By Louie Burke
Last weeks National PAL’s were somewhat of a roller coaster ride, with Las Cruces PAL, winning all of their opening bouts, Ayana Vasquez and Siju Shabazz advanced to the finals, Ayana in a division above her regular fighting weight and Siju with an injured shoulder and elbow. Actually we were debating allowing Siju to enter the tournament because of the nagging shoulder pain. But Siju’s a tough soldier and figured he could still win the PAL’s. He lost a very close decision in the finals which was a big disappointment for him, but leaves us at PaL proud of him. Another person to be proud of was Ayana also losing a close decision in the finals. All in all it was a good trip and everyone gave their best effort.
Two more big disappointments were the cancellation of Abie Han’s fight in Korea and Ricky Vasquez fight against Saul Palacios on next Fridays card in El Paso. Nacho Huizar, with KO entertainment, made the arrangements for Abie to fight on a promotion coinciding with the WBC convention in Korea, notified us that the whole show had been cancelled, he didn’t know why, just one of those crazy things that happens in boxing. Then we were told by John Martino with Zeferino Promotions that Ricky’s fight had been nixed due to Palacios camp not wanting to sell tickets for their purse. It was a shame since Ricky had ticket requests that would have tripled the purse he was getting. Ricky was really looking forward to getting back in the ring and was especially anxious for that specific fight to happen. Hopefully something will happen for these guys in the near future.
Also to clear matters up, Abie is not calling Lucas Galle or anyone out, what happened is that when Abie’s fight was canceled I had read that there might be an opening on the Sky City card. Since Abie had been training for Korea I tossed his name in the hat, hoping we could get a fight with anybody, so as not to waste the weeks of perpetration he had put in for Korea. If they had room for us on the card it would have been great, but they didn’t, and that was that.
Lil Sammy according to big Sam is "on fire" and looking as good as he ever has, mixing speed and power without missing a beat. I held the punch mitts for him two weeks ago and he is cracking with authority. It appears that the rest due to a rotator cuff injury might have done him some good. He’s anxious and hungry to get back into the ring and has had some great preparation for this fight making regular trips to El Paso to spar with Ceasar and Oscar Valenzuala. Also helping Sammy for this fight is Lorenzo Estrada, who’s preparing for a tough fight himself against top prospect Brandon Rios and of course PAL stablemate Ricky Vasquez, who was getting ready for the Palacios fight on the same card as Sammy.
Super great news came in last week!! Austin Trout rated #2 in the world by the WBA! The fight in Panama was a tough one but Austin is now reaping the benefits of the win. It’s all sweet, but we don’t have any time to savor it right now. Austin is working very hard for his fight against Taronze Washington, Nov., 5th in Dallas. This will be for the WBC Continental of Americas belt. A win should get him sitting nicely in the BC ratings. At this time we do have something tentatively planned in December. At this time Daniel Santos the WBA champion is taking on Yori Foreman for the title next month. So we’ll have to see what happens there. We’ve been blessed by opportunity this year and Austin has stepped up to the plate every time, taking on some tough foe’s in their backyards. We expect huge things to happen next year!
We also have a welcomed addition to the PAL stable, lightheavy, Michael Brooks, who’s been sparring with Austin, Siju and Abie and coming along very well in his training. He will be well prepared for his December fight in ‘burque.
Saturday night was a treat, I went down and helped corner some of my firefighter buddies in the Rumble in Rio. It was a good time and great competition against law enforcement and firefighters to raise money for Christmas bikes for needy kids. Everyone should check it out next year and help support this good cause. Keep up the good work fella’s.
Thanks for the support,