Avila Perspective, Chap. 260: Las Vegas to Los Angeles and More


By David A. Avila

It’s the Fast and the Furious this week in boxing as speedy Shakur Stevenson leads a polished card in Las Vegas, while a few days later powerful Diego Pacheco headlines a strong L.A. show.

Four hours separate them by car.

On Thursday Nov. 16, the angry squeal of high-performance engines serves as the backdrop for Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) who meets Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC lightweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Top Rank card will be shown on ESPN.

It’s race week on the glittery streets of the Las Vegas strip where Formula-1 cars will be buzzing along at high speeds this week. It’s the first time that Formula-1 race cars will roar down the Las Vegas Strip.

Boxing, however, is a staple of Las Vegas and Top Rank has all the angles figured out when it comes to staging a fight card in the casino city. Car race or not.

Fans can veer left into the T-Mobile Arena where WBO super featherweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) defends against Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) in the co-main event.

The winner could conceivably face the Stevenson-De Los Santos winner.

It’s a talented roster of matches that pours out a number of Top Rank prospects. Leading the pack is Emiliano Vargas the son of Fernando Vargas. He is one of many undefeated prospects taking part in this Las Vegas blitz.

None sparkle more than Shakur Stevenson who is gunning for a third division world title,. He meets Dominican Republic’s Edwin De Los Santos a power hitting southpaw. Any time you put lefty against lefty it adds to the drama.

“I understand I will need my entire arsenal to defeat him. It is a huge challenge, but not impossible," said De Los Santos.

Stevenson sees the Dominican as a road bump.

“I’m the better fighter. I’m the stronger fighter. And I’m going to beat him up,” said Stevenson.

Los Angeles via Inglewood

Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have been dominated by cars. Traffic jams have always been a problem in the Southern California landscape.

The movie “Fast and Furious” was originally based in Los Angeles car culture. But people, especially fight fans, are accustomed to traffic and they love boxing. Traffic jams be damned.

Diego Pacheco a native of Los Angeles finally returns home after four years punching other fellows in England, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Miami. Well, at least Miami has a race car subculture.

Pacheco (19-0, 16 Kos) and his furious style headline the show as he faces Argentina’s Marcelo Coceres (32-5-1, 18 KOs) at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday Nov. 18. DAZN will stream the Matchroom Boxing card. Doors open at 3 p.m.

The tall super middleweight born in South Central L.A. has crackling ability and trained with the actual WBC super middleweight titlist David Benavidez. In recent battles Pacheco has exhibited Tommy Hearns-like power and craft.

Matchroom Boxing which is based in England signed the tall Pacheco because of that explosive potential.

The native son won’t be alone. A women’s world title match features WBA super bantamweight titlist Mayerlin Rivas (17-4-3) against former featherweight champ Erika “Dinamita: Cruz (16-2) in the co-main event.

Others on the Matchroom card include Khalid Yafai (27-1, 15 KOs) who formerly held a super flyweight world title before getting bushwhacked by Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. No shame in that. Yafai is now in the bantamweight division and looking to gain another world title should he beat Puerto Rican Jonathan Rodriguez (16-1-1, 6 KOs).

It’s a rough road.

Lake Elsinore card

A Red Boxing card features undefeated Raul Lizarraga (11-0, 11 KOs) facing Noe Larios Jr. (14-2, 6 KOs) for a regional middleweight title that takes place Saturday Nov. 18, at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Lizarraga fights out of nearby Murrieta, Calif. and erupted on the boxing scene a year ago after mostly fighting in Tijuana, Mexico.

Ten bouts are planned for the Red Boxing card that begins at 5 p.m. For more information call (562) 271-8691.

Fights to Watch

Thurs. ESPN 7:30 p.m. Shakur Stevenson (20-0) vs Edwin De Los Santos (16-1); Emanuel Navarrete (38-1) vs Robson Conceicao (17-2).

Sat. DAZN 5 p.m. Diego Pacheco (19-0) vs Marcelo Coceres (32-5-1); Mayerlin Rivas (17-4-3) vs Erika Cruz (16-2).