For several weeks now Minnesota boxing fans have been treated to some interesting bulletin board chatter from the previously unknown Californian Ivan Stovall, who has been calling out hometown boy Caleb Truax. But nobody knows Stovall, and despite all he has said about himself, nothing much has been said about him by anyone else. It seemed to the Fistic Mystic that it was time to go to the source. Here’s the fruit of my labor:
Pomona’s Ivan “Sitting Bull” Stovall, a 5’10” super middleweight, is currently sitting on a professional record of 10-2 with 7 kayos. His amateur record was 49-10, and by his tally it was highlighted by three city chamionships, three California state championships, two national Blue & Gold championships, a bronze at the 2002 PAL championships, and a qualification for the 2004 Olympic Trials. “I was a late starter,” says Stovall. “I started fighting as an amateur when I was 19. I had been in the gym since I was 13 but I never took it seriously until after I had graduated from high school. I was just wanting to be in shape, running around the gym and looking at the girls.”
Since turning pro with a 4-round decision of Daniel Stanislavjevic in 2005 Stovall has been self-promoted. “I’ve been a free agent since I turned pro when I was 25 years old.” Stovall’s two losses came in his fourth fight (to Alfonso Rocha) and his eleventh fight (to James Parison), and he vehemently disowns the former. In the latter, he says that he and Parison were told they were fighting for a promotional contract, but in the end neither the winner nor the loser got a contract.
When I asked Ivan how he happened to crash the Minnesota boxing scene, he showed admirable candor in revealing that it was Minnesota boxing gadfly Cory Rapacz who orchestrated the entire controversy. “It was my friend Cory, and he told me to check out Caleb Traux…I was looking for a promoter on the Boxrec forum, and that’s how Cory contacted me.” At first he was apprehensive: “I was like ‘I don’t know anything about this guy, I don’t even know who he is.’ I found him on Boxrec and I saw that he’s 8-0, then I saw video of him fighting on Youtube and I saw good speed, good footwork and some nice little feints – he’s a pretty good fighter. But I thought ‘I can beat this guy,’ and Cory told me that he’s promoted by Seconds Out. He told me I should come over to this Minnesota Boxing bulletin board and also the Seconds Out board and see if I can get a fight made.” Stovall doesn’t limit his interest to Truax, either: “I know who Kenny Kost and Andy Kolle are because I’ve seen them on TV and I know that I can handle either of them…Some fans even want me to fight Matt Vanda, I would love to fight that guy. I heard he ain’t scared of nobody, and that he will fight anybody.”
Stovall’s take on the Minnesota scene is interesting, and perhaps revealing – at least to the extent that it illustrates how local fighters are viewed outside of the state. “Now I’m not stupid, I’m not going to fight just anybody, but I’ll fight anybody in Minnesota.”