Boxing preview: ‘No Trump’ undercard gets our vote

Boxing preview: ‘No Trump’ undercard gets our vote



by -
0 1331

The undercard supporting Pacquiao vs. Bradley III has a lot to offer fans, and it’s not an empty campaign promise.

Arthur Abraham (left) will be on unfamiliar ground Saturday in Las Vegas when he fights Mexican Gilberto Ramirez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Arthur Abraham (left) will be on unfamiliar ground Saturday in Las Vegas when he fights Mexican Gilberto Ramirez. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

LAS VEGAS, April 8, 2016 – Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank works with boxers from many nations. A large share come from Mexico, where boxing is as much a national religion as a sport. Mexican boxers are the pride of the nation, and many first generation Mexican-American boxers have deep ties to their roots.

When a political candidate makes strong statements about Mexican immigrants as Donald Trump has, Arum takes issue. His background as a former Justice Department attorney in the Kennedy Administration and his own Jewish heritage heighten his sensitivities.

With four Mexican fighters on the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Bradley III main event, including two who are currently undefeated, plus a fifth boxer who calls himself “The Mexican Russian,” Arum has strong opinions about immigration and decided to make a statement, naming Saturday’s undercard the “No Trump Undercard.”

Boxing fans who know their sport are excited about Saturday's undercard lineup, coming out in large numbers during Fight Week events. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Boxing fans who know their sport are excited about Saturday’s undercard lineup, coming out in large numbers during Fight Week events. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Arum feels strongly about the work ethic and dignity of his Mexican boxers. “It’s for us in the sport of boxing to speak out at this time when we have a presidential candidate who’s spewing the hate Mr. Trump is,” Arum said in the news conference. “Boxing is a sport. Fun and games. It’s on the sports page. But we in boxing have an obligation to be heard, and to not allow our country to sink into fascism and demagoguery, which we’ve been witnessing for the past few months.”

The only statement boxing fans really care about is the statement made with fists in the ring. The fighters on the undercard should make themselves heard loud and clear in several outstanding bouts.

Gilberto Ramirez poses with fans in Las Vegas during Fight Week. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Gilberto Ramirez poses with fans in Las Vegas during Fight Week. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Armenian born German fighter Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) will put his WBO world super middleweight title on the line against undefeated Mexican Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (33-0. 24 KOs). This is a big step up for Ramirez, who would become the highest weight division Mexican champion ever with a win. Many Mexican fighters are in the smaller weight divisions. This is Abraham’s first fight in Las Vegas. He’s gotten a rap for getting friendly judges at home to help him win questionable narrow decisions. This time Abraham will fight without a net against the rising star Ramirez. It’s youth versus experience and should be an action packed bout.

Oscar Valdez greets fans at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas during Fight Week. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Oscar Valdez greets fans at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas during Fight Week. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Featherweights Oscar Valdez Jr. of Mexico (18-0, 16 KOs) and Evgeny Gradovich of Russia (21-1-1, 9 KOs) could end up stealing the show Saturday. Gradovich works out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California, and calls himself “the Mexican Russian” because he has adopted the Mexican style of boxing. These two come forward at all times and they will engage from the opening bell.

So far, the Mexican style of boxing has suited Evgeny Gradovich well. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
So far, the Mexican style of boxing has suited Evgeny Gradovich well. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Lightweight Mexican-American Jose Ramirez of California (16-0, 12 KOs), a member of the 2012 U.Sl. Olympic Boxing Team, will get a tough test against Manny Perez of Denver, Colorado (25-11-1, 6 KOs). Ramirez worked alongside his farmworker parents as a teenager in Central California, a symbol of the next generation Mexican boxer who chose to defer college, instead pursuing boxing as a ticket to a brighter future.

Jose Ramirez works with trainer Marvin Samodio at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Jose Ramirez works with trainer Marvin Samodio at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank

Be sure to look in on the live online streaming offered by Top Rank prior to the televised fights and catch two time Lithuanian Olympian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (12-0, 11 KOs), up against Deniz Ilbay (15-0, 8 KOs) of Germany in an eight-round welterweight bout. Kavaliauskas is an impressive young talent. Find him on YouTube and watch him at work. His last five fights have all ended in two rounds or less. He is also working with Robert Garcia out of Oxnard.

Communities Digital News will sit ringside in Las Vegas Saturday to bring you all the action. Bookmark this column and return to see live streams of the undercard fights along with our insights on the main event and undercard fights.

See the Live Stream: Pacquiao-Bradley Non-Televised Undercards (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT)

HBO Boxing Podcast: Post Fight Discussion 

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2016 by Falcon Valley Group

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Communities Digital News


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.