Old-time boxing geared for new Ontario boxing fans Vargas-Plaitis headlines Feb. 11 show in Mississauga
TORONTO – Old-time boxing returns Saturday night, February 11 to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario as unbeaten welterweight Samuel Vargas and dangerous Manolis Plaitis headline a competitive, entertaining card presented by United Promotions in association with Hennessy Sports.
The Feb. 11 show kicks-off the third season of boxing at Hershey Centre for United Promotions, which is comprised of three Ontario boxing promoters – Don MacDonald, Adam Harris (Hennessy Sports) and Tyler Buxton (Buxton Promotions).
“We are promoting boxing in Mississauga, only a 10-minute drive from Toronto, as a united team rather than individuals and it’s been a perfect business relationship,” MacDonald explained. “We have more professional boxers and fans than ever before in Ontario. What we’ve accomplished in two years, well, give us two more and Ontario will exceed boxing in Montreal. We’re changing attitudes and building a new fan base. We’re building our product by real promoting. You’ll never see an 8-0 guy fighting somebody 5-10.
“We’re also building an awareness of our fighters and shows in the community. Kids are coming to our shows and leaving saying they want to fight. That’s how Logan Cotton McGuinness got interested. Our last show had 5260 people including 78 tables of corporations, groups and individuals, 10 to a table, who paid anywhere from $2000 to $8000. We’ve been grinding it out and now ticket sales offset our costs. We have four more shows scheduled there this year. The Ontario boxing scene is exploding.”
Vargas (8-0-1, 2 KOs), a native of Colombia living in Mississauga, is coming off of the 2011 Canadian Fight of the Year, in which he battled last October at home with Quebec arch-rival Ahmad Cheikho, who was unable to continue fighting after five of the scheduled 10 rounds. Samuel’s opponent Feb. 11 in the 10-round main event will be Quebec welterweight Manolis Plaitis (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a former Canadian light welterweight champion, extending the Ontario-Quebec provincial boxing rivalry.
“Vargas got our respect in his last fight,” Plaitis’ manager Camille Estephan admitted, “but we’re very confident of spoiling the party. The atmosphere there the last show was incredible and it was a real war. I expect nothing less this time except the Quebec fighter is going to win. Plaitis has a heart of a lion.”
The six-round co-feature will showcase fan favorite Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (4-0, 2 KOs), a dangerous middleweight from Ajax, Ontario, against upset specialist Chris Aucoin (4-5-1). “This is a step up for Brandon because two years ago Aucoin beat (former IBO Inter-Continental champion) Ian MacKillop (25-11-3),” noted Buxton who co-promotes Cook with Hennessy Sports. “Both of these fighters come forward and it’s going to be an absolute war right in the center of the ring.”
Undefeated Kitchener, Ontario cruiserweight prospect Denton Daley (4-0, 2 KOs) meets former Mexican National Boxing Team invader Benito “El Asesino” Quiroz (6-1, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout. Denton graduated from Sheridan College as a business major. “Daley is a knockout artist with power in both hands,” MacDonald remarked. “He’s very well put together at 198 pounds. He loves to fight and is capable of making devastating knockouts. He regularly spars with world cruiserweight contender Troy Ross. Fighting Quiroz is a huge step up for Denton. Quiroz is no slouch. He’s a tough Mexican fighter whose real record is 13-1 but seven of his fights weren’t officially reported.”
Making his pro debut is 21-year-old Steve Wilcox, a lightweight from Hamilton, Ontario who is the oldest of five fighting Wilcox brothers and the first to turn pro. All of the boys are trained by their father at his gym in Hamilton, Steeltown Boxing Club. Steve will take on an opponent to be determined in a four-rounder.
Also fighting on the undercard in a pair of six-round bouts are Whitby super middleweight Phil “The Assassin” Rose (3-1-1, 3 KOs) vs. Coteau-du-Lac’s cagey Francis Lafreniere (1-2-1, 1 KOs), along with undefeated Toronto prospect Ibrahim “Firearm” Kamal (6-0, 5 KOs) vs. Danish lightweight Tommi Schmidt (6-4, 3 KOs).
Tickets, priced at $30.00 and $50.00, are available at the Hersey Centre Box Office, or through Ticketmaster at 855.985.5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Go on line at www.UnitedPromotions.ca for more information about the Feb. 11 show.