Tucson Boxing

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The Casino Del Sol is at it again and it’s upping the ante.

Back in January, ShoBox, Roy Jones Jr. Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions brought an event to Casino Del Sol that drew 2,000 spectators to fill its grandest hall and an international viewing audience that made Tucson the center of the boxing world for one night.

At 5,000 seats, the AVA is where Del Sol has traditionally hosted televised boxing and it more than doubles the potential on-hand viewing audience from what we saw in January. RJJ Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions, James Toney Promotions and Casino Del Sol have teamed up with CBS Sports to nationally televise an alfresco event under the lights of what Del Sol calls, “Southern Arizona’s premier entertainment venue.”

Tickets are priced between $15 to $100. With the sun scheduled to set just before the first bout and a temperature in the mid 60’s, the probable atmosphere couldn’t be better.

While CBS is televising the action nationally (as opposed to the worldwide spectacle Showtime put on in January), this boxing triple-header has been promoted for weeks in advance on mostly every local platform. Ticket giveaway contests have had huge responses. This event features fighters from areas as close as Phoenix and as far away as Ghana.

The eight-round main event of the evening pits 24-year-old Mexican fighter from Tijuana, Hanzel “Rude Boy” Martinez (22-2 and 17 KOs) against Prosper Ankrah, a 36-year-old native of Ghana who trains out of Maryland. With a record of 24-7 (15 KOs), Ankrah was a recent substitute for Isacc Netty, who was scratched from the card for unknown reasons.

Though Ankrah has years of boxing experience on Martinez, he has also lost his last three bouts and has never posted a W to his record outside of Accra, Ghana’s capital city. Rude Boy, however, has been a knockout artist all over North America, from Madison Square Garden to Veracruz, Mexico.

This won’t be his first time hearing an opening bell at Casino Del Sol. Martinez has notched two victories at AVA before. He is the clear favorite with two-time World Champion Antonio Margarito as a member of the family and a mentor, a 72 percent knockout victory rating, being the No. 14 WBA Contender (Ankrah ranking No. 307), having won his last three bouts by KO or unanimous decision and not having been a stranger to the big stage.

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CBS SPORTS NETWORK SPECTACULAR FIGHT NIGHT
AVA AMPHITHEATER
CASINO DEL SOL

WHEN:

Official Weigh-Ins Paradiso Lounge at Casino Del Sol
Thursday, 6 p.m.

Spectacular Fight Night
Friday
Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m.
First bout begins at 7:30 p.m.

CBS Sports Network starts airing the action live at 8 p.m.

Hanzel Martinez

Hanzel Martinez

Prosper Ankrah

Prosper Ankrah

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Emanuel Robles

Emmanuel Robles

In studying Martinez’s two losses, there have been some glaring lapses in discipline which caused him to suffer a devastating knockout in 2013 and a loss by unanimous decision in 2014. Each time the opponent had a reach advantage. Martinez never closed the distance and tried to go inside to take away that advantage. Many of his knockouts have come at close distance with crushing blows to either side of his victim’s heads. But in his losses, he’s allowed his opponents to use distance against him.

Also, in each of his losses, any time he would throw a right or left hook, the opposite hand would fall to his waist, leaving his chin wide open for a counter. This is what happened when Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. caught him with his feet square, guard dropped and at a perfect distance to put his lights out and leave him crying in his corner. Certainly, Rude Boy has come a long way since then. Signing with Roy Jones Jr. in November has most certainly afforded Martinez the best training he’s ever had.

The co-main event brings us an 8-round bout with Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles, who is 14-0 out of San Diego, taking on Pipino Cuevas Jr. (20-15 with 18 KOs) out of Mexico City. Cuevas is the more experienced of the two by far and also has scored nearly every victory by KO. He will put pressure on everything Robles’ has done to prepare for this tilt.

Robles’ training and discipline will have to come through Friday Night and manifest itself within those eight rounds if he wants to maintain his perfect record and be lofted into the status of a serious contender. With only four of his wins coming by way of KO, however, Robles will have to showcase significant improvement to his punching power capabilities before fighters in the upper echelon of the ranking ladder consider him a viable opponent.

Keenan Carbajal (10-2 with 5 KOs) taking on Lorenzo Trejo (34-30 with 22 KOs), scheduled for six rounds, is the first televised bout of the evening. Carbajal, from Phoenix, has fighting in his veins. As kin to former World Champion Michael Carbajal, Keenan showed every bit of discipline his uncle did and similar style as well when he fought at Del Sol back in January. While Trejo (Ciudad Obregon, Mexico) has nearly as many losses as his has wins in his remarkably long career, he almost certainly has seen everything the lesser experienced Carbajal may try to throw at him.

Tickets are priced at $15, $25, $40, $75 and $100 and are available through the Casino Del Sol ticket office.

Jose Roman Jr. was born a Wildcat fan, lifetime fanhood was solidified when he was able to meet Tedy Bruschi, Sean Harris, Brandon Sanders, Chuck Levy and Ontiwaun Carter as a sixth grader. Having served 10 years in the armed forces and been deployed all over the world, he’s still managed to make it to every Arizona home football game, bowl game and at least one away game for the last 12 years. Now combining his love of writing with his love of all things sports, Jose is proud and honored to join AllSportsTucson.com as a writer.

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