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Arizona Boxing News & Notes with Don Smith: Benavidez Return, Box Fan Expo & Iron Boy Update


PhilBoxing.com



Jose Benavidez wins in comeback fight.

Boxing Fans, on 1/31/18, at my own expense, I boarded a United Airlines commercial plane in Phoenix (Sky Harbor International Airport) and headed to Corpus Christi, Texas to cover 2 world boxing championships and an undercard that featured the return of Phoenix welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. who is lucky to be alive after a bizarre shoot incident in 2016 that resulted in the severing of an artery in his right leg. He doesn’t talk about the shooting only to mention the severity of it and his dedication to become a world champion, again.


At the Weigh-in and final Press conference in Texas, Benavidez a former super lightweight world champion showed pictures of his wound to reporters he trusted and told ABNN and several journalists that his surgeon doubted if he would ever walk normally again and returning to boxing would be virtually impossible. The prognosis hit him hard: but, his dad (Jose Sr.) didn’t raise a quitter.

In my Opinion, Benavidez literally stole the show at the press conference when he was invited to the stage and proudly showed off his six pack and ripped body. It was like Lazarus rising from the dead.

What a remarkable recovery! I watched him in an awkward sparring session last year in Las Vegas and he struggled. Jose was overweight and walked with a noticeable limp. After watching him in his short and disappointing workout, I had to fight back tears. I first met Jose when he was 9 years old boxing in local smokers. His brother David (4 years younger) wasn’t boxing at the time. Both boys were kids and very respectful and it was Jose who looked out for his little brother. When Jose was shot’; it was David who rushed to the hospital and watched over his older brother until he knew his older brother was going to recover. David was at the fight in Corpus Christi and I recorded an interview that will appear in the next column.

Time To Start The Dream Again: Jose’s goal is to win a world championship in the Welterweight division. One of the chief obstacles in his way is Terrence Crawford, reigning super lightweight champion who is vacating the division and scheduled to fight WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn at New York’s Madison Square Garden (4/14) for the personable Australian’s world title. ESPN & ESPN Deportes will carry the bout and other matches on the card.

Benavidez and Crawford have a bitter history between them. Benavidez claims the super lightweight champion ducked him 2 times when both pugilists were fighting in the highly competitive super lightweight division. You can catch their admiration for each other on You Tube.

The Meeting: When Jose Jr. finished his weigh-in on Friday 2/2, Crawford was waiting for him at the bottom of the steps when the 25 year old Arizona fighter exited the stage. Jose told me he wondered why the 30 year old Crawford was there. After all, it was Benavidez’s time to shine. He had rehabbed for more than a year and seeing Crawford greet at him with a manufactured fruit of the loom type of smile was upsetting, unsettling and disrespectful in the opinion of Benavidez.

By now the fighters were facing each other within a nose length of each other. Crawford warned Benavidez that he had better take care of his fight before he couldn’t fight; suggesting the 4 time champion would fight Benavidez before his confrontation with Matthew Strode on Saturday night. Crawford offered to take the dispute outside to which Benavidez countered: “let’s do it here” in front of the cameras that were beginning to multiply and circle the two angry fighters. Some members of the media rushed to the scene thinking the incident would escalate to the point that punches would fly.

Once again, Crawford reiterated his terse edict “you better take care of your fight before you can’t fight”. Jose’s Dad (Jose SR,) told the talented champion: “you got 4 belts so why are you provoking Jose” or words to that effect; the audio wasn’t very clear.

Jose Valenzuela, a fighter signed with the Benavidez team, didn’t help matters by looking at Crawford and describing him as easy work for his friend, Jose Benavidez. He repeated the phrase three times. The tension continued to build like a heavy early morning fog rolling in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Jose’s dad/trainer added to the fireworks by telling Crawford: “you got 4 belts, why are you starting trouble”. By now, dad was on a roll. He attacked Crawford character by telling the fighter he wasn’t a PPV attraction and he didn’t have a following amongst Mexican boxing fans. Crawford threw out a “you suck” comment that infuriated the younger fighter known for his well tattooed left arm and combative spirit.

The Paid Fight: On Saturday night, Jose scored an 8th round TKO victory over Matthew Strode (24-6) to start his ring comeback. He was a bit rusty and was warned about a couple of low blows; but a barrage of blows by the focused pugilist ended the bout at the 2:21 mark of the 8th and final stanza. I walked over to Crawford who was sitting in the VIP section and asked him about Benavidez’s performance and after laughing loudly he replied “did you see the fight”...pause; I asked him again and same response, a laugh followed by the same line; “did you see the fight?

