News: Diaz vs Lucero; Larsen vs Blackledge; Castro vs Dallas Jr

When a rising star faces a grizzled veteran, one of boxing’s oldest storylines comes into play. Whether it’s on a show in small venue or a 50,000 seat arena, fight fans from all four corners of the globe love these matchups. Throughout boxing history, up and coming pugilists tested their skills against the old mongoose looking to make a final run before exploring ventures outside of the squared circle..

On Saturday, June 2, featherweight phenom Joel Diaz of Palmdale, CA puts his perfect record on the line against ultra-experienced Emmanuel “The Butcher” Lucero in Tacoma, WA at the Emerald Queen Casino.

Tickets from $25 are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets or by visiting the EQC box office.

Topping Halquist Productions’ “Battle at the Boat 87”, Diaz is taking a big step up in competition in when he goes ten rounds against a foe that’s faced many of the top fighters in his weight class.

Lucero, 23-10-1 (14 KO’s), is most recognized for challenging all-time great Manny Pacquiao in 2003, but his impressive resume expands far beyond facing the Filipino icon. Born in Mexico City and based in Scranton, PA, Lucero also battled three world champions, four title challengers and eight unbeaten opponents, going the distance with six of them.

With 213 professional rounds under his belt compared to Diaz’ 22, he’s understandably considered a live underdog.

“Lucero is a fearless fighter who’s proven time and time again that he’s willing to face anybody,” said promoter Brian Halquist. “His resume speaks for itself and he’s the kind of fighter that will get the best out of Joel Diaz. These are the kind of matches that bring excitement to the sport of boxing and epitomize what entertainment value is!”

Appearing in separate undercard bouts are crowd favorites Nate Serrano, Sarah Pucek, Marcellno Pindeda, Josh Hewson and Jesus Partida.

Doors open at 6 pm and the opening bell is scheduled for 7.

During the last 23 years, Halquist Productions built a reputation in the boxing world for their loyalty, honesty and integrity. In 1997, Halquist Productions ran their inaugural “Battle at the Boat” series, which remains successful to this day. Halquist Productions promoted many world title bouts and their fight cards have been seen on ESPN, HBO and Showtime.

Larsen ready for comeback, Blackledge confident

Mads Larsen (51-3, 38 KOs) and Luke Blackledge (9-0, 3 KOs) today faced the press in Copenhagen before travelling on to Herning where they will collide at the Nordic Fight Night on Saturday. Promoter Nisse Sauerland is thrilled to see the “Golden Boy” back in the ring. “It´s great to have Mads back in action,” he said. “Our German coaches and his training partners in Berlin have all been full of praise for him. I can see why – he looks in great shape and I am sure he will take care of business against Blackledge on Saturday. If he wins, there will be a lot of interesting options, but first things first – a victory over Blackledge is a must.”

Larsen is happy to be fighting again. “It´s great to finally enter the ring after all the training,” he stated. “I know there is a lot of pressure on me because I have been away so long. Training is one thing but having a real fight is something different. I look forward to Saturday night.”

His opponent boasts a perfect record of nine victories with zero defeats – yet a small number compared to Larsen´s 51 victories. However, Blackledge does not feel that the experience will be a decisive factor. “At the end of the day it is just us in a fight,” he said. “I have boxed people who have more experience than me before and I won, so that´s nothing new. Larsen is a good, a tough fighter who has been around for a long time. But I got a Mexican style, I am very aggressive and I come forward a lot. I got my youth, my work rate and a good game plan. I will win.”

Tickets are available at, via phone (+45 7033 1333) and at the MCH box office at MCH Herning Kongrescenter. The TV3+ broadcast starts at 20h.

Javier Castro Takes On Mike Dallas Jr. In WBO Latino Title Fight On ESPN "Friday Night Fights"

Every fighter dreams of winning a world championship belt. Mike Dallas Jr. and Javier Castro will take a step closer to realizing that dream on June 22 when they battle it out in a WBO Latino Junior Welterweight Championship fight televised on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, CA.

