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22 SEPTEMBER 2014

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Arizona Brief Boxing News & Notes:Loya Returns/Brooks Predicts An Upset


By Don Smith: According to local gossip, Light Welterweight boxer Javier Loya might return to boxing if the offer is right. His recent announcement to walk away from the sport caught most people by surprise, but a spokesperson for the fighter is saying Loya is tired of the (expletive) in boxing; not the sport, itself. Whatever decision he makes, good luck.

 

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Light Welterweight Eddie Brooks predicts an upset victory over Steve Claggett when the two meet in Calgary, Alberta at the Century Casino in a headline bout on a card billed as: "To Be Determined 01/25/13.

Nothing controversial about that clever advertising hook. Brooks admits to watching a pair of Claggett’s fight on You Tube and he describes the 23 year old Canadian as nothing special. Claggett’s record is something special: 15-1-1-(10), knockouts while Brooks packs a 9-3 record in his boxing resume. The bout is scheduled for eight rounds and the five fight card also presents Irish/Canadian Janks Trotter (7-1-1 (7), knockouts in a comeback fight that is getting a lot buzz in Canada and the U.S.A.. Wear a sweater if you’re going. The show is expected to sell out. Live is the only way to see it.

 

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Heavyweight sensation Matt Kadian, Super Middleweight Dustin Sutley heads up under card that also features heavy weights Ed Jackson Jr. and Taso Tzavaras. The show is produced and promoted by Fan Base Promotions. FBP has offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Calgary, Alberta Canada. A Phoenix Show presentation in the Spring is being considered. Stay tuned for further details.

 

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Missy Franklin, 2012 Olympic Swimmer and 2012 Fiesta Bowl Grand Marshal, was asked in Phoenix if she was a boxing fan, she replied no ,but, she went on to confirm her support for the American Boxing squad which won 2 medals for the Women’s Team and the good ole USA.. Missy prefers volleyball and she loves dogs. Good luck to her in the upcoming World Games competition.

 

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Crank It Up Promotions is catching some flak from local boxing fans who don’t like the idea of their 1/18/13 boxing show being promoted as "Mayhem in Mesa". If it matters, the event is now being billed as "Mayhem in Mesa - War". One of the many dissenting fans objects to the word mayhem on the grounds that it smacks of WWE advertising tactics. Mayhem is a poor word choice in light of the "Mesa Mayhem" incident covered in the East Valley Tribune Newspaper in August of 2012, but I seriously doubt if "Crank It Up" was aware of the incident and who could have foreseen the New Town shooting tragedy. Besides, it is a traditional marketing technique to use bold action words to lure in fans. The show is scheduled for 1/18/13 at the Arizona Events Center in Mesa and for more information; call 480-488-0777 or visit one of the many Food City stores selling tickets. Tickets start at $25.00. 1st bell at 7 PM. Emilio Garcia is the headliner.

 

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Boxing manager/trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. is denying any friction between his boxing sons (Jose Jr. and David) and himself. His denial comes on the heels of circulating rumors that he is on the outs with his two sons. Also, he wants to set the record straight about his relationship with Famed Trainer Freddie Roach who trains Jose Jr. He says the vicious rumor that suggests Freddie Roach threw him out of his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood is basically garbage. Jose Sr. emptied his thoughts over the issue on the "Leave It in the Ring" show carried over the Internet. Blog in and watch. Sr. is now training fighters at the Power MMA facility in Chandler. He left Central Gym some time ago. A spokesperson, for Benavidez Sr., suggested that Journalists and members of the media contact Freddie Roach for his take. Good idea. It is time to settle the issue, once and for all.

 

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MMA Icon Dan "The Beast" Severn announced his retirement as a Martial Arts combatant on December 31,2012. A man of his word ,Severn promised his fans that he would say adios after 2012 and he did. Severn attended and graduated from Arizona State University where he became a wrestling legend and was later inducted into Arizona State’s Athletic Hall of Fame. As a MMA performer, the personable athlete won more than 100 bouts, a remarkable feat. The 54 year old, former ASU and Michigan State wrestling coach, will continue his role as commentator and Goodwill Ambassador for the sport he loves. In announcing his retirement, "another Chapter, comes to a close.

 

Dan was in Gilbert, Arizona recently to help promote a casting call for the new MMA reality show, Warrior Island which was held at Power MMA fitness Center in Gilbert. Severn is good friends with Power MMA co-owners Ryan Bader and Aaron Simpson. The Casting Call event drew a packed house, according to a MMA fan who attended. Farewell Dan and Good luck.

 

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Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Truth Tour will hit Phoenix on 2/23 at the Coamerica Theatre for one 8 p.m show. Tickets start at $50.50 and for those fans who want to opt for the VIP Ticket which includes a meet and Greet session; be ready to shell out $325.00 through Ticket Master. A tip to the frugal and wise bargain hunters: purchase your tickets at the Coamerica Theatre and save a few hard earned bucks. Call 602-379-2888 for more details. Reviews indicate the show is R rated due to some raw and raunchy language. Sorry kids! Ticket sales are slow. Oscar Winner Spike Lee is listed as the director of the show. The venue holds up to 5,000 for events. Call 602-379-2888 or 1-877-598-6671 for tickets.