Despite caustic remarks from a cynical Terrence Crawford, Team Benavidez was encouraged by their fighter’s performance and given the hell the young man has been through, I can see why. However, I hope he has 3-4 fights before he challenges someone with the pedigree of Crawford. Attorney and co-manager David Garcia is thinking one more fight and then challenge Crawford. Perhaps a good night’s sleep might temper David’s hasty decision.

In the main event, WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez (37-0) dominated a shorter (5 inches) and less experienced Habib Ahmed ((25-1-1) in a bout that was stopped after 2 minutes , 31 seconds into the 6th round when Ahmed’s corner wisely threw in the towel. Ramirez is very smooth; but it took a while for the much taller Ramirez to adjust to Ahmed’s constant movement before the champion was able to cut off the ring and begin punishing the African fighter.

In the Co-main, Filipino native Jerwin Ancajas lived up to his impressive press clippings as he dominated young Israel Gonzales throughout a bout that was halted in the 10th round at the 1:50 mark. Gonzales went down in the first round, got up and tried his best to get into a rhythm and gain some momentum; but, the reigning IBF 115 lb. titlist turned in a dominant and dazzling performance that kept the 21 year old Mexican fighter befuddled.
Ancajas is co-promoted by boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and don’t be surprised if the boxing maestro and his pupil fight on an upcoming card; perhaps Madison Square Garden on April 14th; coincidentally a Top Rank Card featuring Terrence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn for Horn’s WBO welterweight title. Just a hunch! The southpaw from the Philippines is the real deal and his ability to double up punches is very impressive. Gonzalez is a good fighter but he needs more seasoning before he meets Ancajas again Top Rank has a real winner in Ancajas.

In the opening bout, newcomer David Kaminsky (1-0) grunted his way past a durable but awkward Rafael Munoz (1-3-1) in a 4 round fight that should have been a snooze for the highly touted Israel born fighter. He entered his match with the reputation of a power puncher; instead he threw arm punches without much of a sting. His grunting is reminiscent of Serena Williams on the tennis court; very annoying!

Australian Super middleweight Rohan Murdock (22-1) apologized for his performance against Frank Filippone (24-7-1) although he ended his bout with the Virginian in the 4th round via TKO. The likeable Murdock described his effort to me as sloppy while holding 3 bottles of beer by the neck in the Holiday Inn lounge where we chatted. He is rumored to be mentioned as a possible opponent for WBO Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto Ramirez; a slight reach based on his Corpus Christi performance!

To his credit, 3 cheers for Murdock and his candid assessment of his performance; the young man looks like a body builder and he can punch. Diana Scott, from San Antonio Texas, was one of several women who found time to pose with the obliging Aussie. I think he has a future in the sport with the proper trainer.

I was very impressed with 17 year old super featherweight Gabriel Flores Jr. (6-0) who signed with Top Rank at age 16 ½. He will turn 18 in May which means he can fight anywhere after his next Birthday. He had no difficulty in delivering a 1st round TKO victory over Alex Solorio (4-3) from Mexico. I talked to Flores briefly after the fight and he is refreshingly humble for a young man still attending high school. The kid has speed, poise and power; write his name down and place an asterisk by it.
Top Rank protégé Teofimo Lopez (8-0-6 knockouts) survived 2-3 head butts from forward leaning Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-15) to earn a unanimous decision. Sanchez took the bout on short notice and Lopez may have to curtail his boxing until April. He was planning a March bout but healing takes time. Lopez had his opponent in trouble every round but couldn’t put him away which might mean became gun shy after the first head knock from Sanchez.

After the fight, the loquacious Lopez and his dad adjourned to the lobby of the Holiday Inn where they mingled with fans and posed for photos with former world boxing champion Timothy Bradley, now a commentator with ESPN Television. Bradley stopped in the Holiday Inn lobby nd was overheard telling several young fighters that developing a strong work ethic was very important in the success of a fighter. He told them that without a strong work ethic; success if difficult to achieve if not impossible.

The best knockout of the evening was delivered by # 1 ranked WBO Super Middleweight Title contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart ((23-1 – 19 knockouts). Hart made quick work of Ghana’s Thomas Awimbono with a right uppercut followed by a right left combination. It was a classic knockout that gives the challenger from Philly the right to demand a rematch with Gilberto Ramirez.

