Professional boxing returns to the DECC on Saturday, May 7th
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center stages it's first professional card in more than a decade at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the DECC Arena.
"Truth in Duluth" will include five professional boxing matches, including the main event with Minnesota Light Heavyweight Champion "Jungle Boy" Zach Walters (10-1, 9 KOs) vs. "Iron Jaw" Jesse Sanders (11-2, 10 KOs) in an eight round bout. Walters, from Madagascar, is currently a University of Minnesota-Duluth student whose rise in the professional ranks has resulted in his most recent fight being featured on a Fox Sports Net broadcast.
"Boxing fans remember the early 90's when future heavyweight champion Michael Moorer and renowned trainer Emmanuel Steward were in the DECC's boxing ring, and when world heavyweight champion James 'Buster' Douglas appeared here two weeks after knocking out Mike Tyson in Japan," said Dan Russell, DECC executive director. "With 'Truth in Duluth,' were getting back into professional boxing in a big way, with 30 exciting rounds on the card.."
Along with the main event will be these four bouts:
- Raphael Butler vs. Travis Fulton in a six-round heavyweight match. Butler is a former National Gold Gloves champion whose pro record is 10-0, 8 by knockout. Fulton is best known for his participation in the Ultimate Fighting Championship series.
- Andy "Kaos" Kolle vs. Brian Fulton in a six-round middleweight match pitting fighters with undefeated professional records. Kolle, who attends North Dakota State University in Fargo, is a three-time, four-state champion.
- Undefeated Scott "Bad News" Ball (4-0) vs. Kane Pudwill (5-7) in a six-round welterweight match. Ball is a three-time Upper Midwest champion.
- Rob Adamson vs. Ben "Show Stopper" Dayee in a four-round junior middleweight match. Both men have 3-0 records. Dayee hails from Liberia via New York City and now trains out of Brunette's Boxing in St. Paul.
The Main Event will be of interest for more reasons than one of it's combatents being from Duluth. First, Walters and Sanders are both powerful punchers, with 19 knockouts among their combined 21 wins. Second, Walters is being trained by former two-time world champion James "Buddy" McGirt, whose professional record was 73-6-1 (48 KOs).
McGirt, who also trains Arturo Gatti and Antonio Tarver, recently said this about Walters: "With his attitude and his work ethic, I think he can become a world champion in time. If I can be a part of this and help him, I'd be more than happy to."
On April 9, Walters will fly to Vero Beach, Florida to train for two weeks with McGirt. On April 26, Walters will return to Duluth to train with Chuck Horton at Horton's Gym, which has put together the five-bout card at the DECC.
Tickets are $12 for general admission, $25 for reserved floor seating, $50 for ringside, and $100 for VIP front row. Tickets go onsale at noon Thursday, April 7, and may be purchased in person at the DECC box office, or by calling either the DECC ticket office at 218-727-4344 or Ticketmaster at 218-727-2121 or by logging on to Ticketmaster.com.
"General admission is all the seats off the floor that are used for hockey games, so even for $12 you'll be very close to the action," said Russell.
Event sponsers are 95 KQDS radio and the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Downtown Waterfront. The Holiday Inn, where the boxers will be staying, is offering special Truth in Duluth rates. For information, call 1-800-477-7009.