De La Hoya puts unbeaten record on line in LV Saturday |

De La Hoya puts unbeaten record on line in LV Saturday

Alan Rogers

Saturday night in the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas, undefeated WBC welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya actually fights someone who can fight a little when he defends against Ike Quartey in a 12 round bout.

De La Hoya, 29-0, 24 KO’s, who has had an easy time fighting has-beens and over-the-hill fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez (twice) and Pernell Whitaker, who was probably his toughest opponent, and many other unknowns, now faces a guy not past his prime. Quartey, who was the WBA welterweight champ until he gave up that title to fight Oscar, is 34-0-1, 29 KO’s.

“Quartey is a guy who presents the toughest challenge of my career,” said De La Hoya from his training camp at Big Bear, Calif. “He’s a tough guy with an excellent jab and he’s fast. He’s also a powerful hitter but he does have his weaknesses, like anybody else.”

De La Hoya, who is listed as a -3.50 favorite (+2.80 on Quartey) at local sportsbooks, added that Quartey’s weaknesses are the fact that he fights “straight up” and doesn’t have “the best of head movement.” Some have also questioned if Quartey has the best of chins.

Quartey has been knocked down by some ordinary fighters and although he always got back up, that is a concern for those that bet on him.

The fight, which was originally set to take place on Nov. 21 but was postponed when De La Hoya claimed he was cut on the eye during training, is available on pay-per-view TV.

The night includes a pretty decent undercard which begins the telecast at 6 p.m. Former two-time world welterweight champ and the first boxer to defeat Julio Cesar Chavez, Frankie Randall, 55-5-1, 42 KO’s, takes on Oba Carr, 47-2-1, 28 KO’s in a scheduled 10-rounder. Also, Erik Morales defends his WBC super bantamweight title against Angel Chacon in another scheduled 12-round title fight plus a women’s bout will be on the telecast.

PREDICTION – I don’t like Ike!

Not in this fight, anyway. Not because he can’t hold his own but because his weak chin will prove his undoing.

Remember this too, Quartey will be giving some very precious pounds away to De La Hoya. Even though both boxers will weigh-in at the 147-pound limit for the title fight, that comes some 30 hours before they actually fight. When they enter the ring, De La Hoya will weigh about 158-160 pounds. Quartey will come in at about 154 or so and that’s a lot of weight to spot Oscar.

Quartey has been knocked down by welterweights and now he’ll be in with an actual middleweight and that spells doom for him. He’s never been hit like De La Hoya will hit him and he won’t take that for long.

So, my pick is De La Hoya to knock out Quartey. After a feeling out first round, De La Hoya, usually a careful and tactical fighter, will pop and pepper Quartey with many shots in round 2, maybe even knock him down, and then Oscar will finish him off in round 3. The over/under is 10 rounds, by the way.

LOCAL PRO READY TO RUMBLE – Carson City’s Steve Reynolds reports that his fighter, Miguel “Angel” Ruiz has two important fights coming up, one right here in Northern Nevada.

“We’re set to fight at the Lucky Eagle Indian Casino in Washington State on March 12,” said Reynolds, who manages and trains Ruiz. “We don’t have an opponent yet. We’re still looking.”

The first professional fight card of the year in our area takes place May 1 at the Cal-Neva outdoor arena in Reno and Reynolds says his fighter will be on that card, too.

“Again, we don’t have an opponent yet but we will,” he added. “We wanted Greg Haugen, but he won’t fight us.”

Ruiz, the current NWBA junior welterweight (140-pound limit) champ, has won 13 straight fights and is now 20-4 with 12 KO’s.

The Cal-Neva card, which will have former world champ Livingstone Bramble in the main event, is the first of four they have planned for this year.

-Speaking of local cards, Bill Ferris, boxing coordinator for the Pinon Plaza, reports the local hotel/casino will host a pro fight card in August. They tried to hold one last year in August but that fell through.

“We wanted to hold one last August but we couldn’t get it done in time,” said Ferris. “With our hotel under construction and various other projects going on, we didn’t want to rush it so we postponed it until this August.”

Ferris, who is negotiating with Cornelius Boza-Edwards of Power Punch Promotions of Las Vegas, says it will be an outdoor card held in the parking area.

“We started much earlier this year so we will have everything ready to go when the time comes,” said Ferris. “We are looking at Aug. 21 or 28 as the fight date.”

Former world champ Boza-Edwards was in Carson City last summer to check out the Plaza and the area and is happy to be bringing pro boxing back to Carson City.

“I want to bring professional boxing back to Carson City on a regular basis,” he said during that visit. “I think that will happen and I want to be a part of it.”

He also noted that the Plaza fight card will have local pro Ruiz on the card and possibly in the main event.

-Local favorite Kenny Keene, who was handled by Ted Walker until the manager’s death last August, makes the first defense of his IBA cruiserweight title on Feb. 19 in Boise.

Keene, who trained in Carson City many times and fought in this area as well, looked lackluster when he barely won a 10-round non-title fight in October, his first fight since his manager and cutman Walker passed away.

Keene, who is from Idaho, defends against Dominick Carter in a non-TV fight.

Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.

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