Professional prizefighting lost one of its warriors once again.

Jackson Bussell, 28, lost his life a day after fighting to a six-round draw against Javier Garcia in a junior welterweight bout in Calabasas, California last week.

Bussell, a Native American who was born and raised in Oregon, was fighting out of Reno, Nevada and had fought just last month in Corona, California on a Thompson Boxing Promotions. That night he also fought to a draw.

It was obvious to me that Bussell was an extremely brave fighter who refused to submit when he fought a bigger, stronger and faster Ernesto Lara on August 24. Instead he used his amateur boxing experience to out-maneuver his opponent and engaged in combinations when the advantage was his. That night many felt Bussell beat Lara but it was an extremely close contest.

Though I didn’t attend the fight card at the Sagebrush Cantina on Sept. 20, those in attendance said the fight was similar to his battle in Corona. He used his tact and skill to out-hustle Garcia for most of the fight, but in the final sixth round, Garcia managed to score his best punches.

Bussell never quit.

One journalist in attendance Igor Frank said the two fighters embraced each other after the fight and all seemed well.

Suddenly it was apparent that Bussell looked uneasy. He was immediately taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center to the trauma ward and placed on life-support.

The next day his family arrived from Oregon but Bussell was gone.

Garcia’s family from Oxnard, California and Bussell’s Oregon family met in Woodland Hills to share in the grief. According to friends of the family each shared time together in embrace and prayer.

Though professional boxing is often referred to as the gentleman fisticuffs, it is a sport that results in a dozen deaths each year. But warriors continue to choose this path knowing the ultimate sacrifice is just a blow or two away.

These pro boxers like Bussell are the ultimate warriors that have captivated people for centuries and centuries with their unwavering spirits. And we shall never forget them.

Boxing Chatter:

Former WBO welterweight titleholder Antonio Margarito will fight NABF welterweight titleholder Golden Johnson in Madison Square Garden on the semi-main event of the Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley confrontation on Nov. 10.

“We want to keep the number one ranking and remain a mandatory opponent for Paul Williams,” said Sergio Diaz, Margarito’s co-manager. “We also don’t want Tony to be off too long. That’s hurt his performance in the past.”

Diaz said another consideration is fighting the winner of the Cotto-Mosley fight for the WBA welterweight title.

“It’s a big show for Tony to be on,” said Diaz, adding that Margarito is already training in Tijuana where he lives. “He’ll be coming to California in about a week and a half.”

Maskaev Out

WBC heavyweight titleholder Oleg Maskaev has pulled out of his fight against number one contender Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter that was scheduled for Oct. 6, at Madison Square Garden.

Maskaev, who captured the title with a technical knockout over Hasim Rahman a year ago, reportedly suffered an injury while training.

Peter has only one loss and that was by close decision to IBF titleholder Wladimir Klitschko in two years ago.

Irvine, Calif. Fight Card Tonight

A boxing card a the Irvine Marriott Hotel features lightweights Edgar Vargas (11-3) against Tomas Barragan (7-2-1) on Thursday Sept. 27. The event is staged by Roy Englebrecht Promotions.

Also on the fight card will be amateur star Charles Huerta making his pro debut. It should be an action-packed boxing card. Female boxers Kina Malpartida facing Elizabeth Villareal in a lightweight fight. For tickets and information call (949) 760-3131.

Montebello fight card

Jose Karass-Soto leads a fight card at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California on Friday Sept. 28. Also boxing will be Brian Ramirez, Steve Gonzalez, Cesar Garcia, and Artyom Hovhannessyan. For tickets or information call All Star Boxing at (323) 781-4871.

Riverside Lightweight to Meet NYC Lightweight

Riverside lightweight prospect Josesito Lopez (21-2, 13 KOs) takes a big step when he travels to Sacramento to face New York’s Darling Jimenez (23-2-2, 14 KOs) on Friday Oct. 19, 2007. Jimenez recently knocked out another Southern Californian Mighty Mike Anchondo a former WBO junior lightweight titleholder. Lopez recently stopped Mexico’s Luis “El Vampiro” Arce in San Jacinto.

“It’s a big step for Jose. Darling Jimenez is a dangerous fighter,” said Henry Ramirez, who trains Lopez. “It’s not an easy fight.”

The fight will be shown on Telefutura.