Thomas Valdez Outlasts Luis Coria Over Eight Rounds In Tucson
By Jake Donovan
For weeks, Thomas Valdez was preparing for a grudge match with fellow Tucson-based super featherweight Jensen Ramirez. He was instead dealt a late replacement in Luis Coria, but found a way to adapt and prevail by split decision in their entertaining eight-round main event Saturday evening in Tucson, Arizona.
Valdez won by scores of 78-74 and 77-75 on two scorecards, while the dissenting judge scored 78-74 in favor of Coria.
Photo Credit: @ragingbabe Twitter account
The bout was fought at a brisk pace and high skill level for all eight rounds, the fight length being the very first adjustment the 5’10” Valdez was forced to make 10 days ago. He was originally slated for a seven-round affair versus the 5’9” Ramirez, the special length being a compromise when their camps reached an impasse over whether to go six or eight rounds.
It became a moot point when Ramirez suffered a broken ankle during training camp and was forced to withdraw. In came Coria, dispatched from Oxnard by famed trainer and former 130-pound titlist Robert “Grandpa” Garcia. At 5’7”, Coria was a full two inches shorter than what Valdez had initially prepared for, and also a far more fluid boxer.
This much was evident in the early rounds, as Coria steadily worked behind his jab while looking to take the local crowd out of the equation. That wasn’t going to fly with Valdez, whose first cousin is reigning unbeaten featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez.
Boxing runs deep through the family bloodstream, but the 29-year old prospect from Tucson by way of Nogales, Mexico wasn’t quite blessed with the same championship pedigree. As such, Valdez had to dig deep to ensure that his local fans didn’t go home disappointed or that his own career resurgence would come to a halt.
Key mid-fight adjustments were made to avoid falling behind on the scorecards, at least in the eyes of two of the three judges. Coria never slowed down, but perhaps relied a bit too much on pure boxing to pull off a road win. The infighting and pressure belonged to Valdez, however, which ultimately secured the hard-fought victory.
Valdez improves to 18-3-2 (7KOs), running his unbeaten streak to 11 straight (9-0-2 over that stretch) since a six-round loss to then-unbeaten Victor Castro in his opponent’s Phoenix hometown five years ago almost exactly to the day.
Coria falls to 9-2 (4KOs) with the bitter defeat, snapping a five-fight win streak, four of which came in an active 2018 campaign.
The bout topped a 10-fight show featuring a healthy mix of knockouts and boxing displays. Among the highlights:
Sebastian Fundora opened the show with a performance worthy of as much conversation as his status as a 6’6” super welterweight prospect. The unbeaten southpaw from Coachella, Calif. moved to 11-0 (7KOs) following a highlight reel 1st round knockout of Jeremiah Wiggins. A blistering combination put Wiggins down and out in a corner, forcing an immediate stoppage.
Local middleweight Arturo Resendiz (2-0, 2KOs) properly followed suit, blasting out winless Brandon Trujillo in just 94 seconds—10 fewer than was needed in his pro debut this past May.
Alfonso Olvera—who suffered an upset loss on his last appearance at this venue in July—returned to the win column with a six-round decision over Virgil Green. Scores were 60-54 (twice) and 59-55 for Olvera (11-5-1, 4KOs) in their welterweight heat.
The show was presented by Michelle Rosado’s Raging Babe Events and Peltz Boxing, and streamed live on Facebook.
Why Jake LaMotta Will Be Remembered
By: Sean Crose
Legendary middleweight champion Jake LaMotta has died, leaving a long and memorable legacy upon exiting this world at 95 years of age. Growing up tough in the Bronx (his father reportedly forced him to fight other children so the family could have extra income) LaMotta grew to become one of the most iconic fighters of an iconic era (the 40s through the 50s). One simply doesn’t beat a 40-Ray Robinson without getting some much deserved credit after all. Yet the man known far and wide as “The Raging Bull” (he was also called “The Bronx Bull”) will be remembered for a variety of reasons as time moves on.
First and foremost, there’s the fact that LaMotta could fight. Really fight. Don’t let that single victory against Robinson sway your opinion. LaMotta fought many of the top fighters of his era aside from Robinson, such as Fritzie Zivic and Marcel Cerdan, who he lifted the middleweight title from (Cerdan was unable to meet LaMotta for a rematch because he tragically died in a plane crash before he could face his victor a second time).
What was most memorable about LaMotta in the ring, however, was the brutal style the man chose for himself. Never a slickster or power puncher, the guy would literally take a ton of punishment in order to pull out the win. Not that LaMotta was just some unpolished bruiser. The fighter had skill, as well, enough to keep some of the assaults he took from his opposition from doing more damage than they actually could have. Ultimately, however, LaMotta was the picture of aggression and sheer determination when he was in the ring. He once credited his style with being borne of frustration, as LaMotta reputedly wouldn’t allow himself to have sex before a fight. Whether this assertion was true or not is ultimately irrelevant, however, in the face of the fighter’s incredible bravado.
Yet LaMotta will also be remembered for having a large degree of shadinesss thrown into to his story – at least during the earlier parts of it. He had spent time in a reform school, after all. He also wasn’t much of a role model as an adult, throwing a fight for the mob, going through six marriages and having a history of spousal abuse. To LaMotta’s credit, though, the fighter grew remorseful with age, admitting he had been “a no-good bastard” in his younger years. Bad behavior, it should be noted, doesn’t always bring about remorse, nor does it often bring about a public admission of guilt.
