Some of the best fights of the year take place in November and it all starts Saturday when "Sugar" Shane Mosley returns to action for his first fight since beating Oscar De La Hoya and winning the world welterweight (147-pound limit) title.
Mosley (35-0, 32 KOs) meets Antonio Diaz (33-2, 22 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York in a fight that will be shown live on HBO starting at 6:45 p.m.
I haven't seen any odds on the fight, but Mosley will be a heavy favorite to retain his title over the almost unknown Diaz. However, let me say that Diaz is a tough fighter who gives his all and I wouldn't be surprised to see an upset here. Mosley may not be able to get up for this fight like he did for Oscar and if he's caught napping, Diaz could steal a 12-round decision before Mosley knows what hit him.
Also on the telecast, Hector Camacho Jr., faces Goyo Vargas in a lightweight (135-limit) fight that should be a dandy.
Camacho (29-0, 17 KOs) figures to be too quick and strong for Vargas (40-7-1, 28 KOs), a former champ who likes to mix it up but has seen better days. I look for Camacho to take Vargas out, somewhere in the middle rounds of the scheduled 12-round fight.
- The following Saturday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the one and only real heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis (37-1-1, 29 KOs) defends his title against No. 1 contender David Tua (37-1, 32 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder highlighting a pay-per-view card that begins at 6 p.m.
Lewis is listed as a 3-1 favorite in man-to-man betting and that's about right. My feeling is Lewis is too good for Tua. Lewis, who trained in Carson City for two of his fights before he became champ, has fought tougher opponents plus he's been in these big mega-fights before while Tua has taken a softer road when it comes to opponents and this is his first big fight. That usually means Tua will learn a lot from the experience but may not be ready to rumble with the likes of Lewis.
I'll give you my official prediction next week.
- There's more ... On Nov. 17, Harveys will host a live professional boxing card at the lake and they are working on that card now. We'll have more details and the fighters as we get closer to fight time. Stay tuned ...
- And what figures to be the best fight we've seen in a long time takes place on Dec. 2 (That's close enough to November to be included) when two undefeated fighters tangle for the undisputed world junior middleweight (154-limit) title.
Fernando Vargas and Felix Trinidad go at it in what should be a great fight and picking the winner is not very easy. Local sportsbooks have Trinidad listed as a -$1.80 favorite with Vargas at +$1.50, give or take a dime. Too early to make a prediction but I do like the price on Vargas and feel this is a 50/50 kind of fight where either fighter can win so why not take the price instead of laying it?
That's what I plan to do but it's way too early to make a prediction so we'll wait on that until we get closer to fight time. That will be a PPV fight, by the way.
SILVER STATE RUMBLE - The Nevada Day amateur fight card held at Bruno's Boxing Club Gym Saturday proved to be short on quantity but long on quality. They had eight fights plus two exhibition bouts on the card and all were excellent fights.
But don't take my word for it because due to a previous commitment, I wasn't able to attend the card, billed as the "Silver State Rumble" so I'll let the man who was closest to the action, Chief of Officials and referee on the card, Carson City's Norm Budden, tell us about it.
"It was a very good card that the crowd, I'd estimate at over 250 fans, really enjoyed," said Budden. "All the bouts were competitive and the local fighters did very well on the card. The semi-main event saw Mike Peralta from the Carson City Boxing Club win by decision over Jose Maldonado, who is from Atwater, Calif. The main event had Derrick Hinkey from McDermitt win over Enoch Green of Atwater when the referee stopped the contest in round two. A very good fight."
Other winners were Edgar Gomez of Bruno's Boxing Club winning in round one over Fallon's Zachary Mullins, Mike Loe of the CCBC won in round two over Edward Hockemier of Fallon, Enrique Banuelos of Atwater won a "very close" decision over Halo Guerrero of the BBC, Joe Goss of BBC took a decision from Atwater's Rigaberto Sanchez, Sergio Orantes won in round two over another Atwater fighter, Steve Cavos and Miguel Guiterrez of the Ironworks Gym in Reno won by decision over Daniel Pope of BBC.
"It was a great two-hour show and we're going to make this an annual affair," said Vic Bruno, director of Bruno's Boxing Club. "The Silver State Rumble is here to stay."
This was the club's first fight card and Vic said "all things considered" it went well.
"We're happy we were able to put on a good show for the fans," he added. "I'm totally satisfied. Next year we're looking at some bigger locations to put the card on at and I must say, I had a lot of help in putting this fight card together."
The card would have had more fights on it but the Salinas, Calif., fight team couldn't make it. As a result, the Reno Jets team pulled out, since all their bouts were slated to be against Salinas fighters, so that's why the card had less fights than anticipated.
- Last Friday's ESPN2 live pro card came from the Feather Falls casino in Oroville, Calif. The semi-main had two undefeated lightweights square off and Efren Hinojosa won a split decision from Ernie Zavala. Hinijosa improved to 21-0, 16 KOs while Zavala suffered his first loss and is now 11-1 with 6 KOs.
The main event was an excellent action-packed fight that saw Sacramento's Juan Lazcano (25-2-1, 18 KOs) dominate and wear down a game Dorin Spivey (26-2, 25 KO's) before stopping him at the 1:58 mark of round eight of their NABF lightweight title fight.
This Friday the ESPN2 main event has James "Lights Out" Toney (59-4-2, 37 KOs) fighting Alexander Girov (28-3-1, 20 KOs) in a cruiserweight (190-limit) title fight that starts at 6 p.m.
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.