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Boxing makes a comeback in Sacramanto

Courtesy, Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee

After a quiet first half of the year, the Sacramento area, once a boxing-hotbed, is suddenly alive with three cards this month, beginning Saturday night at the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel and Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville, followed by a July 26 show at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.

At the Woodlake, formerly the Radisson Hotel, promoter Nasser Niavaroni has scheduled an ambitious lineup of seven pro bouts, including women, in addition to amateur fights and mixed martial arts. The pro boxing main event is between junior-lightweights Stan Martyniouk (12-1) of Antelope and David Rodela (16-8-3) of Oxnard.

At the Placer Fairgrounds, promoter Mark Nanney ( is advertising several short bouts, with junior-middleweights Aaron Coley (6-0) of Hayward and Saul Benitez (2-3) of Mesa, Ariz., in the main.

Thunder Valley, meanwhile, is making the move from smaller cards to an internationally-telecast show next Friday. On tap at its amphitheatre, to be aired by ESPN2, is a promotion by Philadelphia-based Banner Promotions with the main between junior-lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1) of Mexico and Yakubu Amidu (20-4-1) of Los Angeles. The casino and Ticketmaster are ticket outlets.

The most recent card of consequence in Sacramento, staged by Hall-of-Fame promoter Don Chargin, was last October at the historic downtown Memorial Auditorum, launching pad for many of Sacramento’s top fighters, including Pete Ranzany, Tony Lopez, Loreto Garza, Bobby Chacon.

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