SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2015 – When boxing comes to the state of Texas, it’s time to go big or go home. Texans are fond of saying ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas.” With 17 fights on the card Saturday at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, I’m going with it.
The unusual program put together by Premier Boxing Champions puts two fan friendly fights on CBS at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. In the opening bout, Mexican-American heavyweight Chris Arreola (36-4-0, 31 KOs) makes his case for a bout against title holder Deontay Wilder. He takes on Fred Kassi (18-3-0, 10 KOs) of New Orleans.
Arreola is always worth watching. His last bout against Chris Hunter in April was a wildly entertaining brawl between two massive guys who wouldn’t say die. Arreola came in 16 pounds lighter at the weigh-in Friday than he did at his last fight, at 246.4 pounds. He says he’s putting in the work, including road work at night which he treats like a kid eating his vegetables. Arreola says he’ll never be thin and he’s stopped caring what people say about his weight; he focuses on feeling strong. Hear hear, “The Nightmare” looks good and ready to go to war. Kassi weighed 225 and he gives away three inches in height. We all know what’s going to happen here.
The main event marks the debut of undefeated IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton of Belfast, Northern Ireland (20-0-0, 14 KOs) against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. of Mexico (25-1-2, 15 KOs). Frampton is making his American debut after becoming the toast of Great Britain with his sensational performances and there isn’t any reason to think Frampton won’t be a big star in the U.S., especially among Irish-American fight fans. Expect this 28-year-old boxer-puncher to put on a show against Gonzalez Jr., who has never fought outside Mexico and who is likely to be overwhelmed quickly by Frampton’s footwork, accuracy, and power. It will be fun while it lasts, though.
After a few hours break, three more bouts will be shown on an evening Showtime broadcast starting at 10 p.m. ET. The main event presents Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. (48-2-1. 32 KOs) is fast running out of chances. In April, he retired in the corner after the ninth round after getting pummeled by Andrzej Fonfara. He claimed after the bout he was fighting at the wrong weight, and he was actually winning the fight. Say what?
Next thing we know, Chavez Jr. had fired Joe Goossen after working with him barely a month, and signed on with trainer Robert Garcia, announcing that he wanted to get right back in the ring to prove the loss was an anomaly. Would Garcia be able to succeed in motivating Chavez Jr. where Goossen and Freddie Roach before him had failed?
Apparently not. After all the talk about his dedication to proving everyone wrong about doubting him, Chavez Jr. came in over the weight limit for his bout Saturday against Marcos Reyes (33-2-0, 24 KOs) of Mexico. The pair had agreed to a higher weight limit for their super middleweight bout of 170 pounds. Reyes weighed 168.4 pounds. Chavez Jr. hit the scale at 170.8 pounds.
Pardon me if I seem to be repeating myself. Chavez Jr. failed to make his agreed upon weight against Brian Vera. He fought at a 172 pound catchweight against light heavyweight Fonfara, and he barely made it, later claiming it was too heavy for him. The Vera fight continued after a payoff then, and the bout against Reyes will as well, including yet another payoff.
Chavez Jr.’s career is hanging by a thread. Without his famous father’s name he would be long gone. His declining performances are a direct result of his terrible work ethic inside the ring and bad behavior outside the ring, which include failing drug tests, party boy antics and contract disputes.
The disappointment in Chavez Jr. isn’t due to losses; it’s due to the disappointment of failed expectations. He has all the natural talent in the world and had the chance to learn lessons from his father’s legacy, but he’s largely thrown it away. Trainer Garcia claims Chavez Jr. has been working hard. Garcia has earned my respect, but his work with Chavez Jr. may be a case of too little, too late.
Here’s hoping the evening session can be rescued with a good performance by unbeaten junior-welterweight contender Amir Imam (17-0, 14 KOs) of New York against Fernando Angulo (29-9-0, 16 KOs) of Venezuela. Imam has been quietly impressing observers including his decision win on the Chavez/Fonfara undercard in April. This should be little more than a high level workout for Imam in front of a national audience.
The third fight pits unbeaten super flyweights McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8 KOs) of Puerto Rico against Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14 KOs) of the Philippines in what should be a barn burner of a bout. There aren’t many boxing fans as passionate as Pinoys and Boricuas. The rest of you, pick a side and get into it.
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. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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