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Sacramento fight scene expands

Courtesy Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s Red Lion Hotel, in extensive renovation under new management, will feature a title fight for its first outdoors boxing card Saturday night, Sept. 12. Hotel co-owner Jeff Berger, along with promoter Nasser Niavaroni, said the patio area setting will more than double crowd capacity of indoor shows in its ballroom, currently limited to 500 seats. The scheduled main event Sept. 12 will be a title defense by North American Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion Matt Godfrey (19-1) of Providence, R.I.., ranked #3 by the WBC. Challenging Godfrey will be the winner of Friday night’s ballroom main event (Aug. 7) between Michael Simms (20-11-1) of Sacramento and former IBF cruiserweight champion Kelvin Davis (24-10-2) of Reno. Berger, a former boxing manager, and Niavaroni, who operates a stable of boxing and MMA competitors in nearby Roseville, see the remodeled Red Lion, formerly known as the Sacramento Inn, as a relatively new ring venue in California’s capital city to help keep area fighters busy. Arco Arena, with Don Chargin as promoter, has been the site of most major fights in Sacramento, home base of former world champions Tony Lopez, Bobby Chacon, Loreto Garza and Willie Jorrin.




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