Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith:
Boxing Fans, US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hilly Clinton is an unabashed fan of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and if he decides to endorse HC, it would be a major boost for her campaign and give the former junior senator from New York a huge advantage with the Filipino/American voter in Nevada and other upcoming primary voting states.
According to printed stories, the former First Lady disclosed her respect and admiration for Pacquiao when she visited the Philippines to partake in bi-lateral talks with Philippines President Benigno Aquino III in 2011. Her husband, President William Jefferson l Clinton (an avid sports fan) told talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in 2015 that Pacquiao was a great guy and good role model; hmm, do those benevolent words motivate and sway the fighter to join her choir of supporters?
On the record, Pacquiao hasn’t endorsed Clinton; but Top Rank CEO Bob Arum (Manny’s Promoter) has; however; he told Filipino journalists who attended the recent Beverly Hills, California presser tour to promote the Bradley vs. Pacquiao 2 – 4/9 HBO televised PPV event that the decision to endorse HC is Manny’s to make.
Ironically, the boxing icon will be busy preparing for his farewell fight with Bradley while Mrs. Clinton is stumping for 43 Nevada Caucus delegate votes from voters who go the polls on 2/20 in Nevada. Manny is seeking a senate seat in the Philippines in May; so, he knows significance of endorsements and he is well aware of the large number of Filipino Americans living in the state of Nevada and the United States. Candidate Clinton is expected to meet Pac-Man before the primary and ask him for his endorsement.
Where will Steve be: It isn’t known whether or not 2016 Miss Universe Pageant Host Steve Harvey (a fight fan) will attend the 4/9 fight at the MGM Grand and explain to Manny and the millions of Filipinos, expected to watch the HBO PPV telecast, how he misspelled the birthplace of Manny Pacquiao and the Current Miss Universe, Pia Alonso Wurtzbach. We always try to help; therefore, we want Mr. Harvey to know that there is no “a” in the spelling of Philippines and he can relax: Miss Columbia will never watch his syndicated show, Family Feud.
Recently, Top Rank Boxing dispatched a communiqué to our desk informing ABNN that the two Bradley/Pacquiao presser tours (New York & Los Angeles) drew huge crowds. Top Rank plans no more press tours for the event.
HBO will carry the 4/9 PPV telecast at a cost of $60.00 (that price may vary in some markets) and tickets to see the event at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Grand Garden Arena went on sale Friday January 22; priced at $154.00, 204.00, 404.00, 604.00, 804.00, 1,200.00. If you plan on making the trek to the Arena, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000; there is a handling charge for each ticket. As we went to press, 40% of the seats were sold; the arena holds somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000 fans according to the hotel concierge we talked to. … Super fan Geoff Ronning, (he is boxing) thinks the third clash between the two welterweights will be memorable….we expressed the same sentiment before Manny’s last fight, remember boys and girls.
Del Sol Re-Cap: Several Filipino American boxing fans drove from Phoenix to Casino Del Sol Casino in Tucson on Friday, 1/22 to watch Harmonito Dela Torres make his USA boxing debut on Showtime; but a suitable opponent couldn’t be found; so Torres, after two scheduled attempts is still waiting to show off his skills to US boxing fans. His first attempt was canceled last year due to typhoon like weather that grounded his flight from the Philippines.
Rafael Santos was amongst a contingent Filipino Americans (from Phoenix) at the boxing show hoping to cheer Torres on. Rafael grew up in the city of Cebu in the Philippines. He boxed a bit as a teenager and now he resides in Phoenix where he works as a computer tech.
He expressed sorrow to ABNN over Torres not being on the card; but he gave the event enthusiastic thumbs up and also gave high marks to Showtime and Roy Jones Jr. Promotions for presenting a well-paced and entertaining evening of boxing.
ABNN wasn’t able to attend the show; but some fans called or emailed me to ask when Super Featherweight Keenan Carbajal (10-2-1) would stop fighting “bums” and another boxing fan actually asked if the Arizona Boxing Commission has the power to ask KC to stop wearing what looks like the exact trunks (White bearing the Carbajal name) Five Times World Champion Michael Carbajal wore when he was making boxing history. To follow in the footsteps of a legend when you don’t possess similar skills is an impossible act to duplicate. As for requesting him to fight better opponents and stop wearing trunks – at east similar -to the pair worn by one of the all-time great champions; ABNN isn’t a matchmaker and young Carbajal told me two years ago that although similar; the trunks he wears were made by his grand- mother. Keep in mind, we don’t have subpoena power and we aren’t Judge Judy. The 24 year old Carbajal fought 30 year old Thomas Herrera (4-16-1) in a six rounder on the undercard and was awarded a “controversial” majority decision (MD). At least a dozen spectators called to complain about the caliber of Carbajal’s ring opponents during his young career. We researched his record to find out the combined stats of his foes when they faced Keenan and it reads: 52 wins, 84 losses and 9 draws. According to ring reports, Herrera (with only 1 career knockout win) rocked the Phoenix fighter early in the bout with a “slower than the pouring of molasses” but on target right hand. In fairness, Carbajal isn’t the only local boxer settling for less than quality opponents: Back to Boxing!
Here is a rundown of the other contests in a show that netted a SRO Crowd. In our opinion Roy Jones Promotions has improved their Arizona boxing shows since they first brought their brand of boxing to the Grand Canyon State and for that: they deserve a bow. We don’t have a date for their next show within the state; but, perhaps RJJ Promotions can bring Dela Torre back and find him a worthy foe; that would make Mr. Santos and his friends happy.
