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Benavidez /Sampson Pact, Showdown, More News

By Don Smith: Boxing Fans, I called trainer Jose Benavidez on Monday morning (11/27) to get an update on the agenda of his 2 boxing sons. Jose Jr. is still waiting for an opponent after Dad nixed the idea of his eldest son fighting on the Horn/Corcoran card on 12/13 in Brisbane Australia. I guess the tasting of grilled Kangaroo will have to wait. It was decided that the trip to Australia would interfere with David’s tentative (1/27) rematch bout with Ronald Gavril. A venue and location search is underway for David’s match with California and Nevada the favorite options.

I suggested to the trainer/father that he consider Canadian Steve Claggett (26-4-1-17 knockouts) as an opponent for his Jose’s long awaited return to the ring. He didn’t recognize Claggett; so, I reminded him that Claggett called out JJ 4-5 years ago after a bout in Canada and then denied ever making the challenge.

The notorious trash talking pugilist; furthermore, denied ever talking to Top Rank & Iron Boy Promotions about fighting Benavidez in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theatre. Iron Boy publicist Emily Pandelakis refutes his denial.

At the same time, there was a story circulating that the Canadian fashion prince/boxer was recovering from a dog bite and was unable to fight during that time frame. The alleged dog bite was never confirmed to my satisfaction.

Claggett is definitely a cocky bird; but, in the ring he is credible as witnessed by his recent capture of IBF North American Title in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His most notable punch is the liver punch shot which has served him well.

Sr. said he wasn’t interested in the proposed matchup because Claggett wasn’t known outside of Canada and his 4 losses and 1 draw ledt him out of consideration.

Benavidez (25-0-16 knockouts) hasn’t fought in more than a year and Team Benavidez might be wise to ease back into action with a second tier opponent instead of taking on a challenge they might regret. For the record, I am not a trainer or manager; but, as a boxing journalist, I put the meat on the scale and weigh it as I see it. Yes, a new analogy, and hopefully one worthy of using again.

As for David Benavidez, he has 2 reasons to celebrate and a future that could earn him millions. Over the weekend he signed a 3 year extension with Samson Promotions and he celebrates Birthday # 21 on December 12; happy birthday and many more.

As for his future, he has a handful of talented super middleweight to pick and choose to fight or he can move up to light heavyweight and challenge Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson or Badou Jack. The choices are there, he has to make the right decision and that’s where good management steps in and makes the right decision.

Showdown At The Commission: A reminder, everyone that arrives early will be allowed to attend the Monthly Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission Meeting on Wednesday November 29 in room 245 at 1110 W. Washington, Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting will commence at 10a.m. and I encourage the public to arrive early because the room is small and I am uncertain about any special accommodations for an excess crowd and I doubt if any video access will be available in an adjoining room. We don’t know if the Sergeant of Arms will be understanding and attempt to find room for all of those who are able to get off work and attend a very important meeting that could affect the livelihood of men and women who work in the Boxing/MMA industry and members of the Muay Thai and Kickboxing community who suspect acts of collusion and conspiracy might threaten their independence from government regulation as enjoyed by the state of California.

On March 17, 2014, the California State Assembly officially designated exclusive authority to the International Kickboxing Federation to regulate kickboxing, Muay Thai and San Shou (Ages 8 & up) in the state of California.

In Arizona, there is the existence of the World Muay Thai Alliance and it is an official sanctioning body for amateur Muay Thai Events. As for kickboxing, there are Arizona chapters connected to the national arm of the International Kickboxing Federation and their events are sanctioned by the IKF. Arizona, according to a spokesperson for Muay Thai, wants the same deal that California enjoys and they thought they had it but now they’re nervous.

Perhaps I should back up. The nervousness in the Arizona Boxing, MMA and Martial Arts Community became visible when word spread that the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission had assembled a rule writing team that would, after many months, churn out a 39 page document of prosed rule changes to regulations and rules governing boxing and MMA.

When the document was published by the Office of the Secretary of State on October 27 and posted on their website and then passed along to the Arizona Boxing/MMA Commission, it became a reality. The writing team repealed the existing rules and proposed new ones. In addition to modifying MMA and Boxing rules, the writing team also ventured into the sport of Muay Thai and Kickboxing. After the completion of printing, publishing and posting, the public and members of the “interested” Arizona press were directed by the commission to go to either website (Commission or SOS) and read the 39 document and prepare comments if so desired. These comments could be mailed to Mr. Aiden Fleming at the Arizona Department of Gaming at 1110West Washington, Phoenix, and Arizona 85007, Suite 450 or left at the office. If you prefer to call Mr. Fleming, dial 602-255-3879 and he will gladly accept your call if he is in his office; otherwise leave a message.

Also, comments can be orally delivered at the meeting on 11/29. Each person wills have 5 minutes to speak. I do not know if speaking time can be transferred to another person I do know that members of the US Senate and House of Representatives can. Oh yes, Arizona State Representative Ken Clark (District 24) has been invited to attend to the meeting and he may sit in and observe after Peter McKinn told the elected official about the proposed changes and what they might do to the industry. Mr. McKinn (Muay Thai matchmaker) thinks the changes might cost jobs.

