California Boxing Frenzy This Week
Three consecutive boxing shows slam into the Southern California area in successive days this week and one in Northern California is on deck.
First, a welterweight showdown between Brazil’s Antonio Mesquita and New Zealand’s Santos Pakau takes place at the Hilton Hotel in Ontario on Wednesday night. The fight will be shown on ESPN2 and is promoted by Lion Heart Productions.
The undefeated Mesquita (32-0, 25 KOs) trains in Las Vegas now and has fought a half dozen times in this country. Veteran trainer Luis Tapia handles the 33-year-old welterweight contender. He also handles Layla McCarter, one of the best female prizefighters in the world at any weight.
Mesquita’s last fight ended in a first round knockout over Anthony Ivy.
Pakau (27-2-1, 10 KOs) is attempting to shrug off a first round knockout he suffered against former junior welterweight titleholder Randall Bailey. He’s only 23 but lacks any experience against top-flight opponents.
Also on the same card will be Daniel Judah, younger brother to Zab Judah, who is facing a Southern California schoolteacher in Darius Watson. The cruiserweight bout is set for 10 rounds. A woman’s bout featuring a rematch between Sarah Goodson (19-15-1) and Sandra Ortiz (7-3-1) is also scheduled. For tickets and information call (866) 878-2090. The first bout begins at 5 p.m.
Thursday, in downtown Los Angeles, Thompson Boxing Promotions returns with another fight card at the L.A. Athletic Club. Matchmaker Alex Camponovo always keeps the bouts tight. The scheduled main event featuring Dominic Salcido was scrapped because of a repeated injury to the flashy Rialto boxer. Taking his place will be Odi Rivera, a hardnosed young veteran who will be featured in the main event. Thompson Promotions just had a show last Friday in Corona featuring Josesito Lopez. But that fight was called a no-contest when Lopez and his opponent collided heads. On the same day, down the road, Jason Litzau won his bout by knockout. Maybe Lopez and Litzau should meet. In Lopez’s first pro fight, he knocked out Litzau’s older brother Allen in the first round. For tickets or information for the fight card that takes place in downtown Los Angeles call (714) 935-0900.
In San Jose, at the HP Pavillion, summer middleweight Ricardo Cortes (18-1, 13 KOs) meets Culiacan, Mexico’s Paulino Avitia (13-6) in a fight card coordinated by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment on Thursday. Also on the card will be Eliza Olson in a six round junior welterweight bout against Mariam Brakache (4-3). If you remember, Olson defeated lightweight world champion Jessica Rakoczy a year ago. The fight card begins at 7:30. For tickets and information call (415) 421-TIXS or (510) 625-TIXS.
Friday, at Morongo Casino, Two Feathers Promotions brings Inland area local talent including Michael Franco, Anthony Villareal and Jerry Pavich. The main event will be Orlando Lora (10-0-1, 7 KOs) facing Jose Bermejo (5-2-2, 4 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. This is a rematch. Their first meeting ended in a draw two years ago. Also, Heather Percival and Monica Lovato tangle in a junior bantamweight bout. For tickets or information call (866) 328-2024.
A weekend critique
Before the fight between Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley, rumors had emanated from the Oxnard fighter’s camp that he missed two weeks of training midway through his preparation because of a bad back. Weight was the biggest consideration for Vargas when he resumed training and it looked like it last Saturday. The Ferocious one looked slow and just half as energetic from the first fight between the two that took place last February. One member of his team said he hopes Vargas retires.
“I have to check with my fans and my team and my family,” Vargas said after the fight.
Meanwhile Mosley looked sharper than the previous fight. Though it’s difficult to assess the fight because of Vargas’ flatness, the Pomona fighter looked much more fluid and powerful. Mosley gave credit to his father Jack Mosley.
Maybe it was my imagination, but Sugar Shane looked like he did six years ago when he stopped Shannon Taylor and Adrian Stone.
The LA Times did a nice article on Shane’s wife Jin Mosley who advises him. The New York native fits right in the boxing world.
Also at the fight was Shane’s sister Serena and son Shane Jr.
Juan Diaz victorious
Houston’s WBA lightweight titleholder Juan Diaz plowed through challenger Randy Suico like a runaway rhino. The one-sided beating he gave the much bigger and stronger looking Filipino had many reevaluating Diaz’s talent. One boxing writer said he could possibly give Diego Corrales a run for his money if they should meet. Another said he would dominate Brazil’s Acelino Freitas. One thing is sure, Diaz proved his defense can withstand any challenge and his hand-speed is pretty good. But more than that, his stamina is out of this world. Six years ago few would have mentioned Diaz in the same breath as Corrales or Freitas.
Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez returned to the win column with a solid performance over Canada’s Sean Plessis. The former world champion had too much experience for the younger fighter. Hernandez is campaigning at lightweight now. It’s going to be tougher for the Salvadoran boxer who was his country’s first to win a world title. A rematch against Jesus Chavez, who holds the IBF lightweight title would be nice. Their first match in the Staples Center was one of the best of the year. Also, Maywood’s Urbano Antillon defeated Texas Robert Mares. Antillon has been steady and deserves a title opportunity. He’s trained by Rudy Hernandez, the older brother of Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, now in the World Boxing Hall of Fame. The only Southern Californian to suffer defeat was Cleotis Pendarvis who was knocked out Noel Rodriguez of McKinney, Texas.
Fights on television
Wed. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Antonio Mesquita (32-0) vs. Santos Pakau (27-2-1).
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Allan Green (20-0) vs. Anthony Bonsante (26-7-3).
Fri. Telefutura, 9 p.m., Steve Luevano (30-1) vs. Cristobal Cruz (32-7-1).
Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Carlos Baldomir (42-9-6) vs. Arturo Gatti (40-7) for WBC welterweight world title; replay of Shane Mosley vs. Fernando Vargas.