Around town the boxing gyms are busy with a cluster of boxing gyms flung into high gear in preparation for a number of fights.
First off, UFC Gym Torrance is officially opening for work outs on Saturday, March 31. Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson and Mark Munoz are among those mixed martial art stars that will be in attendance. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and don’t end until 5 p.m.
Kelly Pavlik, the former middleweight world champion, fights Aaron Jaco (15-2, 5 KOs) on Saturday. Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) trained in Oxnard, California under Robert Garcia. Also scheduled on the card is Riverside featherweight prospect Saul Rodriguez (3-0). The Top Rank card takes place in San Antonio, Texas.
Raymundo Beltran (25-6, 17 KOs) was supposed to headline the main event at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, Calif. The March 31 fight card also features Javier “Pelos” Garcia a lightweight prospect. For more information call (818) 521-2373.
Bert Sugar, 74, boxing writer and historian, died Sunday of a heart attack in New York. He was known for wearing a fedora and dangling a cigar from his mouth and had a flamboyant personality. He’s a former editor-in-chief of Ring Magazine and author of more than 80 books on boxing. The last time I spoke to Sugar we discovered we both shared the same favorite boxing movie called “The Prizefighter and the Lady,” starring former heavyweight champion Max Baer. It’s a tremendous loss to the boxing world. That day we drank margaritas and shared a toast. Here’s remembering that toast Bert.
Other fight chatter
Former U.S. amateur star Edgar Alvarado, a middleweight out of San Bernardino, signed a promotional boxing contract with Top Rank. He recently fought in the Olympic trials but just missed last month qualifying for Team USA.
NABF junior lightweight titleholder Diego Magdaleno (22-0, 8 KOs) of Las Vegas stopped Mexican challenger Fernando Beltran Jr. (36-8-1) at 2:28 of round seven. The match was held in Tucson, Arizona. Also, heavyweight hopeful Andy Ruiz (14-0, 8 KOs) out-pointed Homero Fonseca (9-5-3) after eight rounds.
Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (31-3, 21 KOs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Antwone Smith (21-4-1, 12 KOs) last Friday in Pharr, Texas. Junior middleweight contender Garcia resides in Texas but trains in Hollywood, Calif.
Ju Hee Kim (15-1-1, 6 KOs) met Thailand’s Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (5-1) for the junior flyweight world title on Friday. The battle for several junior flyweight belts took place in Seoul, South Korea.
Former world champion Yory Boy Campos (99-16-1, 78 KOs) looked for his 100th career professional victory on Friday. The Mexican warrior Campos faced Mauro Lucero (46-16-1, 32 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round middleweight affair in Sonora, Mexico.
Colombia’s Lely Luz Florez (11-4, 6 KOs) battled Peru’s Valentina Shevchenko (2-0) in a lightweight bout set for 10 rounds. The female match took place on Friday in Lima, Peru. Ironically the junior lightweight world champion Kina Malpartida resides in Peru. The victor could be facing Malpartida in the near future.
Former middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (33-3, 27 KOs) fights Piotr Wilczewski (30-2, 10 KOs) for the WBO European super middleweight title. Their meeting takes place on Saturday March 31 in Kiel, Germany.
Two Mexican former world champions Cristian Mijares (44-6-2, 20 KOs) and Cruz Carbajal (32-18-2, 26 KOs) collide on Saturday March 31. Their encounter will be held in Morelia, Mexico.
WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Ana Maria Torres (27-3-3, 15 KOs) faces Maria Miranda (14-7, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round world title bout. Their match is set for Saturday March 31 in Los Cabos, Mexico. Also fighting will be Ava Knight (7-1-3) defending the IBF flyweight title against Hongfah Tor Buamas (15-4).
Former junior lightweight world champion Jorge Linares (31-2, 20 KOs) of Venezuela fights Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson (21-2, 19 KOs) of Mexico on Saturday March 31. Linares’ last fight was against current lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco of Mexico.
Former junior welterweight world champion Paul Malignaggi (30-4) challenges WBA welterweight titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko on April 29 in Moscow, Russia. The world championship bout will be televised on pay-per-view at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Malignaggi has found success at 147-pounds with victories over Jose Miguel Cotto, Michael Lozada and Orlando Lora.
Eva Wahlstrom (7-0-1) battles Agota Ilko (7-1) for the vacant EBU junior lightweight title on Saturday March 31, in Espoo, Finland. Wahlstrom fights out of Helsinki, Finland and Ilko is from Hungary.
Long Island, New York’s Chris Algieri (13-0, 6 KOs) fights Winston Mathis (7-4-1) in an eight round welterweight bout. The main event takes place on Saturday March 31 at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York. Algieri was training in Oxnard, California to prepare for this fight.
Katy Castillo (15-1, 9 KOs) captured the IBF junior featherweight world title by unanimous decision over Ada Velez (20-4-3) last Saturday. The fight took place in Castillo’s home town Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. IBF featherweight titleholder Dahiana Santana (29-6) stopped replacement challenger Diana Garcia (12-16) in 2 minutes of round two to retain the title.
Germany’s Elina Tissen (14-2) beat Doris Koehler (8-10-1) after 10 rounds to retain the GBU featherweight title. Tissen won by unanimous decision in the bout that took place in Munster, Germany last Saturday.
AJ “Bazook” Banal (27-1-1, 20 KOs) knocked out Raul Hidalgo (16-3, 12 KOs) at 2:29 of round one of a bantamweight bout. Their Asian bantamweight title bout took place last Saturday in Cebu City.
IBF junior featherweight titleholder Takalani Ndlovu (33-7, 18 KOs) lost the title to Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) by split decision after 12 rounds. The match was held in Brakpan, South Africa. Both hail from that country.
Former world champion Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KOs) stopped Vernon Paris (26-1, 15 KOs) at 2:27 of round nine last Saturday. Their match was held in Brooklyn, New York. Also, Tomasz Adamek (45-2, 28 KOs) won by unanimous decision against Nagy Aguilera (17-7) after 10 rounds.
In a battle of Canadian lightweights it was Jelena Mrdjenovich (27-8-1, 14 KOs) who emerged the winner by knockout over Lindsay Garbatt (7-5-1). Mrdjenovich ended the battle for the vacant WBC featherweight title at 1:45 of round one. The fight was held in Edmonton.
EBU lightweight titleholder Gavin Rees (36-1-1, 17 KOs) knocked out Anthony Mezaache (21-7-3, 6 KOs) at 45 seconds into round seven. The match was held in France last Saturday.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?