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The Avila Perspective, Chapter 9: In L.A., Three Fights in Four Days

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  • The Avila Perspective, Chapter 9: In L.A., Three Fights in Four Days

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    By David A. Avila

    Two Los Angeles-based promotion companies unfurl three fight cards in four days in both Hollywood and downtown L.A.

    360 Promotions brings a bevy of prospects to the Avalon Theater on Vine Street on Wednesday Aug. 8, including prospects from New York City, nearby Rowland Heights and Kazakhstan. The boxing events will be streamed on Facebook on the 360 Promotions page or at www.360promotions.us

    The actual boxing starts at 6 p.m.

    Ali Akhmedov (11-0, 8 KOs) a light heavyweight from Kazakhstan has been training in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez. He’ll be facing San Diego’s Jorge Escalante (9-1-1, 6 KOs) in the co-main event at the Avalon.

    360 Promotions prospect Brian Ceballo (3-0) out of New York makes his third appearance at the historic venue. He made his pro debut at the Avalon back in March and this will be his third fight at the theater that opened in January 1927. The theater has gone through a number of name changes including the Hollywood Playhouse, WPA Federal Theater, El Capitan, the Hollywood Palace and the Jerry Lewis Theater.

    A large number of celebrities have graced its floors over the decades including Cyd Charisse, Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Ginger Rogers, Louis Armstrong and Bette Davis among many others.

    On Wednesday, Ceballo (3-0) the boxer makes his third appearance when he faces Tavorus Teague (5-20-4) in a six round welterweight contest.

    A female fight showcases Elvina White (2-0) versus Jasmine Clarkson (4-11) in a four round welterweight fight. White, 24, signed with 360 Promotions and has fought at super lightweight in the past. For this fight it will be in the welterweight division and against young veteran Clarkson who fights out of Dallas and has clashed with Katie Taylor and Selina Barrios. Too bad it’s only four rounds.

    Friday

    In downtown L.A., about eight miles east of Hollywood, a Golden Boy Promotions fight card takes place at the Belasco Theater on Hill Street and 11th on Friday Aug. 10. Two top prospects will be severely tested.

    Pacoima’s Emilio Sanchez (15-1, 10 KOs) returns to the ring five months after losing by knockout at Fantasy Springs Casino. The featherweight will be facing the dangerous veteran Christopher Martin (30-10-3) who makes a habit out of derailing prospects including Daniel Franco, Chris Avalos and others. It’s a do-or-die fight for Sanchez who ran into a punch in his last fight back in March. Was it a fluke or lucky punch?

    Sanchez, 24, changed trainers and is now in Indio, Calif. working with brothers Joel and Antonio Diaz. His own younger brother Saul Sanchez, 21, has been training there for a while. Now the two brothers will be working together again.

    Also on the card will be San Antonio’s Hector Tanajara (14-0, 5 KOs) meeting Emmanuel Morales (7-2) in the co-main event set for eight rounds. Tanajara, 21, trains in Riverside with Robert Garcia and has shown an ability to adapt to different circumstances. After knocking out three out of his first four opponents, the knockouts have been few. But he’s only 21 and learning the art of boxing will serve him better than knocking everyone out.

    The Golden Boy fight card will be televised on Estrella TV and streamed on RingTV.com and on Facebook. Doors open at 6 p.m.

    Saturday

    Boxing returns to the Avalon Theater in Hollywood on Saturday Aug. 11, with a Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions card. Doors open at 4 p.m.

    A world title match between WBA featherweight titlist Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) and challenger Jojo Diaz (26-1, 14 KOs) headlines the card that will be streamed live on Facebook. It’s a good one.

    Puerto Rico’s Rojas, 31, grabbed the title with a vicious knockout win over former champion Claudio Marrero last year in Las Vegas. Speed means nothing to Rojas, a hard-boiled fighter who’s willing to take a punch to give a punch. Plus, Rojas has a heck of a chin and showed it when he battered Abraham Lopez a year ago to win by knockout.

    “I'm ready to come back after almost a year off," said Jesus Rojas.“I'll defend my title for the first time on a very important Golden Boy card which will start a new association with Facebook. Diaz Jr. is tough, intelligent and fast, but I have the power and the experience to score a spectacular win against him.”

    Now he faces another speedy southpaw in Diaz (shown working the pads) who lost a title bid against Gary Russell Jr. just two months ago.

    “I think his style suits me better than Gary Russell. He (Rojas) is going to be coming for me and that fits right into my style,” said Diaz who trains in South El Monte, Calif. “This is my second shot at a world title and I’m not going to lose.”

    Diaz, 25, is a former 2012 Olympian with plenty of speed and willing to mix it up. But against Rojas that will be a bad thing.

    “Marrero tried to exchange with Rojas and got caught,” said Diaz, who eagerly accepted the opportunity to fight for the world title. “I know Rojas is a tough guy and I’m not underestimating him. He’s good.”

    Also on the card will be a battle of undefeated super lightweights featuring Philadelphia’s Damon Allen (15-0-1, 5 KOs) versus East L.A.’s Jonathan Navarro (14-0, 7 KOs) in the semi-main event.

    Philadelphia versus East L.A. can’t miss. Both towns are historically known for having aggressive styles.

    “I like these kind of fights,” said Navarro who turns 22 today and trains in Riverside with Robert Garcia. “I’ve been preparing for these kind of fights. I get excited fighting good fighters. This is what it’s all about.”

    Two weeks ago Navarro was in downtown Los Angeles watching his teammate Mikey Garcia defeat Robert Easter Jr. in a battle of undefeated lightweight world champions. It was inspiring.

    “Mikey is like an older brother to all of us. We look up to him,” said Navarro. “He tells us how to act, how to save our money and how to be smart.”

    The fight card will be streamed on Facebook on Golden Boy Fight Night page.

    Old L.A.

    Back in the 1980s, when the Olympic Auditorium and Inglewood Forum had regular fight cards, it was common to have dueling boxing cards every week. On one card would be Danny “Lil Red” Lopez and on another Bobby Chacon.

    Today, boxing cards still compete but the audience area has become much wider. Next week a fight card in downtown L.A. competes with another in Studio City on the same day. As the population has expanded in recent years, the thirst for boxing has expanded too.

    This weekend’s three boxing cards on three separate days serve as a reminder of how boxing used to be in the past.

    Just a few blocks east, the Hollywood Legion Stadium building still stands. Now it’s a workout gym but from the 1920s to the 1960s boxing was a regular event there on Hollywood and Gower. Movies stars like George Raft and Ann Miller were regulars.

    Boxing has a certain flair that attracts movie stars, musicians and never seems to extinguish. A number of celebrities will be present at one or all of the shows this week.

    Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    What? No female promos?

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    • #3
      There is only 1 Tyson Fury! Catch the lineal champ on Saturday

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