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Avila Perspective, Chap. 209: Marquee Fights in San Diego, Phoenix, and NYC

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 209: Marquee Fights in San Diego, Phoenix, and NYC

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    By David A. Avila

    Three significant prizefighting cards battle each other in San Diego, Phoenix and New York City. It’s the final lap of the year.

    Two division world titlist Jojo Diaz (32-2-1, 15 KOs) meets Mexico City’s William Zepeda (26-0, 23 KOs) at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego on Saturday Oct. 29. DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions fight card.

    It’s not a lightweight world title fight, but on paper, this match burns white hot when you look at their styles. Both are southpaws and that’s the only thing they have in common.

    Diaz grew up in South El Monte, a very small suburban town surrounded by other small towns in L.A. County. As a child he was pudgy and through boxing lost weight and discovered his calling. He rose suddenly through the ranks and surprised many when he qualified for the USA Olympic team in 2012. As a pro he captured the featherweight and super featherweight world titles.

    Zepeda hails from Mexico City which at one time was the center of boxing for Mexican fighters for decades, home to pugilists like Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate, and Marco Antonio Barrera. Other cities such as Guadalajara, Culiacan and Chihuahua have caught up and churn out talented fighters now. Zepeda represents a fast-rising contender from Distrito Federal who blew past American-born Mexican fighters. Now he faces Diaz.

    “He’s a former world champion and a talented young fighter,” said Zepeda. “It can be a good victory to beat a former world champion.”

    Diaz last fought and lost to current undisputed lightweight world champion Devin Haney by decision and is unafraid of facing anyone in his weight class.

    “This fight represents everything. I’m coming off a defeat to Devin Haney,” said Diaz. “I’ve got a big set of balls and love to fight the best.”

    Expect a breathless number of blows from both fighters.

    Also, on the same card, females Arely Mucino (31-3-2) of Mexico and Lionela Yudica (18-0-3) of Argentina clash for the IBF flyweight world title. A number of other well-matched contests include welterweights Alexis Rocha versus Jesus Perez Campos; super bantamweights Hector Valdez versus Max Ornelas and several other compelling fights.

    Doors open at 2 p.m. The main card begins at 5 p.m. and will be shown on DAZN.

    Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva in Phoenix

    Influencer of a major degree, Jake Paul leads a boxing card that pits him against MMA legend Anderson “Spider” Silva on Saturday Oct. 29, at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Showtime pay-per-view will televise the event.

    Paul brings a different kind of audience into the fight game and though he’s fairly new to boxing he does have physical abilities like strength and power. So far that has enabled him to defeat MMA fighters with no boxing experience such as Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren, but Silva is actually a former boxer.

    Need proof?

    Last year Brazil’s Silva surprisingly defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by split decision in Guadalajara, Mexico. No matter what you may think of Chavez, he can fight and is a former world champion. They don’t give those belts out because of a name. You have to earn them.

    Silva has been training in boxing for years in Southern California with a number of boxers that I know. All tell me that he is a very good boxer even at his age 47. He has pop and skills and simply knows how to fight.

    Paul may have surpassed his skill level ceiling but that’s what makes this fight compelling.

    His brother Logan Paul was sitting near me during a press conference and whispered to a friend that his brother will probably lose to Silva. But that’s what attracts fans.

    Jake Paul has attitude and a knack for saying the right thing and picking the right opponent.

    “I’m about to fight my idol, it doesn’t get better than that,” said Paul. ““I have the Mamba mentality. Kobe knocked over Pau Gasol, his own teammate with the Lakers, when he was with the Redeem Team in the Olympics. I carry that same kind of drive with me, that killer instinct.”

    Silva, a very humble but skilled killer as a prizefighter, says very little.

    “My prediction? I don’t know how, all I know is that I’m going to win,” said Silva.

    The Return of Ukraine’s Lomachenko

    Ukraine’s very own Vasyl Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) returns from the Russian war zone to the prize ring and faces Jamaine Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. ESPN+ will stream the Top Rank card.

    It’s “High-Tech Lomachenko versus “The Technician” Ortiz in this battle between undefeated lightweights. Their nicknames tell it all.

    Lomachenko was urged to return to boxing by his countrymen to represent Ukraine. When war first erupted following the Russian invasion he immediately departed to his native country. Now he’s back.

    The lightweight division has suddenly heated up with a number of high-profile names that can be future foes for Lomachenko who is now 34 years old. There are too many to name.

    Also on the same card are Olympians Robeisy Ramirez and Duke Ragan in separate bouts. Expect these two to collide some time next year in a featherweight clash. Others on the card are heavyweight Olympian Richard Torrez and Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali.

    Fights to Watch

    Fri. Canela.tv 6 p.m. Kenia Enriquez (24-1) vs Nora Cardoza (16-9-2).

    Sat. DAZN 11 a.m. Katie Taylor (21-0) vs Karen Carabajal (19-0).

    Sat. ESPN+ 3:15 p.m. Vasyl Lomachenko (16-2) vs Jamaine Ortiz (16-0-1).

    Sat. DAZN 5 p.m. Jojo Diaz (32-2-1) vs William Zepeda (26-0).

    Sat. Showtime ppv 6 p.m. Jake Paul (5-0) vs Anderson Silva (3-1); Antonio Nieves (20-3-2) vs Alejandro Santiago (26-3-5); LeVeon Bell vs Uriah Hall;
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