The South Florida fight card calendar has been virtually non-existent this year. Through the first 10 months of 2012, promoters have only presented five local shows and none since August.
A much-needed jolt comes Friday night with promoter Don King’s card at Gulfstream Race Track. On Nov. 30, Deerfield Beach-based Acquinity Sports presents a show at BB&T Center in Sunrise headlined by a world title fight.
While no shows are planned for December, the first week of 2013 already will feature the return of boxing at the Magic City Casino in Miami. Rising Miami lightweight contender Rances Barthelemy will headline a card on Jan. 4 co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions.
“It is very difficult to promote boxing in South Florida because of the many entertainment options,” said Richard Dobal, managing partner of Bad Dog Productions. “You need to make sure that your event doesn’t coincide with other sporting events, like basketball, football or baseball.”
In addition to filling seats, promoters also need support from network television or sometimes a secondary entertainment option to complement the boxing. The main event of the Gulfstream Park show will be televised by Showtime, and ESPN2 will open its 2013 Friday Night Series at the Magic City Casino show.
The show at the BB&T Center, headlined by the World Boxing Association super-lightweight title fight between Joan Guzman and Khabib Allakhverdiev, also will include a post-boxing concert by rapper Flo Rida.
Friday’s show at Gulfstream Park will have a late change in the main event. Junior middleweight James De La Rosa, who was scheduled to face Omar Henry in the headliner, withdrew after a training camp injury and has been replaced by Juan Cabrera.
In addition to the Henry-Cabrera fight, the Showtime telecast also will feature unbeaten Miami lightweight Angelo Santana. Santana (13-0, 10 KOs) will face Juan Garcia (13-0, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout.
A boxer lost
Carmen Basilio, whose memorable title bouts against Sugar Ray Robinson, Gene Fullmer and Johnny Saxton made him one of the most popular fighters of the 1950s, died last Wednesday in Rochester, N.Y., after a brief illness. Basilio was 85.
A native of Canastota, N.Y., Basilio twice held the world welterweight title between 1954 and 1957 and then defeated Robinson for the middleweight belt in September 1957. Basilio retired in 1961 and finished his career with a 56-16-7 record and 27 knockouts. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
• Cuba’s Erislandy Lara and Armenia’s Vanes Martirosyan fought to a technical draw in their super-welterweight bout late Saturday in Las Vegas. Lara and Martirosyan clashed heads that opened a huge gash above Martyorsian’s left eye early in the ninth rounds and Martirosyan could not continue fighting. Judge Richard Ocasio scored the fight for Lara, 87-84, while Jerry Roth had Martirosyan winning, 86-85. Dave Moretti had it 86-86.
• Late Saturday, Anber Mares retained his World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win against Anselmo Moreno at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
• On the same card, Leo Santa Cruz successfully defended his WBC bantamweight belt with a ninth-round technical knockout over Victor Zaleta, and Alfredo Angulo scored a first-round TKO over Raul Casarez in their junior-middleweight bout.