By Felipe Leon
Fernando Beltran, the principal of Tijuana’s Zanfer Promotions, performed double duty today at the Red Circle bar in downtown San Diego, CA, as he gathered the cheif participants for “Latin Fury 8-Tijuana Thunder” along with Tijuana’s mayor, Jorge Ramos. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., current WBO super flyweight champion Fernando Montiel and WBC super featherweight title holder Humberto Soto were on hand to give their thoughts on Saturday’s mega fight card which is being presented by Top Rank in association with Zanfer Promotions and the city of Tijuana, MX. With only twenty miles between the location of the press conference and the international border, much was said about the current safety concerns regarding travel in Tijuana. Mayor Ramos assures that those who choose to travel across the border are not going to be in jeopardy.
“We are going to have 1,800 uniformed police officers at the event, helping with security and the flow of traffic. I am going to personally oversee the operation,” Ramos stated confidently. “One thousand tickets have been sold already to fans in San Diego and I have personally invited the mayor of San Diego Jerry Sanders to join me this Saturday night. He has visited Tijuana before for charity golf events and I am sure he will join us this weekend, I am just waiting for confirmation.”
“I would like to stress that in the fourteen months I have been in office, no tourist has been affected by the events in Tijuana,” the Mayor of the city added.
Fernando Beltran agreed with Ramos, adding: “this is a great opportunity to show the real face of Tijuana. Good, honest people and above all hard-working.”
The “Latin Fury 8-Tijuana Thunder” PPV card distributed by Top Rank will feature four star studded bouts. Along with the Antonio Diaz-Javier Castro welterweight ten-round affair, the televised portion of the night will feature current WBO super flyweight champion Fernando “Kochulito” Montiel as he attempts for his third title in as many weight classes when he faces the Argentinean Diego Silva for the WBO bantamweight title. Montiel was recently informed that Saturday’s night title bout will be for the full fledged version of the belt and not the interim which was originally announced. If he succeeds, his name will be mentioned on the same breath as Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Julio Cesar Chavez.
A fact that does not escapethe Los Mochis, MX native.
“I am proud to have my name next to those great champions. This is a great opportunity and I intend to take advantage of it.”
Montiel also brought to the attention of the attending media that all the fighters assembled on the dais where from the same state in Mexico, Sinaloa. A fact that he commented on. “It’s ironic that all the fighters here and performing on the card are from the same state and we are fighting in Tijuana. That is why I am sure that this will be a great card,” he said with a chuckle.
In the semi main event, newly crowned super featherweight WBC king Humberto “Zorrita” Soto will defend his title for the first time against Antonio Davis. Soto is well known in Tijuana as he has traveled to the city from his native Los Mochis, MX, for numerous years to train.
“This is my second home and I am very proud to be fighting here Saturday night. I would like to invite everybody to come to the event or if they cannot make it, to watch on PPV.”
In the main event, the Son of a Legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will face fellow unbeaten Luciano Leonel Cuello of Argentina for the WBO Latino light middleweight title.
“I am very happy to fight in Tijuana where my father had his last fight before he became a world champion for the first time. It is a great honor to be able to share the night with such great champions as the ones we have here today. I think this is an important card and I want to show that I am ready to challenge for a title this year.”
A moment of hilarity ensued when Chavez Jr., was informed that popular Mexican singer Jenni Rivera will be performing the night before at the same venue and then as he was asked if he would sneak out and see the show, he responded: “No, I need to sleep but I’ll make sure to invite her to see my fight,” he said smiling.
“Tijuana Thunder” will be held at the Plaza de Toros Monumental in the Tijuana suburb of Playas on Saturday, March 28th. The plaza, the third of largest of Mexico, has the unique characteristic of being next to the sea. Doors open at 2pm for the thirteen bout fight card with the first punch thrown at 3pm. Tickets are still available for the exclusive ringside seats and range in price from $75-145 (1000-2500 pesos). Tickets are available at the El Foro Theatre box office from 12pm-8pm daily or by calling 011-52-6646-85-86-76.
For more coverage on the San Diego/Tijuana scene, please check out SDFights.com