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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
BOXING Holm, Sanders to Get Word Out Early
By Rick Wright
Journal Staff Writer
The June 13 showdown between Albuquerque's Holly Holm and Detroit's Mary Jo Sanders has been officially dubbed "Finally!"
The pre-fight publicity campaign probably should be named "Why Wait?"
This week, three months before Holm and Sanders beat up on each other in the boxing ring, they and their promotional teams are launching an all-out assault on media and public.
Today, a news conference will be held in Detroit. The Holm-Sanders campaign comes to the Albuquerque area (Isleta Casino & Resort, site of the fight) on Thursday, then moves to Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday.
Holm (21-1-2, six knockouts), a slick-boxing southpaw with a sharp right jab and ever-increasing power, and Sanders (25-0, eight KOs), the powerful, athletic daughter of Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders, have won 10 world title belts between them.
The vacant IFBA junior middleweight (154-pound) title will be on the line.
New Jersey-based Integrated Sports will produce and distribute the pay-per-view telecast, said Lenny Fresquez, Holm's promoter. Integrated Sports does PPV and closed-circuit telecasts of boxing, mixed martial arts and international soccer events.
"Finally!" is an appropriate title. Talk of a Holms-Sanders bout has been bandied for some two years, but the camps Fresquez representing Holm, manager Jimmy Mallo for Sanders couldn't reach agreement until now.
Fresquez said an all-female card is being assembled.
Española's Monica Lovato was offered a fight against New Yorker Melinda Cooper, he said, but instead opted for a title fight in Korea.
Cooper remains on the card, Fresquez said.
JUDGE-REFEREE CLINIC: Boxing judge Duane Ford and referee Jay Nady, veterans of hundreds of title bouts in their home state of Nevada and elsewhere, will be in Albuquerque on March 21. The occasion is a training and recertification course for New Mexico Athletic Commission-sanctioned referees and judges.
"I think there may be some interest from people here," said NMAC chairman Alberto León, "knowing that we have these high-caliber, world-known officials coming in."
The clinic will be held at Jack Candelaria Community Center, 400 San Jose SE. Call 222-9860 for more information.
AMATEURS: Albuquerque lightweight Fidel Maldonado won his first two bouts this week at the U.S. Future Stars National Championships in Colorado Springs.
Maldonado defeated José Román of Garden Grove, Calif., 12-9 (blows landed) in the first round. He then edged Edgar Ramirez of Camp LeJeune, N.C., 14-13.
MMA: Middleweight Joey Villaseñor (24-6) kicks off a busy few months for Albuquerque mixed martial arts fighters when he faces Brazil's Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos on March 29 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The card, featuring Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le in the main event, will be telecast on Showtime.
Georges St-Pierre, Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans, Villaseñor's teammates at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts, are all scheduled to see action soon.
St-Pierre (15-2), fighting in his native Montreal, will defend his UFC interim welterweight title against Matt Serra (16-4) on April 19.
Jardine (13-4-1), a light heavyweight, is scheduled to face Brazil's Wanderlei Silva (31-8-1) in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 24. Evans (16-0-1) gets a shot at MMA icon Chuck Liddell (21-5), and vice versa, in London on June 7.