By Jeff Reiners
Gilbert Venegas didn’t enjoy his November homecoming victory in Davenport for very long. Lance Williams, a local prospect, called him out shortly afterwards. Luckily for Quad City fight fans, the prideful 14 year pro is eager to answer the challenge from his younger rival. Venegas (11-8-3, 7 KO’s) believes his ring experience and new found dedication will be too much for Williams and his relative youth. “I feel disrespected he called me out. He’ll regret not waiting until I was a little older before asking for this fight,” Venegas said with a laugh from Moline’s Alley Cat Boxing Club.
Lance Williams (4-0, 4 KO’s) scoffs at the idea that he’s at a disadvantage experience wise. He cites an amateur background that included wins over future world champion Victor Ortiz and several undefeated pros.
“Boxing is a non-stop thing for me. This won’t be the first time I’ve faced someone with experience.”
Both Venegas and Williams were quick to embrace top billing when former middleweight world title challenger Antwun Echols (32-19-4, 28 KO’s) withdrew from the main event over a purse dispute.
The promotion anticipates a sellout, with each main event fighter bringing a sizable fan base to the classic, “old versus new” confrontation.
“This is the most anticipated boxing card in Davenport since Michael Nunn faced James Toney here in 1991,” said promoter Clint Calkins.
“We’re putting in extra seating because of advance ticket sales.”
In the co-feature George Carter Jr. (8-0, 4 KO’s) fights late replacement Sean Rawley Wilson (5-12-1, 7 KO’s) at middleweight.
Chicago Golden Gloves champion Limberth Ponce (2-0, 1 KO) will appear on the undercard against Eli Smith (0-1). Ponce continues his promising ascent under long-time mentor and trainer Jeff Perez.
Weeks after engaging in a MMA bout against each other, Bettendorf’s Jack Klemme (1-0, 1 KO) and Ottumwa’s Jeremy Marts (8-13, 6 KO’s) fight an intriguing rematch at middleweight.
Heavyweight Donovan Dennis (1-0, 1 KO) of Davenport faces Dakota Talbott (0-5) of Saint Joseph, MO.
Vic Martinez of Moline makes his pro debut against Ricky Thompson (1-7, 3 KO’s) of Tampa, FL.
Local amateur star Travis Thomas (1-0, 1 KO) matches up with Justin Gaithier (0-1) of Baraga, Mi. at welterweight.
Super middleweight and Davenport native Fred Thomas (0-10-2) looks to get in the win column against Kenneth Taylor Schmitz (2-6, 1 KO).
Iowa heavyweights Alex Rozman and Brandon Segura face off in their respective pro debut.
The “The Civil War” is presented in association with Armer Boxing and Calkins Sports Productions. The nine-fight card begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Davenport’s historic Danceland Ballroom.
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 ringside. Free parking directly across the street at the Scott County Courthouse.