Arizona Bolxing News & Notes With Don Smith: The Arizona boxing community is saddened and shocked to hear that Boxer Christopher Phil Lopez was arrested on Sunday Morning (11/2/2014) and currently sits in the Volusia County Jail for allegedly stabbing his 61 year old stepfather (Adrian Nelson Cruz Sr.) twice with hunting knife, 6 inch blade, in a bizarre incident at the Cruz family home in Deltona, Florida a city with a population of almost 90,000 residents located between Orlando and Daytona Florida. Lopez’s Mother (53 year old Theodora Lopez Cruz) wrestled her son to the floor and sat on him while applying a choke hold until police responded to a frantic 911 call shortly after 7 a.m. Florida time. Continue reading
WBO # 1 ranked lightweight contender Ray Beltran nixed the Juan Diaz June 28 proposed bout due to a need for more preparation time. He was hoping to fight in July, but now the affable boxing veteran believes his return to action might be as late as September. He was unaware that Top Rank is mulling over the idea of putting on a show in Arizona. Top Rank has literally stayed away promotionally from Arizona since promoting Julio Cesar Chavez’s farewell fight at US Airways in Phoenix, Arizona on September 17, 2005. A little info for boxing trivia buffs, he lost to used car salesman/boxer Grover Wiley. Asked if he would like to would like to fight on the rumored card, he replied yes. Continue reading
Santiago Wins Title, Boxing Noise & More
A sellout crowd (2,650) packed the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday night, 2/22, to watch hometown favorite Alexis “The Beaver” Santiago successfully defend his WBC (USA) USNBC Bantamweight crown against highly regarded Hanzel “Rudy Boy” Martinez (Mexico) who left the ring with a 20-2 record while the win improved Santiago’s record to 16-3-1. It was easily the best of the televised fights (live stream) and both fighters received a standing ovation after the final bell and deservedly so. Continue reading
Arizona Boxing News & Notes With Don Smith
On April 1, 2006 Sergei Liakhovich, in Cleveland Ohio, scored a unanimous victory over Lamont Brewster to capture the WBO Heavyweight Championship. It was a dream that came true. However; dreams never last forever. He would lose the title 7 months later in Phoenix, Arizona at Chase Field to Shannon Briggs in a dramatic slugfest that saw Briggs knock Liakhovich out of the ring ending any chance of Sergei retaining his title.
Officially, it was declared a TKO victory for Briggs with one second remaining in the 12th and final round. Sergei was prevented from returning to the ring by handlers who felt he was finished for the night. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a more intriguing ending. Sergei isn’t bitter over the decision; he understands ring etiquette and knows the decision was correct even though it was a sad night for the Liakhovich family. Continue reading
On Thursday, October 3, Phoenix television reporter Allyson Blaine (CBS 5) called to inquire about my knowledge of a $5,000.00 reward offer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) involved in the beating death of 17 year old amateur boxer Alexis Urbina at his home in Phoenix in September 2013. I told her that retired Judge Carlos Mendoza contacted me (via phone) with the offer and Mendoza asked me what was the best method of getting the word out and I suggested promoting the message on a billboard listing independent phone numbers to call, in case tipsters might be reluctant to call an organization with police ties. The intent and motive was honest, but four days after the Blaine piece aired on CBS 5, questions from the family challenged the effort, so Mr. Mendoza picked up the phone and informed me of his decision to take the offer off the table. Judge Mendoza retired from the bench several years ago after severely injuring his back. At the end of our brief conversation, he told me he wanted to be part of the solution in finding the killer(s) but he would walk away knowing his heart was in the right place. Mendoza is a long time supporter and contributor to local crime prevention programs including Crime Stoppers aka Silent Witness. He was elected twice to serve as Justice of the Peace, Downtown Justice Court in Maricopa County. Continue reading