Boxing News

Whitaker-Lawrence in Riverside

MEZ Sports brings its Pandemonium fight series to the Riverside Convention Center, for the first fight card ever in the city of Riverside on Saturday when “Mount” Lance Whitaker (35-6-2, 28 KOs) meets Franklin “Yah-Yah” Lawrence (12-2-2, 7 KOs) in a 12 round bout for the vacant IBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. This fight replaces the original main event where Javier Mora was going to face Damian Wills for the IBO belt, however last week Mora was deemed unable to fight due to unexpected medical reasons and Wills declined to fight Whitaker as a replacement fighter. Both Whitaker and Lawrence eagerly stepped in to the main event.

Both fighters boldly state that they will win the title and cannot wait to defend it on the next MEZ Sports Pandemonium fight card. The IBO Intercontinental Heavyweight belt holds special significance to both fighters, who both have held regional and smaller belts in the past. The IBO Intercontinental titlist gets an automatic top 15 world ranking in the IBO and if he is able to make three successful defenses of the title, he is a mandatory challenger for the IBO World Heavyweight title, currently held by Wladamir Klitschko, who is also defending his title on September 11 in Germany against Samuel Peter. September 11, 2010 looms large for the future of the heavyweight division. Both Whitaker and Lawrence, while not looking past each other, are calling out all challengers to the belt and are willing to take on any contender. They both know that this title is the fast track to the world belt. Opportunities like this don’t come around often and neither fighter plans to waste this golden opportunity.

Whitaker, who is coming off a split decision win at Pandemonium I over heralded Russian heavyweight contender Andrey Fedosov, turned down bigger money fights to take this one. “We simply couldn’t turn this title opportunity and the chance to show the new Lance Whitaker to the boxing world”, boasts Whitaker’s manager, Allen Cox. “We know we have found a home with MEZ Sports and after Lance wins the title, we are gunning for Wladimir Klitschko. There is no doubt that Lance (Whitaker) is the next American Heavyweight champion.”

Southern California, particularly the Inland Empire is well represented as Bantamweight and former WBC Youth Intercontinental Champion Anthony Villareal (9-3, 4KO’s) face journeyman Benji Garcia (14-16-3, 1KO) in 6 round action. This is Villareal’s first time in front of the hometown crowd and he is looking to make a great first impression as he works his way back into title contention. Garcia, who is on a four fight losing streak is looking to bring himself back to a winning record. This promises to be an entertaining fight.

Los Angeles’ Arron Robinson (5-2-2, 3KO’s) meets the always tough David Lopez (3-2-2) in a 6 round junior middleweight bout. Robinson hopes to impress the crowd enough to come back for more fights with MEZ Sports.

Local fan favorite Alex Luna (2-0, 2KO’s) meets Ramon Flores (3-7-1, 3KO’s) in a 4 round lightweight fight. At Pandemonium I, Luna scored a spectacular second round knockout wanting the fans to see him again. Luna promises to bring his exciting style of fighting to Riverside.

The most intriguing fight of the card matches two heavyweights when Helaman Olguin (0-1) meets Tony Sanchez (0-2) in a four round heavyweight matchup. Sanchez is the principal at Moreno Valley Middle School during the day and a part-time boxer at night. Sanchez brings a huge crowd with him to each fight and they are hoping that he gains his first win on Sept. 11.

TIckets are $65, $45, $35, $25 and are available by calling 888-222-3183 or at the door. The Riverside Convention Center is located at 3443 Orange Avenue in Riverside, CA. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first fight is set for 7:30 p.m. The fight card is subject to change without notice and the show is sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.

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