The slow summer season of boxing is upon us.
Boxing-wise, the spring of 2010 wasn’t as busy as we’d all hoped. Several planned shows didn’t come off or were indefinitely postponed. Now summer is here, and everybody with any sense is spending their weekends at the lake or otherwise out of doors.
But it looks like we’ll have a couple of shows in June and then at least one in July.
Both Seconds Out Promotions and Midwest Sports Council had planned boxing shows in Saint Paul for June 11th, but the state boxing commission awarded that date to Seconds Out. Tony Grygelko, president and CEO of Seconds Out, has assembled a very respectable card for this show, one that’s worth your time as a boxing fan. We can look forward to Caleb Truax taking his shot at faded former contender Antwun Echols, who put on a great show against Phil Williams just a year ago at Grand Casino Hinckley. Although Echols had lost five straight, and including several draws had gone winless in ten straight before kayoing 0-8 Fred Thomas in March, he still has a 32-12 record and a recognizable name. In any case he should be a decent test for young Truax, who continues to intrigue. Also on the card is the enigmatic Corey Rodriguez, who should be favored against Charles Meier despite their identical 4-1 records. Jon Schmidt puts his 9-1 record up against Josh Crouch’s 6-1, while possible future opponents Ismail Muwendo and Vincente Alfaro each look to add to their win totals against overmatched opponents. Last of all, Danny Figueroa gives the always dangerous Hector Orozco a rematch in his first bout since October of last year. Figueroa is one to watch; if he can put some fights together, he could turn out to be the best mid-sized Minnesota fighter who nobody knows about.
June 17th in Duluth there’ll be an MSC-facilitated event featuring Horton’s Gym fighters. The good news is that Horton’s headliners Andy Kolle and Gary Eyer will be featured, less good is that the venue is the little Grandma’s Sports Garden in Duluth. Hopefully this is the start of something good; there’s been a great history of pro boxing in Duluth, including recent cards that featured Kolle and the now-retired Jungle Boy Zach Walters. There’s nothing to report yet as far as opponents, but we can expect the competition to be well considered and carefully picked. Duluth is an old-fashioned port city with an appetite for boxing, so you can expect this show to be a hot ticket.
After a too-long lull, Minnesota’s boxing action picks up again on July 23rd or 24th, when another MSC card in the Twin Cities is slated to feature Matt Vanda, Javontae Starks, Jamal James, Tony Lee, Brad Patraw, and Donny Tierney. Opponents and the venue have yet to be announced.
One last note: Sometime this summer there’ll be a boxing-related event that will really raise the profile of the sport locally. What it is, I’m on my honor not to disclose publicly, but it’s an open secret in boxing circles and it’s bound to generate some excitement.