Avila Perspective, Chap. 251: Raul Curiel vs Courtney Pennington Ignites September


By David A. Avila

In the last 40 years the month of September usually means one major Las Vegas boxing card will center around Mexican Independence Day.

Not this year.

MMA grabbed the spot most holy to boxing promoters and usurped the September 16th date for its own Mexican themed fight card in the Octagon.

Get ready for Southern California to benefit as one boxing show after another will hit the area beginning on Thursday night in Indio, California.

Golden Boy Promotions starts off September with Mexico’s undefeated Raul Curiel (12-0, 10 KOs) meeting Courtney Pennington (17-6-3, 7 KOs) for a regional welterweight title in the main event at Fantasy Springs Casino. DAZN will stream the card.

Pennington hails from Brooklyn, New York. Fighters from that area are always competitive and present unique style problems in the prize ring, especially for Mexican fighters.

Curiel still looks forward to the matchup.

"It's a dream come true to fight on September 7 as the main event,” said Curiel. “I am now just a couple of steps away from my goal of becoming a world champion. I am going to close this year with a victory, and then look for a chance for a world title."

Curiel, a former Mexican Olympian, is trained by Freddie Roach and that means all those amateur flaws should be covered over like a Conestoga Wagon. Plus, Roach always preaches an aggressive offensive style as seen over the years with the great Manny Pacquiao and others.

The Mexican welterweight from Guadalajara doesn’t really look like a prizefighter. He has more that look of a boxing reporter than someone with a knack for sending other fighters to unconsciousness.

So far 10 former foes were slept by Curiel, who is managed by Frank Espinoza and son who are veterans of sport. Over the years Espinoza Boxing has brought many of the most exciting Mexican fighters to California in the past 30 years like Israel Vazquez who was also trained by Roach.

Who can forget the four wars Vazquez had with Rafael Marquez? Three of those tremendous battles took place in Southern California. Their third encounter on Match 1, 2008 at the Home Depot Center in Carson was the Fight of the Year That fight baptized the place as a venue for gladiators.

Curiel has been brought along slowly by the Espinozas. They have always had+ an eye for talent and when to pull the trigger. Over the years they’ve bred world champions such as Yonnhy Perez, Mike Anchondo, Jessie Magdaleno and Oscar Valdez. It’s a pretty impressive resume.

Can Curiel reach that level too?

Photo credit Chris Esqueda (Golden Boy Media

Saturday Sept. 9

Camponovo Sports opens its first show with featherweights on Saturday Sept. 9, in Long Beach, California.

Rigoberto Hermosillo (13-4-1) meets Alexis De Luna (10-1) in the main event.

Alex Camponovo, formerly with Thompson Boxing Promotions, has formed another boxing group following the death of the beloved Ken Thompson earlier this year.

The boxing show takes place at Thunder Studios located at 20434 S. Santa Fe Avenue in Long Beach, California 90810.

Sunday Sept. 10

Women warriors take the center stage as former flyweight champions Kenia Enriquez (26-1, 11 KOs) meets Ibeth Zamora (33-7, 15 KOs) on Sunday Sept. 10 at La Paz, Mexico. It will be streamed after the baseball game on https://www.imagentv.com/en-vivo

Fri. Sept. 15

Former featherweight champion Erika Cruz (15-2) meets Melissa Odessa Parker (6-1) in the main event on Friday Sept. 15, at Tijuana, Mexico. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card live. In a co-female feature Skye Nicolson (7-0) meets Sabrina Perez (18-1-1).

Sat. Sept. 16

Highly ranked lightweights William Zepeda (28-0, 24 KOs) and Mercito Gesta (34-3-3, 17 KOs) clash on Saturday Sept. 16, at Commerce Casino in Commerce, California. The co-feature is IBF and WBO minimumweight world titlist Yokasta Valle (28-2, 9 KOs) against Maria Santizo (11-3, 6 KOs). DAZN will stream the Golden Boy Promotions card.


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