Posted by Don Smith on Jul 23, 2015
Boxer Gives Back, Valenzuela Ready & More

Boxer Gives Back, Valenzuela Ready & More

Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith:

Boxing Fans, Her life reads like a novella: abandoned by a father she never knew, Mikayla Nebel was raised by her mother who remarried and the union produced two daughters. Mikayla felt neglected and grew up alone.
When she reached 16, Mikayla sensed she needed to protect herself, so she took up boxing and eventually she would leave Columbus Ohio and travel to Las Vegas where she met former world Champion Roger Mayweather and began her quest to become a professional fighter.

Mikayla will make her Phoenix boxing debut on the Iron Boy XXIII card, Saturday July 25 at the Celebrity Theatre. Her current record is 1-6, but the fighter is ready to launch a winning phase of her boxing career.
Ms. Nebel plans to donate a portion of her purse to Paw Placement Animal Rescue, a charity very dear to her heart. Iron Boy Promotions will match her donation. Rescuing dogs is a passion of hers, especially Pit Bulls. Her commitment to the cause led her to volunteer time and energy at the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Iron Boy XXIII is promising 14 bouts featuring local and international fighters. Tickets are available at, the celebrity Box-Office or through one of the participating fighters. Prices range from $30.00-$65.00 and all seats offer a very good view of the fight. We suggest early arrival to secure choice parking spots. Doors open at 4:30 Pm.

Smoker Event: On Saturday August 1, Madison Boxing will host a smoker at the Greenfield Elementary School in South Phoenix. 1st bout begins at 2 PM. Ricky Ricardo aka Ricky Rodriguez is the organizer and we wish him well as he continues to battle his cancer. Mr. Rodriguez has been associated with Arizona boxing for more than 40 years as a boxer, trainer, manager and gym owner. His friends and associates are praying for him. If you go, stop and say hi to a man who has dedicated his life to boxing. Call 602-434-7770 for more details.

Boxing Noise: If you watched, you know Julio Chavez Jr. Looked sloppy and out of shape in his televised victory over Marcos Reyes….still no word on when Ray Beltran will fight again. Beltran is a class act and I wish him the best with his disciplinary hearing set for August 13 at 9 AM PST. As the boxing world knows, Mr. Beltran tested positive for a banned substance after his last fight. Ray denies the charge.

He is on temporary suspension until the matter is resolved. I wish him the best and the reported rumor that I said something negative about Ray and his situation is a lie. I have tried to reach the boxer by phone, but no reply….. Fight Hard Promotions is making big plans for their September 4 show at the Renaissance Hotel in Glendale, Arizona. According to a Fight Hard spokesperson, it has international consequences and will receive television coverage if the deal goes through….. Iron Boy is still preparing their July 25 card at the Celebrity Theater and the planned opponent for Edgar Brito (3-1-1) was scratched due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident; Brito is a class act and hopefully he will be on the card….Boxing coach Ray Mitchell (Wild West Boxing Promotions) confirmed his next show is scheduled for September 25 at the Clarion Hotel in Tucson. The card will present 6-8 bouts and 135 lb. Jesus Aravelo will be making his professional debut after a stellar amateur career. Coach Mitchell plans to use Ralph Velez Jr. again as his announcer for the September show. Ralph is working wrestling shows, also; busy man!

More Stuff: Arizona heavyweight Chad Davis won’t be fighting on the Roy Jones Card (August 15 at Ft. McDowell) according to a spokesperson for the fighter. He was scheduled to fight a 6’ 6” undefeated Russian prospect; wise move…popular Phoenix boxer Edward Ceballos (Fuentes Boxing) will make his professional debut on the Iron Boy XXIII card, July 25 at the Celebrity Theater. Edward is taking on an experienced professional foe…. Unbeaten Jose Herrera (2-0) is fighting on the Roy Jones Jr. We KO PA Resort Card on August 15. Jose trains at Fuentes Boxing Gym in Phoenix which has moved to 16th Street & Yale in Phoenix ….Bout Maker Boxing may have announcement prior to their August 29 in Phoenix at LA Princesa; we will keep the news light on just in case.

J & C Boxing: I dropped by J & C Boxing, off 28th Street and Thomas Road to ask the Hernandez Sisters (Leslie & Litzy) how they did in a recent California tournament and unfortunately they both lost and for Leslie it was her first loss and she wasn’t in a talkative move; so I talked to her younger sister who took her defeat in stride and said the two amateurs would be fighting in the Copper Gloves Tournament at the Arizona State Fair in October. Leslie thought she was robbed.

As I was about to abscond, I noticed super featherweight Cesar Valenzuela (10-4-1) and UFC fighter Henry Cejudo (9-0) working out. Henry won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics becoming the youngest American to do so and he is making a name for himself in UFC circles and is currently ranked # 5 in the world and there are hints that the 28 year old Cejudo may fight # 2 ranked Joseph Benavidez before the end of 2015. He trains at J & C Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Henry endorses the gym wholeheartedly and while I was there within earshot of the Gold Medalist, he was trying to sell a membership to a young man who was looking for a new personal training facility. J & C Gym has no frills, bare essentials and reminiscent of the boxing gym used in the iconic boxing film, Fat City; be ready to sweat and sweat.

Valenzuela is an interesting young man. I first met him when he trained at Central Gym with Abel Cortes until the duo pulled up their tent and moved elsewhere. I didn’t know where he was training until I walked into the Gym on 28th Street and saw the super featherweight sparring. At 25, Cesar is stepping up the pace and may fight for a title in the fall of 2015; details are pending, but if it happens, Arizona is a possible site.
His eyes grew to size of coffee saucers as he talked about a possible title shot; a dream he has held since he began boxing and he feels destined to capture a title.

In the meantime, the 5’ 10” boxer is preparing for his 6 round main event show (Bout Maker Boxing Promotions) on August 29 at the LA Princesa in Phoenix. He wanted an 8-10 rounder, but 6 is reality for now.
I asked the lanky super featherweight if he was ready for a title shot and he reminded me that he has never ducked tough opponents and unlike some Phoenix based fighters; Cesar travels and fights on the road and wins. He doesn’t have an entourage and he maintains the same trainer, Abel Cortes…….Until Next Time!

About Don Smith

Don Smith has written 79 post in this blog.

Don Smith became interest in boxing from age 8 when his Dad gave him a pair of gloves, he eventually wore them out. During his Don Smith served in the US Army as a Military Police Desk SGT. The skills he learned while writing reports laid the foundation for him becoming a journalist. According to Don “I didn’t really flip the switch to journalism until I was detained in Belfast Ireland for taking pictures during my vacation in Ireland. I made the questionable mistake of trying to albii my way out of the situation by claiming to be a journalist, wrong move. No diplomatic immunity, ha ha. II returned to college in Texas, wrote for my college paper as a paid staffer”. He grew up during the Friday Night Era, and In his role as a sports writer, he has rubbed elbos with Leonard, Norton, Ali, Mancini, Cokes, Paez and other champion boxers. His his works have been high lighted and published by Community Newspapers in Texas, Sports Stringer, Dallas Morning News, WRR Radio Critic Dallas Texas, KCHU Radio Talk Show Host Dallas, Texas, Talk Shoow host, Plano Texas, Interviewer for OPUS & STARSHINE Networks, Interviewed more than 1,000 celebrities including 7 US Presidents, Athletes, Movie Stars, etc.

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