SOUTH GATE, Calif.-Every boxing gym across Southern California seems to be working at a fever pitch pace with a series of fight cards rolling in for the next two months.
Three Mexican world champions – Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jessie Magdaleno — arrived for a media day in South Gate to meet the media in advance of a Top Rank fight card at the StubHub Center on April 22 in Carson. It will be shown on pay-per-view In Demand.
Ironically, the champions met at Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez’s Gym in South Gate. For those who do not know, Vazquez is one of the fighters that put the StubHub on the map of boxing legend as an arena for gladiators.
Who can forget the two battles Vazquez fought against Rafael Marquez at the StubHub, first in March 3, 2007 and then in March 1, 2008? Both were riveting and bloody clashes that saw each win. They would fight two other times but in different venues. But those fights at the StubHub (called Home Depot Center at the time) were fights that branded the venue as a gladiator’s home.
Valdez expects to carry on the tradition when he defends the WBO featherweight title against Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga.
“I plan to make up for the last time I fought at the StubHub,” said Valdez who was knocked down but rallied to win by decision against Ruben Tamayo. “I had all my friends there and it made me look bad.”
Magdaleno said he gets excited about fighting at the StubHub.
“I’ve seen some good fights here like Timothy Bradley and (Ruslan) Provodnikov and Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado,” said Magdaleno who defends the WBO super bantamweight title against Brazil’s Adeilson Dos Santos. “I fought here too and won by knockout. I want to do it again.”
Also on the card will be WBO super middleweight titlist Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez who meets Ukraine’s Max Bursak in defense of the title. It’s an outstanding fight card and will showcase US Olympian Shakur Stevenson making his pro debut.
Golden Boy Promotions has another downtown L.A. fight card at the fashionable Belasco Theater on Hill Street. It’s quickly become the most popular venue in Southern California.
The main event features undefeated Ivan Delgado (11-0-1) facing veteran Charles Huerta (18-5, 11 KOs). If I were a betting man I would like Huerta’s chances, especially after his last showing against another undefeated fighter Carlos Morales. Those including myself felt Huerta won that fight. But judges seemed to be partial to Morales’s undefeated record rather than the punches landed by Huerta. It should be a good one.
Also on the card will be four other undefeated fighters including Edgar Valerio. Hopefully this time his fight will take place. Twice before his scheduled bouts disappeared for one reason or another. He’s managed by Joel De La Hoya and has some tools to work with.
Doors open at 5 p.m. on Friday April 14.
Doubletree Hotel Ontario
Thompson Boxing Promotions continues to pump out talented prizefighters from Southern California and South America.
Indio’s Manuel Mendez (14-1-2) faces Mexican veteran Luis “Vampiro” Arceo (28-15-5) in an eight round lightweight clash on Friday April 14, in Ontario. Mendez is a crushing puncher, especially to the body. He’s trained by Joel Diaz and in a recent fight blew out Brazil’s Vitor Freitas, the son of Acelino “Popo” Freitas. It lasted only 2:32 before Mendez blasted Freitas out of there. Normally, the Mexican veteran Arceo would make problems for anyone. But his weakness is blows to the body so I don’t expect this fight to last very long.
Orange County’s Jessie Roman tries to regroup after losing by unanimous decision last summer in New Jersey. Now, Roman clashes with Luis Joel Gonzalez in an eight round lightweight match. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Roy Jones Boxing Promotions and Rebel-T Promotions have a big fight card on Saturday April 15, at the Marriott Convention Center in Burbank.
The main event features Max Ornelas (8-0) opposing Leopoldo Martinez (6-0). The bantamweight fight is set for six rounds. Six other bouts are planned for the boxing card that touts eight undefeated prizefighters.
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.