Steve (The Dragon) Claggett defends his title against (The Mighty) Tebor Brosch on April 3
Professional boxing is set to return to Calgary with an explosive lineup at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino on April 3.
The current Canadian welterweight champion and Calgarian, Steve (The Dragon) Claggett, has a record of 20 wins, 3 loses and 1 draw with 14 KOs. Claggett will be defending his title against (The Mighty) Tebor Brosch, whose professional record is 7-6-5 (2 KOs).
Brosch represents one of the toughest domestic challenges for Claggett to date.
This is Claggett's first fight since his loss by decision to Russian prospect Konstantin Ponomarev.
"I'm very proud of my performance against Ponomarev," said Claggett in an interview with fightfan.com. "I feel like the decision could have gone either way. Before I head back to the international stage, I need to take care of business here in Canada. I'm excited to be making my mandatory defense against Tebor. He's been in with the nation's best and is a former champ. His fights are always exciting, just like mine. Put us in a ring together and there will be fireworks! I think this could be one of the best fights Calgary has seen in a while."
UFC veteran and pro boxer Nick Ring (4-2-0, 2 KOs) is slated to take on undefeated Elvis Vukaj (2-0-0) in a six round battle.
Vukaj startled everyone when he won his second fight in a split decision against Gary Kopas in 2014. It was unusual for such an inexperienced boxer to fight in a six round bout so early in his career and winning by split decision was unexpected.
Ring is sure to be a good test for the prospect Vukaj.
On the same card, Calgary's own Jordan (The Hitman) Smith (2-0-1, 1 KO) is set to take on Edmonton's Rob Nichols (6-2-1, 4 KOs). The winner of this bout will get a shot at the Canadian cruiserweight championship title.
According to Smith's coach and trainer, Eric de Guzman, Nichols represents a big challenge for Smith.
"Nichols has title fight experience, so this is a big step up in competition for Jordan," said de Guzman.
Smith said he's ready for whatever Bush Nichols brings to the table.
"This is the opportunity I've been waiting for. I'm not going to pass it up and I'm not going to take it lightly," said Smith. "Whoever is in my way, I'm definitely training to chew through them."
Smith said he's looking forward to the opportunity at the cruiserweight title, but he's focused on his upcoming bout.
Smith and Claggett aren't the only ones on the card with something to lose. Roxie (The Ram) Lam is also set to defend his flawless 4-0-0 (3 KOs) record against an opponent who is yet to be announced.
This is the first fight series of 2015, the last series being held in November of 2014, but boxing in Calgary goes back much further than that.
Boxing has strong roots in Calgary and in Alberta. This province has been home to some amazing fights and some amazing fighters.
Take a look through the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and you'll find names like Robbie Carrington, who won 48 out of his 50 fights from 1927 to 1936 in the 90 lb. and the 147 lb. divisions and Johnny Smith, who won eight titles in six weight classes from 1924 to 1931.
And of course, Calgary was home to some electrifying matches as well, such as the tragic bout between Luther McCarty and Arthur Pelkey on May 24, 1913. McCarty was dubbed the world white heavyweight champion (back when boxing was segregated into leagues divided by race) and was set to be a contender against boxing legend Jack Johnson, the world's first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.
McCarty collapsed after suffering a blow to the ribs by Pelkey. He was pronounced dead in the ring. The cause of death was later deemed to be a cerebral hemorrhage and Pelkey's involvement was deemed coincidental, not the direct cause of McCarty's death.
With some of the best fighters Canada has to offer all on one card, the upcoming fight night promises to continue Calgary's tradition of explosive boxing matches.
The Teofista boxing series is set to kick off Friday April 3, at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino. Tickets are available through Ticketzone.com and start at $60.
Editor's note: This is an updated story. The original story stated Jordan Smith was going to compete against Connor Bush. Due to an injury the fight card has changed.
- By TYLER KLINKHAMMER