Boxing


Biggest fight in years for a Minnesota fighter!

By Paul Strauss: Minnesota's blue collar boxers and trainers have been trudging away for years, hoping to break through the barriers to the upper echelon of the boxing world. Their recent history has been a tough one, because when presented with few opportunities to break down a barrier or two, they've come up short. The problem with defeat is it's contagious. It's like the line from the movie "The Natural". Remember when the psychologist told the team, "Losing is a disease"! Well, the cure might be on the horizon, and the shot in the arm could be Jason Litzau. According to ESPN and BOXREC, Jason "The American Boy" Litzau will be fighting Celestino "Pelechin" Caballero on Nov. 27th at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV. Their fight will be the lead up to the Juan Manuel Marquez versus Michael Katsidis headliner..

Boxing fans eagerly await the matchup, because they see in Caballero one of boxing best P4P boxing has to offer, and they know Jason is no slouch either. In fact, The American Boy is one helluva fighter, and might just be the medicine Minnesota boxing needs. This fight just might be on par with the main event.

For quite some time, Minnesota's fight game has been, as the psychologist suggested, a bit under the weather, Several fighters have knicked the edges of the upper grade, only to come up short. To make matters worse, those opportunities are few and far between. Big time promoters tend to be like coaches looking over their rosters for a potential starting lineup. When they get to Minnesota fighters, they tend to dismiss them because they look at recent history and feel the Northstar State's best are not quite 100%. Certainly the desire it there. The toughness is there, but the fighters haven't had a long enough or big enough dose of antibiotics (experience) needed to wipe out the "losing disease" and "be in the pink".

Meanwhile, long time trainers like Bob Van Syckle, Ron Lyke, Chuck Horton, Ron Peterson, Chuck & Pete Daskiewicz, Johnny Johnson, Dan O'Connor, Sankara Frazier, along with Seconds Out Promotions CEO/Presiden Tony Grygelko act as the caregivers. They keep plugging away, trying to ward off the contagion, administering needed instructions, guidance, and encouragement to those in their charge. Often times they're frustrated because they can't get their fighters the medicine they need, which is good fights. The symptoms of the "disease" are many, such as low grade temps (attendance), sore throats (lack of advertising funds), aches and pains (stronger amatuer program), and stuffed up heads (frustration when repeated attemps to improve come up short.)

When fighters can't get fights, they lose interest. Local promoters like Grygelko keep plugging away, trying to line up good shows, but it takes a lot of effort, cooperation and money to get and keep things rolling. The whole system first starts with a good amatuer program that nutures and developes those stars of tomorrow. It's tough to compete with densely populated areas like N.Y., Chicago, Philadephia, etc. It's simply a matter of numbers. But, Minnesota's loyal adherents keep the faith, and come November 27th, they might be rewarded. Let's hope so.

A Litzau victory would boost hometown pride immeasurably, and help a lot of Minnesota fighters like, Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell, Matt "The Predator" Vanda, Andy "Kaos" Kolle, Caleb "Golden" Truax, to name a few. It would bring respectability to the amatuer and professional programs. It would provide much needed attention and publicity to the whole operation, and hopefully knock done some of those barriers to more big fights. Often times one thing is linked to another, and hopefully in Minnesota's case, a Litzau victory would spark greater interest at all levels, not to mention the fact that a victory will most certainly mean another big fight for Jason and even greater recognition.

The fight itself promises to be a very good one. Both men are excellent fighters, and both are very big for the featherweight or junior lightweight classes. Caballero might have a slight height advantage, but will fall about an inch short in the reach department. More important, in Minnesota fight fans' minds, is the fact that Litzau is the naturally bigger fighter. His first fight was at 130 lbs., and if you check over the former junior featherweight title holder's record, you will find Caballero fought much of his career at the super bantam weight level, so he is moving up in weight.

Both of these guys know how to box and both like to mix it up. They're both tough, and they know the less than polite, but nonetheless artful tricks of the game, which they will use if necessary. Undoubtedly, it will become necessary. The fight promises to be action packed. They will be letting go from the opening bell. As previously mentioned, both fighters have enjoyed physical advantages over many of their past opponents, but that fact is truer with Caballero, which causes Litzau's fans to believe Caballero will quickly find out that he cannot safely muscle out of trouble by simply extending his left elbow, or stiff arm against Jason, as he has done so many times with past opponents. Litzau fans also believe Caballero will soon discover that his punches won't have the same effect on the bigger Litzau, and the reverse will be true for Jason. And, for the first time in Caballero's career, fans believe "Pelechin" might find it difficult to deal with a good jab.

In Caballero's case, suffice it to say that he is one of the best P4P boxers in the world. He can do it all, and do it well. Litzau will be the underdog, and he will be wise to understand that fact. He will need to force himself to exercise appropriate caution and wait for opportunities to present themselves. He cannot underestimate Celestino. He must fight smart, and cannot foolishly be worried about impressing fans with his toughness and crowd pleasing style. Fans have already seen that Jason, and now they want to see the upper echelon fighter they believe he has become. They want to see Jason exhibit the lessons of the sweet science he has learned, and they want to see him do it for the entire fight. They understand with the caliber of opponent Caballero presents, Jason cannot let up or lose focus for a moment. If he can do that, he will be just what the doctor ordered!

Article posted on 24.09.2010



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