The next few weeks are big ones for the boxing scene in Minnesota. A few items to grab the boxing fan’s attention:
- Minneapolis Heavyweight Joey Abell (17-1, 17 KOs) is fighting undefeated Teke Oruh of Nigeria (14-0, 6 KOs) in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia for the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title on Friday the 11th. Now, it’s understood that this is one of those minor belts that only exists to hype up-and-coming fighters, and it probably won’t even be defended by the young gentleman who wins this fight, but here’s the big news: this fight will be televised by Showtime. Any time a Minnesota kid can get exposure on Showtime, it’s a good thing. Incidentally, James “Too Sweet” Crayton will fight on the same card. Some fans will remember that Crayton was the opponent against whom Jumpin’ Johnny Montantes lost his life back in 1997. Things have changed for Crayton since that fateful night. Back then he was sporting an impressive record of 23-8 and he was on a roll. Today his record is a pedestrian 34-25-2 (he’s lost 5 fights in a row and ten of his last eleven), and he’s scheduled to be the designated punching bag for noted daddy’s boy Hector Camacho Junior come Friday.
- On Saturday the 17th, local favorites Matt “The Predator” Vanda (37-4) of St Paul and Andy “Kaos” Kolle (15-1) of Fergus Falls will meet in a super middleweight bout at The Myth in Maplewood. Each is looking for some good publicity, and whichever man wins will have improved his resume and raised his stature in the boxing world. Here’s hoping the best man wins, and both men benefit.
- Next week, on November 23rd, rising star Jason “The American Boy” Litzau (22-1) of St Paul will get some well deserved international exposure when he fights tough veteran Edel “Cuate” Ruiz (29-17-4) of Mexico on the undercard of the much anticipated Vargas-Mayorga fight in Los Angeles. The only blemish on Litzau’s record is an embarrassing knockout loss to Jose Andres Hernandez of Mexico last December. That was a fight that Litzau had all but won, when he got sloppy in the eighth round and let Hernandez deck him. Here’s the agony of what could have been: that win against Litzau got Hernandez a match against Rocky Juarez last May 5. Had Litzau gotten that shot against Juarez, it could have catapulted him to superstardom. Instead, Litzau has been stuck fighting relative unknowns Aldo Valtierra and Emmanuel Lucero in relative anonymity while waiting for another chance. We’re cheering for you, Jason – keep those hands up this time!
The Fistic Mystic would like to congratulate undisputed world super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe of Wales and light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins for agreeing in principle that they would like to face each other in the ring. Good luck working out the financial details – sincerely – this is a fight that the world wants to see.