By Francisco Salazar
Back by popular demand (and time away from my smart, yet crazy students), another edition of Southern California Fight Scene is here. Lots of action over the next five weeks in Southern California, boxers from the area fighting abroad, and other news and commentary to boot.
Let’s get started.
Boxing returns this Friday night to the beautiful Central Coast with a stellar card at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA. Aside from the vineyards where people can do their wine tasting, the Chumash Casino has become synonymous with some of the best fight cards not only in California, but across the country. In the main event, world titleholder Sergiy Dzinziruk will defend his belt against Daniel Dawson. Unbeaten Cruiserweight Lateef Kayode will take on Jose Luis Herrera on the undercard portion of the card. Also, unbeaten Vernon Paris will now take on Juan Santiago in the televised co-feature. Tickets start at just $25 and go up to $85 for ringside. For tickets, call the Chumash Casino box office at 1-800-CHUMASH. Showtime will televise on its popular “ShoBox: the New Generation” series.
Also on Friday night, two fighters from Southern California will hope to resurrect their careers. Former world champion Julio Diaz (36-6, 26 KO’s) of Coachella will take on contender Herman Ngoudjo (18-3, 10 KO’s) in a 10 round Junior Welterweight bout at the Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, NV. Also on the card, Super Featherweight Dominic Salcido (17-2, 9 KO’s) will face unbeaten Guillermo Sanchez (11-0-1, 5 KO’s) in an eight round clash. For tickets and information, contact the casino box office at (702) 382-4388 or (702) 382-1212.
On Saturday night, Victor Ortiz will face the most difficult opponent of his young career in Nate Campbell at the Theatre inside of Madison Square Garden in New York City. Ortiz, who has lived in Oxnard and now trains out of nearby Ventura, is coming off a 10th round stoppage victory over Hector Alatorre in February. The bout, which will precede the Paul Malignaggi-Amir Khan title bout, will be shown on HBO.
Most of Southern California fight fans, including media alike, can not wait until the big grudge match between Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez on Saturday, May 22nd at STAPLES CENTER in Los Angeles. As if that bout was not enough, Yonnhy Perez will defend his Bantamweight title against Abner Mares. Both Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw will promote what should be a great night of action.
For fight fans in the High Desert of Southern California who can not make the drive into L.A. on May 22nd, boxing returns to the Karma Club in Victorville. II Feathers Promotions in association with Ernesto Torres Promotions & Mextli Entertainment presents “THUNDER IN THE RING II,” with four and six round bouts scheduled. Last March, Marron Productions and Chargin Promotions presented a show that almost filled the venue and is sure to sell out again. Tickets could be purchased at the Karma Club (760) 955-1600) or by calling (760) 713-7042.
Golden Boy Promotions returns to the Club Nokia at L.A. Live with another installment of their popular “Fight Night Club” on Thursday, May 27th. Making his long-awaited return to the ring will be former world title challenger Jose Navarro taking on the crafty Benjamin Garcia. Super Featherweight David Rodela of Oxnard hopes to rebound from two straight defeats in an eight round bout. Also on the card is hot prospect Frankie Gomez. For tickets, call 1-877-AEG TICKETS (1-877-234-8425).
Professional boxing returns to Ventura County for the first time in a few years. All Star Boxing and Scraptime Promotions present “Scraptime in Simi Valley” at Royal High School in Simi Valley, CA on Saturday, June 11th. Tickets start at $35 with proceeds going to “helping families of children with difficulties & knocking out childhood obesity.” For tickets and information, contact Kid Gloves Boxing at (805) 526-3214 or (805) 304-0381.
- TKO Boxing Promotions is scheduled to return to the Commerce Casino in Commerce on Thursday, June 3rd. Stay tune for more information.
- Kudos to former world champion Fernando Vargas in promoting his first show, along with Roy Englebrecht, on Saturday, June 19th in Findlay, CA. Vargas, who was born and raised in Oxnard, now resides in Las Vegas.
- Although Vargas does not call Ventura County home, several professional fighters are now taking up residence in the “805.” Newly-crowned Middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez will now reside in Ventura County, as he trained in Oxnard for his bout against Kelly Pavlik. Heavyweight Audley Harrison resides in Westlake Villege, which borders Ventura County. Fighters like Brian Viloria, Argenis Mendez, Alfonso Gomez, and Antonio Margarito have temporarily taken up residence in Ventura County to train inside of gyms located in Oxnard.
- Aside from the “Nightmare” and “Heavyweight contender,” this reporter has a suggestion for another nickname for Chris Arreola. Based on his unique, insightful, and hilarious comments that tend to flow so easily out of his mouth, might I suggest Chris Arreola be also known as “king of the one-liners?” Just a thought.
Thanks for the comments and emails. Come see me at ringside.