Reno boxing: Simon says who wins tonight and Saturday
Every time I hear about a Stan Martyniouk fight, it gets the attention of my ears.
It was around early 2003 when I traveled to Nasser Niavaroni’s gym in Roseville for a sparring session. When I arrived, I learned my scheduled partner was not there. Instead, Niavaroni had a nationally ranked teenage amateur in the gym who would get me a few rounds of good work. He shouted, “Stan The Man, get ready!”
We went three rounds. Stan had fast hands and he delivered them from awkward angles. In the second round, one landed flush and it ruptured my left eardrum.
Martyniouk’s pro career stalled due to managerial and promotional issues and two surprising defeats. On Friday, the 34-year old he gets what might be his last chance against a very powerful 25-year-old Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda. An upset victory would get the boxing world’s ears buzzing again for Stan “The Man.”
Local fighters featured this weekend
Between the two shows going on this week in Reno, local fighters are getting a chance to showcase their talents and no one is in an easy bout. At Friday night’s UFC Fight Pass card at the Silver Legacy, bantamweight Oscar Vasquez comes off of a layoff and a loss to face Gilberto Mendoza ,who has a 15-7-2 record but has struggled whenever fighting in the United States.
Undefeated featherweight Ricardo Lucio-Galvan battles unbeaten Texan Mobley Villegas (2-0) in a battle of two young prospects. Reno bred, San Diego-trained Peter Cortez comes home looking to bounce back from his first pro loss against unbeaten Las Vegas prospect Daquan Mays.
Super lightweights Kenny Davis Jr. (0-2-1) and Stockton’s Phillip Schwartz (0-2) battle for their respective first pro victory. Somebody’s “0” must go. Davis , an outstanding amateur has had a rough start to his pro career but will be looking to get on track Friday night.
In Saturday’s ESPN+ in the Reno Sparks Convention Center, super lightweight JJ Mariano of Reno aims to go 2-0 in his young career vs San Antonio’s Sean Cerveny, who is looking for his first pro victory after a loss in his pro debut. Cerveny, originally from Stockton, may have some support in what otherwise may have been a completely hostile environment against the popular local favorite Mariano. In lightweight action, Carson City’s Diego Elizondo 2-0-2 pits his speed against fellow speedy southpaw Mike Danny Sanchez, 5-0 from Colton, California.
Fight cards becoming all-day events
Saturday’s 11 bout card is the new norm. Undercards have a new format for exposure on the internet. I went to Cowboys Stadium in March to cover Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia and it was a 17 bout card. So from 2:30 p.m. until just after 10 p.m. plus the time of postfight press conference, the new norm of attending a boxing event is that it’s an all-day affair, spread out through apps or network portion of the event along with the main card PPV action. In the case of a Top Rank event or a PBC promoted event, you’re talking promotional companies with more than 100 fighters under their banner. So they want to keep the roster active and adding as much talent to each show to keep them paid and happy.
Lane Brothers Boxing begins
Let’s Get It On Boxing’s Terry and Tommy Lane have created “Lane Brothers Boxing.” This week they announced advisor agreements with two big-time prospects from China. Light heavyweight Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs) is the No. 1 IBF contender. Heavyweight Zhang Zhilei (20-0, 16 KOs) won the 2008 Olympic silver medal. He is 6-foot-6, 260 pounds and is scheduled to face Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) on Nov. 30 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Simon says who will win
While I always advice to pay your bills before you bet on any bout, here is my picks for the main event bouts this week in Reno:
Kendo Castaneda vs. Stan Martyniouk
My upset pick of the weekend, I’m going with Stan “The Man” to use his boxing skills and the ear-ringing speed that I believe he still has. Kendo “Tremendo” will have to shift his footwork and that would affect power of his his counter punches. I also think Stan has the chin to withstand those shots enough to box his way to a decision.
Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez
Promotional opinion seems to be going Gonzales’ way as he becomes more known and studied. I think this will turn out to be a foundation of his future success. The southpaw Stevenson has a full arsenal and his power increases as his body matures. Reno has been a second home to Stevenson. Shakur won three amateur youth championships, Olympic team trials and has a pro victory all in the Biggest Little City. I think speed makes the difference in the ring. I look for Stevenson to add his first world title to the Reno resume. Top Rank has this set up for him to be a shining moment. He is more seasoned because of such international experience under his belt. I just think his faster reflexes keep him a step ahead of Joet and he gets a decision or frustrates Gonzales enough for him to make a big mistake late in the fight that leads to a stoppage.
Oscar Vasquez vs. Gilberto Mendoza
Look for a rejuvenated Vasquez to get back in the win column in his hometown against a gutsy fighter. I’ll take Vasquez by decision.
