Mark E. Ortega

Bits & Pieces: A Top Rank boxing weekend

This past weekend, Las Vegas-based promotional company Top Rank Boxing put together consecutive fight cards on the West Coast. Friday night in Las Vegas, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights visited Texas Station Casino. The following day, a five-hour drive away in Inglewood, Calif., they did a co-promotion with Bash Boxing that was televised on UniMas Solo Boxeo.

Over the course of those two days, a number of bits and pieces of news were uncovered.

CSAC Chief Athletic Inspector Guevara to step down next month

Calif. State Athletic Commission chief athletic inspector Che Guevara informed RingTV.com on Saturday afternoon that he would be stepping down from his position next month after serving the state in this role since 2009.

Guevara, who was in charge of a commission that did more boxing shows than any other state over this stretch, inherited a difficult post. The commission was still in recovery from the November 2008 resignation of executive officer Armando Garcia when Guevara stepped up.

Guevara found himself embroiled in a number of highly controversial situations, none perhaps moreso than the January 2009 Antonio Margarito hand wraps scandal that more or less began Guevara’s stint as chief athletic inspector.

An article from FightOpinion.com’s Zach Arnold back in February details some of the other highly scrutinized situations regarding the CSAC over the last several years.

During Guevara’s time, it must be noted that the number of mismatches that took place on California boxing cards was drastically reduced after heavy criticism early in his tenure.

Guevara’s final day of work will be Aug. 6, though he indicated he would remain involved with the sport in some fashion moving forward.

Vargas on Oct. 12 Bradley-Marquez PPV undercard

Omotoso’s lone conqueror, Las Vegas resident Jessie Vargas, indicated to RingTV on Friday that he would fight on the Oct. 12 Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view undercard.

Vargas’ win against Omotoso last March was his career best to this point, and Top Rank is looking to get him additional exposure on the highly anticipated Oct. 12 undercard that so far isn’t exactly chockfull of enticing matchups.

Seanie Monaghan against Anthony Smith will open the PPV in a light heavyweight ten-rounder, followed by Vargas against TBA, and Orlando Salido against Orlando Cruz in a bout for the WBO title left vacant by Mikey Garcia.

Korobov, Top Rank debut for Mayfield on Sept. 7 Chavez-Vera undercard

Top Rank middleweight prospect Mat Korobov had done little to impress critics since turning pro in 2008 after an impressive amateur career.

Last month, that all changed, when Korobov stopped rugged gatekeeper Ossie Duran in the third round on the untelevised portion of the June 15 Mikey Garcia-Juan Manuel Lopez undercard in Dallas.

Duran had never been stopped in ten previous losses, and was known for given unbeaten prospects their toughest real test. The victory earned Korobov the co-feature slot on Sept. 7 at the famed STAPLES Center in Los Angeles underneath the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Brian Vera bout. Top Rank matchmakers are still looking to secure an opponent for Korobov.

San Francisco, Calif.-based junior welterweight contender Karim Mayfield will make his debut underneath the Top Rank banner on the same Sept. 7 undercard.

Mayfield will fight journeyman Pavel Miranda (19-10-1, 9 KOs) on the non-HBO portion of the card, hoping a win will lead to an eventual title opportunity. Mayfield has his sights set on WBA beltholder Khabib Allakhverdiev, who just stopped Souleymane M’baye in the 10th round this past weekend in Monaco.

Miranda is just 1-8-1 in his last ten fights, but those eight losses came against fighters totaling a record of 130-8-1.

Alfonso Gomez makes first 2013 appearance in Sept. on Fox Sports 1

Last July, former The Contender: Season One star Alfonso Gomez engaged in an entertaining and hard-fought decision defeat to unbeaten Shawn Porter on the Showtime televised undercard to Robert Guerrero-Selcuk Aydin in San Jose, Calif.

Gomez has been out of the ring since, but the former welterweight and junior middleweight title contender told RingTV.com that he will make his ring return in September in the main event of a still to be determined date as part of Golden Boy Promotions’ recently-launched deal with Fox Sports 1, a new 24-hour Fox sports network that will begin in August.

Gomez doesn’t have an opponent at this time.

Sanchez makes 2013 debut on Mares-Gonzalez card

Last year, Fairfield, Calif.-based welterweight Alan Sanchez (12-2-1, 6 KOs) put together his best year as a young professional when he stopped fellow fringe prospect Artemio Reyes in the first round of their April ESPN2 Friday Night Fights-televised rematch.

Sanchez last fought in December of last year and has been out of action for all of 2013. That will change on Aug. 24 when Sanchez will return to the ring in a tune-up bout on the untelevised undercard of Abner Mares-Jhonny Gonzalez in Carson, Calif., at the StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) against an opponent still to be determined, according to his manager Jorge Marron.

Marron also indicated that if Sanchez gets through that bout without issue, the idea would be to fight the previously mentioned Alfonso Gomez on that September Fox Sports 1 date. Gomez would represent Sanchez’s toughest challenge to date by far.

 

 

Mark Ortega is a contributing writer to RingTV.com and a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America. His work has been featured in both THE RING magazine and Boxing Monthly, as well as various newspapers. He can be reached via e-mail, markeortega@gmail.com, and followed via Twitter @MarkEOrtega

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