My fear is a lot of people know nothing about the document and aren’t cognizant of the process of challenging one iota of the proposed changes. That is my worst fear and it looks as if that fear may come to fruition; see you at the meeting.

Boxing News: I wouldn’t put much stock in the rumor that Manny Pacquiao will might Connor McGregor next year. It sounds like something a blogger made up to grab a headline; Top Rank doesn’t know anything about it…….Several of readers wanted to know what is happening to the boxing careers of Arizona boxers, Joey Ruelas, Trevor McCumby and Luis Olivares? Ruelas is all but retired. He was reportedly scheduled to fight in Mexico but that plan was aborted. He has put on weight and seems perfectly happy training his sons. Olivares remains in a contract dispute with Manager Tony Gonzalez (Florida). In the meantime he is working as a trainer at Gent’s Boxing Gym in North Phoenix. Trevor tested positive after a drug test in Nevada and will be out of action until May 2018. He is a very talented fighter and we hope he stays with the sport. Trevor denies using illegal substance and ABNN urges all boxing commissions to read and revise their drug testing program if it doesn’t treat the athlete fairly…..Sorry we can’t confirm the venue and location planned for the Silver Gloves Event. USA Arizona Boxing Chief of Officials Richard Soto didn’t know as we went to press and he was unable to contact Andrew Soto, director of the event…. We can tell our readers that the Nationals in Salt Lake City are set for 12/3-9 and Fuentes Gym, Hammer Boxing are sending fighters to the event. Also making the trip is 202o Arizona Olympic hopeful Fernando Martinez from Mendoza Boxing. Trainer Juan Mendoza wanted ABNN to know that he didn’t instigate the shouting match with Andrew Soto at the recent Gene Lewis Invitational Tournament in Mesa. ……The WBA/NABA is studying the tape of Arizona middleweight Andrew Hernandez’s fight with Mike Gavronski in Tacoma Washington and they will whether or not Gavronski intentionally tripped and pushed Hernandez to the canvas causing Hernandez to fall awkwardly and suffer a hairline fracture to his right ankle. The bout was stopped when Hernandez was unable to continue. As mandated by boxing rules the fight went to the scorecards and the hometown favorite (Gavronski) was declared the winner despite loud Bronx cheers from the audience.

Hernandez feels the trip was intentional and he wants the match to change to a DQ or No Contest and he also wants a rematch ordered at a neutral site. Andrew turns 32 on 12/29 and after 3 losses he needs a break and I don’t mean a leg. The ruling from the WBA will be announced within the next few days.

More Boxing News: Heavyweight Andy Ruiz and lightweight Teofimo Lopez have been added to the Ramirez/Ahmed WBO super middleweight title fight in Corpus Christi, Texas on 2/3. I hope to be there if I don’t slip on a wet throw rug and go sailing in the air, making a less than soft landing on my head as I did recently. Arizona lightweight Ray Beltran has announced that he will fight for a lightweight title on the card; but, Top Rank hasn’t confirmed his presence on the ESPN/Deportes televised fight…..RJJ Promotions present Seasons Beatings on beIN Sports on 12/8, check local cable provider… . …..On 1/20/18, Errol Spence Jr. will defend his IBF welterweight title against Lamont Peterson on Showtime…..Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. says he will fight on January 26 while some critics are calling for him to retire based on his pitiful performance against Saul Alvarez….World Champion Oscar Valdez is vacationing in in Tucson and he bumped into local fighter Christopher Gonzalez (1-0) and the Champ invited Christopher to come to California and train with him; a great opportunity for any young fighter. Frank Espinoza, Valdez’s manager) is scheduled to meet with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and map out the Champion’s plans for 2018. Gonzalez is hoping to fight at Tucson’s Casino Del Sol early 2018, no set date…….Friend and fellow journalist tells ABNN that the Tijuana Boxing Scandal is under investigation and changes on how records are kept is being addressed. He also tells me that boxers who try to cross the border with a visitor’s visa instead of a work visa are being turned back. ….Sorry to hear that Golden Boy’s 20 year rising bantamweight Cesar Diaz (7-0) died in a Car accident near Palmdale California when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree; no further details have been released. We send our condolences to his family and Golden Boy……Phoenix boxer Ryan Riddell has a fight scheduled in Mexico (Rocky Point) on 12/2, Fight Hard is the promoter….WBO heavyweight champion and his promotion company (Duco Events) is trying mightily to goad IBO, IBF and WBA champion Anthony Joshua into meeting their man in the ring; but, Joshua would rather face USA’s Deontay Wilder ;however, the American wants the lion’s share of the money and he prefers fighting the Englishman in America. I like Parker and I think he is underrated but he needs to fight better quality fighters before he takes on the likes of Joshua and Wilder; who I think is the more formidable of the trio….boxing fans in and around Chihuahua Mexico may want to catch the 11 bout boxing show at the Arena Coliseo on December 8; more details can be found on BoxRec or by subscribing to Paramo 1 magazine; found online or on newsstands….Until Next Time!

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