The biggest boxing related news to come out of Minnesota boxing in years comes to us by way of electronic mail, from local boxing writer and publicist Brett Mauren. Mauren’s press release trumpets the announcement that local promoter Midwest Sports Council (MSC) has signed amateur boxing star Javontae Starks to a promotional deal.
It’s revealed in the release that Starks will make his professional debut November 13 on the televised card at Grand Casino Hinckley which features Matt Vanda –vs- Phil Williams and Wilton Hilario –vs- Leon Bobo, as one of four televised bouts. The expected stock comment from MSC matchmaker Cory Rapacz: “I’m extremely excited to get an opportunity to work with Javontae and his team. I have been working for the better part of the year to get him to be a part of the Midwest Sports Council roster and I’m thrilled we came to a deal that worked for both sides.” Reached for comment, Rapacz elaborated on plans, “The debut fight is scheduled for November 13th, and a second fight is planned for December, though no date or site can be announced yet.”
An ebullient Starks had more to say: “I was going to sign with Cameron Dunkin [of TKO Productions in Las Vegas], but we had some things that just didn’t mix. So I thought that it was best for everyone that we take our agreement elsewhere. Boxing in Minnesota is not looking too bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see my first eight or nine fights here.”
Regarding his long-term plans: “I’m not in a rush to sign with any big-time promoter. When the time comes I’ll be ready to sign a long-term deal. Money has never been an issue, I’d just like to fight and eventually my talent will get me to the big paydays. I may even surprise everyone and stay with MSC, everybody will just have to wait and see what happens.”
On prospective opponents: “I actually got texts from some fighters around here saying that they were willing to fight or they wanted to fight, and being from the state of Minnesota and now I finally get to put on shows in Minnesota, once I show the fans what I can do for two or three fights, then I’ll be coming at fighters from Minnesota. One thing I’ll say right now: Jonny Laboda, I’ll tell you straight out, I’ll stop him. I’ll knock him out easily.” This is not the first time that the 4-0 welterweight Laboda’s name has passed Starks’ lips, so there may be something behind the talk.
Starks joins another good local pro, Ceresso Fort of St Paul, in the MSC stable. Without prompting Starks volunteered that although he would be willing to fight Fort if the money was right, “Woo is my friend, he’s like a brother to me, and it would have to make a lot of sense for both of us.”
The Fistic Mystic says: Starks’ pro status should be a great shot in the arm for the sport of boxing in Minnesota. Expect to see a lot of him in the near future, until some big national promoter swoops in and carries him away with a big-money, long-term deal.