Deep in downtown Los Angeles near the fashion district where thousands look for deals and new styles, Golden Boy Promotions has been doing something similar with prizefighters.
It’s another year and another new batch of prospects stepping into the spotlight.
A small but powerful cast of hard-hitting prospects led by Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha enter the ornate and colorful Belasco Theater on Friday June 2. The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised on Estrella TV and streamed on RingTV.Live.
Once again the Los Angeles-based company rolls out a batch of prospects developed mostly from the Southern California area with the exception of Florida’s Niko Valdes.
Rocha, 19, a southpaw slugger from the boxing stables in Santa Ana, has been steamrolling opponents with ridiculous ease. Now, the younger brother of featherweight contender Ronny Rios faces another undefeated super welterweight in Cesar Valenzuela from Chihuahua, Mexico.
Valenzuela, 31, only has two knockouts but you never know what to expect from a fighter from Mexico. Plus, he’s knocked out the last two opponents that stepped into the ring to oppose him in boxing rings in El Paso, Texas.
Still, this isn’t El Paso.
Not since Pancho Villa captured Juarez during the Mexican Revolution has El Paso witnessed a winning fighter on a national scale. Valenzuela (7-0, 2 KOs) will face Rocha (7-0, 6 KOs) in the main event at Belasco. But neither is guaranteed a win.
Several times recently undefeated fighters have been toppled at Belasco. Most recently undefeated Ivan Delgado had his 12-fight unbeaten string snapped by Charles Huerta this past April and Chimpa Gonzalez saw a similar fate when his 16-win unblemished streak was stained unceremoniously by Romero Duno of the Philippines.
Belasco Theater has not been kind to the undefeated.
Three other undefeated prospects will enter the boxing ring on Friday, including Miami’s Niko Valdes (4-0, 4 KOs) who meets Ernesto Berrospe (11-10) in a six round super middleweight contest. Don’t expect that fight to last very long. Berrospe has not been involved in a fight that has reached the distance in six years.
Valdes, 23, last fight was a struggle in this same venue when he was able to out-tough his opponent last March. After three rounds of violent exchanges the curly-haired Miami fighter overwhelmed Alejandro Osuna to get a knockout win in the last round.
A super bantamweight clash might prove interesting when Armenian slugger Azat Hovhannisyan (11-2, 10 KOs) fights Tijuana, Mexico’s Isao “Kato” Carranza (15-8-1, 8 KOs) in a scheduled eight round match.
Hovhannisyan, 28, has faced the better competition including his pro debut which he lost against Riverside’s whirlwind puncher Juan “Pochito” Reyes. That was just a stroke of bad luck meeting Reyes in his first pro fight. Since that fight in April 2011 only one fighter has managed to beat him in a dozen pro bouts.
Carranza, 30, is a scrappy Mexico City fighter who recently lost to world title challenger Juan Payano who defeated and then lost to Rau’shee Warren in fights for the WBA super bantamweight title. The Mexican fighter has experience but has only fought in the U.S once. He’s looking to make a name and a win over Hovhannisyan could keep him fighting for bigger purses in the U.S.
Other fighters expected to enter the ring are super featherweights Jousce Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs) and Tenochtitlan Nava (5-0, 1 KO) in separate bouts. Gonzalez, 21, is the younger brother of undefeated Joet Gonzalez.
Doors open at 5 p.m. Belasco Theater is located at 1050 Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles 90015.
Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.