By Sam DiTusa
Like the economy, the fight scene has suffered some what of a recession in the Pacific Northwest. But like the Dow Jones, area casinos and arenas are starting to rebound nicely as Spring turns toward Summer. Starting off the parade will be a very interesting show on June 12th at the Spirit Mountain Casino & Resort in Grand Ronde, Oregon promoted by Roy Jones & Square Ring.
The ten-round main event pits the Northwest’s own Dewey Welliver (18-18-1, 6 KOs) against the rugged Daniel “The Haitian Sensation” Edouard (21-2-2, 12 KOs) in a fight which I believe will be much better then the records indicate. While Edouard’s rising career has been chronicled well, Welliver has had a roller coaster ride which saw him start out as a promising prospect, and then fall to the depths of stepping stone pug, who took fights for the money. What makes this time different is that Welliver appears to have finally grown up outside the ring, and the stability of a family and sobriety should make a difference in this battle.
The undercard appears strong with lightweight Verquan Kimbrough ( 20-1-2, 7 KOs) going up against Justo Sanchez, (18-22) in the eight-round co-feature. Also light heavies Rayco Saunders (16-11-2, 7 KOs) and Roger Cantrell ( 15-1, 8 KOs) tangle in what should be a fast-paced six-rounder. Cruiserweight Gary Gomez (18-10-1, 7 KOs) will also appear in a six-rounder against Leo Bercier,( 7-9, 5 KOs). Rounding out the card is 147 pounder Dashon Johnson ( 6-2-2, 1 KO) against John Redtomahawk (4-4), and a rematch between Manny Ortega ( 1-0) and Marco Canderos (0-1) in the featherweight division. Tickets can be purchased at the casino’s Coyote Club at www.starticketsplus.com or by calling (800)585-3737. Get your tickets fast, the last show sold out.
* * *
June 19th marks the return of West Coast Promotions “Rumble at the Rock” series at the famed River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC, Canada. Headlining will be local favorite Junior Moar (6-2) against Abdullah Ramadin (15-8, 9 KOs) for the Canadian light heavyweight title. Also appearing will be Jegbefumere Bone Albert (5-0, 3 KOs) vs Willard Lewis (17-20) in a cruiserweight non-title bout. Tickets are on sale at the River Rock Casino.
* * *
The longest current running casino show in Washington state returns on June 20th as the “Battle at the Boat” series plays out event number 72 at the Emerald Queen Casino. Promoter Brian Halquist and matchmaker Bill Hunt have signed Tacoma’s own Emmitt Linton (33-5-2, 15 KOs) against Kingsley Ikeke (24-3, 13 KOs) in the main event. The last time Ikeke came to town he left with three belts and a TKO win over Kenny Ellis. The undercard will be loaded with local talent. Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets and the casino box office for the 7:00 PM start.
* * *
Possibly the biggest news to report is a project being put together by Bob Oleson and CAM Boxing Promotions. A gala pay per view card at the Portland Armory which would feature several up and coming fighters from around the country in tough competitive fights is currently in the works. Proceeds from the event will be going to support the past and present veterans. This has been a dream of Bob Oleson’s for some time, and as of this writing, it looks like it will happen. Stay tuned to fightnews.com, your exclusive source of information for all the details on this amazing event.
Until next time, keep your hands up and your chin down.