It’s no secret, Boxing has seen better days. The decline of the amateur system, lack of star power in the heavyweight division, and rise of MMA have all lead to the decline of the sweet science. With fans notorious for being less than die hard and refusal by quite a few promoters to bring their shows here (a reaction to harsh anti-immigrant laws) Arizona has been one of the hardest hit markets.
As a result, even the best prospects on the local Boxing scene aren’t exactly household names the way Ryan Bader or Ben Henderson have become. It seems the tide is changing and Boxing is ready to make a comeback in the Valley of the Sun. One positive sign is that ESPN’s Friday Night Fights recently hosted an event here in Phoenix with local contender Jesus Gonzales in the main event. Another positive comes in the form of Face to Face Events, who will be hosting their own Friday Night Fights event here at the Madison Event Center in downtown Phoenix.
Face to Face is headed by president Michelle Rosado, who first made a splash selling out the MEC with her first Friday Night Fights event in April. Since then F2F has been steadily growing a fan following. It’s an exciting prospect for fans and fighters alike, having a regular boxing show here in our own back yard. As Rosado puts it, “they’ve been craving this.”
Still, the fan turnout has surprised even Rosado. At a press conference at the Oaxaca restaurant, a small establishment in downtown Phoenix, Rosado talked about her worries that no one would show up. Seeing the restaurant packed to near capacity, she could hardly contain her smile.
The fans aren’t the only ones excited about the Friday Night Fight shows, the fighters themselves seem absolutely giddy. With only a handful of local shows yearly, they haven’t had much opportunities to showcase their skill in front of the home crowd. Featured fighter Emilio “Milo Time” Colon-Garcia spoke about Rosado and Face to Face saying, “(Michelle) has helped me out a lot, she’s put me on radio stations and is actually making my dream come true.” He went on to compare Rosado’s efforts to those of promoters like Oscar De La Hoya.
From scouting the fighters herself to getting to know them on a personal level, Rosado has put in the kind of work that is seldom seen from other promoters. “Really I haven’t done much except give them an opportunity to pursue their dream here but they mean a lot to me…I think they feel appreciated,” said Rosado. In truth, that seems like much more than other promoters have done for our local Boxers.
Rosado and Face to Face events will be holding their second show this Friday July 22nd at the Madison Event Center. Tickets are available online here or at any local Pizza Patron location. Click here for a list of locations valley wide. Tickets start at 30$, 50$ for ringside. Fights start at 7:30 pm. Click here for the location of the Madison Event Center.