Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith:
Boxing Fans, It would take an accountant from the esteemed Price-Waterhouse accounting firm to keep up with the additions and subtractions made to the Saturday March 12 “Warfare: The Battle Begins “show. By our liberal count, we can’t afford Price or Warehouse; at least 45 different names were suggested to fill the final bout sheet and yet, fight night at Valentino’s Event Center in Phoenix on Saturday, March 12 is going to happen on time despite a bit of adversity; 8 bouts on tap should provide enough boxing action to satisfy the most ardent boxing fan. Ticket prices start at $35.00 for General Admission & $55.00 for ringside seating. Parking at the Event Center is free. 1st bout commences at 5 p.m.
For the record last minute changes were inevitable, Eddie Brooks (failed to take drug test), Andres Calixto Rey (Management problems) and Gilbert Mendoza (last minute change of heart) are officially off the card and Fight Hard Promotions has asked the Arizona Boxing Commission to place two of the fighters on suspension for one year and for Brooks it could spell the end of a once promising career. When the final decision is made by the commission; we will pass it on.
The 3 absent boxer’s means Abel Ramos (14-1-2), Alex Rangel (16-5-2) and Nathaniel Gallimore (11-0-1) won’t be fighting on the card which is a shame. The card will now present 8 bouts with alternating referees in the ring: Wes Melton, Richard Soto and Chris Flores.
The Warfare Show was initially scheduled for 2/6 at Valentino’s; but promoter Rigoberto Ledezma (Fight Hard Promotions) wasn’t satisfied with the fighter lineup; so he moved the date to 3/12, same venue at his own expense (lost money) which was considerable. “Rigo” is a perfectionist and he thought the move and planned changes would strengthen the card; however, injuries, various other hurdles have tested the promoter although he swears he isn’t stressed. We don’t want to step on superman’s cape or question his veracity; but we think he might be fibbing a bit; just kidding.
The official weigh-in is set for Buster & Dave’s 5 p.m 3/11 in Glendale, Arizona at Westgate and the event is open to the public. Yes, the ring girls will be there.
Here is the official Card lineup which is always subject to change: At 147 pounds, Russian amateur standout Oleg Zubenko makes his debut against Raudel Gaxiola 1-0 in what should be listed as a special 4 round contest. Tucson’s Alfonso Olivera (6-2) challenges Chicago’s Genaro Mendez in a 6 round 142 lb. contest. Chicago Native Joshua Greer Jr. (5-1-1) takes on Jesus Xavier Pacheco (5-4-1) in a 6 round 122 lb. bout. In a super middleweight 4 round debut bout, Karel Sangster takes on fellow debuter William Northan. Matthew Griego tries to remain undefeated in a 4 round contest against tough 112lb. Luis Guerrero. Slick punching Daron “Sweet Tay” Williams will battle Francisco Muro in a 4 round contest and undefeated Carlos Sanchez hopes to keep the streak alive when he takes on Stephen Koesterer And local fighter Edward Ceballos hopes to get back on the winning track with a 4 round test against Damon Simon.
At intermission, the event will feature a salute to the Armed Forces. Also, some lucky person will win a free flat screen TV if they enter their ticket stub in a free raffle. Good luck!
Inside Skinny: Don’t be fooled by Luis Guerrrero’s 0-2 record going into the 3/12 card at Valentino’s Event Center in Phoenix. The kid is a former Arizona amateur champion and no one we talked to thinks he can’t turn it around……Iron Boy CEO Roberto Vargas is diversifying his portfolio and we can’t say anymore at this time; but, we can suggest that his tentatively scheduled Iron Boy 33 show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix will be moved from 4/23 to sometime in May. Our educated guess would be May 20. Vargas and his crack staff are wise not to compete against the televised GGG bout on 4/23…….Young Luis Espinoza (2-0) is working with a strength coach to ramp up his stamina & power….. 54 year old former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno last fought in 1996 and the result was a TKO loss to Iron Mike Tyson. In a recent interview, Bruno said he would like to return to boxing. I re-read his statement several times because I wasn’t sure he didn’t mean to say recreational bowling: give me a break……. Former boxing champ Rico Hoye attended the recently concluded Arizona State Golden Gloves Championships in Mesa and he looked as if he can still fight. We don’t believe he has officially announced his retirement. ….rumors that Roy Jones is coming to Arizona to promote an upcoming MMA show March 20 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix is incorrect. Instead, the RJJ Team will be in NJ watching Brock fight on that same night; rumors are sometimes amusing. …..Two Chicago Bear Players are rumored to be at Friday’s 5 pm “Warfare “weigh-in on Friday (3-12) in support of Chicago fighter Genaro Mendez (10-2-1) in his fight against Alfonso Olvera from Tucson. Former ASU linebacker Lance Briggs is rumored to be one of the NFL players.
