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Column

Southern California Fight Scene

By Francisco Salazar

By all means, living in Southern California has its perks. Mostly beautiful weather that occurs year-round. In-n-Out burgers around the corner. Winning professional sports teams. Oh, did I mention boxing? To many of the journalists, including myself, and fights fans in the region, boxing is always in season. In Southern California, there are times when fight cards happen on consecutive days or during a three-day stretch. Or how about this Saturday, when three fight cards take place within a 90 mile stretch of one another?

Yup, it is great to be a boxing scribe or a die-hard boxing fan. Just as it is a fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in first place in the National League West, fight fans will be attending one of these shows.

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The big fight card in Southern California (and abroad for that matter) will take place in Carson at the Home Depot Center Tennis Stadium. The eight-bout “Four Warned” card is something that I have been looking forward to for the last couple of weeks.

Four of the bouts will be televised live on Showtime at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. The main event will be a 12 round light heavyweight bout between Antonio Tarver and unbeaten Lateef Kayode. The bout that I am looking forward to is the 12 round super welterweight bout between Austin Trout and Delvin Rodriguez.

Also on the Showtime telecast is the 10 round grudge match between middleweights Winky Wright and Peter Quillin and the 12 round bantamweight bout between Leo Santa Cruz and Vusi Malinga.

For fight fans in attendance, two more bouts will take place. Super middleweights Dyah Ali Davis and Sakio Bika square off in a 10 round clash and Sharif Bogere faces Manuel Leyva in a 10 round lightweight bout.

Tickets start at $25 and go up to $200. Doors open at 2:30PM, with first bell scheduled for 3:15PM local time. For tickets, call 877-604-8777.

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For fight fans in the Southern California desert that cannot make the drive to the metropolitan area of Los Angeles on Saturday night, Golden Boy Promotions presents a fight card at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.

In the main event, Andrew Cancio (13-1-2, 11 KOs) and former world title challenger Rocky Juarez (28-9-1, 20 KOs) fight in a scheduled 10 round bout. In the co-feature bout, unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr. (13-0, 7 KOs) will take on Rahman Yusubov (8-7, 6 KOs) in a scheduled six round junior middleweight bout.

Tickets start at $25 and could be purchased by calling (800) 827-2946. Doors open at 6PM, with first bell is scheduled for 7PM.

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As if fight in Southern California did not have enough to choose from on Saturday night, All Star Boxing Promotions presents an eight-bout “Combat United” boxing/MMA card at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello.

Six four-round bouts will highlight the card. In the main event, junior welterweight Jaime Ocegueda (5-0, 3 KOs) of East Los Angeles, CA will take on Jalani Wilson (0-1-1) of Victorville, CA. Lightweight Allan Benitez (5-1, 1 KO) of Oxnard, CA battles Osman Rivera (1-2) of Highland Park, CA. Danny Garcia (5-1, 3 KOs) returns to the ring after a five and a half year layoff to take on Jose Alvarez (1-1) in a light heavyweight matchup.

Rounding out the card is super lightweight Kevin Salgado (1-0) of Temecula, CA squaring off against Luis Hernandez (0-2) of San Bernardino, CA. Junior middleweight Aaron Coley (1-0) of San Francisco, CA faces John Dunham (1-8-1) of Stockton, CA and heavyweight John Hamm makes his professional debut against Larry Ward (0-2).

Tickets to the show start at $50 and could be purchased by calling (323) 781-4871 or (323) 816-6200. Doors open at 6:30PM, with first bell scheduled for 7:30PM.

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Welterweight Rashad Holloway (12-2-2, 5 KOs) has not been in the ring since suffering a shoulder injury during his June 10th victory over Jhon Berrio. However, it does not mean that he has not involved with the sport while he has been rehabbing the injury.

Holloway recently opened a fitness gym in West Hollywood called Cut Up Gym. Holloway describes his gym as a “personal training studio” where boxing, plyometric, and weight training takes place.

Although it is commendable that Holloway has become an entrepreneur and has a second career of sorts, I hope he is able to return to the ring.

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Promoter Roy Englebrecht presents another card of his popular “Fight Club OC” series on Thursday, June 7th. Unbeaten middleweight Brandon Adams (5-0, 3 KOs) of Los Angeles takes on Cleven Ishe (3-6, 1 KO) in a scheduled six round bout.

Four more bouts will round out the card.

The popular series takes place at the Hanger at the Orange County Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa. Fight fans have raved about the atmosphere inside the venue, which includes a large screen where fans could watch the action or highlights.

Tickets start at $50 and could be purchased by calling (949) 760-3131. First bell is scheduled at 7:30PM.

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As a teacher, I am always excited when my students graduate, excel in the classroom or in sports, or are successful in “the real world.”

Super featherweight Abraham Morales, who was a student in my Economics class last semester, made a successful professional debut this past Saturday at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme. He stopped Francisco Solis in the third round of a scheduled four round bout.

I congratulated Morales on his victory after the fight. His younger brother Diego was a member of our school’s (Channel Islands High School) soccer team that lost in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 3 Final against Paramount (CA) High School.

Morales is scheduled to receive his high school diploma next week, so I’ll congratulate him twice in less than two weeks.

You can follow me on twitter at Salazar_soccer Come say hi to me at ringside.

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