Murmur murmur…grumble grumble…Minnesota sports fans are seldom happy.
- Twin Cities-based promoter MSC (Midwest Sports Council) is taking some lumps over its handling of Matt Vanda’s suspension and resulting ineligibility to fight this Saturday past. The story is that Vanda had a clean Fight Fax early in the week of his bout, but on Saturday morning the promoter learned from the Minnesota Boxing Commission that Vanda is under suspension by the New Jersey Boxing Commission. The reason for the suspension hasn’t been announced, but it’s widely speculated to be related to a failed drug test. Since Vanda’s fight with Phil Williams was the main event of Saturday night’s show, the promoters found themselves in a bit of a pickle with little time to ponder a solution. Their lesser evil of choice was to have the fight go on, but as an exhibition. Long story short, Vanda and Williams fought a six-round exhibition rather than a ten round fight. Both men agreed to reduced pay under the circumstances, so it’s difficult to make a case against the promoter for that move, although ideally it would have been good for Vanda’s purse or a portion thereof could have been diverted to Williams, who is the blameless party in the matter. The real gripe from most fans seems to be that they (the fans) didn’t know about the change in the nature of the Vanda-Williams clash until they were at the arena. In MSC’s favor: the card’s supporting bouts included lots of fun and entertaining action.
- Prospect Jamal James of Minneapolis, who on Saturday improved his record to 3-0 (3 knockouts), got some positive press in this article from the DL-online website. “I was more than happy to get a chance to fight James,” James’ opponent Ryan Gronvold is quoted saying. “The promoter came up to me after the fight and told me they couldn’t find another boxer to fight James. Now I know why.” James dispatched Gronvold with sharp and hurtful punching in the first round.
- In the same article we read that the attendance at Target Center that night was 2,505 – a higher number than is reported by most eyewitnesses.
- There’s no doubt that Jason Litzau would like to fight in his hometown, but it may turn out that he has bigger fish to fry. According to the Nevada Athletic Commission Litzau was paid $50,000 for his most recent fight, a ten-round split-decision defeat of then 34-2 Celestino Caballero. That victory put Litzau on the boxing world’s map and gave a big boost to his earning power. After earning a raise, to fight in Minnesota would require Litzau to take a voluntary pay cut – it would be a labor of love. How much does Jason Litzau love Minnesota? Considering how little love he has gotten from his home state fans and media and the fact that the major television players are interested in his services, we may find that Litzau is less inclined than ever to fight in small local shows.
- Horton’s Boxing in Duluth has announced that Tyler Hultin has been added to their February 12th show at Clyde Iron Works restaurant and bar. Hultin joins Gary Eyer, RJ Laase, Al Sands, Aaron Green, and Dustin Mason on that card.
- KO Promotions will present another boxing card at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City on February 5th. The featured fighters will again be Emily and Katy Klinefelter, with a mixed undercard of male and female fights. For ticket information call 319-338-1633.