On March 18, “The Boys Are Back in Town,” as Canada’s top talents will embark upon the Powerade Centre in Brampton, ON for a night of world class professional boxing, presented by Lee Baxter Promotions.
But while the boys will be back, it will be women who will be entering the record books.
It will be an historic night, as it will mark just the third time in six years a world title has been on the line in a bout taking place in the province of Ontario. In terms of Toronto history, it is just the second world title fight in the Greater Toronto Area since the 1984 super lightweight title clash between Aaron Pryor and Nicky Furlano.
Toronto’s own Sandy Tsagouris will battle Cleveland’s Carla Torres for the vacant WIBA world super featherweight title.
Tsagouris (15-2, 7 KOs) will become the first Toronto-based fighter to fight for a world title in the Toronto region since Clyde Gray faced Jose Napoles for the welterweight title at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1973. No Toronto-born fighter has ever fought for or won a world title in the GTA.
Lil’ Tyson can change all of that with one punch on March 18.
Despite being regarded as one of the best and most exciting female fighters on the planet, Tsagouris has waited since 2011 for another crack at a world title. After losing her last bid to Hyun Mi Choi in South Korea, she has since racked up victories over five consecutive world class fighters, including former two-time bantamweight champion Galina Ivanova.
The last time a world title fight took place in Ontario was in September of 2015, when Adonis Stevenson knocked out Tommy Karpency to retain his light heavyweight title in Toronto. Prior to that, Jelena Mrdjenovich won the vacant WIBA super featherweight title over Lindsay Garbatt in Barrie in 2011.
“I think we’re entering a golden era of women’s boxing,” said Baxter. “Women’s fights are back on national television, and fighters like Sandy who have been robbed of recognition for too long are starting to get their time in the spotlight. We’re excited and honoured to give her an opportunity to finally win a world title on home soil.”
It won’t be an easy assignment for Tsagouris, who faces an opponent in Torres who has a history of spoiling the party for Canadian fighters in Canada.
After winning the WIBA featherweight title in an upset over Ronica Jeffery in 2014, Torres defended it on the road in Winnipeg, Manitoba against Olivia Gerula, earning a unanimous decision in her opponent’s hometown.
Torres lost her mother to cancer when she was just 10 years old, and has been the quintessential underdog story ever since, winning a world title without a major promoter and in just her sixth professional fight.
“Carla is proof that if you believe in yourself and you’re willing to take chances, special things can happen in boxing,” said Baxter. “She is exactly the type of opponent that will bring out the best in Sandy. If you give Sandy another fighter who wants to let her hands go, it’s guaranteed fireworks for as long as it lasts.”
Tsagouris-Torres will accompany a full night of world-class action, including the return of Logan Cotton McGuinness to Ontario, as he takes on the once-defeated Horacio Alfredo Cabral.
McGuinness continues his march towards a world title opportunity, coming fresh off a sixth round destruction of Cristian Arrazola on December 29 in Calgary, and is looking to bring his brand of aggressive in-fighting back in front of his hometown crowd.
It will also be a homecoming for welterweight slugger Samuel Vargas, who will go toe-to-toe with Armando Robles. Vargas who was last seen on national television putting forth a gutsy effort against world champion Danny Garcia. Vargas (25-3-1, 13 KOs) has long been one of the most reliable action fighters in Canada, dating back to his Fight of the Year contender with Ahmad Cheikho in 2011.
Other confirmed bouts include welterweight prospect Kane Heron vs. Gregory Trenel of France, and Namah Daghir vs. Kimmy St. Pierre in light welterweight action.
Tickets for “The Boys Are Back In Town” start at $35, and VIP table seating starts at $1000. Doors open at 6:30 PM ET, with the first fight beginning at 7:30 PM ET.