Sept. 13 could turn out to be a defining night in the careers of two Edmonton fighters being featured on a pro-am card in Halifax.
Heavyweight Sheldon Hinton (4-5, 1 KO) will attempt to resuscitate his aspirations for a national ranking when he squares off with Winnipeg's Dana Swan (1-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder, while in an intriguing rematch from the national amateur championships of a couple of years ago, featherweight Omar Valdez (4-1, 1 KO) will face unbeaten Halifax favourite Tyson Cave (3-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder.
Last time they met, Cave won a razor-thin 13-12 decision, but Valdez has faced the tougher competition as a pro. An impressive victory next week would vault the flashy Edmontonian into contention for a Canadian title shot against unbeaten Olivier Lontchi of Montreal (13-0-1).
"Cave is a runner who likes to stay outside and just stick with the jab," Valdez said yesterday.
"I don't think he's going to have anything that will surprise me. When we fought as amateurs I dropped him twice, but he piled up the points with his jab. My training has been going great and my weight is right where it should be. The last five pounds (to lose) is all water."
Hinton, meanwhile, says his mindset is "the complete opposite" of what it was when he was KO'd in back-to-back fights with Vancouver's Paul Tyrl here in the spring.
"I had a lot of issues outside the ring that were messin' me up, but that's all behind me," said Hinton.
"This time I'm going in at 250, which is the weight I feel strongest at. I've been running more than usual, my wind is good, and I'll be ready. No excuses. I've never seen Swan before, but he's gonna get the best I've got."
QUICK JABS: Hamilton's Adam Rochon (0-2) has signed to fight unbeaten Edmonton super middleweight Jason de LaRonde (5-0) on the Sept. 28 Dangerous Ground undercard at the Shaw Conference Centre.