Fight Night re­turns to the Falls

Box­ing at Sco­tia­bank Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on June 2

The Welland Tribune - - Front Page - JOHN LAW

It may have took a stand­ing eight count, but pro­fes­sional box­ing will re­turn to Ni­a­gara Falls next month.

A main event fea­tur­ing NABA Wel­ter­weight cham­pion Sa­muel Var­gas (29-3-1) and Ar­gen­tine challenger Max­i­m­il­iano Godoy (30-3) will an­chor a night of eight fights at Sco­tia­bank Con­ven­tion Cen­tre June 2.

It’ll be the first Ni­a­gara Falls show pre­sented by Toronto-based Lee Bax­ter Pro­duc­tions, and will fea­ture highly-touted Ni­a­gara Falls wel­ter­weight Josh Lu­pia on the un­der­card.

“This is your fu­ture star, from Ni­a­gara Falls,” said Bax­ter dur­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day.

Lu­pia’s op­po­nent hasn’t been named yet for the quickly as­sem­bled event, but he’s con­fi­dent against any­one thrown at him. It will be his third pro­fes­sional fight.

“I’m ready for any­thing right now.” The bouts will take place in the con­ven­tion cen­tre’s 1,000-seat theatre on the same week­end as the Ni­a­gara Falls Comic Con.

Bax­ter, a for­mer man­ager, says af­ter nu­mer­ous “hur­dles” try­ing to bring fight cards to Toronto, he saw a “sweet spot” in Ni­a­gara Falls.

“It’s like any­thing, once you start build­ing a plat­form for (fight­ers) to

see where they can take their ca­reers, there’s go­ing to be a stronger at­tach­ment to it,” he says.

Bax­ter is the sec­ond pro­moter to test the Ni­a­gara Falls wa­ters in two years. Last year saw two fight cards at the con­ven­tion cen­tre put on by Les Wood’s Global Legacy Box­ing, but there have been no fur­ther events since De­cem­ber’s Thun­der at the Falls.

“We have dif­fer­ent agen­das,” says Bax­ter. “Les cen­tres more on events, I cen­tre more on fight­ers.”

The June 2 card will also fea­ture bouts with Mor­gan Hughes, Ross Mylet and fe­male fighter Natalie Brown of Oakville.

A 20-year vet­eran of the ring, Brown will take on fast-ris­ing Cana­dian fighter Jes­sica Ca­mara.

“She wants to re­tire me,” she says, “and I want to teach her a les­son.”

The Cana­dian-Colom­bian Var­gas, who has had tough bouts with the likes of Danny Gar­cia and Er­rol Spence Jr., will de­fend his NABA Wel­ter­weight belt for the fifth time.

He’s the big­gest name in Bax­ter’s sta­ble so far, and he in­tends on groom­ing more.

“You need to build stars,” he says.

“Stars build fans, fans sell tick­ets. With­out build­ing stars, it’s no dif­fer­ent than an­other party with a box­ing ring in the mid­dle.”

Ticket range from $70 to $300. www.lee­bax­ter­pro­mo­tions.com

JULIE JOCSAK THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Box­ers Natalie Brown and Sa­muel Var­gas help to pro­mote a cham­pi­onship box­ing match that will take place in June at Sco­tia­bank Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Ni­a­gara Falls.

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