Boxing


Bonsante-Vanda winner in line for Duddy title shot

MINNEAPOLIS (January 7, 2007) - Much more than bragging rights and regional title belts will be on the line Friday night (Jan. 12) when Minnesota middleweight champion Anthony "The Bullet" Bonsante fights Minnesota archrival Matt "The Predator" Vanda, headlining "Bad Blood" in the 10-round main event for the state title and vacant IBA Americas championship, at the Target Center in Minneapolis..

The winner will move to the head of the line to challenge IBA World middleweight title-holder "Ireland's" John Duddy (18-0, 15 KOs) on March 16 in the marquee fight live on pay-per-view from The Theatre in New York City's famed Madison Square Garden. Duddy's promoter, Irish Ropes president Eddie McLoughlin, and head trainer Harry Keitt will be at ringside scouting Bonstante-Vanda.

"Bad Blood," presented by former Minnesota boxer Tony Grygelko's Seconds Out Promotions, in association with the Target Center, cannot break the state record for attendance at a boxing show - 13,789 for Scott LeDoux (chairman of the new Minnesota Boxing Commission) vs. Duane Bobick, June 26, 1976 at the Metropolitan Sports Arena in Bloomington - because the Target Center has been scaled down to approximately 10,000 seats. It could, however, exceed attendance for the heavyweight title fight between champion Larry Holmes and LeDoux (nearly 10,000 on July 7, 1980) and LeDoux-Rodney Bobick (9,122 on April 24, 1973), both at the Old Met.

Bonsante-Vanda is the draw. Minnesota boxing fans have been waiting most of the 21st century for this showdown to finally become a reality. The Contender Season One star Bonsante (28-3-3, 17 KOs), of Shakopee and IBA Americas light middleweight title-holder Vanda (35-2, 21 KOs), fighting out of St. Paul, have both expressed interest in fighting Duddy.

"After I beat Vanda," Bonsante said, "I'll be the IBA Americas champ. John Duddy's the IBA World middleweight champion. He doesn't have an opponent for his March 16th fight in New York City. Duddy and me is a natural match."

"I don't think there's anything special about Duddy," Vanda remarked. "He's a tough dude. I had a bad fight in New York City and he said I was schooled. But he didn't see the real 'Predator' that fight."

On the Minnesota all-star card, expertly put together by nationally known matchmaker John Beninati, heavyweight prospect Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell (9-1, 9 KOs) fights Larry White (3-2, 2 KOs) and Rochester's talented Raphael Butler (23-3, 19 KOs), 2004 National Golden Gloves champion, takes on former CAM heavyweight champ Louis "The Facelifter" Monaco (15-34-4, 7 KOs), in a pair of six-round bouts.

Minnesota State featherweight champion Allen "The American Boy" Litzau (11-2, 6 KOs), of St. Paul, meets Elvis "El Burrito" Martinez (10-19-2, 4 KOs) in a six-round, non-title match. St. Louis Park's undefeated featherweight Wilton Hilario (6-0, 6 KOs) steps up against former world champion Juan Polo Perez (46-44-4, 23 KOs) in another six rounder.

St. Paul welterweight Raul "The Matador" Gracia (6-0, 2 KOs) faces LaMont Ingram (2-1-1, 1 KO) in another six-round fight. Also fighting on the undercard is Minnesota middleweight Kenny "K.O." Kost (10-2, 6 KOs), of Centerville, against Jason Quick (4-3-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round match. St. Paul junior middleweight Jon Laboda is scheduled to make his pro debut against an opponent to be determined. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets, reasonably priced at $25.00, $50.00 and $100.00, are available at the Target Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 651.989.5151. VIP tables also are available for $200.00 and $250.00.

Doors open at 6 PM, first bout at 7 PM. For more information call 612.673,1600 or go to www.targetcenter.com.

Article posted on 08.01.2007



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