Injuries force postponement of Massacre

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

The Massacre has been postponed on account of pain.

The second pro card from newly minted PrimeTime Promotions, which had been slated for Feb. 13 at The Palace banquet centre, will now take place later this spring, according to heavyweight headliner and co-promoter Sheldon Hinton.

"We were all set to go with The Massacre, six bouts, Edmonton vs. Mexico, but then I got a little banged up in training and so did Omar (Valdez), who was going to fight the semi-main event," Hinton said yesterday at the Beverly Bronx Gym.

"We could've just moved it back a couple of weeks, but we didn't want to take any of the shine off the national junior championships at West Edmonton Mall (Feb. 24-28). Folks have to be a little more careful these days about where they're spending their money, and we didn't want to clash with another big boxing event in the city. Our philosophy is live and let live."

The postponement could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for five-time national amateur champ Arash Usmanee of Red Deer, who is expected to sign a promotional contract with PrimeTime and make his punch-for-pay debut on the rescheduled show. The 27-year-old, who plans to campaign as a featherweight in the pro ranks, compiled a stellar 130-20 amateur record and won gold at two Ringside world championships and the 15-nation Festival Olympica Mexicana.

"Arash is the kind of kid we want to work with long-term," said Hinton. "He's had tremendous success in the amateur ranks, but he's got a high-tempo, unorthodox style that's perfectly suited for pro boxing. I think adding him to our stable underlines our commitment to taking Alberta pro boxing to the next level."

DOUBLE DOSE OF SOUTHPAWS

Tomorrow offers a rare treat for Canadian fight fans, with two national networks stepping up with live coverage of a pair of intriguing main events at the opposite ends of the weigh scale.

At noon, TSN is airing the 12-round heavyweight elimination bout in Rostock, Germany between unbeaten WBA "champion in recess" Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekestan (24-0-1, 17 KOs) and No. 9-ranked Carl Drumond of Costa Rica (26-0, 20 KOs). At 7 p.m., Super Channel will have the 12-round WBA, WBC and IBF super flyweight title bout between champion Vic Darchinyan of Armenia (31-1-1, 25 KOs) and Mexico's Jorge Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs) from The Pond in Anaheim, Calif.

Besides the fact these guys are all KO artists, what's particularly appealing is that both titleholders are southpaws. While it's true that styles make fights, "style" is not usually a term associated with left-handed punchers. Both Chagaev and Darchinyan are wade-in brawlers who don't mind taking three to land two, so it's a safe bet that neither bout will go the distance.

For my money, Chagaev is the heavyweight division's best hope of usurping either or both of the Klitschko brothers, but due to injuries this is his first fight in a year and only his second since winning the WBA belt with a decision over seven-foot-one Russian giant Nikolai Valuev in 2007.

"Knocking out Drumond is the first step on my road to unifying all the titles," Chagaev said at this week's final pre-fight media conference. "After my injury break - the long rehab, strength training and many, many sessions without a break - I'm glad to return to the ring to begin this plan."

TSN's coverage of Chagaev-Drumond will also include the WBA light welterweight title clash between champion Andreas Kotelnik (30-2-1, 13 KOs) and unbeaten Marcos Maidana of Argentina (25-0, 24 KOs).

The featured prelim will showcase Russian heavyweight prospect Debs Boytsov (23-0, 18 KOs) against Israel Garcia (19-2, 11 KOs).


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