In summation; everyone that was expected to win and although some of the matches weren’t very competitive ; it was great to watch some of the young fighters on the card. Unfortunately, we rarely seem on PPV shows.

Alvarez vs. Golovkin: Fans wanting to know the cost of the Alvarez vs. Golovkin HBO PPV rematch telecast on May 5 will have to wait while Golden Boy Promotions irons out details addressing ticket cost, venue location and PPV price. It would be naïve for boxing fans to think that the announcement of the event would include everything consumers need to know; the boxing industry isn’t on a level with the NFL, NBA or MLB.

The delay to release pertinent information on the event leaves the public in limbo as to what option they will exercise to watch the May 5 show. BoxRec lists the date; but, venue location, ticket prices, etc. remain unknown according to info acquired from a recent brief call to GBP. And the delay affects the ability of the media to report the story promptly and alert readers so they can budget their entertainment dollars arrange personal schedules.

We can report that both Twin Peaks establishments (Phoenix & Scottsdale) will show the event and we have confirmation that Chicas Cabaret (on McDowell Road in Phoenix) will also offer the PPV boxing event to their patrons. At the adult Cabaret there will be no cover charge for customers who enter the establishment before 7 PM; then the club will collect a $11.00 per person at the entrance. Band Aids, another adult entertainment club, located in Phoenix on 7th Street, also plans to offer the HBO PPV event to its’ patrons; management is still working on details.

It is premature to speculate on how many sports bars, movie theatres, etc. in Arizona will sign up as a vendor to show the PPV event; but, ABNN will make a concerted effort to obtain a “show” list and pass it on to our readers. Most sports bars charge a cover or require a minimum spend; a few request both.

According to published reports; there will no contract clause calling for a third bout between the 2 warriors. When ABNN was in Corpus Christi; WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez told members of the press that he would love to face Gennady Golovkin at 168 lbs. if the fighter from Kazakhstan is able to defeat Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on May 5. Interesting, Ramirez was an once or 2 overweight at the weigh-in and only hit the mark after dropping his drawers while shielded by the Mexican flag. His action gave patriotism a new meaning. I thought I heard two women make a bid when he dropped his shorts. Expect additional bout news within the week. Please know I was kidding about the salacious bids.

Amateur Boxing News: Arizona amateur boxing coach Thomas Valerio took daughter Aleze Valerio and Nephew Esau Valerio to the recently concluded National Silver Gloves Tournament (Independence, Kansas) where they competed and Aleze won Silver in the 11-12 year old 75 lb. junior division while Esau was awarded Gold in the 9-10 year 85 lb. weight division.

Thomas and his two fighters shared a plane ride with your truly to Houston where he changed planes and headed for Kansas and I boarded another aircraft to complete my journey to Corpus Christi to cover the 2/3 Top Rank show. ABNN was hoping to print a complete list of all Arizona boxers who medaled in the Silver Gloves Tournament; but Thomas Valerio was the only attending coach to send results. Once again, our email address is: dswriter1928@gamil.com. for coaches and anyone who wants to share boxing news with our readers. If you don’t, shame on you; just kidding!

This year’s annual Golden Gloves Tournament will be held at Sonny’s Gym in Goodyear Arizona on 2/24-2/25 and coincidentally 2/24 is the same night local boxing favorites Carlos Castro and Alexis Santiago square-off to lay claim to the vacant WBC USNBC Super Bantamweight Crown on the Iron Boy 43 card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix....... Madison Boxing in Phoenix is hosting a smoker on Saturday 2/17 at 9402 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix; call Ricky Ricardo at 602-434-7770 for further details. First bout commences at 2 p.m. and it is important to spread the word; so, amateur boxing in Arizona can flourish.

