Back Alley fight card taking shape

Sunday's Back Alley Fights at Casino West in Yerington will feature a special presentation for Yerington's own Jesse Brinkley as well as a six-bout professional fight card featuring undefeated Martin Castillo in the main event.

Castillo, from Mexico City, brings a 14-0, 9 KO record into his super flyweight fight against another Mexican fighter, Alberto Ontiveros, who is from Matlazan and is 12-3-3 with 10 KOs. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds.

The semi-main is a super lightweight fight between Armando Velarde (8-0, 5 KOs) and Juan Carlos Barrato (15-19-3, 7 KOs) of Durango, Mexico. Velarde is from San Bernardino, Calif. The fight is scheduled for eight rounds.

The undercard bouts are still being put together, although has already been set. That's a 4-round women's fight between Kelcie Jeffries and Alicsha Ashley. Undefeated California fighter Steven Luevano (2-0, 2 KOs) will fight an opponent to be named, as will Los Angeles fighter Larry Mosley, who is 1-0. A six-round super lightweight fight featuring Jose Reynoso against an opponent to be named completes the card, which begins at 11 a.m.

The main event, scheduled to start shortly after noon, and some prelim bouts, will be televised on Univision worldwide.

- The fight promoter, Top Rank Inc., of Las Vegas, will present Brinkley - who was set to fight on the card before a hand injury forced him off - with the "Best Prospect in Nevada" award.

"It's a shame he couldn't make this year's card, but his hand didn't heal in time," said Top Rank Matchmaker Bruce Trampler, who will present the award to Brinkley. "This time next year, we expect Jesse to be here in the main event."

The 23-year-old Brinkley, a middleweight, is 11-1 with 7 KOs.

Brinkley will also appear at Saturday's weigh-in and press conference and the public is invited at no charge to come and meet the fighters. It all takes place inside Casino West starting at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for the card start at $15 for bleachers and $25 for general admission. Ringside seats are $50 and $100.

- Last Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Fernando Vargas had an easy time against Ross Thompson. Vargas knocked Thompson down twice in round three of their scheduled 12-round IBF junior middleweight title fight and then finished him off a minute into round four to retain his title and remain unbeaten at 20-0, with 18 KOs.

But that's not the story of this fight ... It begins with the strange sight of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson and current junior welterweight champ Zab Judah coming into the ring with Vargas as part of his entourage.

Next came the news of what the fighters actually weighed at fight time as HBO - which telecast the fight - weighed both fighters shortly before they entered the ring. The official weigh-in took place 30 hours before the fight and both fighters weighed 153-pounds, one under the 154-pound limit in that division.

In what the HBO commentators called "a joke" they announced that at fight time Vargas weighed 163 and Thompson 173. That's a light heavyweight weight for Thompson and a super middleweight weight for Vargas, even though they were fighting for the 154-pound title.

This really should not be allowed and the Nevada State Athletic Commission should put a stop to it!

This is an easy problem to solve. Just do what the amateurs do. Weigh-in a couple of hours before the action begins. Amateurs weigh-in and get their physicals the day of the fight and there is no reason the pros can't do the same.

Also on that HBO telecast, they showed the junior welterweight title fight between Vernon Forrest ( 31-0, 26 KOs) and Raul Frank. They fought for the vacant IBF title, which is still vacant as a clash of heads in round 3 abruptly ended the fight. Frank (23-3-1, 12 KOs) came away with a nasty forehead cut and the fight was declared a no-contest. They'll do it again when Frank heals.

-- This Saturday HBO's "Boxing After dark" series returns with a couple of good fights set for the telecast that starts at 11:15 p.m. The main event has Erik Morales defending his featherweight title against with Angel Manfredy, while Diego Corrales of Sacramento fights former champ Kevin Kelley in the semi-main. Both fights figure to be wars that don't go the distance.

- Last Friday, the ESPN2 live card came from Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Miss. In a very good 10-round junior middleweight main event, J.C. Candelo (27-3-3) took a unanimous decision win over Michael Lerma (23-4-1), but it was tough win for Candelo in a tough fight.

This Friday ESPN2 has former champ Danny Romero (39-3-1, 33 KOs) fighting Marcos Licona (17-1-1. 7 KOs) in the main event. Action begins at 6 p.m.

- And on Friday night at Harrah's Reno, late sub Ed Dalton fought to a draw against Max Heyman in the main event. Dalton, who subbed in the fight for Simon Brown, is from Emmitt, Idaho. He was a stable mate of former Carson City fighter and former cruiserweight champ Kenny Keene, who retired last year.

Also on the card, South Lake Tahoe's Hector Torres fought a six-round draw with Trinidad's Mervyn Kenniston-John. Both fights were in the light heavyweight class.

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.


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