Arizona Boxing News & Notes:
Boxing Fans, A mystery surrounds the release of former boxer Ike Ibeabuchi from an I.C. E detention Center in Eloy Arizona in November of 2015. We do know that he appeared at the Arizona Boxing Commission on Thursday February 25 with questions about applying for a boxing license. Arizona Boxing News & Notes sent the Boxing Commission an informal email asking for official verification of Mr. Ibeabuchi’s visit and a timetable for his application to be processed if the 43 year old Nigerian did indeed take the 2 page application form, fill it out and submit it. Hopefully the commission responds to our questions and we will be able to pass the information to our readers. I contacted I.C.E and their spokesperson wanted to answer my questions; but, I didn’t have the immigrant’s A number so she was prohibited from revealing information about his whereabouts and why he wasn’t in detention waiting for deportation to his homeland of Nigeria where his mother died while he was in prison.
Perhaps we should back up and tell the reader how Ike went from being a promising boxer (20-0-15 knockouts) to becoming an Nevada Prison inmate who was found guilty of sexual assault and battery.
His mental breakdown occurred on July 22, 1999 while he was staying at a hotel on the Las Vegas strip and he decided to hire a dancer to come to his room to perform a lap dance; he just had to satisfy the libido. When she asked for the money up-front he (according to her) turned violent and raped her. She began to scream and was running out of the room naked when rescuers arrived and freed her. Ibeabuchi retreated to the bathroom and hid. When he was discovered the 6’ 3” 235 lb. accused abuser was pepper sprayed and taken into custody.
Ibeabuchi never admitted guilt; instead he took the Alford Plea which means he agreed that prosecution had enough evidence to win a conviction; but he would not admit guilt.
He was released by the Nevada Prison system on Feb. 28, 2014 and handed over to the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement which detained him in Eloy Arizona, 67 miles East of Phoenix as the crow flies.
According to sources, once freed, Ibeabuchi contacted Yahoo Sports by phone on Christmas and said he hoped to fight on the scheduled Pacquiao/Bradley April 9 card in Vegas. He’s hired Michael Konocz Pac-Man’s advisor to lead his career and there is a rumor that he has filed for citizenship; which sounds bizarre.
Before his incarceration, Ibeabuchi was on his way to possibly becoming a champion after impressive victories over David Tua and Chris Byrd. Just think if he had decided to order a pizza instead of a lap dance, chances are he wouldn’t be sweating in a stinky gym and starting over at the ripe old age of 43; that is the price of stupidity. ABNN will continue to follow the story when additional information is gathered
Around The Ring: Light Heavyweight William North (Rodriguez Boxing) makes his debut on the March 12 Card at Valentino’s in Phoenix. Arizona Amateur Eben Vargas won his fight against arch rival amateur Christopher Gonzales at the 69th annual Arizona State Golden Gloves Championships on 2/27 in Mesa, Arizona at the Arizona Event Center. It was his last amateur fight as he prepares to turn professional in March or April.
Eben is eager to start his career and lightweight contender Ray Beltran and veteran trainer Tony Vargas are working with him at Busted Knuckle Boxing in Tempe. Eben won a unanimous decision over Gonzales in a grinder; it wasn’t pretty but a win is a win…… Veteran NFL Network reporter Melissa Starks joins HBO’s “Fight Game” Host Jim Lampley on March 16…..
Boxing fans are still waiting for the promised Orlando Salido vs. Roman Martinez rematch to happen and so is ABNN! We had Salido winning the memorable thriller last year; although it was declared a split/draw which is about as exciting as pinching your brother’s belly button. Salido, a sometime resident of Arizona) was very upset and his mood was understandable. His next bout against Francisco Vargas will be aired on HBO, Saturday June 4….the April 23 Iron Boy show at the Celebrity may be moved since the date falls on the same night as the GGG show; good idea!
More Ring Noise: After 153 amateur bouts, Arizona boxing prospect Alfredo Escarcega Jr. is headed to Indio, California to train with legendary trainer Joel Diaz at the Boys & Girls Club in Indio. To understate the obvious, the Arizona boxer has fought his last amateur fight and is working towards his anticipated pro debut. Alfredo plans to drop a few pounds and fight at 135 which could mean nutritional changes and a new conditioning regimen. It is good news for a young man who is an excellent role model for young fighters to emulate; his parents should take a bow! His proud father (Alfredo Sr.) thinks the announcement should be forthcoming in March or April.
