January fights start new year with a bang!
The new year has arrived and boxing action in the first month of 2000 looks interesting as some competitive bouts are on tap as well as a couple of blowout type fights. But until they are fought, even the predictable results are unpredictable.
We’ll start with the biggest fight of the month. It features Roy Jones Jr. He defends his world light heavyweight (175-pound limit) title against challenger David Telasco on Jan. 15 at Radio City Music Hall in New York city.
Jones, whom many consider the best pound-for-pound fighter in action today, should have little problem against the unknown Telasco. The only odds I’ve seen on the fight had Jones listed as a 20-1 favorite, but most sport books aren’t even posting a line on what figures to be a one-sided fight.
I don’t know much about Telasco, but Jones does have a tendency to fight at the level of his competition, so this could be an interesting fight if Telasco doesn’t tank it or freeze in his first “big fight.”
I wouldn’t pick against Jones and the fight is unbettable at the current odds so, like many of you, I’ll watch it and be shocked if Jones doesn’t post an easy win. The fight will be shown on HBO live at 7 p.m.
– Before we get to that fight, some interesting TV fights take place soon, including a live card this Friday from Sacramento on ESPN2.
The main event on the 2 1/2-hour live telecast has Sacramento’s Juan Lazcano fighting Julian Wheeler in a lightweight (135-limit) fight. The first bell is set for 7:30 p.m., instead of their usual time of 6 p.m. And if the hockey game that precedes the fight card goes late, the fights will start as soon as the hockey game is over.
– Saturday night on Showtime (10 p.m.) from The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., Johnny Tapia goes for the WBO bantamweight (122-limit) title against champion Jorge Julio in the main event.
– Sunday night on FOX Sports, from Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Miss., Greg Wright defends his NABF light heavyweight title against Darrell Spinks (the nephew of Leon and Michael Spinks) during the two-hour telecast that begins at 7 p.m.
(P.S. ESPN2 repeats their Friday night card Monday night at 9 p.m. That time varies, so check the TV listings in Diversions for exact starting time.)
Also, FOX repeats its Sunday card Mondays at 1 p.m. It also repeats the telecast a few more times during the week, so check those listings if you miss the card the first time around.
– There are several other interesting fights this month. On Jan. 14 from El Paso, Texas, Irene Pacheco defends his IBF flyweight (108-limit) title against Pedro Pena on ESPN2. That telecast has a 6 p.m. starting time. One week later on Jan. 21, ESPN2 has James “Lights Out” Toney taking on Terry McGroom from Chicago in a cruiserweight (190-limit) fight.
On HBO the following night (Jan. 22), “Sugar” Shane Mosley will have an easy time against Willy Wise in a welterweight (147-limit) fight. This was the fight that Julio Cesar Chavez was supposed to fight Mosely in before Chavez was upset by Wise in October, so Wise received the fight instead of Chavez.
January ends with a couple of interesting TV cards. On the 28th, Thomas Tate fights Syd Vanderpool in a super middleweight (168-limit) fight on ESPN2 and on Jan. 29 from Manchester, England, Showtime gives us Mike Tyson fighting one Julius Francis as Tyson attempts to win a fight without fouling his opponent or causing some other problems that seem to come along with Tyson these days.
– On the local scene, Carson City Boxing Club head coach Chuck Williams reports the local team is getting ready for the coming year in amateur boxing. He says the team will resume training this week as the club gets all the fighters and coaches licensed for 2000.
The local club will participate in area amateur tournaments throughout the year, including an invitational tournament March 25 at the Ormsby House that the club will host. The first local amateur card for our area is penciled in for Jan. 22 in Reno.
Thelma Tavares of Reno reports that show is “not yet definite” because she isn’t sure how many fighters will be ready.
Seems like many have been eating too much holiday food and not training as much as they usually do, so she may have to back up that card a week or two. She’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks if Jan. 22 is a go or no-go.
– It looks like a good start to the new year for couch potatoes like me who like to watch fights on TV. Gotta go now and head for the grocery store to load up on snacks and goodies as I get ready for an interesting January fight calendar …
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.