The Bicentennial of Mexico's independence is being celebrated in Los Angeles in a big way. One of the events scheduled is a good old-fashioned slate of boxing matches, put on at the Staples Center in downtown on Saturday night, Sept. 18. Big boxing matches that feature Mexican or Mexican-American fighters are a tradition around the yearly observation of the Mexico's independence in Los Angeles
Since the signature boxing promotion company in Los Angeles is named for Oscar De La Hoya, it only makes sense that Golden Boy Promotions leads the way in providing the fight sports to mark the Bicentennial. On Saturday, Sept. 18, East LA's Sergio Mora headlines the boxing card as he takes on Sugar Shane Mosley. Mora, the winner of the boxing reality show The Contender is five years removed from that, and at the age of 30, is looking to reestablish himself as a household name.
Mora is ecstatic that he was chosen to be part of the main event on HBO's Pay Per View, and he wants to remain in that position for the foreseeable future. He'll have to be the first Mexican fighter to beat Shane Mosley to do it. Mosley is coming off a twelve-round pasting at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in April, and at 39, the Mora fight is important for him as well. He looks to his fellow Golden Boy stablemate, Bernard Hopkins, as a role model for a boxer approaching the age of 40. On Saturday night, one boxer will literally live to fight another day while the other might consider his future in another profession.
The undercard contains a generous dose of Mexican favorites, including Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fighting Carlos Baldomir. Alvarez, signed by Golden Boy this year, is a sensation in Mexico, and his nickname, Canelo, signifies the unique shock of red hair he sports. At 20 years old, he is already a veteran of five years in the ring. He has moved far enough up the ranks of the well promoted fighters to be part of one of the two other featured matches on the boxing card.
Other local fan favorites on the card include Frankie Gomez and Victor Ortiz. Ortiz is a true welterweight up and comer, fighting Vivian Harris out of Brooklyn, New York. He has been the star of a few of Golden Boy's local LA events, called Fight Night Club and has shot up the ladder to be in the other featured match on the Mora-Mosley card.
If you scan the program for Sept. 18, you'll find a woman's match and one that will fill the vacant WBO Bantamweight title. Local girl, Kaliesha West of Moreno Valley, CA takes on Angel Gladney of Columbia S.C. West. West was a star as an amateur, and among 98 amateur wins was a National Golden Gloves title as well as a win in the Junior Olympics. She has built up a record in the pros of 12-1-2 3 KOs and is knocking on the door of a belt.
Noting how unusual it is to see a woman's match on a nationally televised boxing card, I asked Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer about it. "I believe it is time, here in the U.S. that we all wake up. Women's boxing has become an Olympic event and it is only right to now take a more pro-active approach to the game"
Many of these young ladies are very talented, and there is a pool here in the U.S. who can compete at the highest level. It is up to the promoters to notice and take an interest in them. I can easily see, down the road, an all-female card. Unfortunately the television networks have been very hesitant to put female boxing on. But if one of the leading promoters such as Golden Boy pushes the agenda, maybe the networks will wake up.
Quite a statement from Schaefer and an endorsement of the female fight game.
All the action begins at 2 p.m. PDT with the HBO Pay-Per-View matches commencing at 6 p.m. local time.