Ballpark ideal venue to showcase Jelena

MURRAY GREIG -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

Now that KO Boxing Promotions has struck a deal with SportsNet to televise Jelena Mrdjenovich's fights on tape delay, finding worthy opponents for Edmonton's double world champ has become a top priority -- especially if live telecasts become an option down the road.

Because she's moving up in weight, Mrdjenovich (21-1-1, 11 KOs) won't be risking either of her titles (WBC super featherweight, WIBF lightweight) when she fights Layla McCarter (28-13-5, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas for the third time on March 28 at the Shaw Conference Centre.

But should she win and capture McCarter's WBA lightweight crown, it opens up the intriguing possibility of an all-Canadian title unification for three world lightweight belts this summer.

And what better place for national television to showcase Canada's top female fighter than Telus Field? Wouldn't an outdoor card in front of a packed house would be a great way to celebrate Canada Day?

Hey, if an over-the-hill and out-of-shape Donny Lalonde could sell out the CanWest-Global ballpark in Winnipeg for a comeback fight a few years ago, why couldn't a prime Mrdjenovich do the same here?

The logical opponent for her would be IWBF champ Jamie Clampitt of Calgary, who fights out of Pawtucket, R.I. She owns a record of 18-4-1 and is slated to defend against Belinda Laracuente (23-21-9) on March 14.

Another possible opponent for Mrdjenovich is Hamilton's Jessica Rakoczy, who beat McCarter four years ago. She improved to 28-3 with a win over Laracuente last month and is now the division's No. 1-ranked contender.

ADMIRABLE AUDACITY

Speaking of KO Boxing, you have to give president and frontman Glen Carriere an 'A' for audacity. He showed a lot of chutzpah last week when he sprang from his ringside seat at Big Bang Boxing's show at The Palace banquet hall and managed to get the signatures of heavyweights Sheldon Hinton and Peewee Flint on a hastily-scrawled rematch contract within minutes of them leaving the ring after a controversial four-round draw.

In the best tradition of Don King, Carriere pounced on the opportunity to shmooze both battlers -- even before they had a chance to hit the showers.

Hinton was justifiably fuming about the 38-38 verdict rendered by the judges, which bounced his record to 6-5-1. After twice wobbling Flint with thunderous body shots, the Edmontonian figured he won three of the four rounds rather handily.

The Sun Media scorecard agreed.

The laconic Flint, however, didn't take the bait. Not at first, anyway. When pressed about a rematch, the Nova Scotian replied: "No way, man. Sheldon's too big and strong. I don't want no part of him again."

A couple of minutes later, Flint (10-12-2) relented and affixed his signature to an agreement that Carriere had scribbled on the back of a bout sheet.

The deal called for a rematch on the undercard of the March 28 show -- but Carriere was beaten to the punch.It turns out that Flint has a prior engagement: March 17, when he's signed to fight Calgary cruiserweight Nick Ring on a Bowmont Boxing promotion in Cowtown.

Since Canadian Boxing Federation rules stipulate a two-week break between fights, he can't accommodate Hinton on Carriere's card.

Hinton, meanwhile, is still slated to fight March 28. His opponent, along with one for debuting Edmonton heavyweight Nick Penner, will be announced next week.


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