This afternoon at Casino Miami Jai-Alai the final press conference for Saturday night’s boxing “ Summer Slugfest “ show was held.
2010 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee (Trainer/Manager) and former (since 1977, handshake agreement) Don King Promotions trainer, manager, matchmaker and talent scout Al Bonanni-Tiburon Promotions was hosting the press conference announcing his third recent show at Casino Miami Jai-Alai.
Bonanni started out by thanking everybody involved with the show, especially Casino Miami Jai-Alai, matchmaker Rick Fiskler, sponsors “Fight Club with helping sale tickets and Title Boxing”.
He stated that there has been a positive gradual increase in tickets sold for each show, 1st show 600 tickets, 2nd show 800 tickets, and 1,000 tickets sold for this Saturday night’s event.
Bonanni mentioned that Miami Jai-Alai is “a mecca of boxing” one of the few well known boxing facilities still around that great fighters such as Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello, “Sugar Baby” Rojas started out early in their careers.
Bonanni’s and his no nonsense old school boxing style plans to showcase exciting up and coming local talent in his fight cards. The 3 local fighters at the press conference that will fight on Saturday night’s card are local fan favorites Light Heavyweight “Haitian Hitman” Azea Augustama (14-1, 9 KO’s),Cuban-American Bantamweight Jessy Cruz ( 9-5-1 ) and Egyptian residing in Miami Light Heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali ( 1-0 ).
Headlining in his second main event 30 year old Augustama which represented Haiti at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing,China will take on tough veteran in Rayco Saunders ( 23-19-2) in a ten round light heavyweight main event. Augustama which considers his strengths to be “defense, hand speed, power, and agility plans on breaking down Saunders with jabs to the body”.
The 39 year old veteran Saunders has fought notable opponents in losses to Peter Manfredo Jr ( 2012 ), Isaac Chilemba (2012), Ismayl Sillakh (2010), Marcus Oliveira (2009), a draw to Danny Santiago (2006) in Coral Gables, Fl, and a victory over Daniel Judah in (2011). Augustama’s only defeat has been a majority decision loss to # 4 WBC and # 9 IBF ranked Light Heavyweight Denis Grachev in 2011. This fight for Augustama against Saunders is a good measuring stick for Augustama to see where he stands in the light heavyweight division, if with a sound victory over Saunders he can break into the top 15 world rankings.
The Co-Main event will feature a 6 round Bantamweight matchup between local fan favorite Jessy Cruz versus Lamar Charlton. Cruz is a former amateur 2006 National Golden Gloves and National Police Athletic League quarter finalist and 2008 U.S. Olympic trials competitor. He is looking to rack up a few victories and turn his career around, he would like his victories to reach double digits then eventually fight and win a lower latino belt, be ranked and progress from there.
In the amateurs Cruz has fought against pro ranked notable fighters in Sergio Perales, Ronny Rios, Gary Russell Jr. and Robert Marroquin. He has recently trained and sparred with Juan Carlos Payano and Luis Franco. He has prepared and sparred for this upcoming fight with # 14 IBF ranked Super Bantamweight Jenifel Vicente. Jessy tells me that he feels comfortable sparring 10 rounds in the gym, and that now he feels that he is more “focused and prepared mentally” to take his game to the next level, he would like to eventually fight Rey Jimenez a bantamweight from Texas that is 10-0. Jessy will surely draw the local fight fans to the fight Saturday night as he is well known and followed in the South Florida area.
It seems like Bonanni and Casino Miami Jai-Alai have a good thing going promoting local fights.
Casino Miami Jai-Alai’s Marketing Manager Rene Guim tells me that they are “the only ones promoting fights in Miami” at this moment. To me they are filling the needed void for fight fans of local Miami fights that use to be held at Miccosukee Gaming on a regular basis for many years. Don’t miss Saturday’s “Summer Slugfest” show as it should be very entertaining.
Saturday night gates open at 7pm fights start at 8pm
Tickets are $15 General Admission, $25 Ringside and $75 Vip Ringside
Call Casino Miami Jai-Alai at 305-633-6400 for tickets and also check out www.CasinoMiamiJaialai.com