In the main event, Rob Brant (19-0-12 knockouts) won the WBA/NABA Middleweight Title with a 1st round knockout over Decario Perez (15-4-1). In bout scheduled for 10. Heavyweight Jarrel Miller was a 7th round TKO victor over Donovan Dennis in their scheduled for 8 round contest. Samuel Teah won a unanimous decision over Demond Brock in their 8 round lightweight encounter. Bakhtiyar Eyubov ended Jared Robinson night in the 3rd round of their scheduled for 8 round Super Lightweight contest.
Inexperienced David Courtney (0-1) suffered a 2nd round TKO at the hands of lightweight prospect Carlos Cordova (1-0) who was overweight at the weigh-in and looked even bigger at the fight according to several fans at ringside. Tucson Arizona fighter Alfonso Olvera (6-2) fighting out of Tucson Arizona was a 4th round TKO winner over Colbert Lou Lozoya (7-12) in their 6 round battle. One fan called our desk to ask if we would toss three cheers to the referees for a job well done: we just did.
AZ Boxing Commission News: We have good news to report from the Arizona Boxing Commission. The state controlled organization has released its’ 2016 planned schedule for monthly meetings. As indicated at the bottom of the date listings; they are subject to change. Every meeting will be held between the hours of 10:00 am & 12:00 pm unless business at hand requires more time. The only question remaining is where they will be held. ABNN suspects they will be held on the 4th floor (1110 W. Washington Street in Phoenix where the Gaming Department is located. The public is invited to attend all AZ Boxing Commission meetings and if anyone has questions; here is the contact information: PH. 602-364-1721-Fax: 602-364-1703.
As posted: 2016 upcoming meetings: Thursday, February 25, Thursday, March 17, Thursday, April 21, Wednesday, May 25, Thursday, June 23, Thursday, July 21, Thursday August 18, Thursday September 29, Thursday October 27, Friday November 18, Thursday, December 15.
Boxing News: Warfare: The Battle Begins boxing event scheduled for Saturday, 2/6 at Valentino’s Event Center is being moved to Saturday, March 12; but the venue remains the same. Fight Hard Promotions Promoter Rigoberto Ledezma said the move was made to improve the card and make sure the show was the best it could be…. A military salute during intermission is still planned. Fans with tickets for the 2/6 show can bring their tickets to the event center on 3/12 and they will be honored at the door; expect wholesale changes on the card. ….undefeated Diego De La Hoya takes on Arturo Badilo on 2/19 at the LA Fight Club; aired live on Estella TV….ABNN picks Kovalev to knockout Pascal in their January 30 HBO televised rematch. A win could set up a Kovalev vs. Stevenson match; two fighters, some fans like to hate due to their sometimes abrasive behavior…..Fight fans, we have talked to, are eager to watch the Showtime televised bout (March 12) between undefeated Keith Thurman and once beaten Shawn Porter in D.C. GGG & Canelo are scheduled for upcoming bouts; both are waiting for foes-fans would like them to face off; but they will (we hope) when the demand intensifies.
More News: Suspended Arizona Boxing mentor Damien Stone has been issued a new trial date (3/1/2016. Stone was arrested in 2014 and charged with soliciting sexual favors from an undercover female police officer who posed as a 16 year old. When Stone showed up to partake in the negotiated sexual meal deal, he was approached by members of the local police, not exactly the welcome he expected. The 41 year old boxing coach tried to run; but, was caught and taken into custody. His March 1 trial will be held at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Mr. Stone is represented by Attorney Nathaniel Carr III and his office asked for a change of date due to a “conflict” of case scheduling; motion was granted…….5-6-1 Juan Benavidez , no relation to Jose & David, fought undefeated Joshua Franco (3-0) in Los Angles at the LA Fight Club on 1/29 in a 6 round bantam weight contest. A 6 rounder after a mere 3 professional fights usually indicates the youngster is a prospect. ABNN will post result in next column….. We keep hearing that Michelle Rosado is taking out a promoter’s license and her 1st show may come as early as March; when we hear, so will our readers….. Phoenix Super flyweight Alexis Zazueta (7-0) will fight in Dodge City Kansas vs. Alberto Serna (2-3) on 2/6/. Zazueta is managed by Cameron Dunkin. Phoenix boxing figure Ralph Velez Jr will be at the fight working as a photographer.
***The Iron Boy 32 show to be presented at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix isn’t posed on the Arizona Boxing Commission’s schedule of events. Bantamweight Jose Rodriguez Herrera (3-0) and Brazilian middleweight Esquiva Falcao Florentino (12-0-9 knockouts) are no longer listed on a recently released bout sheet.
Iron Boy 32: Iron Boy Matchmaker Mike Sanchez took time out from his busy agenda to alert us of a few minor changes to the card which will feature rinsing undefeated stars Jessie Magdaleno (22-0-16 knockouts) vs. Eduardo Mansito (13-3-2 w/ 7 knockouts), Trevor McCumby (21-0-16 knockouts) vs. James Freeman (9-7- w/7 knockouts) Carlos Castro (14-0—6 knockouts) vs. Rafael Reyes (6-5-5 knockouts), Luis Olivares (9-0-6 knockouts) vs. Omar Garcia (4-1 w/1 knockout), Paul Romero (6-0-1); vs. TBA, Francisco C. de Vaca (13-0-4 knockouts) and flyweight Luis Espinoza (1-0) vs. TBA + highly touted featherweight Jesse Garcia (1-0-1 knockout), managed by Cameron Dunkin. Iron Boy 32 is promoted and produced by Iron Boy Promotions and Top Rank Boxing; tickets are available at the Celebrity box-office and venue doors open at 5pm, first bout at 6pn- the UNIMAS network will broadcast live. Until Next Time!