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August 23, 2014

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Tuesday Night Fights at the Hilton: Elvis has left the building but Kaspars (Kambala) isn’t a ghost

It’s an interesting setup here at the Las Vegas Hilton. The boxing ring has been placed on the stage that was by Elvis back in the day.

Real Elvis. The King Elvis.

Surrounding the ring are some VIP seats for the first boxing card at the Hilton in about six years.

But boxing has a tremendous history at the Hilton. Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson have all fought at the hotel.

Tonight will not be that historic.

However, the card, scheduled to start any minute, has a couple of neat story lines.

Former UNLV hoopster Kaspars Kambala defends his undefeated record against a fighter from Arizona. Kambala played for the Rebels from 1997-2001 before starting a fight career last year in smaller shows at The Orleans. He’s 2-0-1. His opponent is 0-1.

Ricco Rodriguez, a former UFC heavyweight champion, also fights tonight. He’s 29-9 in MMA action. But this is only his second boxing match. He won via knockout in his first. His opponent is also 0-1 and from Arizona.

It’s been a strange trek for Rodriguez. He defeated Randy Couture in 2002.

Then things got pretty weird.

He attempted to sell his UFC belt on eBay at one point. Why he trying to do that was probably answered when he appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

Then, in the main event, we’ll be treated to 41-year-old Las Vegan Kevin Kelley. He used to be the WBC featherweight champ. That was from late 1993 to early 1995.

So, to put it mildly, there are a lot of formers here tonight.

Hopefully some of them put on a good show.

Also, in a quick note, a scheduled eight-round light heavyweight bout between Dyah Davis, a Las Vegas guy, and Dante Craig, of Cincinnati, has been cancelled.

The rumor at ringside is that Craig injured his ankle crossing the street last night. That’s possible, I guess.

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