These are heady days for the Minnesota fight scene. Join me as I survey the the Minnesota boxing fan’s calendar…
- November 4 at Camp Lejuene, NC Jason Litzau faces Johnnie “The LumberJack” Edwards (15-4 with 8 kayos) at 130# in a bout to be televised on ESPN2. Following his seemingly effortless demolition of Verquan Kimbrough (then 21-1-2) in August, a win here would appear to set Litzau up nicely for something bigger in the near future.
- Willshaun Boxley takes on another big challenge November 6 when he meets Salvador Sanchez (16-3 with 8 kayos) in a six-rounder in Las Vegas. Boxley has shown a ton of ambition in the past year, jumping up from the usual early-career patsies to face men with records of 12-7 (Boxley won by unanimous decision), 10-1 (Boxley lost by majority decision), and 10-1 (Boxley lost by unanimous decision). Sanchez is a pretty good young fighter, but he may have bitten off more than he knows with Boxley.
- November 13th at Grand Casino Hinckley we find a stacked card – by Minnesota standards anyway – presented by promoter Midwest Sports Council. Phil Williams and Matt Vanda headline, supported by Wilton Hilario -vs- Leon Bobo, unbeaten prospect Cerresso Fort, Javontae Starks’ pro debut, and more. Four bouts from this event will be televised on Fox Sports North immediately after the conclusion of the Minnesota Wild hockey game.
- November 20th in St Paul we’ll see Caleb Truax fight the faded former WBC world title holder Carl “The Squirrel” Daniels (50-18 with 32 kayos) for some IBA Intercontinental hardware. Daniels has lost seven straight and fourteen out of fifteen, but this fight will force him to train harder than he’s done in a long time – Daniels hasn’t fought below 170# in nearly two years. A supporting bout gives this event a higher profile: young Welshman James Todd (2-1-1) meets Mohammed Kayongo (14-2 with 10 kayos) for an IBA welterweight title. Todd’s supporters are talking about making the trip to St Paul to lend their support, and we all know that British boxing fans travel well. (There has also been a rumor floating that Todd’s countryman Kerry Hope will face Robert Kamya on this card, but I haven’t confirmed that one with promoter Tony Grygelko of Seconds Out Promotions.)
- The heavyweight bout that Minnesota has waited too long for headlines a December 4th event at Target Center in Minneapolis. Joey Abell (25-4 with 24 kayos) meets his pal and fellow Minnesotan Raphael Butler (35-8 with 28 kayos) with the vacant Minnesota heavyweight title on the line. Zach Walters faces Larry Sharpe, who is the man who beat the man (Bruce Rumbolz) who beat the man (Shawn Hammack) who beat Walters back in August of 2008. Travis “Freight Train” Walker, Ronnie Peterson, Gary Eyer, and Dave Peterson also support this card.
- No specifics are available at this writing, but Showtime will be in town on December 18 to televise a boxing event at Grand Casino Hinckley. Expect some locals to get a boost from this show.