Combat sports: June smorgasbord en route - Albuquerque Journal

Combat sports: June smorgasbord en route

References to song titles in newspaper stories is a once-common practice now considered passé and thus frowned upon.

For that reason, note that the use here of the phrase “June is bustin’ out all over” has no connection whatsoever to the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein song of that name from the musical “Carousel.”

What, then, is about to bust out all over this month? New Mexico combat sports, that’s what. As COVID-19 restrictions come off, the gloves are going on.

The carousel — uh, calendar — is as follows. If anything’s missing, please advise.

Friday: MMA featherweight Edwin Cooper Jr., (3-1) an Illinois native who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, is scheduled to face Brazil’s Robson Junior (3-0) on an LFA card (7 p.m., UFC Fight Pass), in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Saturday-Sunday: The New Mexico Golden Gloves amateur boxing championships are scheduled for the Belen Community Center. Tickets ($10 for adults, $7 for veterans, $5 for kids ages (5-17) are available at the door (a 1 p.m. start both days) or by calling 505-573-1330.

June 10: Olympic and world professional boxing champion Claressa Shields is scheduled to make her MMA debut against Brittney Elkin (3-6) on a Professional Fighters League card at Ocean Casino Resort (8 p.m., ESPN2/espn+) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shields, a native of Flint, Michigan, trains for MMA at Jackson-Wink.

June 11: Jackson-Wink MMA featherweight Aaron Pico (7-3) is matched against England’s Aiden Lee (9-4) on a Bellator card (7 p.m., Showtime) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

June 19: A bonanza.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, Moriarty MMA welterweight Tim Means is scheduled to face Englishman Danny Roberts (17-5) on a UFC Fight Night card (2 p.m., ESPN2/espn+).

In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Albuquerque MMA fighter Ray Borg (13-5) returns to the cage after a 13-month absence against Canada’s Jesse Arnett (18-6) on a UAE Warriors card (7 a.m., UAEWarriors.com)

In Houston, Albuquerque native Angelo Leo (20-1 nine KOs) is scheduled to face Mexico’s Aaron Alameda (25-1, 13 KOs) in a super bantamweight bout on a pro boxing card (7 p.m., Showtime) at the Toyota Center.

In Hobbs, Isidro Castillo’s School of Hard Knocks is planning an amateur boxing card. No further details are available.

June 26: In Atlanta, Rio Rancho boxer Brian Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs), who like Leo now lives and trains in Las Vegas, is matched against two-time former world junior middleweight champion Julian Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) on a card to be telecast on Showtime (7 p.m).

CLOSER TO HOME: Because of COVID-19 restrictions, no pro combat sports event has been staged in New Mexico since March 7, 2020.

That famine, based on the agenda for the New Mexico Athletic Commission’s Friday meeting, is about to become a feast.

On that agenda is the review of not one, not two, but seven event permits. Among the more familiar names: Castillo; Jordan Perez of Albuquerque’s Legacy Promotions; Jon Judy and Tom Vaughn from FIT-NHB, who work with King of the Cage; and Teresa Tapia, who already has announced a July 31 boxing card at the Inn of the Mountain Gods with Albuquerque welterweight Josh Torres in the main event.


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