What to watch for:
Hometown favorite Caleb Truax fights for his first title, taking on a risky opponent in Kerry “The Great White” Hope. Don’t you just love that ring name? Hope isn’t a big banger, but he is strong and fit and skilled and confident. Truax and Hope will contend for the WBF International middleweight belt.
Mohammed Kayongo, sparring warrior, finally gets a good opportunity against highly touted youngster James Todd, who not-so-coincidentally is a gym-mate countryman of Kerry Hope. Kayongo has had just two fights in the last four years, but as mentioned before, he is an in-demand sparring partner, so he shouldn’t be too rusty. The winner of this scrap gets the IBA Americas junior welterweight belt, which is more than a trinket but less than a big-time belt.
In what may be a sleeper pick for Fight of the Night, former amateur standouts Michael Faulk and Ryan Soft, both excellent athletes with good pop, square off in a bout to be contested somewhere between welterweight and middleweight (the Fistic Mystic doesn’t have good info on the class).
Charles Meier looks to pay back a favor to all-action Mexican import Marvin Rodriguez, who put the only blemish on Meier’s record back in January of this year, a split decision in Meier’s professional debut. Rodriguez has proved himself to have a stone jaw in his four professional fights, and die-hard boxing fans are catching on that what he lacks in artistry, the super-tough Rodriguez makes up in excitement.
Elite referee Mark Nelson, a Twin Cities native, is currently at the WBA’s annual convention in Medellin, Colombia (www.wbanews.com), but will be departing early from that event so that he can referee Friday night in Saint Paul.
- Caleb Truax (13-0 with 9 kayos) -vs- Kerry Hope (12-2 with 1 kayo), middleweights, scheduled for 10 rounds
- Mohammed Kayongo (14-2 with 10 kayos) -vs- James Todd (2-1-1 with no kayos), light welterweights, scheduled for 8 rounds
- Michael Faulk (1-0 with no kayos) -vs- Ryan Soft (1-0-1 with 1 kayo), junior middleweights or middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
- Charles Meier (3-1 with 2 kayos) -vs- Marvin Rodriguez (2-2 with 1 kayo), super middleweights, scheduled for 4 rounds
- Two MMA bouts will round out the card.
If you can make it to Brit’s Pub (http://www.britspub.com/) in downtown Minneapolis at 6pm on Thursday night, do it! The weigh-in may be a great spectacle or a boring chore, but it’s at least worth it to see how some real Welshmen react to a fake British pub and restaurant!