Pro Boxing Notes: ABO 140 lb. champion Abel Ramos (Arizona City, Arizona) has relinquished his title after moving up to the 147 lb. weight division. Abel won the minor title in 2016 by defeating Juan Jesus Rivera at the Legends Event Center in Phoenix. Abel(18-2-2) is fighting on the Iron Boy 43 card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on 2/24 vs. Ulisses Jimenez. Tickets to the upcoming event are selling quicker than it takes to eat a White Castle burger after running a marathon; that’s quick....Roy Jones Jr. (66-9-47 knockouts) at age 49 ended his long and illustrious tenure in the ring with a unanimous decision victory over 30 year old Scott Sigmon (30-12-1-16 knockouts) in Jones’ hometown of Pensacola Florida on 2/8. There was speculation that the event, broadcast on UFC’s Streamlining service, would be the first of a 4 fight farewell tour; but, Jones made it clear that his boxing career is over and it is a decision the legendary champion should have made 10 years ago. We wish him continued success as a promoter... ....At age 39, Manny Pacquiao is planning 2 more fights according a boxing insider who didn’t want his/her name listed as a source. No idea on whom Top Rank (Manny’s promoter) will match the fighting senator with if he chooses to continue his career......good to see that Top Rank H.O.F matchmaker Bruce Trampler has recovered from a serious health scare. We talked briefly in Corpus Christi, Texas and the colorful boxing figure said he is on the mend and feeling much better. His doctor has him on a special diet and it isn’t something he would wish on his worst enemy; or maybe he would....several young local fighters, managed by friends and/or relatives, need to rethink their decision before they find themselves at a Wendy’s drive thru window handing out hamburgers...If Phoenix middleweight Andrew Hernandez (19-8-1) loses to James McGirt (24-2-1) at the Iron Boy 43 show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on 2/24, he might think about walking away from the sport, he has dedicate his life to. The charismatic Andrew has lost his last 3 fights. Boxing is a tough road to hoe and there comes a time in every fighter’s life when they have to turn the page and start a new chapter in his life; good luck, Andrew!....Irish Canadian Janks Trotter (10-4-2-10 knockouts) is negotiating for a fight in Toronto after his tentative bout with Albert Onolunose (22-1-1-7 knockouts in Calgary, Alberta was cancelled....Corpus Christi news reporter Len Hayward (Corpus Christi Caller-Times) covered the Ramirez Title fight and admitted to me that the show was his first boxing assignment. I sat with him for 10 minutes and filled his head with fight facts only to have him disregard my information in his article. I did read his story and was amused to see that he listed boxer Jose Benavidez as Jesse Benavidez. After noticing the error, I thought about calling the newspaper and asking for Len Wayward; get it!

Volunteers Needed: The Arizona Golden Gloves Tournament has fallen on hard times in recent years. Attendance at the event has dropped considerably and we hope the promoter of the annual tourney find a way to pck the house this year.

ABNN encourages fans to spread the word on social media about the event and take time to volunteer at Sonny’s Gym in Goodyear during the two day amateur boxing show. Boxers and fans can call 623- 806-2421 or 602-602-702-7053 for more information on the tournament. It would be a boost for the GG program to present 30 bouts during the tournament and seat 250-300 fans each day; time to get busy and return the tourney to its’ glory days. Another bad year or two might end the Arizona tradition.

In contrast, Golden Gloves events in Chicago are vigorously supported by fans and corporate sponsors. I was in Chi-town recently and spent time with boxing coach Sam Colonna, a chief organizer for the upcoming 2018 Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament. We had an interesting chat about the Windy City’s GG effort.

The annual event is held at Cicero Stadium located in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Capacity of the venue is an estimated 3,000 and the 3 day registration commences on 2/17 and concludes on 2/19. Prelims are scheduled for 3/7, 8, 9, 10 followed by 3 days of quarterfinals on 3/15-16 &17. The tournament continues into March with the 3 day semifinals held on 3/22-23-24. The tournament finals are held on 3 days in April (4/12-13-14).

It should be noted that the annual tourney is open to fighters competing in the following divisions: Masters, Senior, Female, Open and Novice. There is an entry fee of $10.00 and according to the poster; fighters will receive a free T shirt after paying entry fee. All participants must have USA Boxing License and pass physical to enter. Call 773-510-1177 or 773-847-6241 for more information.

I talked to nurse/boxer Rosie Torres (Colonna Boxing) while visiting the Windy City and she hopes to win her division in the GG Tourney and turn professional in the near future. Rosie played a pivotal role in organizing a 20016 Christmas toy drive to benefit the young daughter of slain welterweight boxer Ed “Bad Boy” Brown who was gunned down near his home in Chicago, early morning on December 4, 2016 at age 25. His killer has yet to be apprehended and his identity remains a mystery to the Chicago Police Department according to sources contacted. At the time of his death, Brown possessed a record of 20-0 and according to boxing coach Hernandez (Garfield Park Boxing in Chicago) the boxing sensation was a promising prospect definitely on his way to earning a future world title shot; unfortunately, he will never get that chance nor will he attend her high school graduation. Ed Brown loved Chicago and the welterweight contender once a close ally that he would die in Chicago; sadly, his premonition came true.

