For over a century, Los Angeles has been regarded as one of the greatest boxing cities in the world. With a large fan base, Los Angeles has also been the home and the home-away-from home for many of the best and most exciting boxers in the history of the sports. Since the mid 40’s, local boxing has had an interesting relationship with local television and now, after almost 10 years of absence, it is making a long-awaited return into the Southern California homes. Starting on July 30th, KWHW-TV, Channel 22, in association with Big Star Promotions will launch a new live boxing series entitled “Noche de Boxeo” , a monthly two-hour feature to be presented live on the last Thursday of every month.
The inaugural card on a one-year agreement, will be televised from the El Monte Expo Center in El Monte on July 30th starting at 8:00 PM. The El Monte Expo Center is located at 12051 Garvey Avenue, El Monte, California.
A special attraction will feature former WBO lightweight world champion “Mighty” Mike Anchondo (28-2, 19 KOs) moving up in weight to take on Nicaragua’s Octavio Narvaez in a welterweight contest.
In the main event East L.A.’s Aron Martinez will put his (10-1-1, 3 KOs) record on the line against local prospect, Santiago Perez (11-2-2, 2 KOs) the son of the great Ultiminio “Sugar” Ramos, in the super welter weight division.
In an 8-round welterweight contest. Jose Celaya (31-4, 16 KOs) will attempt to get back on the winning track after his loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in an 8-round junior middleweight bout, against Gary Young.
In the undercard, Francisco Mora will face Russian Khamidsohn Atazhanov in a 4-round bout in the super welter weight division. Demetrio Soto will fight a 4 round bout against an opponent to be determined.
Historically, KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles, made history in 1946 when it started televising boxing matches from the Olympic Auditorium and other local venues. That was the time where there were fewer than 1000 television sets ion the area.
Later, KCOP, Channel 13 also televised live boxing matches, originating from the Grand Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, on and off from the late 1960s until as recently as the mid-1990s, with legendary Los Angeles sportscaster Jim Healy calling the blow-by-blow action in the early years.
Since 1982, Forum Boxing, through Prime Ticket Television Network, also transmitted it’s Monday Night fight cards, although these were intended for national viewership . In 1993, through its affiliate station, Spanish Language television La Cadena Deportiva, began transmitting the same cards nationally.
The last Los Angeles based station to transmit live boxing shows was KCAL , Channel 9 in Los Angeles. KCAL transmitted 6 shows per year until 1999, where the activity was suspended, after the Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers left the Great Western Forum –the base for Forum Boxing and KCAL Boxing- and moved to the Staples Center.
The popular fight cards got terrific ratings. Starting in 1995, KCAL won three Emmy Awards for its boxing series.
For the “Noche de Boxeo” two members of the popular KCAL boxing series, Fernando Paramo and Marcelino Avila, will be the hosts of the program. Paramo, a highly recognized commentator and writer, will have blow-by-blow responsibilities, while Marcelino Avila, an ex boxer and boxing historian, will provide the color and commentary. Both Paramo and Avila are multiple (3) Emmy Award winners for their work in the KCAL boxing series.
“We believe the time is right for a series such as Noche de Boxeo” , said Big Star Production director, Adrian Garcia. “Currently boxing is in a crossroad, few aging superstars, some big-name fights, but very little entertainment and real boxing. Los Angeles has a great boxing tradition and we will work hard to continue such tradition”
“We will showcase upcoming talent and ensure that or cards have legitimate contests. These Channel 22 live fight cards should provide the opportunity to boxers, and two hours of great entertainment for the viewers,” added Garcia.