Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bedford fighter ready for more

Jeff Gilbert

Gilbert is the sports editor for The Roanoke Times

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Professional boxing cards are popping up all over Virginia, and the Lynchburg City Armory will be the site of a six-bout card on April 11.

When promoter Joe Hensley of Major League Boxing needed a main event, he turned to one of his own fighters because he knew his choice of Scott "Cujo" Sigmon would help sell tickets.

Sigmon is a light heavyweight from Bedford who has developed a following with his energy in the ring and his ability to promote himself outside the ring.

"Scott is a good drawing card," Hensley said. "He's already moved a couple hundred himself that he's sold out of his hand."

Sigmon (5-1) is coming off a second-round TKO against Frankie Filippone on March 7 at Fluvanna High School. Sigmon's opponent in Lynchburg will be Toris Brewer (14-2) of South Carolina in an eight-round light heavyweight bout. Sigmon said earlier this year that he wanted to fight Brewer and expose Brewer's record as a product of weak opponents.

"Scott's a charismatic guy and quite a talker," Hensley said. "I think Brewer is a far better fighter than Scott thinks he is. Toris Brewer is a pretty good fighter, so we'll see if Scott can beat him and get to where he wants to go."

Roanoke fighters David Hopkins, David Novia and Dwayne Davis will also be fighting in Lynchburg.

Hopkins (1-0) hasn't fought since he won his debut in Salem last August. Trainer and manager Maynard Quesenberry said that has been by design because of Hopkins getting used to a new job and moving into a new home. Hopkins will fight David Derby (0-1) from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Derby has a mixed martial arts background.

"I didn't want [Hopkins] to fight unless he was 100 percent ready, and he is 100 percent right now," Quesenberry said. "I think he's better now than he was in August. He's doing things now that he didn't realize he could do."

Davis is a newcomer to Roanoke from Pleasantville, N.J., who lost his only pro fight a year ago to Rondu Campbell in Atlantic City. Campbell (2-1-1) was a veteran of 256 amateur fights. Davis scored a knockdown in that fight.

"He's a technical fighter and he's got a great right hand," said manager Rick Hawkins, who is high on Davis' potential. "He hits real hard. He's just a natural."

Davis will fight Richard Grant (1-2) of Palm Bay, Fla., in a four-round middleweight bout.

Novia (0-2), another of Hawkins' fighters, will battle Christian Brinkerhoff of Richmond in a four-round light middleweight fight.

Hensley said this will be Brinkerhoff's first fight in about 15 years. He said Brinkerhoff fought previously in California and had a 7-2 record.

Hensley has two more fighters on the card that he manages. Light middleweight George Rivera (10-4) of Charlottesville will take on Michael Corleone (11-23) of North Bellmore, N.Y. Rivera was supposed to fight Rodney Green of North Carolina in a rematch, but Green backed out because of an injured hand. Rivera beat Green on a split decision in Staunton in January. Corleone is 39 and hasn't fought since 2005.

Hensley's other fighter is cruiserweight Juan Carlos Robles (12-2) of Waynesboro. Robles will fight Pearl Dotson (7-2) of Huntington, W.Va. Dotson's last fight was in 2007.

Tickets are on sale at www.MajorLeagueBoxing.com and range from $25 to $55 in advance. Tickets at the door will be $10 more. Tickets are also on sale in Lynchburg at the Jamerson YMCA and at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wards Road.

The fights can also be viewed live on the Internet for $4.99 at www.MajorLeagueBoxing.com.

Gator gym still looking for a new home

Roanoke's Gator Boxing Gym is still looking for a new home, and Quesenberry, one of the club's trainers, is hopeful that Branch and Associates can help them find a suitable place.

Gator's rent at the Salem-Roanoke Plaza was raised from $350 to $1,000 in February.

Dr. Ali Hijasi, who works out at Gator, helped Gator pay the rent. Gator's rent has now been lowered to $750, and Quesenberry said they might stay another month or two.

Branch is looking into some of the property it owns on U.S. 460 East and at a location near Towers Mall that would be affordable for Gator. Quesenberry prefers the Towers location, but he said a special use permit would be required.

"The biggest reason they're doing that is because Mike Branch's daughter worked out at the gym, and he liked what it did for her," Quesenberry said.

Golden Gloves this weekend in Virginia Beach

Champs Gym in Northwest Roanoke will take seven fighters to this weekend's Virginia-North Carolina Golden Gloves competition in Virginia Beach. Gym operator Victor Banks said it's the most the gym has taken to the state amateur event.

Nick Viar at 141 pounds is the only Champs boxer who will box in the open division. Viar was runner-up two years ago in the novice division.

Novice fighters from Champs who will be competing are Alberto Delgado (164), Antoine Cook (178), Frank Jones (super heavyweight), Josh Brown (141), Prentist Cabbler Jr. (heavyweight) and Jonathan Hines (125). Delgado reached the semifinals of the USA Boxing state competition in November in Richmond. Brown has had three amateur fights, and the others are making their debuts.

Chris Lamprea of Blacksburg will represent Gator at the tournament at 141 in the novice division. Lamprea is a Virginia Tech graduate who won the USA Boxing state novice title in November.

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