Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith:
Boxing Fans, 3 scheduled title fights highlight the Casino Del Sol Resort boxing show set for Friday, January 22 in Tucson, Arizona. The event is promoted by Roy Jones Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Salita Promotions. Casino Del Sol is governed by the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Arizona. USA Showtime will televise selected fights at the Casino and the bout sheet, still incomplete, appears to be a good omen for 2016 boxing in Arizona and for Pima County and Tucson in particular. Tucson is starting to steal some of the boxing thunder from Phoenix, the reigning # 1 city for boxing in the Grand Canyon State. Jones Promotions is wise to invade “Wildcat” territory with a solid inside the ring product. Arizona fans might want more Arizona fighters on the card; but, good home grown talent isn’t always available.
Happy to see Filipino lightweight Harmonito Dela Torres as the Co-Main Event on the projected 10 bout show; in climate weather in the Philippines stopped the undefeated (17-0) pugilist from making his USA debut in 2015. He arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday 12/27 and his management told ABNN he was headed for Miami to prepare for the fight. Showtime lists his opponent as Rafael Guzman 16-1-1; but inside sources indicates Guzman isn’t contract inked-yet and the Casino Del Sol Resort lists Angel Luna (11-1-1) as Torres opponent; welcome to boxing. Torres is one of several young rising Filipino boxing stars hoping to eventually gain Manny Pacquiao like stature; but he has a long ways to go before his gloves hang in the same locker as Manny’s. A win in his scheduled for 8 rounds contest would inch him closer to a title shot.
Also ready for Showtime combat: Middleweight Rob Brant (18-0), terrific in his Arizona debut in October 2015, returns to the state to do battle with Decario Perez in a 10 round bout for the WBA-NABA middleweight crown. Hard punching Heavyweight Jarrell Miller (15-0-1) faces Donovan Dennis (12-2) with the winner capturing the WBA-NABA Heavyweight title in a 10 rounder. From the lightweight division: Demond Brock (10-3) and Samuel Teah (7-1) square off in an 8 round WBC United States (USNBC) lightweight title bout. Also, Super Lightweights Jared Robinson (16-2-1) vs. Bakhtiyar Eyubov (9-0)in an 8 round match-up. Robinson, in 2014, was knocked out of the ring by highly touted Amir Imam. The 33 year old Robinson faces another prospect in Imam.
The rest of the listed undercard includes Super featherweight Kevin Lavalee (14-0-1), Arizona Super Featherweight Keenan Carbajal (9-2-1), Flyweight Christian Reyes (1-0), Welterweight Carlos Cordova (debut) and Light Flyweight Brianna Sanchez (debut). ABNN will update and report the soon to be added TBD opponents ASAP! Tickets are available at the Casino Del Sol Resort and online. If you go, allow for driving time to Tucson, home of the Arizona Wildcats….Go Sun Devils!.
Boxing News: ABNN erred in its’ last literary contribution and we owe an apology to Matchmaker Edward Rodriquez and boxer Walter Santibanes. Walter (8-2) is fighting in New Mexico at the Camel Rock Casino on 2/20/2016 (6 days before my brother’s birthday. We reported he was fighting in Georgia and he may someday; but, not on 2/20/2016. It is our editorial police to correct our mistakes and we take that oath very seriously. Walter turned 25 in November; we don’t know Mr. Rodriquez’s birth date……Phoenix boxer Arturo Ortega is now training Edgar Brito at his newly acquired Hard Knocks Boxing Gym. Edgar hopes to land on one of the two upcoming Fight Hard cards (2/6 & 3/12) at Valentino’s in Phoenix…Phoenix middleweight Andrew Hernandez lost a unanimous decision to Al Haymon protégé Kyrone “Shut it Down” Davis on 12/29 (Andrew’s 30 birthday) in Pennsylvania. Hernandez, aka “The Pride of Phoenix” told ABNN he was ready. Davis is now 10-0-0 and a Hernandez loss (10-3-1) set the birthday child’s career back a yard and a half and could deter any possible chance at a NABF type title shot in the immediate future. Fighting on such short notice is rarely the right move and Andrew’s decision to do so raised a red flag….Cruiserweight Daniel Acuna hopes to make his pro debut in March. Mr. Acuna has lost more than 30 lbs. in preparing to fight as a cruiserweight.
BMBP Statement: Bout Maker Boxing Promotions CEO Maritza Miranda Saenz is apparently tossing her hat in the political ring with a run for Arizona State Senate. We wish her the best and she sent a statement to address rumors that she may be stepping away from boxing. We are glad she is clearing up the issue. Here is her statement and we thank her for contacting us with the following message that can be interpreted on its’ own merit.
“There are 24 hours in a day. There are many things that can be done in those 24 hours. Each person I have met in boxing wears multiple hats. They have outside business ventures that help them make money, connections, etc. At one particular time my dad (Ben Miranda) was on a school board, in the state legislature, running a successful law firm, organizing political rallies and assisting other candidates in their political pursuits. I have finally been able to close my dad’s law practice and will have additional time to pursue other aspirations. I have the inspiration of my dad to teach me that we don’t have to be pigeon holed to one particular interest or occupation. Hope you have a great new year and when anything else is announced I’ll be sure to send it your way”….Maritza Miranda Saenz.
***A spokesperson for the Arizona Event Center in Mesa, Arizona told ABNN the venue hopes to host a boxing show produced & promoted by Bout Maker Boxing Promotions in February or March of 2016. A.E.C. offers a diverse entertainment menu including MMA, Boxing, Music and theater. The 69th Annual Golden Gloves Tournament will be held at the center on 2/26, 27, 28.
