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Mega-matchups this summer for fighters in area

By in Press Enterprise on June 15, 2017

By David A Avila

All focus from boxing fans nationwide suddenly shifts toward Southern California with a number of prizefighters gearing up for massive showdowns this summer.

Prizefighters of all weights and sizes will be driving up and down the Interstate freeway systems like Uber drivers for the next three or four months. All will be scrambling in search of sparring and training facilities in preparation for their prize fights.

First, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 Kos) has been preparing in Oxnard and Big Bear for the rematch with Oakland’s Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 Kos) on Saturday June 17, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. HBO pay-per-view will televise.

Kovalev lost the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles to Ward by decision despite knocking down the former Olympian when they met last year. Revenge is coming out of his mouth on a daily basis.

“Ward can’t KO me. He slaps like a woman when he punches,” said Kovalev.

A few weeks later on July 15 at the Forum in Inglewood, two world title bouts feature WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt (31-1) defending against Japan’s Takashi Miura (31-3-2) the former titleholder. It’s a guaranteed firefight that could be a candidate for Fight of the Year if both fight true to form.

On the same Forum fight card will be Joe Smith (23-1, 19 KOs) battling Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera (19-1, 14 KOs) for a regional light heavyweight title. Smith was the construction worker who knocked Bernard Hopkins out of the ring and into retirement last year.

Victorville’s Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (9-0,8Kos) will be showcased on the Forum card too. The lanky speedster has been dazzling fans and opponents alike with his too-quick-to-see combinations. His rapid emergence shouldn’t be a surprise. He won 15 national titles as an amateur. No opponent has been tabbed for Garcia but Golden […]    

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