 

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Boxer’s Family Requests Help:

 

Humberto Avila, aka "Beto", loves boxing and he trained relentlessly  at the Devil Dog Boxing Gym in Chandler, Arizona. He was an amateur fighter who had no aspirations to become professional, but he valued the sport as a tool for physical and spiritual growth. Beto was a winner, regardless of his record.

 

His training was interrupted. late summer 2012, when he was struck by a vehicle while he was jogging through a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. According to a family member who recounted the incident after hearing details from the victim, two vehicles swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting Beto who instinctively  jumped in the air and landed on the hood of a SUV, one of the involved vehicles. Avila suffered lower back pain and a deeply  bruised ankle which was slow to heal. He went to a nearby Urgent Care facility after a police report was filed. Humberto was given a prescription for pain and then released. The medical inspection didn’t include an MRI which brings up the question of how thorough was his physical exam.

 

 So far, the two insurance carriers have been reluctant to address the incident to the satisfaction of Beto and his family. It is not known whether either driver was cited for possible negligence. The family may hire an attorney to mitigate and settle an issue  that could have been resolved by now; if there is an open line of communications.   

 

It took several months for Beto to rehabilitate himself  and the 29 year old audio/visual specialist was feeling pretty hyped  about the prospect  of returning to boxing and living a healthy and productive  life.  He had bills to pay and places to go. Avila  is a audio/visual specialist for Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center while Nico works as a chef at Pita Jungle, a popular eatery in Tempe.  Friends and co-workers describe them as a loving couple with strong community ties.  They are the typical American family: hard working and responsible and certainly  not immune from the trials and tribulations that test us all on a daily basis. 

 

On Christmas Eve, Humberto and his lovely Wife (Nicolette David Avila ) of six months, loaded their 2006  Nissan Versa Hatchback and headed for Ajo, Arizona where they planned to spend their Christmas Holiday with friends and family.  Aboard for the trip were  the family dogs (Leela & Naru) and their masters, Nico and Beto. Mr. Avila decided to drive and let Nico catch some much needed sleep.  It was sometime between noon and 1 p.m. when the couple left Tempe. Ajo is approximately a 115-120 mile drive from Tempe which translates into a 2 hour journey give or take a few minutes.

 

The newlywed couple were on Highway 85, 7 miles away from their Ajo Exit, when Beto fell asleep at the wheel and Nico was also asleep. Their car began to drift across the center line of the highway and was obviously out of control. Frank and Katie Le Master just happened to be traveling on the same road and they knew the vehicle in trouble belonged to Humberto and  Nicolette because they knew the family personally for many years. Ajo is a small town where everybody knows everybody, including their pets.

 

Immediately, Frank, a law enforcement officer,  went to his horn in an effort to wake up his friend whom he assumed had fallen asleep. He was very familiar with the sight before him after a few horn blasts, Beto awakened; saw the looming crisis and panicked by over steering and applying the brakes too hard. As a result their vehicle rolled over 2 1/2 times and finally stopped after traveling a distance of  45 yards off the highway.   The car was totalled and the lives of Beto and Nico will never be the same and it all happened in a matter of seconds.     

 

Frank and Katie are the perfect people  to handle any type of  crisis; cool, calm and collected. Frank  or Katie called 911 and gave precise  directions on how to reach the scene of the accident. Katie,a former Lifeguard, talked to the two victims and relayed  useful information to the first responders. The couple also set up a volunteer task force from the number  concerned travelers who stopped to help .After the traumatic rescue was completed,  Katie and Frank received special praise from the first responders and members of the victim’s family. 

 

 The Le Masters knew, after insightful questioning, that Humberto would probably need to be airlifted to a Special Care Unit Facility  because he told his friends he was numb and that meant paralysis and possible spinal cord injury. Beto was trapped inside the car  when the professional responders arrived and he was carefully removed from the Hatchback and swiftly flown to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix where he was admitted in the Barrow’s Neurological Institute wing of the hospital.

 

 Miraculously,  a battered and bruised Nico was up and walking at the scene. It had to be a combination of adrenalin  rush and concern for Humberto. Whatever the reason, it was a huge sigh of relief for her husband who wasn’t so fortunate.

 

 Beto suffered a broken neck and a spinal cord injury that left him without movement below his shoulders. Mr. Avila remains at Saint Joseph’s Hospital where he has shown slight improvement,but the road to recovery will be long and uncertain.

 

While insurance is covering some medical expense, It doesn’t provide for loss of income and special needs that he might be require for his rehabilitation process. And, now that the family has been reduced to one bread winner, bare necessities, such as food and rent, will be harder to pay for.

 

   To cope with their mounting bills that may exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, Nico’s sister, Nellie has started an account for online donations to help this young family in their time of need. If you have the   will and means to help, please go online: gofundme.com/betoandnico.info.

 

 Nico’s father, Hollister David, has asked members of media(participating in the donation drive) to thank all donors for their generosity and a special thank you to the first responders who were vital in the rescue of Beto and Nico Avila. Until Next Time!    

 

January 5, 2013



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