For many years, boxing in Arizona was almost non-existent, but that has since changed for the better in the last few years. New promoters have stepped up and have produced some spectacular shows in a terrain that was once plagued by boycott due to the immigration issue in Arizona and conflict within the Arizona boxing community.
Known as Arizona Senate Bill 1070, it was the strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in the United States at the time. The fallout was broad, it not only prevented major boxing but everything in between. The impact ranged from various music artist refusing to tour here to organizations refusing to host conventions. Events that would have produced millions of dollars were simply not happening in Arizona. The issues are still a sore subject, but that’s another story for another time.
Boxing is thriving in Arizona now, perhaps the works of some visionaries who could see past the issues at hand. The rebirth of Arizona boxing started a few years back when a woman by the name of Michelle Rosado decided to put on a show. Rosado’s, Face II Face Promotions did a few quality shows in Phoenix and Tucson on a shoestring budget. Although Rosado hasn’t done a show in a long time, she is busy in boxing on a national level with her “Raging Babe” brand.
It was apparent by the size of the crowds when boxing came back here, boxing fans had missed live boxing in Arizona. Soon after another promotion company opened up shop in Arizona. Iron Boy Promotions started hosting shows at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix and began to draw some large crowds as well. Iron Boy Promotions has since had a few of their shows televised by teaming up with Top Rank and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing on some shows. It’s something that seemed impossible a few short years ago, but here we are in a new era for Arizona boxing.
There have been other promoters too that in some way helped bring back boxing here. Arizona is also a hotbed for boxing talent, a few local fighters have made a name for themselves since the rebirth, some big names have come here to train for upcoming fights as well.
In the last few years, fights from Arizona have been televised on ESPN, Showtime, and Unimas just to name a few. It has been the work of many, from fighters, promotion companies, matchmakers, public relations people, the list goes on and on.
Arizona also plays host to many gyms as well, countless hours are spent training and coaching pros and tomorrow’s stars in these gyms. The amateur talent here is simply amazing, not just in Phoenix, but the entire state too, even Arizona’s Native American Reservations are dotted with boxing gyms. Some of the gyms are in fancy buildings, maybe in an industrial area, some even in a backyard of a house. They have all contributed, and it’s often common for a big name boxer to visit and train at any of these gyms.
The future for Arizona boxing looks bright with no end in sight, it wasn’t that long ago that boxing here was just a dream and would never happen. Thanks to those who decided to step up and make a change has made this possible.