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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Benavidez News, Verdict Official, MMA #7 & More


Boxing Fans, Super middleweight Phenom David Benavidez (18-0-17 knockouts) and his management team were hoping to face Antony Dirrell on the August 26th ShowTime Mayweather/McGregor PPV card at T Mobile Arena in Vegas; instead, the 20 year old Arizonian will fight 31 year old Romanian Ronald Gavril (18-1-14 knockouts) on Friday, September 8 for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Title.

The WBC settled for the little known Romanian when Dirrell suffered an undisclosed injury and top echelon super middleweights Avri Yildirin, Callum Smith Chris Eubanks Jr were also unavailable due to their decision to compete in the upcoming World Boxing Super Series. BoxRec lists the Benavidez/Gavril bout for Los Angeles; but, we are told the venue and location is undecided and Las Vegas is still in the mix.

ABNN had a conversation with a member of Team Benavidez three days before the Dirrell injury was announced and the spokesperson disclosed an attempt for David to be on the ShowTime PPV Mayweather/McGregor 8/26 card. On Saturday, August 5, David?s father (Jose Sr.) told us it won?t happen which could mean a smaller check for young David who doesn?t turn 21 until December.

Gavril is managed by former world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and promoted by Mayweather promotions. He now resides in Las Vegas Nevada and is currently the # 8 ranked super middleweight in the world and has won his last 7 fights.
The knock on Gavril is his failure to face ?reputable? opponents and skeptical critics point to his unexpected loss to journeyman Elvin Ayala, 2 years ago as proof that the NABF champion doesn?t deserve a title shot. He has recorded 14 knockouts; but, one of his stops was against Arizona?s Roberto Young whose record of 5-13-2 is indicative of the talent he has faced.

Despite a suspect record, the soft spoken Benavidez isn?t buying the idea that beating Gavril is an automatic win and will be physically fit and mentally ready for the best from his upset minded foe. If David wins, he will be the third fighter born in Arizona to win a world title. Six time world champion Michael Carbajal and two time world champion Luis Espinoza currently hold that distinction. David would like to join that elite small circle and on September 8, he has a chance!

I have known Jose Sr. and his two boxing sons for more than a decade so it was only natural to ask the father and boxing mentor about Jose Jr who was seriously wounded (shot) in phoenix, August 21 of 2016. According to a cautious speaking dad, junior is working out and expected to resume his career by possibly the end of this year. It was feared that the Top Rank fighter would never fight again and circulated rumors and a lack of substantiated information fueled wild speculation. ABNN is elated that the 25 year old Benavidez is healthy and working on a comeback; good luck, Jose Jr and of course David.

ABNN will continue to monitor the Gavril/Benavidez title bout and report any updates.

UCFC: I was invited to watch the Ultimate Combat Fighting Challenge show at the Elks Lodge Event Center in Glendale, Arizona on August 5; my role as spectator changed after I got there.

The invitation came from the trainer of 14 year old UCFC contestant Adam Hines who preferred to not mention his name because he believes recognizing the fighter comes first; therefore ABNN will honor his wish.

Adam is a Native American combatant who resides on the Yavapai-Apache reservation in Camp Verde Arizona. His mother (Dawn Beauty) is a single parent employed at the Camp Verde Casino. She is very supportive of her son?s athletic endeavors and was on hand to cheer for Adam who took up the sport three years ago. Since his participation in the sport, the teenager has compiled a record of 10-11. His mom told me Adam is a high school student who maintains good grades, glad to hear.
Adam, representing Golden Cobra Fitness, fought Robert Romero (4-4) in a bout scheduled for 5 -2 minute rounds. At the end of 5, judges ruled that Romero ((Cyclone MMA) and Hines should fight a 6th round to determine the winner. I had Adam ahead at the end of the 5th; however, I was working his corner; so I may have been biased. My new role came to fruition when his regular corner man (brother) stayed home in Camp Verde.
Romero, according to 1 World Muay Thai Alliance official, won the bout by landing more blows in the 6th and decisive round. Adam?s trainer complained to Clement Vierra, President, WMTA, about the verdict; but to no avail. The trainer was still miffed when he wolfed down 2 Sonoran Hot Dogs at a nearby restaurant after the fight. His defense of Adam, who has several titles under his belt, was honorable.

