Boxing


Matt Vanda in crossroads fight

MINNEAPOLIS (March 21, 2007) - Middleweight Matt "The Predator" Vanda is at the crossroads of his pro career as he prepares for his eight-round fight April 6 against Alexis Divison on the undercard of "Heavyweight Invasion," co-promoted by Minnesota-based Tony Grygelko's Seconds Out Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions, at The Target Center in Minneapols..

Showtime's "Showbox: The Next Generation" series is broadcasting the main event and co-feature on the "Heavyweight Invasion card," headlined by a 12-round title bout between Travis "Freight Train" Walker and George "El Torito" Garcia for the vacant IBA Americas heavweight championship, also featuring Minnesota native Raphael Butler in an eight-round heavyweight battle against an opponent to be determined.

Vanda (35-3, 21 KOs), former IBA Americas light middleweight champion, is coming off of a disappointing 10-round loss to intra-state rival Anthony "The Bullet" Bonsante on January 12 at the Target Center. Vanda's slated to fight former Dominican Republic welterweight champion Divison (16-5, 12 KOs), now fighting out of Miami.

"My loss to Bonsante was a setback and if I lose this fight I might as well find a new job," St. Paul native Vanda said. "I'm not making excuses, Bonsante won fair and square, but I think I tried to box too much against him and I overtrained. I was ready two weeks before the fight. I moved too much and should have stood and slugged more. Now I'm back to sitting and slugging. I just didn't do it against Bonsante. I knew he was tough, but he was a lot stronger than I thought.

"I have my crew coming from the Eastside of St. Paul again. I have to start kicking ass, though, or get out of the sport. It's take no prisoners time. I love fighting and I haven't gotten hurt, but I need to win this fight. Boxing is an unforgiving sport. I'd like to fight Bonsante again. Who knows? But I'd like redemption against him. First, though, I have to beat this guy."

Walker (22-0-1, 17 KOs), 2003 National Golden Gloves champion, lost to Garcia (13-0, 4 KOs) at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Butler (25-3, 20 KOs), fighting out of Rochester (MN), became the youngest heavyweight in the world to notch 20 knockout victories when he stopped Brad Bowers in the first round last February 24. The 23-year-old Butler, 2004 National Golden Gloves winner, is one of only three heavyweights younger than 26 with 20 or more knockouts.

Other Minnesota fighters showcased on "Heavyweight Invasion" in six-round matches include St. Paul super featherweight Allen "The American Boy" Litzau (12-2, 6 KOs) against upset-minded Jenkens Alvarez (5-8-1, 1 KO), while unbeaten featherweight knockout senasation Wilton "Pretty Warrior" Hilario (7-0, 7 KOs), of St. Louis Park, takes on former two-time world title challenger Luis "El Monstruito" Bolano (41-7, 31 KOs).

Drew Peterson (1-1) and Van Goodman (0-1) have been added to the card in a four-round battle Minneapolis heavyweights. Also on the show in four-round bouts are Blaine super middleweight Jon Schmidt (1-0, 1 KO) versus Shirome Baltcher (0-1), of St. Paul, and Osseo super middleweight Caleb Truax, a recent graduate of the Unversity of Minnesota, making his pro debut against TBA. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets, reasonably priced at $25.00, $50.00, $100.00 and $250.00 (ringside), are available at the Target Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 651.989.5151.

For the first time in Minnesota boxing history the undercard will be shown live on the Internet at www.crystalclearsports.net.

Doors open at 6 PM/CT, first bout at 6:30 PM/CT. For more information call 612.673.1600 or go to www.targetcenter.com.

Article posted on 21.03.2007



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