Southern California’s hotbed for boxing has been the area known as the Inland Empire and what better proof than staging two fight cards in the same night?
Two local powerhouse boxing promotions Two Feathers Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions butt heads on Friday, Oct. 19, featuring rival shows within a half hour ride from each other.
In the “I.E.” as its known, 30 minutes is not very far for driving.
Two Feathers presents its show at the Morongo Casino that’s situated about 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Palm Springs, California. That’s where movie stars, writers, and other artists reside along with the millionaires who enjoy living in a wonderland of golf courses in the desert heat.
Ricardo Castillo, younger brother of former lightweight champ Jose Luis Castillo, faces Cruz Carbajal in the main event at the luxurious casino-hotel off the 10-Freeway. Also on the card will be young power-hitting Michael “Lil Warrior” Franco who’s the son of one of the promoters Al Franco. Though he’s only stepped in the ring eight times professionally, it’s evident he has the tools to move on to 10and 12 round fights in the near future.
In Ontario, California, a blue-collar city located between Pomona and Fontana and famous 60 years ago for citrus, Thompson Boxing hosts yet another fight card at the Doubletree Hotel that is located about two blocks from the Ontario International Airport.
Expect another full house.
The local promoters have been providing local talent a platform to show off their fighting skills since 2000. Among those that have fought in Thompson Promotions have been Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, Josesito Lopez, Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, Dominic Salcido and Freddie Barrera. Get ready for more young talent.
Featured in the main event will be Pomona’s Ivan Stovall, 28, against San Diego’s James “Choco” Parison, 25, in a middleweight main event. Both prospects are looking for exposure. The winner could go on to signing with the promoters and possibly television in the near future.
After a convincing win over Tijuana’s Luis “Vampiro” Arce, Riverside’s Josesito Lopez is anxiously awaiting his television debut and later on a title fight.
“Josesito Lopez is perhaps six months away from a world title fight,” Camponovo says. “His next fight will determine his status.”
Lopez is scheduled to face speedy southpaw Tyrone Harris on Nov. 2, at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. The bout will be shown on Showtime. He also recently signed a deal with Goossen-Tutor Promotions.
“He’s real close to taking another step,” Camponovo said.
Two Feathers Promotions is in its third year. They also are building a roster full of local fighters such as Franco, a young hard-hitting bantamweight originally from Riverside but now fighting out of the High Desert area.
“If all goes well we’re looking to have Michael (Franco) fight for the WBC Youth title in December,” said Al Franco, the fighter’s father and co-promoter with Willie Schunke.
For tickets and information at Morongo call (951) 283-9893. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
For the Doubletree Hotel fight card call (714) 935-0900. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.