Several new cards will come to The state of Texas in the upcoming months. The San Antonio boxing scene remains red hot on January 20th The Scottish Rite will play host to an exciting card titled “Fight Nite At The Scottish Rite”. The card will headline Daniel Baiz a San Antonio based prospect who recently defeated Cuban prospect Yunier Calzada. It will also feature unbeaten prospect and fan favorite Vic Pasillas who last fought in Texas back in 2013 and put on an exciting performance in knocking out Salvador Perez.
On February 9th Roy Jones Jr Promotions will invade the Lone Star State again after it gave us an exciting show back in December in Austin. This time the RJJ show will be held in Laredo and will feature 130-pound mega-prospect Randy Moreno Ochoa.
Big time boxing returns to Texas. Two major cards will come to Texas in the upcoming months. On February 3rd Top Rank will hold a nationally televised event that will be aired on ESPN. Undefeated Gilberto Rameriez will defend his WBO 168 pound title against undefeated prospect Habib Ahmed of Ghana. Also, 115 pound IBF champ will defend against Israel Gonzalez, a very tough Mexican warrior.
On February 17th two former world champs will collide in El Paso on a nationally televised card. Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz will square off for positioning in the loaded welterweight division. The Card will also feature “Sweet Hands” Caleb Plant who will square off with world class puncher Porky Medina.
The Alamodome is used to hosting World Champions, being home of Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs and their 5 NBA Championships in just a 15-year span. The arena will now play host to another great championship duel. IBF Super Lightweight Champion Sergey Lipinets will defend his portion of the 140-pound championship against Pound For Pound elite and current lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia
Mikey Garcia will attempt to join two legends Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only champions to win titles from featherweight to junior-welterweight )126 lbs to 140 lbs) when he meets Sergey Lipinets in San Antonio on Feb. 10. Garcia (37-0, 30 knockouts) bypassed higher-profile bouts against Miguel Cotto and current lightweight champion Jorge Linares, deciding on undefeated IBF Champ Lipinets (13-0, 10KOs), which will air live on Showtime. “It is a dream to have the opportunity to become a four-division world champion,’’ Garcia said via press release. “San Antonio has some of the greatest boxing fans in the country, including some key supporters of my Robert Garcia Boxing Academy family. Since my last fight, I have stayed in the gym. I can’t wait to give the fans in Texas and those watching at home on Showtime another great performance.’’
Lipinets said “Getting the title is one thing, but keeping the title is a more difficult task, I’m not about to give it away to anybody. No disrespect to Mikey Garcia or anybody else out there, but I’m keeping my title. Beating Mikey Garcia will put me in the elite of boxing where I believe I belong. I’m happy my team was able to put this great fight together. I can promise you this won’t be a snoozer. It’s going to be an action-packed fight for sure.’’
Mikey has a deep history of fighting in the Lone Star State, he last fought here back in 2013, when he knocked out Roman “Rocky” Martinez in Corpus Christi and prior to that he fought at the American Airlines Center in Dallas where he knocked out Juan Manuel Lopez. Garcia also fought in Quick Trip Ball park in Grand Prairie as well as in Laredo at the Laredo Energy Arena. In all it will be the sixth time Garcia has fought in the State of Texas. For Lipinets it will be his first professional trip to the Lone Star State. The Feb. 10 co-main event will also be a 140-pound title fight, Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOS) meeting Belarus’ Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) in a rematch for the WBA belt vacated by Terence Crawford.
Round Rock Sports Center, Round Rock, Texas – 12/8/17
Roy Jones Jr Boxing and Underwood promotions invaded the Austin area with an exceptional seven card fight. Which showed off much of the rising local Texas-based talent and two international up and coming superstars in the main event and co-main event. Both Filipino sensation Aston Palicte and Ali Akhmedov the monstrous punching Kazakhstani. Each main event fighters put on a show for the Austin crowd and showed why they are both rising stars in the respective divisions.
As for the local Texas based fighters, the home crowd certainly got their monies worth. In the televised opener, Waco based featherweight Antonio Castillo pulled a massive upset in spoiling the undefeated record of highly touted Mexican prospect. Manuel Mondragon. Castillo walked into the ring with a record of just (2-2) and was coming off of consecutive losses to lesser known fighters. From the opening bell Castillo was determined to establish him and show the crowd he belonged with the highly touted Mondragon. Establishing himself with a stiff jab and good head movement established him in the first round. In the second round, Mondragon took control of the fight landing right hands and left hook and avoiding Castillo and making him look bad at moments. In the final two stanzas of the scheduled four rounders, the Waco native bounced back and took control of the fight and dominated the second half of the fight with the stiff jab and movement. Out boxing the long and rangy Mondragon and winning the exchanges when they traded on the inside. Going to the cards at the end of the fourth the fight looked like it could go either way and by the narrowest of margins two of the three judges preferred the slick movement and stiff jab of the resilient Texan,Castillo improving his record to (3-2).
On the non televised portion of the card, Giovanni Loya, from El Paso, woke the audience up. In the first seconds, he dropped Stetson Horne with the first punch of the fight. Steston, making his pro debut, bravely got too his feet but was badly outclassed and finished off with less than a minute to go in the first round.
Bryan Vera, a long time favorite of Texas boxing fans, for wearing his famous Dallas Cowboys trunks, may have had his career sadly come to an end. While he was battered from pillar to post the entire night by a Louisiana based fighter by the name of Jas Phipps,who entered the ring with a record of (9-6-2) who also dropped Vera in the fifth on his way to winning a lop sided unanimous decision over Vera. Vera was once a world class fighter with excellent wins over former world champions like Andy Lee, Sergio Mora twice and Serhiy Dzinziruk. Vera also was robbed of a decision he clearly earned against Julio Caesar Chavez jr back in the fall of 2013. The best days are now far behind him the only question is will the now 35- year-old Vera continue on or retire after a very solid career.
In a non televised thriller and what was no doubt the most exciting fight of the night two young Texas based fighters, Dallas based, Jonathan Steele (7-1-1) and unbeaten Kileen, Texas prospect Reshard Hicks (9-0-1) put on a toe-to-toe thriller. Both Fighters proved Texas tough in this phone booth slug fest that had the Austin crowd on their feet the entire fight. Steele and Hicks stood toe-to-toe the entire night trading huge shots for all six rounds. As the final bell sounded there was no clear winner, as the judges also agreed calling it a draw. However, both Steele and Hicks showed a ton of heart and skill and each deserved to have the arm raised. Maybe we can get a rematch of this all-Texas shootout.