Box Fan Expo: The 2018 Box Fan Expo returns to Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday May 5 between the hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. According to the Box Fan Expo website; more than 80 recognizable names from the world of boxing have been invited to this year’s Box Fan Expo. Due to personal obligations and schedules of invited guests, it is difficult to determine who will be available to attend. It is safe to believe that dozens of boxing heroes will be at the festive and prestigious event. Interested fans can click on the expo website and catch a video glimpse of past guests attending the annual event. The video is accompanied by interviews with past guests.

Advance tickets are priced at $30.00 for adults and that offer may end without notice. If you miss the early bird special; be prepared to pay the regular price of $40.00. If math isn’t your forte, that’s $10.00 more than the cost of the advance ducat.

Activities held at the event will include autograph sessions, photo sessions, and weigh-in sessions and yes there will be ring girls in attendance. Children under 6 years of age are admitted free with a ticketed adult. For further information; go to the Box Fan Expo website: www.BoxFanExpo.com and don’t forget the early bird price special. ABNN is contemplating attending the event on May 5; same day of the HBO PPV Canelo/GGG rumble. Organizers of the Expo know that having the fight in Vegas would make their marketing job a lot easier.

Mail Bag: Tomas Sanchez wants to know if ABNN was able to ascertain biographical info on the three appointed members serving on the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission. Answer: no sir, the PIO at the commission sent me info (via link) that I already knew; their names and length of service and calendar date of appointment and term expiration date.

Caroline Oppleman (Arizona Gaming Department) suggested via email that I ask members of the commission about their background at the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday 2/21 at 10 a.m. Problem with that suggestion is two-fold. (1)The information requested should be accessible on the commission website. (2) It isn’t often that all three commissioners attend every meeting in person and based on my experience, they seem hesitant to answer questions of a personal nature.

In their defense, they maintain busy schedules and family relationships; so, lacking the time to work up a 3-4 paragraph sized bio and post it on Arizona Boxing/MMA website is understandable; not really!

Tucson Southwest: On 2/3, Tucson Southwest Boxing hosted a one day smoker that featured 26 amateur bouts. At the conclusion of the show, the best bout trophies were awarded to *Devon Benedict (Mendoza Boxing) and Mark Ochoa (TSW Boxing) for their performances in bout # 24. Here is the complete list of winners forwarded to ABNN by Richard Soto, Arizona’s Chief of Officials. We encourage anyone with boxing news to forward it to our email address for print consideration. Winners: Jacob Cireol (no club listed) 65 lbs. - Ronald Lopez (Neutral Corner) 150 lbs. - Myron Bridges (New Corner) 132 lbs. - Gavin Lopez (no club listed) 85 lbs.- Manuel Gonzalez (No Flinch Boxing) 60 lbs.- Juan Gomez (Martillo’s Boxing) 105 lbs.- Mabel Armenta (TSW Boxing) 110 lbs.- Jacob Olvera (AZ Boxing Club) 58 lbs. – Kevin Santana (Martillo’s Boxing) 70 lbs. – Joaquin Garcia (12th Avenue Boxing) 75lbs. – Mikeon Carranza (no club listed) 90 lbs. – Jose Escarcega (Martillo’s Boxing) 95 lbs. – Adrian Leon (no club listed) 100 lbs. – Esteban Inzuenza (FF-1 Boxing) 100 lbs. - Maximus (no club listed) 115 lbs. – Andre Lara (no club listed) 125 lbs. – Miguel Moreno (12th Avenue Boxing) 126 lbs. – Daniel Lopez (Boxing INC East) 153 lbs. – Christian Quintana (no club listed) 145 lbs. – Jose Esquivel (no club listed) 170 lbs. – Anthony Santana (Martillo’s Boxing) 80 lbs. – Marco Tautimez (TSW Boxing) 108 lbs. – Adan Lopez (Mendoza Boxing) 165 lbs. - *Devon Benedict (Mendoza Boxing) 170 lbs. – Tomozolli Josh (no club listed SHVY – Alejandro Martinez (no club listed) 135 lbs. * Devon Benedict won two trophies.

