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25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

Grew up in and went to school in Peoria, Arizona. Sports has always grabbed my attention, especially boxing. Love talking sports, muscle cars, hip hop, and comics. Follow me on Twitter @AlvarezBoxing & on Instagram @albertalvarezboxing

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Top Rank Boxing Returns To Tucson With Action Packed Championship Doubleheader

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Photo Courtesy Of: Top Rank Boxing

Top Rank Boxing returns to the valley of the sun, to Tucson to be exact with “Twice as Nice,” a world championship doubleheader and aired on ESPN.

The main event shall bring forth the long-awaited rematch between Miguel Berchelt (35-1, 31 KOs) and Francisco Vargas (25-1-2, 18 KOs) for the WBC World Super Featherweight Title. The first bout between these two Mexican warriors was an entertaining brawl with Berchelt taking it by 11th round K.O.

Emanuel Navarrete (26-1, 22 KOs) will once again trade leather against Isaac Dogboe (20-1, 14KOs) in the co-feature in defense of the WBO World Super Bantamweight title he beat away from Dogboe by unanimous 12-round decision.

Also featured on the loaded card will be welterweights Christopher Gonzalez vs. Judas Estrada in a rematch war. Last November, Tucson’s Gonzalez (3-0-1), went blow for blow against Nogales’ Judas Estrada (1-1-1) at Guerra De Gallos event. Their first bout ended in a four-round draw.

Middleweight prospect Emmanuel Guajardo (4-0) will look to once again entertain the Tucson fight fans. Last time out, Guajardo, won a unanimous decision over Daniel Garcia Flores.

Phoenix rising young star Carlos Castro (22-0, 9 KOs) will take on Ernesto Saulong (22-4-2, 9KO) in an 8-round super bantamweight bout.

Castro is coming in on a big win high after upsetting Genesis Servania (32-2, 15 KOs) in February, with that big win Castro captured the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title.

And many more bouts to be featured. Come on out and bring out the family and friends and enjoy the show.

The May 11 card is promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.  Tickets are priced at $102, $77, $52 and $27. They can be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at www.Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or at the Tucson Convention Center ticket office.  Doors to the Tucson Arena shall open at 2:30, with the first bell ringing at 3:30.

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Canelo Alvarez/Daniel Jacobs Prediction

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Photo Courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2-34KO’s) vs. Daniel Jacobs (35-2-29KO’s) for the middleweight unification title on May 4th– It’s no secret that Jacobs is the longer fighter with the longer reach. So if I am Jacobs, I would double and triple my jab and press forward to force Canelo to box off of his back foot.

Canelo on the other hand will need to also employ his jab but must look to use a stabbing jab at the pit of Jacobs’ mid-section and mix in a consistent body attack.

Jacobs will also need to be alert at the time on the clock and keep firing when Canelo is not working. In short, Jacobs must look to outwork and at times handcuff Canelo to cause frustration.

I am expecting to see a shootout and very competitive close rounds, but Canelo with his smooth combination power punching will eventually create separation and show the difference between an elite and a very good fighter.

Give me Canelo by unanimous decision in a 8 to 4 or 7 rounds to 5 type of close fight. Canelo at times may have to bite down and punch with Jacobs to walk Jacobs into a heavy right cross. I just feel that Canelo’s better counter and body punching will be the key and in turn will land the harder shots.

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Crawford/Khan & Garcia/Granados Prediction

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Photo Courtesy of Top Rank Boxing

Bud Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) VS. Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs)- First of all, I love Khans bravery, the kid is always willing to lock horns with anybody. Thing is that bravery and overconfidence is what has always hurt Khan in his battles.

Khan is the type of boxer that is so fast that he will always outbox you right until the second that he doesn’t anymore, I know, I know sounds strange. What I mean by that is that Khan builds up leads but then he get overzealous and so comfortable with his blinding hand speed that he then leads with his chin.

So with that being said, I am expecting to see Khan outbox Bud early and will beat Bud to the punch enough to take the majority of the first 6 rounds.

Bud will then pick his spots by switching to a southpaw stance and will time an overconfident Khan jumping in and will walk him into a big right hand. Bud’s body punching and ability to land his own jab over Khan’s rapid jab will be key.

Give me Bud to take it by 9th round TKO. Bud will step it up another level and put it on Khan so bad that he will stop Khan late forcing Khan’s corner to wave it off in round 9.

Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) VS. Adrien Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs)- I am expecting for Granados to be exactly who he is, so I see Granados pressuring Garcia enough to make it uncomfortable enough to dog Garcia out to bag in a handful of rounds.

Garcia must employ his heavy underrated jab to box Granados from the outside. Granados will need rough up Garcia as much as possible to keep the fight on the inside, similar to the Porter blueprint.

I see Garcia landing enough jabs and the harder judge friendly punches to take it in a 8 rounds to 4 unanimous decision that may appear closer due to a few hard to score rounds.

 

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