The championship bout headlines a card also featuring hot California prospect, and undefeated middleweight, Brandon Gonzales. The event is being promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Soboba Casino. The Castro-Dallas bout is being promoted in association with Promociones Del Pueblo.

Tickets priced at $30, $25, $20 & $10 go on sale Friday, June 1 and can be purchased at the Soboba box office or by calling the hotline at (866) 476-2622. Tickets are also available by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745- 3000 or online at Doors open at 5:00 and the event will air live on ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN Deportes at 6:00 p.m. PT.

The #4 WBO world rated jr. welterweight and Latino Champion, Castro (27-4, 22 KOs), traveled to Florida June 24, 2011 to take on local favorite and top ten-rated Jesus Pabon. Castro stunned the junior welterweight contender with a second round knockout to win the Championship.

In October 2011, Castro again traveled to Puerto Rico to take on another local contender in Javier Monserrate, dropping the Puerto Rican favorite twice before stopping him in sixth round in his first defense of his newly won WBO Latino title.

Castro, who lives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, earned his third consecutive victory April 28, 2012 against veteran Carlos Urias, when he stopped him in the 2nd round.

"Another hometown favorite will go down on June 22. Dallas will not be able to withstand my knockout power," said a confident Castro.

With Castro's #4 rating at stake against Dallas, and Timothy Bradley, the WBO Jr. welterweight champion moving up in weight when he faces Manny Pacquiao June 9, puts the winner of Castro-Dallas in line for a possible shot at the World Championship.

Dallas Jr. (18-2-1, 7 KOs) shined recently in the headline spot on an ESPN "Friday Night Fights" card when he faced Miguel Gonzalez on February 17, 2012. The fight was the first ever boxing event held at the University of Texas at Arlington's brand new College Park Center, which gave the Texas fans and an ESPN audience a glimpse of the new and improved Mike Dallas under new trainer Virgil Hunter, the Boxing Writers Athletic Association 2011 "Trainer of the Year" and the longtime trainer of Andre Ward.

Despite a cut above his left eye that was opened up by an accidental clash of heads in the opening rounds, Dallas displayed great foot and hand speed and landed several quick one-two combos on his way to a unanimous decision victory with scorecards.

"I feel a lot smarter and aware of what needs to be done as the fight progresses since being with the "Zen Master" Hunter, Dallas said. I believe with this confidence, things are going to keep getting better. Castro has power, but its nothing new to me, I'll be ready to show some pop too."

In addition to his promoter, Dan Goossen, Dallas is managed by the "First Lady of Boxing," Jackie Kallen, one of the most successful managers in the sport whose life was portrayed in the movie "Against the Ropes" by Meg Ryan.

Hunter, who is coming off of an extremely successful year with his roster of fighters, which is headlined by the WBA and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion and the Boxing Writers Athletic Association 2011 "Fighter of the Year" Ward, will also be in the corner with another one of his prospects, Brandon Gonzales.

Gonzales returns to the ring for the first time since outpointing Ossie Duran (26-9-2, 10 KOs) at Bally's in Atlantic City on October 28th of last year. A hamstring injury in his preparation for a bout in January of this year sidelined the undefeated Gonzales (15-0-1, 10 KOs) until it had fully healed.

"I'm very excited to get back in the ring," said an eager Gonzales. "The time away has built up a hunger inside of me. At this point we're completely past the injury, it was a sprain in my hamstring. I tried to train on it, but as soon as it started to mess with my boxing, we knew there was nothing I could do. I stayed off of it for four or five weeks and rehabbed it properly. It was unfortunate that it happened when it did, but it was a good thing that its given me more time to mesh with Virgil and continue working and improving on everything, so I'm definitely expecting to put forth a good performance this time out."

"ESPN has become known as the network featuring fighters one-step away from stardom, and both of these bouts place the winner closer to the big money fights," said promoter Dan Goossen.

"The Tribe is pleased to bring this exciting world-class event to our local community, and to sports fans worldwide via an internationally televised audience," said Mike Hiles, Tribal Information Officer for the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians.

Article posted on 29.05.2012

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