The atmosphere is electric, the tension palpable and the first time you hear Lupe Contreras say, “It’s time to see who’s mas macho!” Jimmy Lennon Jr say, “It’s Showtime,” or Michael Buffer with his signature “Let’s get ready to rumble!” you’ll get immediately hooked into this world of the professional pugilist.
There is nothing like sitting ringside at a professional fight, nothing. The lights, the buzz of activity all around, flags waving, beer flowing, celebrity sightings and tens of thousands of people clamoring and shouting for their favorite fighter.
Meanwhile, inside the ring, there are just two people. I’ve heard from fighter friends of mine that inside the ring, the center of the chaotic frenzy, it can be eerily silent as they stand toe to toe with the opponent.
What you may not know about me (Austinot Eric) is that I’ve been helping to promote professional boxing matches in Texas for over 10 years now. I’ve worked with some great fighters and promoters to put on some world class shows, so I have a little insight into what happens behind the scenes.
You also may not know that professional boxing of this magnitude is all over the great State of Texas.
Recently, I was at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX for the Top Rank Boxing, Live on HBO PPV, WBC middleweight championship of the world. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KOs) defended his title in a twelve-round unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Rubio (53-6-1, 47 KOs).
But it wasn’t the only fight that night. On television, you usually only get two or sometimes three fights. But at the live event, there are usually several under-card fights that are never televised. This is one of the reasons I suggest you take a shot and check out a live event.
Under-card fighters are exciting to watch. They’re hungry to be noticed by the decision makers who have the power to make their career dreams come true. There is nothing like a good under-card fight.
One fighter who stood out at the Alamodome was 115 3/4 pound Adam Lopez, who made his pro debut in front of Top Rank Boxing’s Bob Arum and 14,120 of his closest friends. Not a bad way to make a debut, huh?
Trained by the incomparable Ronnie Shields, Adam put on a showcase that brought the crowd to their feet by taking out his opponent with devastating left hooks that took his opponent to the canvas twice, followed by a flurry of powerful punches that forced the ref to bring a stop to the fight at 2:11 of round one.
There are so many people behind the scenes in boxing. Names boxing fans would recognize, people like Bob Arum, Freddie Roach, Bruce Trampler, Wayne Harrison and Ronnie Shields.
But if you are a boxing fan in the State of Texas, there is one name that you should get to know. That name is Lester Bedford.
Let me just tell you that no fight worth watching in Texas happens without Lester being involved. He is the one person who the top promoters like Bob Arum go to when they want a fight done right.
So if you are ever in the mood to see a world class fight, just let me know. I’m sure there is one just around the corner and believe me when I tell you, if you’ve never done it, add it to your bucket list. You won’t regret it.