Juergen Braehmer Out of Saturday’s Semi-Final
By: Ste Rowen
Juergen Braehmer has pulled out of this weekend’s World Boxing Super Series semi-final vs Callum Smith due to illness. The super middle & light heavyweight veteran said,
‘I have been battling a feverish infection since Sunday. Unfortunately, a fight in this state is out of the question.’
In to replace Braehmer is the unbeaten Dutchman and kickboxer, Nieky Holzen. Holzen currently holds a 13-0 (10KOs) record in a pro boxing career that started in 2013. This will be just the second time he has fought outside of the Netherlands professionally as a boxer, the other occasion was also in Germany. He was set to fight Dmitrii Chudinov before he received the call to make the step up to the WBSS, and he didn’t seem fazed by the prospect of facing Callum Smith,
‘I signed up as a substitute fighter so I’m in great shape and prepared for Saturday. I’ve watched Callum fight many times…He’s a good, solid fighter. We’re both big body punchers…Callum, you better be ready, because I am and I’m coming to beat you!’
Holzen has already fought this year, stopping the well-travelled Ukrainian, Viktor Polyakov, 13-3-1 (6KOs), in the 2nd round just 17 days ago.
Smith, 23-0 (17KOs), seemed slightly annoyed but unmoved by the change of opponent,
‘I gave an interview last week and said it’s great there have been no drop-outs…We got the call as we were boarding the plane. I am committed to fighting on Saturday and will fight whoever the WBSS puts in front of me.’
Up until last Saturday, across both the cruiser and super middleweight tournaments, the series has been lucky to not suffer any injuries. Now with Braehmer out and the uncertainty around George Groves’ shoulder injury, it will be a real test for the Sauerlands and Richard Schaefer, to keep the closing stages of the super middleweight draw exciting.
Tampa’s A La Carte Event Pavilion Hosts Its Final Boxing Card Friday
By: Sean Crose
Friday night will see the final fight card go down in the arena on Dana Shores Drive in Tampa, Florida. Once known as the Egypt Shrine Temple, the A La Carte Event Pavilion will be hosting its 99th and last evening of boxing this evening. According to All Star Boxing, Inc, the promotional entity behind the night’s bouts, “the main event Friday will be a ten-round super bantamweight bout between Daniel Lozano (14-4, 11 KOs) from Bowling Green, Florida against Ricardo Rodriguez (16-4, 5 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico now residing in Los Angeles, California.” Tuto Zabala, President of All Star Boxing, Inc, has clear memories of the arena’s boxing history.
“Many promoters have done shows in this building,” he says. “I remember when Brad Jacobs back in the 80’s was doing boxing shows in that I building.” Needless to say, Zabala is pleased to be a part of this evening’s card. “I feel privileged and honored,” he says, “for All Star Boxing, Inc and the Telemundo Network to bid farewell to such an iconic building for boxing fans in Tampa, Florida.” The list of known fighters who have plied their trade in the arena at one time or other is quite impressive.
One particularly memorable fight went down in August of 1984, “when future world champion John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi won by TKO against Frank “The Animal” Fletcher.” Yet there were far more big names than just Mugabi who stepped inside the arena’s ring over the years. Former heavyweight champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith fought there. Former light welterweight kingpin Frankie Randall fought there. What’s more, super featherweight Ender Cherry fought the first fifteen bouts of his career there, as well. Perhaps most notable to modern fans, however, current welterweight star Keith “One Time” Thurman made his professional debut at the arena in 2007.
All Star Boxing, Inc itself has had a notable history at the arena. For the entity “promoted it’s first show at A La Carte in 2010 and Friday’s event will be it’s 19th there.” According to a press release: “Egypt Shrine Temple hosted it’s first of twenty-seven boxing events on October 24, 1982 and the last on November 13, 1998. The first of seventy one boxing events under the present name of A La Carte Event Pavilion took place on April 13, 2002.” That’s a lot of boxing to be held in a place many fight fans unfortunately may have never heard of.
The A La Carte Event Pavilion “was recently sold and faces December demolition.”