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Avila Perspective, Chap. 128: Saturday’s Boxing Blitz, Marvelous Marvin and More

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 128: Saturday’s Boxing Blitz, Marvelous Marvin and More

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    By David A. Avila

    Boxing comes full blast in the ides of March. Saturday in particular begins in Europe with a light heavyweight world title match between Artur Beterbiev and Adam Deines in Moscow, Russia for the IBF and WBA belts. ESPN+ will be streaming that card.

    London is calling once again with a cruiserweight world title clash between Lawrence Okolie and Krzysztof Glowacki and two outstanding female bouts on DAZN on Saturday too.

    Later that day, during the evening hours, Golden Boy Promotions presents its welterweight gem Vergil Ortiz (pictured on the left) against former world champion Maurice Hooker at Fort Worth, Texas on DAZN again. It’s Texan versus Texan.

    Ortiz remains Golden Boy’s hope to be the next great fighter and gets to prove if the hype about his talent is real. Let’s just say he spars with some of the best fighters in the world on a daily basis in his home gym.

    Hooker is no joke either. The former champion is a Texas native so he won’t be giving up or laying down for anybody. Fans will be allowed in the venue and both fighters will bring their truckloads of backers into Dickies Arena on Saturday.

    The co-main event features Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada finally meeting a world champion in the boxing ring when she faces longtime WBA minimum weight titlist Anabel “La Avispa” Ortiz.

    Estrada has been chasing a world title opportunity for many years. Ortiz has no fear and has yet to find her equal in eight years. It’s well worth watching.

    ---

    Here’s a late toast to Marvin Hagler.

    Back in April 1985, I had picked up several jobs to beat back the process servers looking for their money.

    An acquaintance from my college newspaper days had started a throw-away newspaper business. He spotted me one afternoon at a Montebello, Calif. super-market and offered me a job for $10-a-story. I accepted.

    This businessman had an acute clientele. Almost all of his patrons were bar owners in the San Gabriel Valley area. Maybe calling them bars is too nice a word. These were cantinas for people that seldom read and always drank. It was up to me to come up with editorial to delight these potential readers.

    During college I had always been the organizer. Whether it was for community rights or student affairs I was heavily involved in organizing efforts to bring people together. One topic that brought students together easily was gathering to watch a big boxing event. I kept that in my memory banks.

    So, when I got this new offer to write for a throw-away newspaper and had free editorial reign, I knew exactly what to write about…prizefighting.

    On April 15, 1985, Marvin Hagler was set to fight Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was televised. Although it lasted a mere three rounds, the two combatants put on an explosive performance that has seldom been equaled. Both needed only two seconds before unleashing kill or be killed combinations that propelled boxing to greater heights.

    Hagler won that fight and would only fight twice more. The bald-headed prizefighter from Brockton, Mass. would become a folk hero to blue collar families for his work ethic and sense of loyalty. There was a television show Spenser For Hire that starred the late Robert Urich. There was a character in the series called Hawk who resembled Hagler in certain ways. He was supposedly a boxer too with a strong sense of loyalty and toughness.

    That was Hagler.

    I wrote my very first newspaper story on Hagler’s fight with Hearns. The publisher told me it was the first time that all of the newspapers were scooped up. Cantina owners all over San Gabriel Valley noticed that they didn’t need to toss old newspaper copies into the trash. It was a huge success and I kept my $10-a-week gig.

    It was a decade later, in September 1999, that I finally met Hagler. It was right after Felix Trinidad defeated Oscar De La Hoya by majority decision. Hagler was in an elevator at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and I asked him who he thought won the fight?

    “De La Hoya was robbed,” was Hagler’s blunt answer.

    That was the first and last time I ever spoke to Hagler.

    Later that same night I was invited to an after-fight party at the Mandalay Bay and there was Hagler, Hearns and Ray Leonard sitting together at a small round table with De La Hoya. I remember thinking “this is the greatest gathering of elite fighters in the world sitting around this tiny little table. I didn’t have a camera on me and cameras in phones were not around then. I used to carry throw-away Kodak cameras, but not that night.

    Too bad. It would have been a great memory to have.

    All I can say is for boxing fans and even boxing journalists Hagler was admired for many of his attributes. Boxing was at the top of the list. He will always be remembered.

    Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

    Fights to Watch (all fights Pacific Time)

    Thurs. Twitch 4 p.m. Maricela Cornejo (13-4) vs Alma Ibarra (7-1).

    Thurs. NBC SN 6 p.m. Alberto Machado (22-2) vs Angel Fierro (17-1-1).

    Fri. ESPN+ 11 a.m. Lee McGregor (9-0) vs Karim Guerfi (29-4).

    Fri. FITE.tv 6 p.m. Alessandro Riguccini (25-0) vs Johan Perez (26-7-2).

    Fri. Telemundo 12 a.m. Saul Sanchez (15-1) vs Frank Gonzalez (8-1).

    Sat. DAZN 11 a.m. Lawrence Okolie (15-0) vs Krzysztof Glowacki (31-2).

    Sat. ESPN+ 12 p.m. Artur Beterbiev (15-0) vs Adam Deines (19-1-1).

    Sat. FightsNight.com 1 p.m. Adelaida Ruiz (9-0) vs Sonia Osorio (14-7-1).

    Sat. DAZN 6 p.m. Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0) vs Maurice Hooker (27-1-3); Seniesa Estrada (19-0) vs Anabel Ortiz (31-3).

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel
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