After the show ended, a fight broke out in the parking lot and one man, drunker than a three eyed squirrel, was knocked down by a bully causing him to slam his head on the concrete surface, ouch! He lay listless for a while and his condition prompted several witnesses to call the police. Surprisingly, he got up and with the assistance of acquaintances was placed in a car and the party took off. I was told the troublemakers were from Camp Verde and after a few alcoholic beverages they went ballistic. The police never came, sound familiar. The incident didn?t diminish the quality of the show and here are the results: Trinity Lindsay (AZ Top Team) 2-1 defeated Mia Jara Fight Ready 0-1?Ian Clark Cyclone MMA (1-1) defeated Phoenix Trinidad SSK Martial Arts (0-1)-Clemente Carranza (Fight Ready) 1-0 defeated Joseph Felix (Independent 0-1)-Carlos Santinillo (Jab Fitness) 1-0 defeated Christian Davis (Independent) 2-1 Walkover- Terrell Moore (One on One Boxing) 1-0 defeated Nick Padilla (Independent) 0-3- Alex Burton SSK Martial Arts (1-0) defeated Jose Hernandez (AZ Top Team) Walkover-Donovan Cross (Independent) 4-0 defeated Pancho Medina Cobra (1-1)-Antonio Ruiz (Kickers MMA) 3-1 defeated Danny Torrez (AZ Top Team) 3-5 walkover- Syria Raygoza (Cobra) 2-1 defeated Marina Munoz (UFC Gym) 3-5 walkover-Kahayree Davis (AZ Top Team) 7-3 defeated Eric Harris (Fight Ready) 2-1-Harry Parrish (Legion MMA) 7-2 defeated Early Parker (Independent) 0-3-Benzik Gashi (Kickers MMA) 4-0 defeated Daniel Rodriguez (Independent) 2-1-Roberet Romero (Cyclone MMA) 4-4 defeated Adam Hines (Golden Cobra) 10-11 in a bout that went one extra round to determine winner of 120 lb. title-Alex Suarez (Independent) 4-0 defeated Damian Carrasco (Unattached) for 175 lb. title bout. Carrasco was a substitute-Cody French (legion MMA) 12-5 defeated Anthony Gill (Mycah?s Boxing) 6-4 for 140 lb. title.

The next Ultimate Combat Challenge is scheduled for Saturday August 29, at the Empire Event Center, 5030 W. McDowell Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets: $25-$30-$40-$50?children 10 and under are admitted free. For more information, dial 480-599-7661. Buying tickets in advance saves money.

MMA 7: Iron Boy Promotions will hold its MMA 7 weigh-in event at the spacious and comfortable Twin Peaks sports bar & Grill, 22nd Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix on Friday August 11 at 4 PM. Twin Peaks has a second location in Scottsdale.

Owners Andrew & Carolyn Bayless are very accommodating hosts and patrons will be pleased with the friendly service and diverse food & drink choices. I frequent the establishment upon occasion and the waiting time for seating is minimal and the atmosphere is festive.

Holding the MMA weigh-in at Twin Peaks is a logical choice. The TP franchise televises UFC events and Mr. Bayless told me his two night spots will also show the McGregor/Mayweather PPV event on Saturday August 26. When I asked what fans will pay for the experience, he replied ?$10.00 at the door and a $25.00 minimum spend once inside. In comparison, a local AMC Theater is charging $45.00 per head and one Phoenix sports bar is asking #35.00 at the door plus requesting a $35.00 spend minimum.
The MMA 7 show will take place at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Saturday August 12th with the first fight commencing at 6PM; doors open at 5PM. Tickets are still available at the Celebrity box-office and online at Seat prices range from $30-55.00. Here a list of 9 scheduled professional and 6 amateur bouts, subject to change, of course. Pro Bouts: Randy Steinke vs. Frank Baca 145 lb. Class-Nolan Hyland vs. Gabriel Camacho 145 lb. weight class-Roman Salazar vs. Dumar Roa 142 lb. weight class- Daniel Peru vs. Brandon Trujillo 145 lb. weight class-Kevin Natividad vs. Fard Muhammad 135 lb. weight-Andres Ponce vs. Boostyare Nefarios 145 lb. weight-Jose Palencia vs. Joe Trevino 125 lb. weight-Junior Cortez vs. Falon Ring 135 lb. weight Amateur Bouts: John Nguyen vs. Anthony Chavez 125 lb. weight-Brendon Trujillo vs. Justin Abbott 145 lb. weight-Christian Natividad vs. Cody Davisworth 125 lb. Weight-Steve Coard vs. Cedric Katawamba 168 lb. weight- Alex Ventura vs. Zack Gomez 145 weight- Mike Owens-Matthew Lorefice 125 lb. Weight. The next Iron Boy boxing show is scheduled for September 2, 2017 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, good seats are still available at the box-office and online.

Special Meeting: The Arizona Boxing Commission held a special meeting on Thursday August 3 at 1 PM and I was able to attend. I won?t waste reader?s time going over every item on the agenda; but, it is worth reporting that Peltz Boxing Promotions submitted an application for a 2017 ?Individual? promoter?s license and the Pennsylvania based company also requested an approval for a boxing event to be held at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson Arizona. Both requests were approved after brief conversations with Mr. Peltz (via phone) and Ms. Michelle Rosado, aka ?Raging Babe? who attended the meeting in person.

Ms. Rosado introduced herself as Peltz?s ?right hand man? and she also acknowledged that her boss was her mentor for the last year and a half. I first met the energetic Ms. Rosado in Phoenix (2010-2011) when she was promoting shows at medium sized venues in the Phoenix & Mesa area.

To put it mildly, I?m not on her annual Christmas list probably because I gave one of her shows a failing grade and unfortunately she wasn?t mature enough, at the time, to realize that I was only doing my job. Professional journalists don?t take pleasure or pride in criticizing someone?s work; but, it comes within the sphere of journalism.

