Marco Antonio Barrera to fight at Lawlor

Two live pro fight cards are coming to our area in the next month, including a mega-fight card at Lawlor Events Center in Reno that features Marco Antonio Barrera as the marquee fighter on the card.

Barrera, who is coming off his sensational upset win over then-undefeated Prince Nasim Hamed in Las Vegas earlier this year, makes his first Northern Nevada fight on Sept. 8.

The 126-pound champion Barrera fights a tough guy when he tangles with Enrique Sanchez in the main event. The semi-main is also a good one as undefeated Vasily Jirov defends his light heavyweight title against Julian Letterlough, who fought at Harvey's at the Lake twice and is a real threat to capture the title.

You may remember that Letterlough fought in what has, so far this year, been the "Fight of the Year" when he and Julio Gonzalez took turns knocking each other down many times in their war a few months ago. That was Letterlough's only loss in 17 career fights.

I'll have more on this as it gets closer but I can tell you the Reno Hilton is the "host hotel" for the fighters and they will be training there, starting a couple of weeks before the fights.

Do know the workouts will be free and open to the public.

-- The other fight card is set for Aug. 24 at Harrah's in Reno. No word on the fighters yet but Mills Lane "Let's Get It On" promotions is putting on the card and that means it will be a good one.

"The card is being put together now and we'll have more for you next week," Mills said on Friday. "There will be six or seven fights on the card."

Mills also informed he'll be in Indiana tonight as his promotion company is putting on the ESPN2 fight card that can be seen live tonight, starting at 6 p.m.

"I'll be there," Mills added. "They plan to interview me on T.V. and I'll be in the ring to get the show started with my Let's Get It On saying. It's a good card and the main event features two undefeated lightweights. Julio Diaz (22-0, 16 KOs) and Dario Isalas (23-0, 19 KOs) are two good, young prospects and it should be an exciting fight."

Mills left Sunday for Indiana and by now he knows that Isalas has pulled out of the fight and has been replaced by James Crayton, who is 32-15-2 with 14 KOs.

Still should be a good main event as Crayton comes to fight and all the action begins at 6 p.m.

-- Another "name" promoter put his first ESPN2 show on last Friday night from the Legends Casino in Washington State.

Sugar Ray Leonard is that promoter and he was there for the Friday night card. He was interviewed on the live telecast and signed autographs for the mob of fans that wanted his signature.

The telecast opened with a good light heavyweight fight between Antonio Carver (18-1, 16 KOs) fighting Chris Johnson (26-3-1, 14 KOs) in the semi-main event.

Carver knocked out Johnson with a straight left to the jaw at the 1:53 mark of round 10 and Johnson was hurt and carried from the ring on a stretcher. He was later reported to be OK as he was just exhausted and ran out of gas and he would have lost the decision had the fight gone the full 10 rounds.

The main event saw Angel Manfredy improve to 38-5-1 with 29 KOs when he took a unanimous 10-round decision over Lamar Murphy (26-6, 18 KOs) in a lightweight fight.

This Friday ESPN2 features Ben Tackie (22-2, 14 KOs) fighting Ray Oliveira (42-7-1, 19 KOs) in the main. The live 2 1/2-hour telecast begins at 6 p.m.

-- Saturday night HBO came from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and they showed two good fights after they replayed the Roy Jones fight against Julio Gonzalez that was on pay-per-view TV the week before.

First up on the HBO telecast was the WBO heavyweight title fight between champion Wladimir Klitschko (37-1, 34 KOs) and Charles Shufford (17-2, 9 KOs).

The 25-year-old Klitschko, who is from Kiev, Ukraine, but now lives in Germany, knocked out Shufford, who was born and raised and still lives in Las Vegas, in round six after knocking him down in rounds two and three before finishing him off.

Here's some trivia for you about that fight ... Shufford, who is 26, plays George Foreman in the upcoming big-screen movie "Ali" and Will Smith plays Ali. Smith was at ringside for the fights.

And Klitschko speaks five languages and was the super heavyweight gold medal winner at the Atlanta Olympics. By the way, they spoke German in his corner between rounds.

The main event on that show was Clarence "Bones" Adams (41-4-3, 19 KOs) and Paulie Ayala (33-1, 12 KOs) for the unknown IBO super bantamweight (122-pound limit) title.

I and most everyone else, including the HBO commentators and guest judge, thought Bones won the fight but Ayala was called the winner by split decision in another one of those famous "Las Vegas decisions."

This Saturday HBO has three 2000 U.S. Olympians featured on a telecast that starts at the weird time of 10:45 p.m.

-- Sunday Unvision's live fight telecast came from the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. The main event was a good one between Las Vegan William Abelyan (17-4-1, 9 KOs) and Mexico's Guty Espadas (34-4, 22 KOs) that saw the Las Vegas fighter win by unanimous decision in their 10-round junior lightweight (130-limit) fight.

Next Sunday Univision has Antonio Diaz (35-3, 24 KOs) in the main event against an opponent to be named. It all starts at noon.

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer


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