Amateur boxers from around the country and at least one Pacific island engaged in the 11th annual Desert Showdown in Indio on Wednesday.
It was only the second day of the five-day tournament featuring novices, juniors, seniors and the open division but brisk exchanges took place in almost every bout.
Many of today’s better known prizefighters participated in the Desert Showdown, including Paul Malignaggi, Tim Bradley (pictured above, hyping his September showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez) and Abner Mares as youths. The arena was structured to fit three boxing rings for different levels of amateur boxing. There were seniors, juniors and the tiny tots going at it with a fury of little fists. Of course most of the audience watched the tiny guys.
A team from Missouri was present in full force and a team from Tahiti brought a lot of interest at the proceedings held inside Fantasy Springs Casino’s arena. The Pacific island team had brought very competitive boxers that caught the eye of other boxers.
The tourney ends this weekend so there’s still time to drive to Indio, Calif. and watch the amateur boxers in action. Tickets are $10 for adults. For more information call (760) 702-0206.
Other fight chatter
Undefeated junior middleweight prospects Abraham Han (19-0, 12 Kos) of Texas and Glen Tapia (18-0, 10 Kos) of New Jersey tangle on Friday July 12, at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas. In the co-main event junior featherweight contender Chris Avalos (21-2, 16 Kos) faces Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19 Kos) in a clash of hard-hitters.
A super middleweight main event features Russia’s Maxim Vlasov (25-1, 12 Kos) against Riverside’s Mark Suarez (25-3, 13 Kos) on Friday July 12. The fight card takes place at Ventura County Fairgrounds. It’s Suarez’s first fight in nearly seven years. Vlasov is managed by Cameron Dunkin, who formerly managed Suarez.
Riverside’s Saul “Dinamita” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 6 Kos) fights Compton’s Dominic Coca in a six round junior lightweight match on Saturday July 13, at Hollywood Park Casino. It’s Rodriguez’s first scheduled six round fight. Also, junior lightweight contender Alejandro “Pajarrito” Perez (17-3-1, 11 Kos) fights Edgar Riovalle (35-14-2) in the main event. Top Rank is promoting the fight card.
Former female world champions Marcela Acuna (38-6-1, 17 Kos) and Melissa Hernandez (18-4-3, 6 Kos) clash on Saturday July 13 in San Miguel, Argentina. Hernandez fights out of Florida and is a former lightweight world champion.
WBO super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 Kos) of Germany defends the title against Japan’s knockout specialist Yuzo Kiyota (23-3-1, 21 Kos) on Saturday July 13. Also, WBO female middleweight champion Christina Hammer (14-0, 7 Kos) fights Mikaela Lauren (19-2, 7 Kos). Both fights occur in Dresden, Germany.
Mexican female fighter Mariana “Mexican Barbie” Juarez (36-7-3, 16 Kos) looks to avenge a knockout defeat against Japan’s Riyo Togo (10-4-1, 9 Kos). Juarez was blasted out by Togo several months ago in the first round by the extremely hard-hitting Japanese female. Their fight takes place Saturday July 13 in Mexico City.
WBA and IBO junior welterweight titleholder Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 Kos) defends against Souleymane M'baye (40-4-1, 22 Kos) in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The contest takes place Saturday July 13. Also, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (23-0, 15 Kos) battles Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 Kos) in a light heavyweight clash.
WBO minimumweight titlist Merlito Sabillo (22-0, 11 Kos) faces Colombia’s Jorle Estrada (17-6, 6 Kos) in a world title fight on Saturday July 13. Their encounter takes place at Manila, Philippines. Also, AJ Banal (28-2-1, 20 Kos) fights Ramon Maas (26-3, 15 Kos) in a bantamweight fight.
Britain’s undefeated welterweight Kell Brook (29-0, 19 Kos) fights Oklahoma’s dangerous Carson Jones (35-9-3, 25 Kos) in Yorkshire, England on Saturday July 13. Jones has been training in nearby Big Bear Lake with trainer Abel Sanchez.
The UFC middleweight title changed hands as Chris Weidman (10-0) stopped champion Anderson Silva (33-5) at 1:18 of the second round of their clash on Saturday July 6. UFC 162 took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Other victors were Palm Springs Cub Swanson, Frankie Edgar, Tim Kennedy and Mark Munoz.
Northern California’s Carina Moreno (23-6, 6 Kos) lost the female WBA flyweight world title to Susi Kentikian (31-2, 16 Kos) by decision after 10 rounds on Saturday. The rematch was held in Germany. Moreno had previously defeated Kentikian in Germany last year but couldn’t do it a second time.
Former featherweight world champion Billy Dib (36-2, 21 Kos) of Australia defeated Mike Oliver (25-4, 8 Kos) by decision after 10 rounds on Friday. The match was held in Hartford, Conn.