Which, of course, leads to the famed Martin Scorcese film which was – on the most basic level, at least – based on LaMotta’s own life. Buoyed by Robert DeNiro’s classic performance (in which he literally went from fighting shape to overweight in the course of making the film), “Raging Bull” the movie is an intense study of jealousy, brutality and one man’s slow self awareness. And, as far as public consciousness goes, it elevated it’s subject from a famed boxer to memorable figure in the culture at large…something LaMotta remained until his death in Miami on Tuesday, and will most likely remain for years to come.
Raging Babe Presents Thursday Night Fights at the Armory: The Return
Rosado returns to finish what she started in the Bull City.
This time last year, “Raging Babe” Michelle Rosado touched down in Raleigh for the first time, determined to help a local boxing promoter make his mark in North Carolina. Rosado and her company, Raging Babe, did just that, and have now emerged as North Carolina’s newest boxing promoter. On October 19th, Raging Babe promotes its own event at the Durham Armory, aptly named The Return. The card will feature some of the best young talent from across North Carolina in competitive fights, matched by Hall of Fame Matchmaker and mentor to Rosado, Russell Peltz.
With a combined 50+ years of experience in the rough and tumble world of boxing, Rosado and Peltz brought a well-tested formula to Wilson in their first North Carolina endeavor in February. The sell-out event was followed up by the debut of Thursday Night Fights in Durham. Throwing a boxing event on a Thursday night was a hard sell for Rosado. “I had to really work on the promoter to get them to give Thursday Night Fights a shot. Durham is a fight town. I knew that if we threw a solid, quality card, with good fights, that fans would come out on a Thursday night, and they did.” When planning The Return, Rosado opted to bring back Thursday Night Fights, and return to the Durham Armory.
After two wildly successful events, followed by a dramatic falling out with the now defunct promotional company, Rosado was reluctant to return to the Tar Heel State. She realized, though, after so many months of putting her sweat and passion into boxing in North Carolina, she owed to herself and the gyms, fighters and fans she met there to return, and fulfill the commitments she made to them to deliver quality fights, while treating the fighters ethically and with respect.
“It took a while to get to know the personalities, the gyms, the fighters and their stories,” said Rosado. “For a long time, North Carolina was a place that managers and promoters brought their fighters to rack up wins. The fighters here deserve so much more than that, as do the fans. I made it a point to let everyone I met in North Carolina know that we were here to work on changing that.”
In planning The Return, Rosado has felt that she could fully put her passions and ideas to work for North Carolina boxing. “I’m excited for the opportunity to do it my way,” said Rosado, who has put on events in Phoenix, Tucson, Philadelphia and Danbury, Connecticut. “I’m happy to work with any fighter that wants to step up and fight. There are no easy touches on my cards. We want to pack the venue and give fans a night to remember. Russell is putting together a phenomenal fight card. The main and co-main events are going to have people so excited – I get goosebumps thinking about it. These guys are really stepping up to give the fans some of the best fights Durham has seen in a while. I wasn’t even sure we could put these fights together, and all of these fighters signed on the dotted line with no hesitation. They are daring to be great, and putting their undefeated records on the line, and I can’t wait to formally announce what we’ve been working on these last few weeks.”
Rosado is also planning to work with the fighters to help the community in and around Durham. “I want to bring positivity to Durham, and to North Carolina boxing. These guys are given a stage to showcase their talent, and we want to use that platform to give back to the community in any way we can.”
The complete fight card will be announced August 24th, and tickets for The Return go on sale that morning. Tickets can be purchased through the fighters or at ragingbabe.com.
Press Release: Raging Babe Brunch Returns September 16th-Proceeds to Benefit Prichard Colon Foundation
September, 16th is a huge day for boxing in Las Vegas, with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez facing Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a must-win contest for the king of the middleweight division. As boxing’s elite descend on the Las Vegas Strip, the Raging Babes of Boxing will once again gather to network, laugh and bond over brunch.
This year’s event will be held at the Mandalay Bay’s Border Grill, with views of Mandalay Bay’s beach, and the unlimited mimosas that brunch attendees have come to expect over four years of Raging Babe events. More importantly, attendees will enjoy opportunities to meet and network with some of boxing’s top executives, most important behind-the-scenes players and inspirational women from across the industry.
The event continues to grow, with over 50 women attending the last brunch “New York, New York,” in 2016, and Raging Babe founder Michelle Rosado expects a full house for September’s brunch. Rosado settled on “Shine Bright” for the event’s theme. “Who shines brighter than the women of boxing,” said Rosado. “This event has grown to be so much more than a bunch of women sharing a meal. Experiences, talents and stories of heartbreak and triumph are shared at these events. They have come to mean a lot to the women working tirelessly to advance this sport of ours.”
As past events have done, Shine Bright will honor one of boxing’s most influential women with the Luminary Award. “I can’t wait to share our honoree’s story,” said Rosado, who indicated the award winner would be announced soon.
Shine Bright will benefit a cause close to Rosado’s heart – the recovery of boxer Prichard Colon. “Prichard has made some great strides in his recovery, but the fact remains that the therapy he needs, the medical expenses, the support that his family needs, doesn’t end. His family has sacrificed everything to help him get better, and he sacrificed everything to entertain us in the ring.” Rosado, along with boxing manager and entrepreneur Livvy Cunningham, created the Facebook group, “Pray 4 Prichard,” which has been a place for the Colon family to find encouragement and support via messages from boxing fans all over the world. A percentage of the proceeds from Shine Bright will benefit the Prichard Colon Foundation, which funds the hefty monthly insurance premiums that are essential to Colon’s recovery.
For information on attending or sponsoring the Raging Babe Brunch, Shine Bright, please contact [email protected]