Special Event: On March 19, F-1 Boxing Academy, 18701 W. Thomas Road in Buckeye, Arizona is hosting a smoker that is expected to present 20 bouts. All seats are $10.00 and 1st bout is scheduled for 1 P.M. It is the first smoker held at F-1 Boxing Academy and the coaches are happy to announce that a special belt will be presented to the winner of the bout chosen as the outstanding fight of the event. All winners will receive a belt and for fans going who need more information, call Alfredo Escarcega Sr. at 602-690-1209 or Richard Macias at 623-261-9084. ABNN will be absent due to a prior committed assignment; but, if F-1 sends results-we will post results for our deep and profound readers.
Inside Stuff Sad news for boxing fans, Olympic style boxing won’t happen at the Downtown Phoenix Cinco De Mayo Festival on May 7 & 8 according to a spokesperson for the Festival. The cancellation prompted USA Boxing Arizona to fill the dates with the Region IX Four Corner Regionals…Miller’s Boxing Gym hosted a coaches & officials clinic on March 5 at their boxing facility in Phoenix…The Arizona State JO Championships will be held at Sonny’s Gym in Goodyear, Arizona April2-3.
Outside The Ring: Phoenix boxer Ryan Riddell (1-0) is ticked at FHP after hearing the promoter will not be featuring the young fighter on their March 12 card at Valentino’s. Ryan’s dad (Danny) told ABNN that Ryan or any of the other fighter named Riddell (Timmy and Brandon) will never appear on a FHP card and the irate trainer said he won’t allow any of his other fighters to even consider signing a contract with FHP; those are very harsh words; but the 20 year old bantamweight pays his bills with his fight purse-so his venting is understandable. Hopefully, in time; the breach will pass.
The Riddell’s also promised to boycott The Arizona Event Center last year, over a labor dispute, and they have kept their word. A spokesperson for Fight Hard Promotions told us, he doesn’t accept Riddell’s criticism as fair because he isn’t the matchmaker and every bout is subject to change or cancellation. He does understand the fighter’s disappointment and will continue an open dialogue with anyone involved in the making of A Fight Hard produced event…..Our boxing crystal ball suggests Alvarez will dispense with Khan within 8 rounds in their May 7 HBO PPV Event….Golovkin should turn out the lights on Wade in six rounds when they go toe to toe April 23 on HBO. It’s time to put the Crystal Ball to bed.
Stone Update: former Arizona Amateur Boxing Coach Damien Stone was scheduled for trial (Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix) on Tuesday March 1; but, a motion for change of counsel (from Nathaniel Carr III to Matthew Long) was granted and the new trial date is reschedule for June 1, 2016 at the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse in Phoenix.
Stone was arrested in the spring of 2014 on allegations that he solicited sexual favors from a female undercover police officer whom he thought was 16 years old. Money, recorded tape and testimony from the undercover police officer will most assuredly be admitted into evidence during the case against Mr. Stone who will celebrate his 42nd Birthday on March 24.
According to a filed police report, Stone agreed to pay the undercover officer $150.00 for specific sexual favors and meet her at a designated rendezvous .When Stone showed up to rendezvous with his “ propositioned date”, Stone smelled a trap and tried to elude police to no avail. His attempted flight was short lived and resulted in an additional charge.
When Stone was ordered to empty his pockets during his booking process, he signed a document verifying that he had $160.00 on his person at the time of the arrest which was entered as evidence for the prosecution.
At the time of his arrest, Stone was the operating manager of Stone Hard boxing gym in Chandler, Arizona. Within 24 hours of his arrest, an astute reader of Arizona Boxing News & Notes notified our assignment desk that Stone had been criminally charged and we began investigating and continue to monitor the case. Mr. Stone is currently free on bail.
His 2014 arrest followed a similar incident that occurred in 2013 days before Christmas when he was arrested for lewd behavior while attending a bachelor’s party according to Stone. He faced a Justice of the Peace and she offered a plea bargain that avoided additional jail time and he accepted the deal.
At the time of his alleged lewd conduct incident in 2013, Stone was a card carrying member of USA Boxing Arizona. In the bylaws of the membership agreement there is a morals clause and both arrests should have warranted at least a temporary suspension or dismissal; but the Amateur Boxing Organization (USA Boxing Arizona) tip toed around the issue (in our opinion) until news of his accused behavior spread and a padlock was placed on his gym and he was finally told his membership was revoked until the matter was cleared up. Despite his ouster, Stone has continued to mentor kids through ads on face book and Craig’s list until we put him on sort of a special amber alert with the help of journalistic colleagues.
