Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don
Boxer Gives Back, Valenzuela Ready & More
by Don Smith
July 24, 2015
(JULY 24) Boxing Fans,
Her life reads like a novella: abandoned by a father she never
knew, Mikayla Nebel was raised by her mother who remarried and
the union produced two daughters. Mikayla felt neglected and
grew up alone.
When she reached 16, Mikayla sensed she needed to protect
herself, so she took up boxing and eventually she would leave
Columbus Ohio and travel to Las Vegas where she met former world
Champion Roger Mayweather and began her quest to become a
Mikayla will make her Phoenix boxing debut on the Iron Boy XXIII
card, Saturday July 25 at the Celebrity Theatre. Her current
record is 1-6, but the fighter is ready to launch a winning
phase of her boxing career.
Ms. Nebel plans to donate a portion of her purse to Paw
Placement Animal Rescue, a charity very dear to her heart. Iron
Boy Promotions will match her donation. Rescuing dogs is a
passion of hers, especially Pit Bulls. Her commitment to the
cause led her to volunteer time and energy at the Animal
Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Iron Boy XXIII is promising 14 bouts featuring local and
international fighters. Tickets are available at
ironboyboxing.com, the celebrity Box-Office or through one of
the participating fighters. Prices range from $30.00-$65.00 and
all seats offer a very good view of the fight. We suggest early
arrival to secure choice parking spots. Doors open at 4:30 pm.
Smoker Event: On Saturday August 1, Madison Boxing will
host a smoker at the Greenfield Elementary School in South
Phoenix. 1st bout begins at 2 PM. Ricky Ricardo aka Ricky
Rodriguez is the organizer and we wish him well as he continues
to battle his cancer. Mr. Rodriguez has been associated with
Arizona boxing for more than 40 years as a boxer, trainer,
manager and gym owner. His friends and associates are praying
for him. If you go, stop and say hi to a man who has dedicated
his life to boxing. Call 602-434-7770 for more details.
Boxing Noise: If you watched, you know Julio Chavez Jr.
Looked sloppy and out of shape in his televised victory over
Marcos Reyes….still no word on when Ray Beltran will fight
again. Beltran is a class act and I wish him the best with his
disciplinary hearing set for August 13 at 9 AM PST. As the
boxing world knows, Mr. Beltran tested positive for a banned
substance after his last fight. Ray denies the charge.
He is on temporary suspension until the matter is resolved. I
wish him the best and the reported rumor that I said something
negative about Ray and his situation is a lie. I have tried to
reach the boxer by phone, but no reply….. Fight Hard Promotions
is making big plans for their September 4 show at the
Renaissance Hotel in Glendale, Arizona. According to a Fight
Hard spokesperson, it has international consequences and will
receive television coverage if the deal goes through….. Iron Boy
is still preparing their July 25 card at the Celebrity Theater
and the planned opponent for Edgar Brito (3-1-1) was scratched
due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident; Brito is a
class act and hopefully he will be on the card….Boxing coach Ray
Mitchell (Wild West Boxing Promotions) confirmed his next show
is scheduled for September 25 at the Clarion Hotel in Tucson.
The card will present 6-8 bouts and 135 lb. Jesus Aravelo will
be making his professional debut after a stellar amateur career.
Coach Mitchell plans to use Ralph Velez Jr. again as his
announcer for the September show. Ralph is working wrestling
shows, also; busy man!
More Stuff: Arizona heavyweight Chad Davis won’t be
fighting on the Roy Jones Card (August 15 at Ft. McDowell)
according to a spokesperson for the fighter. He was scheduled to
fight a 6’ 6” undefeated Russian prospect; wise move...popular
Phoenix boxer Edward Ceballos (Fuentes Boxing) will make his
professional debut on the Iron Boy XXIII card, July 25 at the
Celebrity Theater. Edward is taking on an experienced
professional foe…. Unbeaten Jose Herrera (2-0) is fighting on
the Roy Jones Jr. We KO PA Resort Card on August 15. Jose trains
at Fuentes Boxing Gym in Phoenix which has moved to 16th Street
& Yale in Phoenix ….Bout Maker Boxing may have announcement
prior to their August 29 in Phoenix at LA Princesa; we will keep
the news light on just in case.
J & C Boxing: I dropped by J & C Boxing, off 28th Street
and Thomas Road to ask the Hernandez Sisters (Leslie & Litzy)
how they did in a recent California tournament and unfortunately
they both lost and for Leslie it was her first loss and she
wasn’t in a talkative move; so I talked to her younger sister
who took her defeat in stride and said the two amateurs would be
fighting in the Copper Gloves Tournament at the Arizona State
Fair in October. Leslie thought she was robbed.
As I was about to abscond, I noticed super featherweight Cesar
Valenzuela (10-4-1) and UFC fighter Henry Cejudo (9-0) working
out. Henry won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
becoming the youngest American to do so and he is making a name
for himself in UFC circles and is currently ranked # 5 in the
world and there are hints that the 28 year old Cejudo may fight
# 2 ranked Joseph Benavidez before the end of 2015. He trains at
J & C Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Henry endorses the gym
wholeheartedly and while I was there within earshot of the Gold
Medalist, he was trying to sell a membership to a young man who
was looking for a new personal training facility. J & C Gym has
no frills, bare essentials and reminiscent of the boxing gym
used in the iconic boxing film, Fat City; be ready to sweat and
Valenzuela is an interesting young man. I first met him when he
trained at Central Gym with Abel Cortes until the duo pulled up
their tent and moved elsewhere. I didn’t know where he was
training until I walked into the Gym on 28th Street and saw the
super featherweight sparring. At 25, Cesar is stepping up the
pace and may fight for a title in the fall of 2015; details are
pending, but if it happens, Arizona is a possible site.
His eyes grew to size of coffee saucers as he talked about a
possible title shot; a dream he has held since he began boxing
and he feels destined to capture a title.
In the meantime, the 5’ 10” boxer is preparing for his 6 round
main event show (Bout Maker Boxing Promotions) on August 29 at
the LA Princesa in Phoenix. He wanted an 8-10 rounder, but 6 is
reality for now.
I asked the lanky super featherweight if he was ready for a
title shot and he reminded me that he has never ducked tough
opponents and unlike some Phoenix based fighters; Cesar travels
and fights on the road and wins. He doesn’t have an entourage
and he maintains the same trainer, Abel Cortes…….Until Next