As the world remembers boxing legend Pernell Whitaker, who tragically passed away last Sunday at the age of 55, the inevitable comparisons between Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather are being made. Hall of Fame world champions Jeff Fenech and Oscar De La Hoya both told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail that Whitaker was better.
“Pernell was regarded as the world’s best fighter pound for pound for many years,” Fenech said. “For a while, there was talk of me fighting him. Believe me, that would have been a hard fight. I was with Pernell at the 1984 Olympics and he was just a brilliant, slick defensive wizard, maybe the best defensive fighter of all time. I got to know him very well over the years. I think he would have been too clever for Floyd Mayweather, even though Floyd is a great fighter too.”
When Oscar de la Hoya was interviewed by Kieza in Mexico in April, the Golden Boy agreed with Fenech, saying that while he had fought a celebrated battle with Mayweather, Whitaker was the best boxer he ever faced. “Pernell was a better fighter than Mayweather,” said De La Hoya, who won a controversial decision against Whitaker. “He was a superb defensive fighter. A very slick southpaw.”
There is no question that Midland, Texas is a city on the rise thanks in large part to the thriving petroleum industry in the Permian Basin. Which makes the July 20th boxing show in “The Tall City” such a perfect fit: because two of the hottest young prospects in the Lone Star State are set to face off against separate foes in an action-packed card that could be the first step towards stardom for the talented young Texans.
In the co-main event undefeated Abel Mendoza (15-0, 11 KOs) of Pecos, Texas is slated to fight journeyman Raymond Chacon (7-38-1, 0 KOs) of Los Angeles in a six round lightweight fight. Chacon may not have much of a record but he is regarded as a tough and crafty southpaw who will almost certainly go some rounds with the young Mendoza. Chacon has only been stopped twice in his career and has shown tremendous durability in the past.
Although Mendoza is a hot prospect, there are some who argue that he may not even be the best lightweight prospect in West Texas anymore. Amarillo’s Abel Navarrete Jr. (5-0, 3 KOs) has made a strong argument that he is the best young lightweight in the Lone Star State after he demolished Dwayne Bonds in Amarillo back on June 29th. Navarrete will be fighting New Mexican Derek Perez (2-11-1, 1 KO) in a four rounder in on the July 20th card in Midland. Perez is not seen as a world beater but he is a durable and cagy veteran who has given young fighters fits in the past.
If Navarrete is trying to make a statement in Midland he will need to win in dominant fashion against the Belen native. But assuming both Abel’s come out on top there is a good chance that the fans should see both men in the ring together to possible hype up a future clash. There is little question that both men are on a collision course and July 20th should offer fans a short teaser trailer of what may just emerge as West Texas’s biggest boxing rivalry in years.
In the main event, a pair of undefeated local heavyweights will square off in a four round fight as Midland’s Nick Tipton (1-0, 1 KO) steps into the ring with Odessa’s Roman Huerta (1-0, 1 KO) in what promises to be a bombs-away brawl. Both men scored highlight reel first round knockouts in their professional debuts and will be looking to test the chin of their opponent this Saturday.
Also featured on the card will be undefeated light heavyweight Desmond “Dez” Hill (4-0, 4 KOs) of Odessa as he takes on debuting Efrain Escudero of Midland. Hill headlined against popular Rico Urquizo back in December in Midland in an absolute war and although his opponent this weekend doesn’t have the experience of Urquizo in the boxing ring, he may still be the best fighter Hill has ever stepped in the ring against. Escudero is a veteran of over 44 MMA fights, including fights in UFC 197, UFC 188, UFC 145, UFC 141, UFC 114, and UFC 103. He also was the winner of Season 8 of the Ultimate Fighter and is the only fighter on the card with his own Wikipedia page. Fans in Midland will undoubtedly be excited to see the explosive Hill in action but if Escudero can duplicate his success from MMA into the boxing ring, it may prove to be a difficult night for the local puncher.
Rounding off the card will be debuting light heavyweight James Land as he takes on Ysidro Portillo (0-1) in a four rounder. Both men are from Midland. In the opening fight of the night a pair of Hobbs, New Mexico natives square off as undefeated heavyweight Ruben Sanchez (1-0, 1 KO) takes on debuting Mark Martinez in a four rounder. It will be Sanchez’s first fight since winning his professional debut back in November of 2017.
The Golden Eagle Promotions and School of Hard Knocks Boxing promoted show will take place at the La Hacienda Event Center. Doors open at 6PM with the first fight slated to kick off at 7PM. Tickets start at $35 for general admission and $75 for ringside can be purchased at La Hacienda Event Center or by calling promoter Isidro Castillo at 1-575-263-4942.
Parece que tendremos un choque de unificación de peso semipesado entre el campeón de la FIB Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) y el campeón del WBC Olesandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) en el otoño. Beterbiev dice que ha firmado un contrato y que la pelea será el 18 de octubre en un sitio que será nombrado en los Estados Unidos. Será transmitido en una de las plataformas de ESPN.
El peso ligero Teofimo López (13-0, 11 KOs) está en la vía rápida a una oportunidad por el título mundial. De pie en su camino está un boxeador invicto, Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12 KOs). López y Nakatani se enfrentarán el viernes en MGM National Harbor en una eliminatoria por el título mundial de la FIB, con el ganador asegurado una oportunidad de ganar al campeón mundial Richard Commey a finales de este año. Lopez-Nakatani se transmitirá en vivo por ESPN +
“Me veo a mí mismo como un gran actor en el ring y voy a ir al MGM National Harbor para montar un gran espectáculo”, dijo López. “Tengo respeto por Nakatani porque él está invicto como yo, pero nadie se interpondrá en mi camino”.
El futuro miembro del Salón de la Fama Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao y el invicto campeón mundial de peso welter AMB Keith “One Time” Thurman se presentaron el miércoles en la conferencia de prensa final antes de su enfrentamiento por PPV este sábado por la noche desde el MGM Grand Garden Arena en Las Vegas. Esto es lo que los boxeadores tenían que decir …
Keith Thurman: “Manny no va a hacer nada. Con los pequeños brazos de ‘T-Rex’. Está a punto de ser golpeado. Tengo la oportunidad de golpear a un senador en la cara y él lo va a sentir. Si está molesto por eso, puede hacer algo al respecto el sábado por la noche. Se llama swing, swing, swing baby.
Manny Pacquiao: “Siempre sonrío sin importar lo que diga Keith. Es fácil decir las cosas, pero no es fácil hacerlo en el ring. He estado en este deporte por más tiempo que Keith Thurman, por lo que mi experiencia será la diferencia.¨
Esquiva Falcao 162.4 vs. Jesus Gutierrez 161.2
Dusty Hernandez Harrison 159.8 vs. Juan De Angel 164.8
Cassius Chaney 252.8 vs. Joel Caudle 255.6
Patrick Harris 138.6 vs. Donald Ward 138.4
Tyler Howard 161.8 vs. Jamaal Davis 161.8
Tyler McCreary 133.2 vs. Cris Rosales 134
Venue: MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland
Promoter: Top Rank
Alejandro “Pacquiao” Villaseñor 107 vs. Armando Torres 108
Giovanni Garcia 111.75 vs. Miguel Angel Luna 111.75
Juan Manzo Rebolledo 108 vs. Yale Marquez 107
Juan Carlos Gonzalez 119 vs. Sergio Granados 119
Roberto Nava Diaz 138.5 vs. Alan Barrera Maldonado 138
Jesus Marin 145 vs. Edrei Gonzalez Robles 146
Venue: Blackberry Auditorium, Mexico City
Promoter: All Star Boxing