Stacked Cards Indio and Inglewood
Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions
Stacked Fight Cards in Indio and Inglewood, Calif.
By David A. Avila
Imagine a glistening battleship floating into a harbor with rows of massive guns and expensive shells about to reach expiration date. They can’t go to waste. They’ve got to be fired.
That’s the situation for local powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions.
On back-to-back days Golden Boy will be firing all its guns with a stacked boxing card at Fantasy Springs on Friday, followed by another at the Inglewood Forum on Saturday. HBO Latino televises Friday and HBO on Saturday.
Vyacheslav “Chingonsky” Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 Kos) formerly of Ukraine now living in Long Beach, fights Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 Kos) for the vacant USNBC light heavyweight title in a 10 round bout on Friday.
Shabranskyy is an undefeated light heavyweight trained by Lake Elsinore’s Manny Robles who also mentors current world champions Oscar Valdez and Jessie Magdaleno. The nickname “Chingonskyy is a play on words that in Spanish slang means bad ass.
Sullivan just recently lost a decision to current reigning world champion Andre Ward last March. He’s just itching to get back in the mix.
In a co-main event, San Diego’s Antonio Orozco (25-0, 16 Kos) risks his undefeated record when he faces New Mexico’s Fidel Maldonado (22-3-1, 19 Kos) in a super lightweight match set for 10 rounds. The winner grabs the WBC International title.
Orozco has a place at the top of the rankings and should be fighting for a world title. Maldonado can wreck those plans with his devil-may-care fighting style that nearly derailed Amir Imam in 2015 in a knockdown war.
“This is not an easy fight,” said Frank Espinoza who manages Orozco.
A third co-main event features New York welterweight Eddie Gomez (19-1, 11 Kos) who defends the IBF North American title against undefeated Rashidi Ellis (16-0, 11 Kos) of New England. It’s an evenly matched fight.
In a fourth 10-round bout, a featherweight battle pits Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios (26-1) versus East L.A.’s Roy Tapia (12-1-2). Rios has faced top competition. Tapia wants to topple Rios from the top of the ladder.
A total of nine bouts are planned at Fantasy Springs Casino on Friday. For more information call (877) 824-2849. Doors open at 5 p.m.
It’s the swan song for one of the greats Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins who fights ultra-dangerous Joe Smith for the WBC International light heavyweight title.
Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 Kos) wants to retire after this fight but sought real competition and gets it in powerful Smith (22-1, 18 Kos). It’s a match that Hopkins would have won easily in the past, but at 51 years old he’s risking his life. Smith defeated Andrzej Fonfara by knockout, who knocked out Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. You get the picture.
In the co-main event WBO cruiserweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk (10-0, 9 Kos) defends against South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu (17-2, 11 Kos). Usyk is promoted by K2 Promotions that also sponsor Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin.
Usyk, a southpaw, is Ukrainian and now lives in Los Angeles. Southern California now has two cruiserweight world titlists in Usyk and Big Bear’s Murat Gassiev who won the IBF title last week in Russia. A potential showdown looms.
The entire card is stacked high with potential contenders especially Ireland’s Jason Quigley (11-0) an undefeated middleweight. He fights veteran Jorge Melendez (30-7-1) in a 10 round bout. Quigley has superstar quality.
Another young fighter to watch will be Victorville’s Ryan “Kingry” Garcia a tall speedy lightweight. The 18-year-old recently signed with Golden Boy Promotions who won a bidding war against the other promotion companies. He’s dripping with talent.
Garcia (6-0, 5 Kos) fights Jose Antonio Martinez (6-7) in a six round contest. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. Doors open at 2 p.m. on Saturday.