Here are some things that I know that I know…
- Of interest to those who saw Edwin Rodriguez and Aaron Pryor Jr win their fights with James McGirt Jr and Dyah Davis at Fargo’s Scheels Arena on November 13th: Rodriguez and Pryor face each other in a super middleweight bout tonight on ESPN. Though Pryor (15-2 with 11 kayos) has a pronounced advantage in height and reach, those seem to be his only advantages over Rodriguez (17-0 with 13 kayos), a hot prospect approaching contender status, who will be widely favored. The Friday Night Fights broadcast will originate from beautiful Key West, Florida. Peter Manfredo -vs- Daniel Edouard tops the bill and the broadcast.
- Joey Abell, who faces Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in California on January 28th, will be accompanied on the road by fellow ACR Gym denizen Jon Schmidt (10-1 with 6 kayos). Schmidt is slated to face former Olympian Shawn Estrada (10-1 with 9 kayos) of East Los Angeles in a six-rounder.
- Seconds Out Promotions brings us an IBF light heavyweight title eliminator on February 4th. The fight will feature Otis Griffin and Yusuf Mack. At this time the Fistic Mystic has no information on the undercard.
Emily Klinefelter (9-0 with 3 KOs)
- On February 5th in Iowa City, Adam Pollack of Win by KO Promotions will present a mixed show with amateur Muay Thai (4-5 bouts) and professional boxing (6-8 bouts) at the Johnson County fairgrounds. The show will be headlined, as usual, by one of the Klinefelter girls. The one sure thing on the card so far is the main event, which will pit super bantamweight Emily Klinefelter (9-0 with 3 kayos) against Christina Ruiz (5-3 with 3 kayos). Tickets are available at Sushi Kicchin at the Old Capital Mall or by calling Win by KO Promotions at 319-338-1633. The fairgrounds is located at 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road in scenic Iowa City.
- Hortons Boxing presents a once-postponed show in Duluth on February 12th. It can be confirmed that the following fights have been inked: RJ Laase -vs- Hector Orozco (rematch), Al Sands -vs- Zach Ziegler, and Aaron Green -vs- Jordan Ziegler. Gary Eyer hasn’t been matched yet but is still expected to appear on the card.
- Philip Adyaka is now managed by Scott Tolzmann. It was originally believed that Adyaka would fight Gary Eyer in Duluth on February 12th, but Adyaka is now penciled in opposite Jonathan Perez for the 26th of February at Grand Casino Hinckley. As of Thursday night the Hinckley show was reportedly 99% confirmed. The headlining bout there is the much-anticipated rematch of Caleb Truax-Phil Williams, which ended in a surprising Split Draw back in April of 2010. In that fight Truax had swept the early rounds but Williams took that last couple of rounds with effective power punching – it looked like a decisive points win for Truax until the scores were read, but in the end it’s the scorecards that do the deciding. Supporting that bout is an interesting mix of fighters from Seconds Out Promotions and Midwest Sports Council (MSC). Could this signal an era of greater cooperation between the two promotions? That’s an eventuality that this writer has persistently hoped for, and in print.
Posted in boxing, news, sports
Tagged Aaron Gree, Aaron Pryor Jr, Adam Pollack, Al Sands, Caleb Truax, Chris Arreola, Christina Ruiz, Edwin Rodriguez, Emily Klinefelter, Friday Night Fights, Gary Eyer, Grand Casino Hinckley, Hector Orozco, Hortons Boxing, Iowa boxing, Joey Abell, Jon Schmidt, Jordan Ziegler, Katy Klinefelter, Midwest boxing, Minnesota boxing, North Dakota boxing, Otis Griffin, Phil Williams, Philip Adyaka, RJ Laase, Scott Tolzmann, Seconds Out Promotions, Shawn Estrada, Win by KO Promotions, Yusuf Mack, Zach Ziegler
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.
Posted in boxing, news, sports
Tagged boxing, Celestino Caballero, Emily Klinefelter, Iowa boxing, Jamal James, Jason Litzau, Katy Klinefelter, KO Promotions, Matt Vanda, Midwest boxing, Midwest Sports Council, Minnesota boxing, Phil Williams, Ryan Gronvold, Target Center, Tyler Hultin
A few tidbits to keep you interested while the area scene develops…
Matt Vanda will meet tough Ghanaian veteran Ossie Duran (24-8) in a light middleweight battle at the top of a planned nine-fight card this Friday night, November 12th, in North Bergen, New Jersey.
The next boxing show in the Upper Midwest is the KO Promotions card in Iowa City on November 13th. This show will be headlined by the unbeaten Klinefelter girls, Emily and Katy, with an undercard full of 4-rounders.
The biggest story of the fall for Upper Midwest boxing fans is the Jason Litzau-Celestino Caballero fight on November 27th. This bout should produce fireworks, but that isn’t the only reason to tune in: the winner is almost certain to get a title shot.
December 18th at Target Center in Minneapolis is the appointed time and place for the rematch of last year’s Matt Vanda -vs- Phil Williams match, won by Vanda on points. Early indications are that the undercard should be well matched, and there may be a big happy surprise for the fans.
January 8th is reportedly the tentative date for the next Horton’s Gym show in the Twin Ports. More on this when more information comes my way.
The winter has its own big story: Minnesota Ice Joey Abell is signed to fight Cristobal Arreola on national cable TV on January 28th. Should Abell win, and that is not out of the question, he’ll gain instant worldwide credibility. Abell has this going for him: Arreola, billed as “The Nightmare,” gives his own trainers sleepless nights by refusing to take his training and diet seriously. That’s a failing that Midwestern boxing fans know Abell doesn’t share.
The Fistic Mystic says: some major kudos will be earned in the next couple of months. How and by whom we must wait to find out.
Posted in boxing, news, sports
Tagged boxing, Celestino Caballero, Cristobal Arreola, Emily Klinefelter, Horton's Gym, Iowa boxing, Jason Litzau, Joey Abell, Katy Klinefelter, Matt Vanda, Midwest boxing, Minnesota boxing, Phil Williams