Tijuana is beginning to sound pretty good now.
All roads lead to Tijuana now, with five title fights taking place on the wild and crazy border town that includes Fernando Montiel, Giovani Segura, Jose Luis Castillo, Humberto Soto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on March 28.
With the business of boxing looking for more profitable ways to stage fights and with Tijuana searching for visitors it makes perfect sense to Top Rank to stage a pay-per-view card in Mexico that can also attract thousands.
Ask the Mayor of Tijuana.
“Our city has a great history in boxing,” said Jorge Ramos, the mayor of Tijuana, Mexico while at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. “It’s been through tough times.”
During the past month two separate boxing cards promoted by American companies have found success in Mexicali, another border town located about 80 miles east of Tijuana. Now the action will be moved further west in hopes of catching on.
“We can call this (boxing card) the grand slam,” Ramos said.
It looks good on paper.
The last fight card signed features former lightweight world titleholder Castillo (57-9-1, 49 KOs) facing Indio’s Antonio Diaz (45-5-1, 29 KOs), whose brother Julio Diaz lost to Castillo four years ago.
“I’m back,” said Castillo who promises to dedicate himself better than a year ago when he failed to make weight in a scheduled fight with another Indio fighter, current WBC junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Ray Bradley. “I’m definitely preparing myself properly this time.”
Segura (19-1-1, 15 KOs), a junior flyweight now living in South Gate, is getting a second crack at the man who beat him for the interim WBA title, Cesar Canchila (27-1, 21 KOs) of Colombia. They fought last July in Las Vegas.
“This time they are not going to get away with this,” said Segura of his Colombia opponent. “I’m going to win.”
Chavez has a date with Argentina’s undefeated Luciano Cuello (23-0, 10 KOs) who hails from Buenos Aires but now lives in Madrid, Spain.
“I’m from Culiacan, but I spent a lot of time in Tijuana,” said Chavez (38-0-1, 29 KOs). “It is my second home.”
Montiel is seeking the interim WBO bantamweight title against Diego Silva of Argentina. He has big plans this year that might include a date with junior bantamweight world champion Vic Darchinyan, who needs competition.
“A lot of people have been talking about me fighting Vic Darchinyan but I have a fight on March 28,” said Montiel. “I also want to win a third world title in a third weight division.”
Soto is the only fighter without an opponent at this time.
“We’re calling it Tijuana Thunder,” said Bob Arum of Top Rank. “We’re going to give fans a special treat.”
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