by Russ Choate
Welcome to the first installment of Boxing in the Heartland.
The month of September is not highly televised, so I’ll give you some insight into what is going on.
The month gets started this Friday in Florida when Tyrone Brunson (19-0-1) tries to add another knockout to his resume. This time he has chosen an opponent with a winning record in Marcos Primera (20-19).
Brunson holds the record for most consecutive 1st round KO’s at 19. The record was previously held by WBC Lightweight Champ Edwin Valero.
Brunson’s biggest criticism has been his level of competition, of his 19 knockout victories only one had a winning record and six were making their debut. Some are even calling for an asterisk next to his name in the record books.
On September 16th in Humble Texas, Alfonso Lopez (15-0) takes on Journeyman Aaron Norwood (26-11), who most recently lost to Glen Johnson.
In the only televised (ESPN 2) fight in the Heartland, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (2-0) battles Giovanni Andrade (60-11) on September 19 in Miami Beach Florida.
Rigondeaux originally signed with Arena Box August 3, 2007 and was set to join, 2004 Olympic teammates Odlanier Solis, Yuriorkis Gamboa, & Yan Barthelemy who defected January 2007.
Although Rigondeaux’s deportation was due to him willingly going back to Cuba he was banned from fighting for the National team and only allowed to coach. On February 23, 2009 Rigondeaux defected again and is now living and training with his former teammates.
On September 26th, from the “Windy City” comes a triple header of fight action. Warfare begins with Ivan Popoca (11-0), striving to improve his undefeated record against Mike Gonzalez (10-6). Gonzalez has lost his last six outings.
Following that fight, Jose Andreas Hernandez (22-4) takes on Juan Carlos Martinez (16-11).
The main event features home town fighter David Diaz (34-2) battling Jesus “El Matador” Chavez (44-5). Both fighters are coming off loses against top 10 opponents.
To round things out the “Grill Master’s” son George Foreman III has his second of three scheduled fights in Kinder, Louisiana. Foreman III has three fights scheduled in the next four weeks.