Joshua Greer vs. Antonio Nieves
This is probably the hardest one to predict. Nieves has faced the tougher competition but looks to box and pick his moments for power shots. Greer is a boxer-puncher with the speed advantage. He loves to finish combos to the body. I’m going with Greer’s confidence to prevail him in this one, but the pressure Nieves is going to put on may decide this the other way. Greer’s speed and willingness to let his punches go should build a lead. Nieves will close the gap in the later rounds while running out of time. Greer wins by close but unanimous decision.
Albert Bell vs. Frank De Alba
Look for Bell to take another step forward. After handing Andy Vences his first pro defeat, I think Bell rolls in this one, TKO in the sixth round.
Andy Vences vs. Mark Bernaldez
The deciding factor in this one is going to be how fast Vences gets going. He seemed in a mental funk at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when he lost to Albert Bell. If he comes out fast, look for him to dominate. But if Bernaldez takes advantage of a slow-going Vences, then he has a shot. With destiny in Vences’ hands, I’m say that he bounces back nicely and stops Bernaldez in the seventh round.
Jason Sanchez vs. Adeilson Dos Santos
“El Alacrancito” Sanchez is back in Reno after losing in his a world title fight to Oscar Valdez. Look for that experience to have made Sanchez grow. I like Sanchez by decision.
Francisco Esparza vs. Matt Conway
With such a contrast of styles, this could the best bout of the two nights. Esparza is a smart boxer who dominates the inside but reaches too much when he’s on the outside. Conway is a tricky southpaw, I don’t like his tendency to keep his chin exposed. But judges to tend to favor his activity level and punches that connect from awkward angles. But he’s not going to be able to budge Esparza and that’s why the action has the potential to heat up into a barnburner. Conway wins.
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Fight Night at The Row5:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Silver Legacy, Reno
Kendro “Tremendo” Castaneda, 16-0, vs. Stan “The Man” Martyniouk, 20-2, 10 rounds, super lightweights
Oscar Vasquez, 15-2, vs. Gilberto Mendoza, 15-7-2, eight rounds, bantamweights
*Ricardo Lucio-Galvan, 2-0, vs. Mobley Villegas (2-0) 4 rounds, featherweights
Rosalinda Rodriguez, 10-0, vs. TBA, six rounds, super flyweights
Daquan Mays, 3-0, 1 KO vs. Peter Cortez (1-1), four rounds, lightweights
*Kenny Davis Jr. (0-2-1) vs. Phillip Schwartz (0-2), four rounds, super lightweights
The card will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 7 p.m. Pacific Time, from inside the Grande Exposition Hall at Silver Legacy. Tickets are available for $25, $45 and $65 and can be purchased at the Silver Legacy Box Office, Ticketmaster.com or by calling 775-325-7401 or 1-800-MUST-SEE.
Silver Legacy Resort Casino is offering a special RJJ Boxing room rate at its hotel as well as its connected sister properties, Eldorado Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno. Click on the respective property links for more information.
Doors open at 5 p.m. PT, first bout 5:45 p.m., and UFC FIGHT PASS starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Reno-Sparks Convention CenterTickets: $110, $70 and $40 available at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa gift shop or online:
Online stream: ESPN+ starts at 3:30 p.m., Greer-Nieves is at 7 p.m., followed by Stevenson-Gonzalez
Main event: Shakur Stevenson (12-0) vs. Joet Gonzalez (23-0), 12 rounds, for vacant WBO featherweight title
Co-feature: Mikaela Mayer (11-0) vs. Alejandra Soledad Zamora (7-3), 10 rounds, female junior lightweightsCo-feature: Josh Greer (21-1-1) vs. Antonio Nieves (19-2-2), 10 rounds, bantamweights
Albert Bell (15-0) vs. Frank De Alba (23-4-2), 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Jason Sanchez (14-1) vs. Adeilson Dos Santos, 10 rounds, featherweights
Andy Vences (22-1-1) vs. Mark Bernaldez 19-2), 10 rounds, junior lightweights
Francisco Esparza (9-1-1) vs. Matt Conway (17-0), 8 rounds, junior lightweights
Xander Zayas vs. Genesis Wynn (1-0), 4 rounds, welterweights
Diego Elizondo* (2-0-2)vs. Mike Danny Sanchez, (5-0) 4 rounds, lightweights
J.J. Mariano* (1-0) vs. Sean William Cerveny (0-1), 4 rounds, junior welterweights
Jared Anderson (debut) vs. Daniel Infante (1-2), 4 rounds, heavyweights
* indicates local boxers
ABOUT Simon Ruvalcaba
Simon Ruvalcaba is a former professional boxer born and bred in South Lake Tahoe. Ruvalcaba was a member of the U.S. Army boxing team and had a 54-17 record as an amateur and was the 139 pound 1998 8th U.S. Army Champion in Korea before joining the All-Army squad in Fort Hood, Texas. He had an 18-fight pro career that was hampered by a shoulder injury he sustained in a 2003 bout at Caesars Tahoe. His final fight was in 2013. He is a Casino Security Supervisor living in Sun Valley, NV. He is editor of Punchline.live and also contributes to fighthype.com and pound4pound.com