Unbeaten welterweight Michael Finney
is a huge NASCAR fan. “My favorite
driver is Jeff Gordon. I root for car #24
every weekend,” he said.

Finney, from car race country Smiths Station,
Alabama, describes himself an “up and coming
fighter” who is 11-0-0. He will box Raul Tovar
of Texas on Top Rank's Solo Boxeo Tecate fight
card at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in
Las Vegas on June 8.

Finney, 21, trains with former champion
Richie Sandoval at the Top Rank Gym
in Las Vegas. On fight nights, Trainer
of the Year Robert Garcia is usually in
the corner as well.

Finney noted “while growing up I tried all
of the sports -baseball, football, basketball
– even a little soccer. I wasn't too good in any
of those.”

“Then my mother said there is a new boxing
gym opening near our house. In a few days I
was over there to take a look.”

Finney found his sport. As an amateur boxer
he fought over 150 times, won medals and was
spotted at the 2009 U.S.Nationals by Cameron
Dunkin, who became his manager.

“Cameron was the first to talk to me. It was
very exciting for me, a kid from Alabama,”
Finney said.

“The key thing for me now is training,” said
Finney, who signed with Top Rank. “I want
to do well and I know what kind of work it
takes to get where I want to go – to the big


“I plan to go to my first race this summer.
I'll be looking out for car 24,” he said.

Tickets for the Top Rank boxing event
are $50, $25 plus applicable fees and
are available at the Hard Rock box office
in Las Vegas and at ticketmaster.com