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Avila Perspective, Chap. 47: Notes on Live Boxing, Referees , Wilder and More

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 47: Notes on Live Boxing, Referees , Wilder and More

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    By David A. Avila

    Prize fights were slightly different back in the 20th century.

    When you entered a prize fight at the Olympic Auditorium circa 1987 your face would be hit with a haze of cigar smell and you could see a ghostly waft of smoke floating above the boxing ring. The lights seemed dim and there was always a buzz of sound.

    You could also hear strolling vendors selling beer, peanuts and hot dogs. It was part of the charm of watching live boxing at the old Los Angeles venue.

    Today, 21st century prize fights have an entirely different feel with stringent laws that prevent smoking in public arenas. And no longer are strolling vendors allowed to hawk beer and peanuts. Yet, some things remain.

    The sounds of punches connecting on each other echo in the arenas. Fans gather before and after the fights to talk about what they saw and the buzz and exhilaration from watching an exciting match provides its own endorphins. Those are priceless memories. Nothing compares to watching a live boxing card, especially for the very first time.

    Luckily, Southern California leads the world in staging numerous boxing cards.

    Thursday in Indio

    Down in the desert region of Indio, Calif. a fight card at Fantasy Springs Casino features a little known lightweight slugger named Romero Duno (19-1, 15 KOs) facing Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-7, 26 KOs) that promises to be a real head banging affair. Both guys pack a punch. Several other notable bouts are scheduled that include Manny Robles IV, Travell Mazion, and Rommel Caballero. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions main fights.

    Speaking of smoke-filled arenas, one of the heroes of that bygone era, Ruben “El Puas” Olivares, will be signing autographs and taking photos with fans. Many consider Olivares one of Mexico’s greatest, if not the greatest bantamweight slugger of all time. The Mexico City native fought during the 1960s and 1970s and sold out the Inglewood Forum in his day. Olivares will be at Fantasy Springs Casino at 6 p.m.

    Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

    Title Saturday

    In Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. a suburban town in Los Angeles County near Long Beach, a Roy Englebrecht Events fight card features women in the main event.

    Raquel Miller (8-0), a middleweight contender and former Olympic alternate, meets Huntington Beach’s Erin Toughill (7-4-1) in an eight round bout for the NABF middleweight title on Saturday May 18. The fight takes place at Hawaiian Gardens Casino. Doors open at 6 p.m.

    Miller was the backup for Claressa Shields and we all know how good she is. The alternate has some bones to pick and it starts on Saturday with a title fight against Toughill a former boxer turned MMA fighter turned boxer again.

    Toughill fought some extremely good fighters in her day like Laila Ali. Now 41, Toughill still has gas in the tank and nearly upset middleweight contender Maricela Cornejo a few months back.

    “I think she beat Maricela,” said Miller who watched the streamed fight. “I expect a very good fight. She’s a veteran.”

    Hollywood Sunday

    Serhii “El Flaco” Bohachuk (13-0, 13 KOs) meets former world title challenger Freddie Hernandez (34-10) of Mexico in an eight round super welterweight match up at the historic Avalon Theater in Hollywood, Calif. Several celebrities are expected to attend the 360 Promotions fight card.

    Bohachuk, 24, trains in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez and is very familiar with his next opponent Hernandez. His stablemate Alfredo Angulo fought Hernandez and lost three years ago to the Mexico City fighter.

    “We have never talked about Freddie Hernandez but I know a lot about him,” said Bohachuk. “I expect a lot of things from him because he is a veteran with a lot of experience.”

    So far no opponent of Bohachuk has ever heard the final bell. All have been knocked out.

    Also, a super middleweight title fight pits Germany’s Alem Begic (22-0, 19 KOs) against fellow German Benjamin Simon (27-3, 26 KOs) in a 10-round fight for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title.

    Doors open at 3 p.m.

    All the bouts can be watched on page on Facebook or Youtube.

    Good referees and good trainers

    Old school fighting returned last weekend in Virginia for the super welterweight world title and in Arizona for the super bantamweight and super featherweight world titles.

    Boxing always gets a bad rap, especially when it comes to fights that end in an unpopular decision. Judges and referees take their fair share of criticism for their part. On this occasion referees played a big part in their success.

    Referee Bill Clancy gave a clinic on exceptional refereeing during the world title fight between the eventual winner Julian “J Rock” Williams and former champ Jarrett “Swift” Hurd. During most of the 12 rounds both fighters fought in extremely close proximity and engaged in what some call “trench warfare.” It was like watching a fight from 1950s era boxing.

    Clancy allowed both fighters to use their expertise in fighting in-close. In their back and forth battle the two prizefighters clinched maybe once. The only time the referee broke them apart was when the bell rang to end a round. It was a great example of professional refereeing. Most referees break up fighters even if one of their hands is free. That’s what is called over-refereeing.

    Referees should allow more in-fighting. This is not the amateurs, this is prizefighting. Let the fighters show their skills. Outside fighting is not the only kind of fighting.

    Now fans are calling the Williams-Hurd fight one of the candidates for Fight of the Year. If not for referee Bill Clancy it could have had a different tone.

    In Tucson, Arizona, a couple of world title fights ended with the trainers stopping the fights on behalf of their defeated guys.

    The most notable stoppage arrived when Francisco Vargas was getting battered in the sixth round by WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt. Immediately at the end of the frame trainer Joel Diaz looked at his fighter and waved to the ring referee and supervisors while signaling to end the fight. His guy was getting beat up and there was no sense in allowing punishment to continue.

    Diaz and his brother Antonio Diaz have been in wars themselves and showed why many boxing experts consider them among the best trainers and ring seconds in the world. They take care of their fighters.


    Heavyweights collide with WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) defends against Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday May 18, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Showtime will televise.

    Wilder returns to the ring five months after his highly entertaining fight with England’s Tyson Fury at Staples Center this past December. Despite knocking down Fury twice, the title fight ended in a split draw.

    Now he gets to face Breazeale, a Southern California fighter who fought IBF heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua and lost by knockout three years ago. It’s a comparison test to determine whether a future title unification clash is warranted.

    “I’ve grown a lot in the last few years. The Joshua fight was an eye opener. It was good experience. I learned then that I was standing there a lot more and taking some damage that I didn’t need to take because of the big guy that I am,” said Breazeale.

    Wilder wants a good fight from Breazeale.

    “Dominic Breazeale better display himself on that night, because I put him on my card. He didn’t have to be on my card,” said Wilder. “I think this is the most excited I’ve been and the most I wanted to hurt a man since 2015 with Bermane Stiverne. And we all know what happened to him.”

    The Showtime telecast begins at 6 p.m. PT.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Let's see him kill AJ! #BodyCount 😎