Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009 | 8:24 p.m.
- What: ESPN Friday Night Fights: Border Warfare
- When: 6:00 p.m. Friday
- Location: Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena
- Featured bouts: Alfredo Angulo (15-1, 12 KOs) vs. Gabriel Rosado (12-3, 7 KOs); Anthony Dirrell (17-0, 14 KOs) vs. Alfredo Contreras (10-5-1 4 KOs); Archie Ray Marquez (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. Sergi Ganjelashvili (4-3-1, 0 KOs); Sharif Bogere (10-0, 6 KOs) vs. Rodolfo Armenta 7-1-1, 5 KOs).
- TV: ESPN2
The topic of boxing took a backseat Wednesday at a press conference to promote Friday’s card at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm.
Fighters each wore shirts with a simple message: ‘Stop the violence outside the ropes.’
The campaign was the brainchild of promoter Gary Shaw in response to the homicide of boxer Vernon Forest last month in Atlanta.
“One thing about Vernon Forrest is he never asked for the accolades,” Shaw said. “People don’t know that he was a giving guy, nobody ever knew.”
July was a tragic month for the boxing community, as three of the sport’s former champions, Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Forrest each died under controversial circumstances.
“We had three terrible deaths in one month,” Shaw said. “We all suffer tragically but let us get around it.”
Shaw hopes his card on Friday night will help fight fans start to forget about the tragedies.
Headlining the card is a super welterweight bout between Alfredo Angulo (15-1, 12 KOs) and Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado (12-3, 7 KOs).
“A guy like Angulo is going to bring the best out of me,” Rosado said. “I’m not going to be asleep. I’m going to be ready.”
Angulo is looking to recover after his first career loss, a unanimous decision defeat, against Kermit Cintron in June.
However, he faces a tough challenge in Rosado, who has never been knocked down in 15 professional fights.
“Fighters that have never been down don’t know what it’s like to go down and don’t want to go down. It makes them a better fighter,” Shaw said.
The card also features a match between the undefeated Anthony Dirrell (17-0, 14 KOs) and Mexico’s Alfredo Contreras (10-5-1, 4 KOs).
Dirrell, younger brother of Olympic Bronze medalist Andre Dirrell, is less than a year removed from a life threatening battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which kept him out of the ring for two years.
“That’s got to be a very tough thing for a fighter because your fighting cancer and you’re watching your brother keep going when you can’t get in that ring,” Shaw said.
Despite the long break, Dirrell has maintained his undefeated record in the five fights since his return.
In a six-round, lightweight battle Sharif Bogere (10-0, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas will face Rodolfo Armenta (7-1-1, 5 KOs).
The Ugandan-born Bogere has become known for his elaborate entrances in which he enters the ring in a cage while draped in a lion’s fur.
“That’s my style,” he said. “It represents my style of fighting, excitement in boxing.”
The event also features female featherweight Donatella Hultin (1-0, 1 KO) who will face Canada’s Lucia Larcinese (1-4, 0 KOs).
Shaw compared Hultin to top female MMA fighter Gina Carano, who he signed to his now defunct Elite XC organization.
“Carano is the woman’s face of MMA,” Shaw said. “She’s pretty inside and outside and she’s the rage and now I can say that about Donatella.”
The nine-bout card begins at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.