USA Boxing AZ Election: Incumbent USA Boxing Arizona President Jacob Magallanez responded to our invasion to state the rationale behind his declaration to run for the position again. Here is his statement and a reminder that the 2016 USA Boxing Election will be held online (1/7-14-2016). We extended our invitation to the other candidates; but so far, only Mr. Magallanez has sent a reply even though two other candidates (Mike Sanchez and Seferino Rodriguez) indicated they would be sending a statement. Andrew Soto (the fourth candidate) has failed to respond to our democratic offer. We hope he (Soto) decides to share his presidential vision and goals with his fellow members by contributing a statement to Arizona Boxing News & Notes. Meanwhile, here is a statement from Mr. Jacob “Jake” Magallanez in its’ entirety:
“I am running for President (USA Boxing Arizona) once again to continue serving ou Amateur Athletes, Coaches and Boxing Community. My direction will continue to provide assistance for our boxers to have the opportunity to advance and participate in Regional and National Tournaments with the possibility of International Events and the opportunity to make the Olympic Boxing Team. I have kept the amateur boxing community informed and abreast of USA Boxing developments and events. I have not micro-managed local shows and/or registered clubs. I will continue to dedicate my time and efforts as President of Arizona JUSA Boxing and serve each and every member of our LBC. I ask for your trust and support in the upcoming election”. Sincerely, Jacob “Jake” Magallanez
Fight Hard Shows: After a lengthy boxing sabbatical, Fight Hard Promotions is returning to the business of presenting boxing shows in Arizona and if all goes well, the Arizona based company might possibly expand into other markets. CEO Rigoberto Ledezma has two show dates approved by the Arizona Boxing Commission and both events are slated to be held at Valentino’s Event Center in Phoenix at 43rd Avenue & Indian School Road.
The first show (2/6/16) will feature a salute to the USA Military and its’ dedication to preserving American ideals. Mr. Ledezma has contacted Jim Grieshaber, Jamm Multimedia, to oversee the Military theme and the ambitious CEO has plans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremony. FH has a history of giving out tickets to men and women who serve in the Armed Forces. The second show is scheduled for March 12 at the venue that was once a grocery story (Mega Foods). Parking is free and capacity, depending on configuration, seats 1,300-1,500.
ABNN was sent a tentative list of fighters expected to be on the inaugural card and a secondary wish list not confirmed. Fight Hard is still seeking an announcer and in prior shows FH received high praise for their selection of ring girls; if the fights meet the same standard there will be no question about a second show and future cards.
Confirmed List: Salvador Sanchez 30-6-3 8 rounds, Alex Rangel 16-5-2 8 rounds, Ray Lampkin 8-0 6 rounds, Javier Loya 7-4 6 rounds, Dakota Dawson 3-3 4 rounds.
Maybe List: Joey Ruelas, Andrew Hernandez, Alexis Santiago, Walter Santibanes, Alexis Zazueta, Vincente Cano, Keenan Carbajal, Edgar Brito and Paul Romero. ABNN will post all additions and subtractions to the show. We wish Fight Hard the best of luck with their reentry into boxing, a very tough business.
Take Note: ABNN was admonished for not pointing out that a fighter’s mom was unceremoniously escorted out of an Arizona boxing venue (several months ago) by the armed boys in blue after consuming too much alcohol and becoming boisterous and obnoxious. The whistleblower has called in the same complaint several times and is upset at ABNN for not outing the mom. It is a personal issue that needs serious attention; but, ABNN isn’t a bartender or policeman. Here is our advice: do all you can to prevent a drunk from driving home by telling someone associated with the person whom you suspect of being inebriated. If that person attempts to drive, get on the horn. Be very careful that you make the right decision.
Short Jabs: Silver Gloves Regional Tournament will be held in Ontario CA. January 8-10, 2016…..USA Boxing Arizona President Jacob C. Magallanez sent holiday season greetings to to everyone connected to USA Boxing including fans, boxers, volunteer staff members (Referees/Judges & Ring Physicians). Mr. Magallanez concluded his message by thanking all concerned for their generous commitment to the sport of boxing…..UFC fans in Phoenix can catch the Lawler vs. Condit battle at Twin Peaks on Camelback Road (2135 East). Saturday 1/2/16; suggest arrival between 5-6 pm…..69th Annual Arizona Golden Gloves Tournament at the Arizona Event Center in Mesa; Friday 2/26 at 7PM (my brother’s B-Day), Saturday 2/27 2PM and Sunday 2/28 2PM ….. Nonito Donaire wants to fight Rigondeaux again and based on the result of their last meeting and Donaire’s so-so performance in his last bout; he might want to take a horseshoe and a rabbit’s foot with him in the ring if the match happens. The Cuban warrior is one bad dude.
Fighter of the year: Tis the season to argue over who is fighter of the year for 2015? Allow ABNN to toss out a few names and let fans independently select their own favorite fighter. After thinking it over, ABNN has compiled a lengthy list worthy of consideration in no particular order: Roman Gonzalez, Leo Santa Cruz, Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury, Holly Holmes, Keith Thurman, Vasyl Lomachenko, GGG, Sergey Kovalev, Conor McGregor, Timothy Bradley and Floyd Mayweather Jr. ABNN left off a few legitimate candidates on purpose; so, fans could yell obscenities as they read our non-partisan list…..happy New Year, drive safely and drink with extreme caution: ABNN doesn’t have the bread to bail you out….Until Next Time!