First the good news: Congratulations to Escobar Training Ground’s Cameron Church for winning to his Pro MMA debut April 5 in Santa Ynez, California. Church dominated and froze Santa Maria, California’s Tony Topaz in 1 minute, 48 seconds
into the opening round. A solid Church right hand with Topaz along the cage had the Southern California fighter out on his feet before the Matt McGovern Promoted WFC fight was stopped. Church looks to get back in the cage quickly and, as a free agent, is available to fight under any promotional banner.
The news wasn’t as good for Reno boxer Ricardo Lucio Galvan, who suffered a right-hand injury and was forced to pull out of his scheduled featherweight bout April 25 in Las Vegas on a Roy Jones Jr. (Square Ring Promotions) promoted card against Belgium’s Zakaria Miri. Lucio jammed his thumb during sparring in early April and was unable to make a fist. With the hand not getting any better, a doctor’s appointment last Thursday revealed a badly sprained thumb/wrist.
The injury has Lucio-Galvan in a splint. To add insult to injury, it is set to come off on what would have been fight day. Bill Nelson of VegasChamp Boxing is hoping Square Ring will want to have Ricardo on what is supposed to be a July date in Vegas. Lucio-Galvan, a student at University of Nevada, Reno, is young, and injuries happen. It’s going to serve him well that he has a managerial company by his side, as independent fighters who pull out of fights are quick to gain a reputation within the promoter circuit. Expect him to be back in action in July.
Reno super welterweight Peter Cortez (1-0) returns to the ring for his second pro bout Friday, April 26, in Montebello, California, versus Arthur Saakyan (4-1), a Los Angeles area fighter.
Reno featherweight Alec McGee (4-2) is likely on a three-year hiatus from boxing as he joined the Army and shipped out to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on Tuesday. While there is a boxing program in the Army, it is for amateurs. If he has any pro bouts while in the Army, it would be on his own time, not as part of his duty. He is only 24 and I think the self-confidence that he will gain is going to serve him well when he resumes his career!
Business as usual for VegasChamp Boxing
When the disappointing news broke of Lucio-Galvan’s bout being called off, Manager Bill Nelson of VegasChamp needed to keep moving forward as he turned focus to his female fighter, seven-time World Champion Melissa Hernandez. She fought at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in 2006 in her sixth pro bout. Coming out of retirement to make one last run at a title and take advantage of the growing popularity of women’s boxing — now is shown regularly on national television platforms — Hernandez does not return for any easy task. She battles unbeaten phenom Selina Barrios of Houston on a card shown on the new DAZN app from Lafayette, Louisiana.
Shields-Hammer fight fails to hold audience
The Claressa “T-Rex” Shields vs. Christina Hammer bout on Showtime last week was a mega women’s match for pound for pound supremacy. The highly promoted and highly anticipated bout drew a good audience of about 390,000 viewers to start the bout, but ratings show a drop to 206,000 viewers by the end of the fight, meaning that the dominating boxing clinic put on by two- time gold medalist Shields could not sustain a viewing audience. It is a sign of the times in my opinion, however, as I think an audience’s attention will lapse in any bout that is not back and forth and not a quick ending. Let’s hope that women’s boxing continues to gain exposure and that the audience enjoys the entire show moving forward.
Crawford meets Khan in Madison Square Garden
ESPN pay-per-view will host the exciting bout Saturday night between welterweight champion Terrence Crawford and former champion Amir Khan. Most expect Khan to take the early rounds and perform well until he gets caught, as he has been in several recent big bouts. For me the style matchup does suggest that, but I think the pace setting Khan does get the early rounds before Crawford figures things out and controls the second half of the fight to take a decision victory and leave the pound for pound debate open. Either way, it should be exciting throughout.
Performance-enhancing drugs test sidelines ‘Big Baby’
Disappointing news coming from the camp of unbeaten American heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby’” Miller, who failed testing for performance-enhancing drugs. This on the heels of a boisterous press tour to promote his bout against champion Anthony Joshua, which was scheduled for June 1. Miller continuously bashed Joshua with doping allegations and suggestions that Joshua’s muscle tone was artificial only to be caught doping himself and abandon his heavyweight championship opportunity along with the $3 million payday.
A scramble is ongoing for a Joshua replacement opponent for what is supposed to be his United States debut. It will be hard to find a challenger of note who is willing to except the bout on six-weeks notice. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is scrambling to secure a deal in the next few days. Nonetheless, a black eye for boxing and a damaging blow for Miller, who had a serious shot at victory. It is easy to publicly assassinate Miller, but America does love comeback stories. Look at Tiger Woods and his comeback!
— Simon Ruvalcaba