By Gary “Digital” Williams
Hometown hero and Great Falls, VA native Jimmy Lange returns to his home base at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA on Saturday, May 2. Lange will try for his second regional title as he challenges veteran Frank Houghtaling of Albany, NY for the vacant WBC USNBC Junior Middleweight title in the main event of this ICE Promotions card.
Lange (29-3-2, 20 KO’s) will be making his seventh straight appearance at the Patriot Center and the Houghtaling contest will be his fourth try at a regional belt in what has become his home arena. Lange lost a contest for the NABO Middleweight title by third-round knockout to Joey Gilbert on February 18, 2006. After a draw with Fontaine Cabell for the WBC Continental Americas Junior Middleweight crown in December of 2006, Lange finally captured that title in the rematch on May 12, 2007, stopping Cabell in the eighth round.
Lange had to relinquish that title because of a rotator cuff injury suffered in the second Cabell fight and was on the shelf for almost 18 months. Lange returned on November 1, 2008 and won a 10-round unanimous decision over Grover Wiley.
Houghtaling (19-15-5, four KO’s), who will be trying to break a three-bout losing streak, has fought quality opposition throughout his career including Matthew Hatton, Hercules Kyvelos and Contender — Season 2 star Gary Balletto and has won three regional titles during his career. Houghtaling is also no stranger to the Beltway area, having fought former world champion and Beltway legend Sharmba Mitchell on a nationally-televised card on July 2, 2002 at the Lincoln Theatre in DC. Houghtaling lost a 10-round unanimous decision.
The co-feature bout will be a matchup of two veterans as DC middleweight Purcell “Hard Rock” Miller will battle Altoona, PA’s Thomas Wilt in an eight-round contest. The two boxers appeared on the same Patriot Center card back on October 7, 2006. Miller (22-5-1, 18 KO’s) lost an eight-round unanimous decision to Larry Marks while Wilt (21-6, four KO’s) fell via 10th-round TKO in the main event against Lange.
Since that card, Wilt has only fought once, winning a six-round unanimous decision over Jerome Elder on November 3, 2007 in Morgantown, WVA. Wilt also serves as the head coach of the Penn State University Boxing Club. Miller, meanwhile, has not been back in the ring since the Marks bout.
The card will mark the return of female featherweight prospect Jennifer “The Bolivian” Salinas who returns to the ring after giving birth to her second child two years ago. Salinas was born in Alexandria, VA to a Bolivian father and an American mother. At age two, Salinas and her family moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where she lived until age 15.
The family moved back to the United States and settled in Grand Rapids, MI where Salinas was an active athlete competing in soccer, swimming, dance…and wrestling, where she competed on the Rogers High School wrestling team and more than held her own. Salinas finished fourth in the state at 125 pounds and eighth in the nationals as a sophomore.
Salinas entered the work world after her sophomore year (eventually earning her GED) and eventually took up boxing, winning Golden Glove honors before turning pro in 2004, the same year she had her first child. Salinas compiled a 9-1, three KO record before taking off two years after the birth of her second child.
The 26-year-old Salinas now fights out of Manassas, VA and works as a trainer at the LA Boxing gyms in Chantilly and Reston, VA. Salinas will take on Christina Leadbeater of Philadelphia, PA (2-2) in a four-round bout.
Centreville, VA featherweight “Tattoo” Tom Mitchell will return to the ring in a four-round rematch against DC’s Yieta Johnson. Mitchell said he never intended to step back into the boxing ring after his second-round TKO loss to Johnson on November 1 in Fairfax, VA. The bout helped raise $7,000 towards research to fight cancer. Mitchell’s daughter, Shayla (who had stage 3 Hodgkin’s disease) lost her fight with cancer on January 28 at the age of 18.
According to Mitchell, Shayla — who accompanied her father to the ring in November — remains a big inspiration and that led to Johnson preparing for a rematch.
“One of the last things my daughter said to me before she passed away was ‘Am I still brave, Dad?’ After she died I asked myself the same question,” said Mitchell, who plans to have several special guests accompany him to ring this time around. Just like last time, the promoter, Jackie Kallen of ICE Promotions, has agreed to donate one-third of all of Mitchell’s personal tickets sales plus his entire fight purse to Growing Hope, a local 501(c) charitable organization. ICE Promotionspresented the non-profit group with a check for over $7,000 as result of Mitchell’s efforts.
In other bouts on the card, there will be a four-round light heavyweight rematch between, Fairfax, VA’s Otganbayer Daivii and “The African Warrior” Francois Ambang of Richmond, VA. Ambang, a native of Cameroon (2-2), won the first contest by four-round unanimous decision on February 20 in Westminster and since then, looked impressive in a four-round unanimous decision victory over Darryl Johnson on April 11 in Lynchburg, VA. Daivii, who originally hails from Mongolia (2-2-1, one KO), has not fought since the February 20th bout.
Undefeated 18-year-old Haymarket, VA welterweight Juan “The Savior” Rodriguez (2-0, two KO’s) will battle Dwartney Worthman (0-1) of Atlanta, GA in a four-round contest.
A couple of four-round all-DC matchups will also be a part of the undercard. There will be a lightweight tussle between Kendrick “Holy Hands” Walker (1-2, one KO) and Taurean Edwards (0-1) and a heavyweight battle between Delonte Marshall (0-2) and the debuting Andrew Jackson.
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