Two years later, Stone and the Arizona Boxing Community is still waiting for a verdict. ABNN has been very careful not to mention members of his family in our reporting. They are innocent and we respect their privacy. We sincerely hope the ordeal is mitigated judicially and terminated soon!
Fight Hard Update: The official weigh-in for the Saturday, March 12 Warfare: The Battle Begins show at Valentino’s Event Center (43rd Avenue & Indian School Road in Phoenix) will be held at Dave & Buster’s (PH. 623-759-7800) in Glendale, Arizona inside Westgate on Friday March 11. Start time is 5 PM sharp and yes-the event is open to the press and members of the press. Tickets for the event are available at the venue on the night of the show
There are a few changes to the card with first bout starting at 5 P. on Saturday, March 12. Andrew Hernandez, Elihu Soto (Knockout Boxing Club), Edgar Ortiz (Haus Boxing) and Ryan Riddell are off the 11 bout show which will honor veterans during the intermission.
Golden Gloves Event : Cruiserweight/ Heavyweight B J Flores (31-2-1) has moved back to Arizona (Scottsdale) and the 37 year old Native Californian and NBC boxing analyst dropped by the recently concluded Arizona State Golden Gloves Championship Tournament held at the Arizona Event Center in Mesa to present a trophy to one of the tournament winners on Sunday, 2/28. Golden Gloves President Kelly Fenn invited Flores, IBF referee Wes Melton and lightweight contender to participate in the trophy presentation ceremonies and the three men did a good job. Flores, former WBO NABO Cruiserweight titlist, won a National Golden Gloves title in 1997 as a light heavyweight. Melton did the honorable thing by paying for his own tickets and Beltran worked Eben Vargas’s corner and posed for pictures and signed autographs as did BJ..
Flores told me he has a tune-up bout in April as a heavyweight and another bout in June; but he didn’t know either opponent or what weight he would fight at in June. I don’t see him as a legitimate heavyweight. He said his currently tips the scales near the 225 mark. As for his work on NBC, the network has a broadcast in April; however he didn’t know the specifics of the event.”
As for the tournament, ABNN missed the first two days of the tourney; but we did catch the first 10 bouts on Sunday 2/28 before our correspondent departed to work on another assignment. Here are the results of ten bouts witnessed by ABNN: (1) Daniel Ruelas (Rodriguez Boxing) a TKO winner over Ruben Gonzales (Central Boxing) (2) Damien Stone (Unattached) a TKO victor over David Haywood (Title Boxing) (3) Esau Valerio won by decision over Juan Ramirez (Rodriguez Boxing (4) Robert Peralta (Unattached) defeated Orlando Rascon (Tucson SW Boxing) (5) Nick Quiroz (Peraza Boxing) defeated Daniel Muleillo (Central Boxing) (6)Sebastian Mitry (F-1 Boxing) beat Nicoias Franco (Peraza Boxing) (7) Joshua Pollock (Haus Boxing) TKO winner over Shane Swanberg (Power Boxing) (8) Danny Flores (Peraza Boxing) TKO victory over Ivan Martinez (Rodriguez Boxing) (9) Myron Bridges (Unattached) split decision over Christian Sullivan (Ramos Boxing) (10) Eben Vargas beat Christopher Gonzales (Neutral Corner Boxing).
Short Jabs : Glad to hear that Keith Boxing Club in Surprise Arizona is a 501c3 non -profit entity that is open to the public free of charge. KBC needs donations to keep its’ doors open so earnest kids can work thorough their teenage angst. If you’re about to receive your tax refund check, a small donation to a non – profit boxing club would be a godsend to a very good cause. If the thought makes sense for those who have a little change to spare, think about it and call 480-737-9074 and ask for Keith Tribue.
Keith, Anaheim Angel Owner Arturo Moreno, Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego, Buckeye City Mayoral Candidate Brian McAchran, retired police officer Robert Ayala and Maritza Miranda Saenz daughter of the late Ben Miranda were invited to participate in a special salute to our military service men and women who proudly served and continue to defend our right to pursue the American ideals we cherish. Mr. Miranda was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism during the Vietnam War. A color guard will be on hand for the tribute and all military veterans will be asked to stand and be honored. Until Next Time!