Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
After five years of anticipation, the fight of the century is over and in its wake the boxing world has continued to act as a punching bag for criticism across the sports media machine. For avid fans of the sweet science, Mayweather’s allusive fighting style against puncher, Manny Pacquiao, was something special. Conversely, casual fans of the sport who would have a hard time naming more than five active boxers ridiculed the event, calling it “lackluster” and “boring.” Whatever camp you may fall in remains your preference.
However, the one argument I continue to hear, and have heard for years now is that boxing doesn’t have any young, promising stars who can replace the legends that currently look to be on their way out of the sport. Again, for a casual fan with minimal knowledge of the sport, this may be believable. Today, I am here to tell that “fan” that they are mistaken.
On Thursday night, May 7, 2015, Golden Boy Promotions brings an exciting fight card to the City of Angels has a group of young fighters take to the national stage all leading up to the big event this Saturday on Showtime Sports, where Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez squares off against heavy-handed brawler James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Boxing is “dead?” Only if you choose not to experience the wealth of young talent that is highlighted by Golden Boy Promotions.
Thursday night at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, “LA Fight Club,” will air live on FOX Sport 1 for their third installment of the monthly boxing series that continues to highlight young talent looking to make their moves into the next phases of their careers.
In the main event of the evening, Manuel “Tino” Avila (16-0, 7 KO’s) will take on Mexican-American Erik Ruiz (13-2, 6 KO’s) in a ten round super bantamweight bout. Both fighters remain at an early stage of their careers and look to advance up the rankings with victories Thursday evening.
Avila’s last bout in Los Angeles was a decision over David Reyes on the undercard of a Bernard Hopkins fight in 2011. Since then, Avila has defeated fighters Enrique Quevedo, David De La Mora and Sergio Frias. Ruiz, who was a late addition to the card due to Avila’s original opponent suffering an injury, will make his second appearance inside the ropes this year and look to continue is way up the ranks.
On the undercard, local fans will be treated to a special bout that sees rising star Diego De La Hoya (9-0, 6 KO’s) of Mexicali taking on Ramiro “Zurdo” Robles (12-2-1, 6 KO’s) in an eight round featherweight match. With nine impressive victories already, television experience and the name of a legend, De La Hoya promises to bring his non-stop energy and power-punching to LA Fight Club in what could be a preview of the sports next big star.
Also on the card, Mexican Tradition Boxing Team fighter and Columbian native Oscar “El Jagura” Negrete (8-0, 3 KO’s) will defend his record against veteran fighter Luis “Titi” Maldonado Jr (38-13-1, 29 KO’s) in a six round super bantamweight fight.
For Negrete, a young fighter who has barely scratched the surface but has over 300 amateur fights to his name in Columbia, continuing on this path is important to the next phase of his career. “I have trained really hard and have sparred with people like current World Champion Leo Santa Cruz,” Negrete said at the media day. He adds, “Training with a champion helps me get better as a fighter that is something I will take with me into the ring. “Being here has been a dream of mine, a dream of my fathers and a dream of my first trainer back in Columbia.”
This is my task for the casual fans. Tune into free boxing on FOX Sport 1 this Thursday. Forget about Mayweather-Pacquiao for two hours and take in a night of boxing with some of the sport’s most promising stars. Hell, you may even enjoy yourself.
LA FIGHT CLUB: Avila vs. Ruiz is a 10-round super bantamweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra and Mexico – Live It To Believe It! Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and the first bout begins at 5:30 p.m. The FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes broadcast airs live at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.