She was already seated when I entered the room where the meeting was held. The first words out of her mouth were ?do you remember me,? I told her yes and she wanted me to know that I wrote ?bad things? about her in the past. I replied that whatever I said wasn?t personal. She responded; but I didn?t hear what she said; however, I did hear Commissioner Fletcher say that he got all of his ?dirt? by reading my column. His tongue and cheek remark didn?t improve my standing with her. Ms. Rosado stayed for the entire meeting and as she left, passed out her business card to everyone but you know who. I found her attitude amusing and perplexing; oh well!

Mr. J Russell Peltz is a well-known and respected figure in the boxing industry and I recommend readers to go on the internet and read his fascinating story. He is a member of the I.B. F Hall of Fame and the recipient of numerous accolades for his work in boxing. He began his career as a sports writer in Philadelphia and promoted his first show at age 22.

I have no doubt that he and the ?Raging Babe? will produce and promote a memorable show at the Tucson Convention Center on Friday September 22. The undercard is still in the works but 2 scheduled title bouts for TCC were disclosed by Mr. Peltz at the meeting. Main Event: WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez 22-0-19 knockouts vs. challenger Genesis Servania 29-0-12 knockouts. Co-Main Event: WBO Super middleweight Champion Gilberto Ramirez 35-0-24 knockouts vs. challenger Jesse Hart 22-0-18 knockouts.

** I like both matchups and if you can?t make the trek to Tucson, watch the action on ESPN. I have a hunch, I will watching it 110 miles west of the venue somewhere in Phoenix.

Verdict Official: In a recent column I told readers that I sat in a Maricopa County Superior Court room (John Hannah, presiding judge)covering the trial (7/10-12/17) of defendant Danny Carbajal accused of engaging in fraudulent conduct with respect to Plaintiff, Carbajal?s 9th Street Gym, Inc. His estranged brother, 6 times world champion Michael Carbajal initiated the action.

ABNN announced that a jury of 9 peers unanimously decided that Danny Carbajal guilty of fraud and Judge Hannah ordered the removal of Daniel Carbajal (Defendant) as Director of Defendant, Carbajal?s 9th Street Gym, Inc. pursuant to A. R. S. 10-3810 in the best interest of the Plaintiff. The final judgment was subject to a re-consideration motion requested by the Defendant?s Attorney (Blackwell) and granted by Judge Hannah. It was a last gasp attempt by Danny Carbajal to stop his estranged brother Michael from reclaiming a gym bought and paid for by the sweat and blood he surrendered in the ring. Beating Manitas De Piedra isn?t easy; ask Jorge Arce and other notable ring foes that faced the boxing legend.

After careful review, its official, Danny Carbajal?s name is to be removed as Director of Plaintiff, Carbajal?s 9th Street Gym, Inc., effective 8/8/ 2017. Michael Carbajal and his supporters are very happy with the decision and plan big things for the gym. And, a special salute to heroine Laura Hall who worked day and night to save the facility and continue the hard fought Legacy of Michael Carbajal. **For the Champ the victory was long in coming and was as tough to achieve as any he won in the ring. It is a shame that the wheels of justice took so long to reach an obvious conclusion; Guilty! The rest of the story.

It is further ordered that judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiff (Carbajal?s 9th Street Gym) and against Defendant?s (Danny Carbajal) counterclaim s for declaratory relief and for indemnification.

It is further ordered that Plaintiff (9th Street Gym Inc.) shall have judgment against Defendant (Danny Carbajal) for Plaintiff?s (9th Street Gym Inc.) cost of incurred herein in the principal sum of $1,037,80, with interest thereon the rate of (5 %) per annum (representing the current prime rate plus one percent ) from the date of judgment until paid in full.

It is further ordered that no further matters remain pending and this judgment is entered pursuant to Rule 54 ? of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure; signed off by The Honorable John Hannah on 8/8/2017.

Short Jabs: The overhaul of the Arizona Boxing/MMA regulation is being readied for public scrutiny and comment. One local boxing corner man hears that the boxing commission is trying to make it mandatory that the corner stool be placed in the ring by a designated boxing inspector. He complains that the change would waste time and interfere with work in the corner between rounds. Anther complainer wonders why the commission didn?t solicit advice on changes from day 1. There are a number of boxers and trainers skeptical of the process adopted by the commission to improve the state of boxing.

I know of two suggested changes that may be approved. One suggestion is to give MMA referees the power to use instant replay if at the end of a bout something questionable occurs that may affect the outcome of the contest. In boxing referees already have the authority to use Instant Replay as a tool if needed? The other idea proposed is the use of 2 doctors instead of 1 at each boxing event; an idea suggested by Commissioner Joe Pennington.

According to the commission, the office of Arizona Secretary of State will announce the unveiling of the document and make it available to the public.

I would like to see working boxing journalists get early copies to give readers a heads up. I fear the office of the Secretary of State effort to inform the public may miss the appropriate audience. My suggestion seemed to fall on deaf ears when I made my request known to the commission. At least I was allowed to speak and maybe I was heard???.Until Next Time!

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

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