Bruno's Boxing to hold 'Hot August Fights'

Victor Bruno's Boxing Club may have suffered a knockdown, but in the truest tradition of the sport, it has gotten back up and is ready to fight on.

In conjunction with Arlington Group Events LLC, the club, which was evicted from the Stewart Gym last year, will present "Hot August Fights," Saturday at the Pony Express Pavilion in Mills Park.

Eight clubs from Nevada and from California are expected to participate in the event, which begins at 4 p.m. Bruno said there would be between 13-14 bouts, including the main event, which features Jose "Chuey" Elizondo.

Walking through his new gym at 411 Hot Springs Road, Bruno, who has been renovating the two-story area since March, said the eviction hurt his club.

"We were out of the gym a good six months," Bruno said. "It really ruined things for us. Last year was a nightmare. We're still getting back into it. We lost five or six boxers - good boxers that never made it back to the gym.

"It's really easy (for the boxers) to get distracted. We had lots of guys calling in the beginning asking, 'What about the new place?' The circumstances changed. Some got involved in partying again; some guys just never made it back."

Bruno said bureaucracy is what eventually drove him from the Stewart Gym.

"They said I didn't have adequate insurance," Bruno said. "I did get adequate insurance, but they said it was too late. They gave my time up to private schools. St. Theresa and Lutheran had more clout than we did."

Bruno said he now has about 30 kids in the gym, of which approximately 15 are ready to box at any time. He said he has two or three boxers who will turn professional in 2008, including the 19-year-old Elizondo.

"It's very difficult to get him matches locally," Bruno said of Elizondo, who is 75-4 and will face 22-year-old Omar Zalzidar from Arce Boxing in a light middleweight bout. "We're going to put him in the Golden Gloves and men's senior division next year. That might be his last go-round (as an amateur). There are some big tournaments in January and February. He'll compete in those and will likely turn pro."

Bruno said Elizondo, who was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in a fatality last year, has enrolled at Western Nevada College, is working, has a girlfriend and is staying in training.

Saturday's event will mark the second time Bruno and event promoter Fred Nietz (of Arlington Group Events LLC) have worked together. They teamed up on June 8 and if this event is profitable, the pair might team up September 22 and again for the annual Silver State Rumble, which was canceled last Nevada Day because of the eviction.

"(Fred) has been helping with sponsors, radio, newspaper, fliers and Charter television - we've had a lot of publicity that way," Bruno said. "Last fight, the crowd was great, the feel was great...I want to continue that."

Gates open at 3 p.m. General admission is $10. For seniors and those under 12, tickets are $5. Food and beverages will be available at the Pavilion.

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