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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Friday Night Fights return to Spa City

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Friday Night Fights return to Spa City

ESPN Friday Night Fights returns to Saratoga Springs July 25

Local promoter, Lisa Elovich, once again will have the Spa City on its feet during the first week of racing with another ESPN Friday Night Fight card at the Saratoga Springs City Center July 25.

Former IBO middleweight champion Raymond Joval (37-4, 16 KOs) will face middleweight prospect James “Buddy” McGirt, Jr. (18-1, 9 KOs) in the 10-round main event of the annual “Night of Future Champions” summer boxing card.

The fight tops the annual card showcasing hot, young boxing prospects promoted by Pugnacious Promotions, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and DiBella Entertainment, during the first weekend of world-class thoroughbred racing at the city’s historic race course. Feature fights on the card – held on the first night of twilight racing the evening before the Breeder's Cup qualifier Whitney Stakes – will be televised on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”

Also appearing on the card are Saratoga Springs own heavyweight Gary Wilcox (21-3, 7 KOs), Newburgh heavyweight Nagy Aguilera (8-0, 6 KOs), Guilderland lightweight prospect Mike Faragon (3-0) and Schenectady light welterweight Brian Miller (2-0-2).

“I am happy to return high-level boxing to the Capital Region for our fourth annual Saratoga Springs show,” said Lisa Elovich promoter in the press release. “Boxing fans will enjoy a night of competitive feature bouts as well as an undercard filled with local up-and-coming prospects. Co-promoting with Star Boxing and DiBella Entertainment enables us to bring in fighters at a high, tv-quality level. There is no better place to have a show than in Saratoga during racing season and fans have been chomping at the bit to see another fight night with future champions”

Joval, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is a three-time middleweight titlist who has faced world-class competition in the ring for years. He beat Sam “The King” Soliman for the IBO Middleweight title and narrowly lost an IBF Middleweight title eliminator to the awkward Australian. He also lost a close decision to former world champion Fernando Vargas in 2005. Joval is trained by former world lightweight champion Tracy Patterson, son of boxing icon Floyd Patterson, in the Hudson Valley.

McGirt, Jr., Vero Beach, Fla., is a young, southpaw prospect trained by his father, Buddy McGirt, the former welterweight champion and high-profile cornerman of world champions including Arturo Gatti and Antonio Tarver. McGirt Jr. was undefeated at 18-0 before meeting the son of another former champion, Carlos DeLeon, in an April, ShoBox-televised fight. After five close rounds, Carlos DeLeon Jr. scored a mild upset when he came off the canvas in round six to stop McGirt Jr. in the seventh by way of two knockdowns.

Tickets and more information are available from Pugnacious Promotions, www.pugnaciouspromotions.com or 518-527-0160. Reserved tickets are $125 for Golden Ringside and $75 for Ringside. General Admission open seats are $40. VIP tables, including dinner catered by Brindisi’s and table service throughout the evening, also are available.

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