More Boxing Whispers: at least three sources considered “boxing insiders” called to ask if ABNN had heard reports that Premier Boxing Champions was hitting a rough patch and the answer is no, at least nothing can be collaborated. We sent an email asking if the promotional company was planning a card in Arizona this year and ABNN hasn’t received a response to our inquiry. Their posted televised fight schedule includes the following upcoming broadcast dates: Tuesday, March 15 on FS1, Friday, April 1 on the Spike Network and NBC & PBC will present a show on Saturday April 16. As is our practice, when we know-you will know……recently released 43 year old boxer Ike Ibeabuchi is in the process of getting his paperwork together in an effort to return to ring action after a victory over Chris Byrd in March of 1999. The former heavyweight contender (20-0-15 knockouts) alias “The President” hopes to fight in May and the Nigeria born pugilist is currently living in Arizona and presumably will begin training in Arizona if his license request is approved. According to a close source, Ibeabuchi is being advised by Mike Koncaz, a member of Manny Pacquiao’s inner circle. An aide to the fighter, told ABNN the medical tests required will be completed by March 15 and the aide has promised ABNN a meeting with the fighter; keep in mind, we are still waiting for GGG to respond to our questions sent last month and we sent questions to Nonito Donaire last year and only he knows the answers.……ABNN must be special!… super middleweight Anthony Ponja is working out at Busted Knuckle Boxing in Tempe and his trainers (the Vier Brothers) are enthusiastic about his skills and work ethic. BKB trainer Alan Viers called from Las Vegas (on his dime) and informed me he was in sin city to work Canadian welterweight Steve Claggett’s (23=-3-1) corner in his 3/12 battle with Jeremy Bryan (17-6) at the Downtown Las Vegas Center. Claggett was once rumored on his way to fighting Arizona welterweight and world champion Jose Benavidez Jr; but, the prosed bout never happened. Alan and his brother Wayne also train Luis Olivares and Light heavyweight contender Trevor McCumby. Alan would be a good interview subject; but, he might part a few feathers with his straight forward comments.
RJJ Signing: On March 3. Keith Veltre CEO and Co-Founder of Roy Jones Boxing Promotions proudly announced the signing of highly touted Nevada amateur boxer Randy Moreno to a multiyear professional contract; financial terms weren’t disclosed in the press release. The signing event took place at the prestigious Roy Jones Jr Academy in Las Vegas. The Arizona boxing community became familiar with the 19 year old Moreno when he won the Arizona based Gene Lewis Tournament in 2014. He is a 2014 graduate of Liberty HS in Las Vegas where he resides with his parents; Dora and Miguel Moreno. He ended his amateur record with a mark of 48-6 and we wish him well. Moreno trains at Gil Martinez’s Elite Boxing and he is excited about having Roy Jr, Gil Martinez, Bryan Lindsey and Jen Wenk (APR) in his corner and on his team: ABNN wishes him the best in his quest for a championship.
Boxers with most wins: Manuel Ortega asked our assignments editor if we would print a list of fighters with the most wins in their professional boxing careers-here is our compiled list verified by BoxRec: (10) a tie between middleweight Luis Ramon Campas 106-17-3 & featherweight Marcel Cerdan 106-4 (9) super lightweight Julio Cesar Chavez 107-6-2 (8) lightweight Tony Canzoneri 137-24-10 (7) featherweight Joseph “Sandy” Saddler 144-16-2, (6) Henry Armstrong 151-21-9, (5) Heavyweight Sam Langford 167-38-3, (4) featherweight Ted “The Kid” Lewis 173-30-14, (3) middleweight “Sugar” Ray Robinson 173-19-6, (2) light heavyweight Archie Moore 186-23-10* one record book has him recording 11 draws (1) featherweight Willie Pep 229-11-1…..Until Next Time!