By John J. Raspanti
Professional boxing returns to Cache Creek Casino Resort Saturday, October 6 in an explosive way as heavy-handed lightweight Joel Diaz takes on determined veteran Miguel Angel Huerta in the main event.
Diaz (23-1, 19 KOs) of Glendale, CA carries maximum power in both fists. After a successful amateur career, Diaz turned pro at 18 and quickly made a name for himself, dispatching one opponent after another. Diaz was on the cusp of a title shot when he ran into Regis Prograis last year, suffering his first loss.
“After that fight I went back to my room and cried,” Diaz said during an interview on The Ringside Boxing Show last week. “It was unacceptable. I have to come back. There’s no way I could let my son down. I want to be a good example.”
Diaz returned to the gym with more motivation than ever.
“The loss made me find myself, “said Diaz. “I know what I’m capable of. I’m expecting Huerta to go all out.”
Huerta (28-15-1, 14 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the division. He’s strong and determined, and always comes to fight.
“If Team Diaz thinks this is going to be an easy fight for Diaz, they are making a big mistake. Huerta always is coming to fight, we gave him plenty of time to train and he should not be over looked.” said Paco Damian of Paco Presents Boxing, who is promoting with legendary matchmaker Don “War-a-week” Chargin.
Huerta’s resume includes duels against contenders Mike Alvarado, Mauricio Herrera, and Lydell Rhodes.
“I’m going to train so hard for this fight,” said Huerta. “Diaz better be ready. If I lose I’m going to retire. I don’t have in mind retiring yet.”
The co-main event will be for the Global Boxing Organization World Super Middleweight title featuring exciting crowd favorite Ryan “Rhino” Bourland (15-2, 5 KOs) who fights out of Vallejo, CA in a rematch with gutsy Jose Hernandez (19-4, 12 KOs) of Lancaster, CA. Their first fight six months ago was an exciting give-and-take affair, with both fighters landing serious leather.
Bourland insisted on a rematch.
“I wanted the fight,” Bourland said. “I was surprised by the loss. I thought I won.”
Bourland is never in a boring fight. His brawl with Cesar Ruiz at the Woodland Community Center in Woodland last year is still talked about. He’s prepared well and is ready to take it to Hernandez.
“I’ve never been more motivated,” said Bourland. “The fans can expect a great fight. They will get their money’s worth.”
“Rhino Bourland is a throwback of the old blood and guts fighters. Lots of action! Lots of thrills!
Hernandez is determined to prove his victory over Bourland last time wasn’t a fluke.
“We know it’s going to be tough,” said Hernandez. “I know he’s going to try like heck. We’re preparing for war.”
Also fighting Oct.6 is rising cruiserweight Blake Mckernan of Sacramento against Alfredo Contreras from Los Mochis, Mexico and talented featherweight prospect Ivan Vergara of Vacaville, CA.
Mckernan is undefeated in nine fights, scoring six knockouts. Mckernan is very intense and likes to rumble.
“Failure is not an option,” said Mckernan. “I’m going to overwhelm my opponent with speed, power, and beast-mode mentality. I plan on this fight being an early night as I’ll score a KO in the first or second round.”
Vergara, 21, has been impressive in all five of his victories with no defeats. Damian admits that he put the youngster in tough in his last fight. Vergara came through with flying colors.
“With Ivan’s every fight, I see improvement,” said Damian, who prides himself in following Chargin’s example of staging exciting and competitive fights.
“As my fights increase so will my competition,” said Vergara. “I’m constantly working on perfecting my craft. I’ll be going out October sixth and giving my all.”
Rounding out the card is exciting welterweight Rudy Macedo, and, up-and-comer middleweight Jesus Chavez of Vacaville, CA. Macedo originally from Montevideo, Uruguay has starched six of his seven opponents.
“I hope to excite everyone,” said Macedo. "I want to be fast and explosive in the fight. I like to move, use my legs as my defense, and throw lots of fast combinations.”
Tickets, start at $65 and are now available at CacheCreek.com, Tickets.com, and Pacopresentsboxing.com, or by calling Tickets.com at 1-800-225-2277.
Cache Creek Casino Resort is located at 14455 State Hwy 16 in Brooks, CA.