flexible enough to allow 2-3 “qualified” fights on the card and his decision to do so made it impossible to present a full card; so, they were forced, in their opinion, to introduce three bouts for the evening including the comeback fight of Hector Camacho Jr. The shortened program was graded sloppy by a number of fans solicited for their opinion. That is an understatement.

The former marine officer read their complaint in my column and didn’t want to comment or elaborate on the matter officially; but, did say that he “bent over backwards” to sanction the show and felt it wouldn’t serve any useful purpose to comment any further.

I thought in light of statements made by McPherson and McKinn, ABNN should offer Mr. Bennett a chance to respond and we did. Promoter McPherson told me he hopes to produce more shows at the Westgate Hotel and the veteran businessman (McPherson) plans to bring shows to Arizona, also. I understand and respect Mr. Bennett’s desire to protect and defend his office and position.

NVBHOF: The honors keep coming. Six times World Boxing Champion Michael “Manitas De Piedra” Carbajal will be inducted into Nevada’s Boxing Hall of Fame on August 12th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Michael, son of Manuel and Mary Carbajal, epitomized as a youth what it took to become a world champion. His parents knew they were growing a special athlete because Michael was a dedicated, determined young man who never lost sight of his goal to become a world champion. He maintained that fire and intensity until his finished his career with a dramatic TKO victory over Jorge Arce to win the WBO World Light Flyweight title in Tijuana Baja California Mexico, June 31, 1999.

Showtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein (IBF Hall of Fame) will present introduce the Phoenix native at the induction ceremony at Caesars on August 12. Bernstein, a very polished speaker, is well aware of Michael’s extraordinary boxing resume and his tribute and introduction promises to be a highlight of the Induction Ceremony. Fans who want to attend can call 702-368-2463 for ticket and event information.

Other boxer inductees in the 2017 H.O.F. class include Thomas, Hearns, Michael and Leon Spinks, Erik Morales, Lucia Rijker, Richie Sandoval, Salvador Sanchez (deceased)l and the late Ken Norton. Chosen in the non-boxer category were referee Davey Pearl, public relations specialist Debbie Munch (deceased), Promoter Mel Greb (deceased), trainer/cut man Rafael Garcia and Nevada Athletic Commission Chair Dr. Elias Ghanem (deceased).
More Stuff: Arizona Heavyweight Malcolm Tann (24-5-13 knockouts) celebrates his 39th birthday on August 20th and hopes to return to winning when he faces his To Be Determined ring foe in Fort Walton Beach Florida on November 18. Tann dropped out of boxing for 9 years until his return to the ring last year. Since his comeback began, Tann is 1-1 and his 4th round KO loss to Sergey Kuzmin (11-0-9 knockouts) earlier this year to the European Heavyweight champion is certainly a determent to his dream of becoming a contender, again. During the bout, the 30 year old Kuzmin exposed Tann as a fighter with a porous defense. As a result, Tann was knocked down several times….Phoenix super lightweight Alfredo Escarcega Jr. is now 3-0 after scoring a majority decision win over Tucson’s Rodolfo Gamez (1-4) on Saturday July 29 at Casino Del Sol in Gamez’s hometown. …..Lightweight David Courtney is telling associates he wants to continue fighting after his two broken jaws, suffered in last fight, heal. His dentist and concerned friends are trying to talk him out of his dangerous notion….The next public Arizona Boxing meeting will commence at 10:00 AM on August 23 at 1110 West Washington in Phoenix on the second floor. Word is the Blue Ribbon committee working on presenting possible amendments to current regulations governing boxing & MMA has presented their suggestions to the commission and is now waiting for comment from the three member board. Commissioner Joe Pennington has suggested boxing events include 2 doctors instead of the 1 now required. …ABNN is hoping the issue of baseline concussion testing is addressed in the soon to be released report. It is a shame that professional boxers have waited so long for the commission and Arizona State Legislature to address the rising number of brain trauma injuries in the sport. It is time to act!

Smoker: A special thank you to Madison Boxing Coach and amateur promoter Ricky “Ricardo” Rodriguez for presenting a trophy to Arizona Boxing News & Notes for our contribution to boxing. I didn’t weep or blush when I accepted the trophy; but, the accolade is greatly appreciated. Coach Rodriguez made the presentation at the conclusion of his smoker, held at his gym at Hatcher & Central in Phoenix. The event started at 4 PM on Saturday July 22 and the winner of the best bout was awarded to Kevin Santana (Martillo Boxing) and Team Trophy honors went to 12th Avenue Boxing, a rising star in the Arizona Boxing Community.

In addition to Santana, 13 other 1st place finishers were given trophies to commemorate their winning. Second place recipients were awarded medallions. Here is the complete list of first place finishers: Kevin Santana (Martillo Boxing), Anthony Hernandez (J&C Boxing), Fernando Lujan (Salvation Army), Slyestra Inzunza (12th Avenue Boxing), Alezet (Unattached), Othan Garcia (Arizona FC), Manuel Vasquez (MCS Boxing), Alejandro Gomez (Rodriguez Boxing), Mitchell Allen ( IronGloves), Jessie Bermudez (Martillo Boxing), Andre Rodriguez (Hammer Boxing), Juan Mendoza Vega (Unattached), Alejandro Martinez (Hammer Boxing).

In attendance to watch the action were young professional boxers Ryan Riddell (6-0) and Jesus Ibarra (1-0) and amateur standout Jesus Ramos Jr. Ramos traveled from Casa Grande Arizona; but, was unable to find a match.

The next USA Boxing Arizona sanctioned smoker is on tap for 10/07 at Central Boxing in Phoenix with first bout commencing at 12:30 PM. Call Tom Garcia at 602-481-0689 for more details.
More News Bits & Pieces: Middleweight Jermell Charlo (26-0-20 knockouts) scored a 4th round knockout over Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5-2-16 knockouts) in their 7/29 bout at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. It was (in my opinion) a fight that should have been halted before the opening bell chimed. Heiland injured a leg during his preparation for the Charlo fight and was noticeably limping through the brief one sided battle. The New York Athletic commission knew about the injury and gave the Green light for the fight; shame on them. Charlo Challenged GGG after his KO victory and ABNN would like to remind him that GGG will be fighting Charlo with two able legs if he triumphs over Canelo, September 16 at T Mobile Arena. … inside source told ABNN that Bantamweight Alexis Zazueta has worked out a deal to be released from his contract with manager Cameron Dunkin……Ireland’s Katie Taylor is quite a fighter…….Until Next Time!

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

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