Garcia vs. Rios Schedule: ABNN is happy to announce that we have received credential approval and will cover the Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios fight on Saturday, February 17th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. For fans not able to make the trek to watch it live; pop open a can of Hire’s Root Beer and watch the PBC on Showtime broadcast from your couch or at your favorite sports bar. Arizona boxing fans, in particular, should be motivated to watch because Native Phoenician David Benavidez is on the card. Other promoters involved in the show include Mayweather and Sampson Promotions; the same trio that handles the first battle.

It is our editorial policy to post the fight schedule of major shows in our column; so our readers can either attend or watch events open to the public and available to cable subscribers, Network viewers and internet customers around the world. ABNN will arrive in Las Vegas on 2/15 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we will miss part of the pre-fight activities due to budget considerations. Staying in Las Vegas for several days is quite expensive due to a special hotel tax used to pay for their new NFL stadium, home of the incoming Las Vegas Raiders.

Here is the schedule forwarded to us by Magna Media, official distributor of credentials for the event. Fighter Media Workout: open to the public on Wednesday 2/14 at the Mandalay Bay Casino floor, in front of House of Blues Restaurant & Bar. 1:00 p.m. - Ray Robinson, 1:20 p.m. – Ronald Gavril, - 1:40 p.m. – Yordenis Ugas. – 2:00 p.m. – Brandon Rios, - 2:20 p.m. – David Benavidez, - 2:40 p.m. – Danny Garcia Final Press Conference: to be held at 1 p.m. 2/15 at the Rhythm & Riffs lounge after a noon media lunch in the media center. The lounge is located at 3950 S. Las Vegas, Nevada. Official Weigh-in: Friday 2/16, open to the public and held in the Rhythm & Riffs Lounge commencing beginning at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. The Main Event pits Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios and the Co-Main features the highly anticipated rematch between WBC world Super Middleweight Champion David Benavidez (19-0-17 knockouts) from Arizona and rugged challenger Ronald Gavril(18-2-13 knockouts) from Romania. In a special title elimination bout, “the new” Ray Robinson (24-2-12 knockouts) takes on Cuban sensation Yordenis Ugas 20-3-9 knockouts. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster outlets and at the Mandalay Bay Center Box-Office.

Iron Boy 43: Our sources tell us all the premium seats for the Castro vs. Santiago WBC USNBC title fight at the Celebrity Theatre have been sold and the remaining seats are in the general admission sections priced at $25.00. I bought a pair of $40.00 tickets and gave them to a Doctor friend who gave them back because he will be out of town on 2/24. I mentioned my dilemma to 2 boxing associates and I received a dozen offers to buy the tickets after word spread that I had 2 premium seats. Of course someone called asking if he could get them freeHere is the latest update of the 2/24 card with a possible mystery match to be added. Main Event: Carlos Castro (19-0) vs. Alexis Santiago (21-5-1) 10 rounds to fill vacant WBC USNBC Super Bantamweight Title – Under Card: Fidel Hernandez (17-4) vs. Cesar Barraza (3-0-1) 6 rounds 177 lbs. – Francisco de Vaca (17-0) vs. Christians Esquivel (30-12-1) 10 rounds 125 lbs. – Albert Ramos (18-2) vs. Ulises Jimenez (23-22—1) 8 rounds 147 lbs. – Joseph Greer Jr. (15-1-1) vs. TBA 8 rounds 122 lbs. – Andrew Hernandez (19-8-1) vs. James McGirt (26-3-1) 8 rounds 161 lbs. – Waldo Cortez Acosta (1-1) vs. Damien Stone (debut) 4 rounds Heavyweights – Jesus Ibarra (3-0) vs. David Courtney (1-6) 4 rounds 122 lbs. Eduardo Ayala (1-0) vs. Lenny Correra (debut) 4 rounds 168 lbs. – Christian Sullivan (debut) vs. Mark Garcia (1-0) 4 rounds 118 lbs. – Andre Servin (5-0-1) vs. TBA 4 rounds 112 lbs. – Edgar Ortiz (5-1-1) vs. TBA 4 rounds 118 lbs.

Doors at the Theatre will open at 5 p.m. and 1st fight commences at 6 p.m. Available tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at the Celebrity Theatre Box-office. And my extra pair of tickets is off the market.

Short Jabs: JO State Championship has a set date of 5/5 but event is still looking for a location; call Richard (602- 702-7053if you know of a place to hold the event. Also mark 11/09-10-11/18 on your calendar; dates for the 43 rd annual Gene Lewis Invitational ...call Joshua Benjamin at 480-834-1216 for more information...Until Next Time


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


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