Richard Schaefer brings stacked card to Los Angeles with Olympic standouts
April 7, 2017
LOS ANGELES - This Sunday afternoon Ringstar Sports, Richard Schaefer, and Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) will bring fans a fully loaded fight card from The Novo at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. A card that will showcase four former Olympians who will be making their professional debut, a former female world champion, and some Southern California fan favorites.
Although the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes will be headlined by the “Riverside Rocky” Josesito Lopez (34-7, 19 KO’s) as he takes on Mexico's Saul "Navajo" Corral (22-8, 13 KO's) -- the focus is on the rising stars that are set to make their debut. Stars that include former U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas from Santa Maria, California, Mexican Olympian and bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez, Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado, and Lithuanian Olympic welterweight Eimantas Stanionis, who is trained by Hall-of-Famer Freddie Roach. Also making his professional debut is amateur star Money Powell IV of Fort Mitchell, Alabama.
The 20 year old Balderas is the son of Mexican immigrants who came to the United States in order to provide a better life for the family. Balderas had an impressive amateur career that included a 2014 Youth National Championship, four National PAL championships and an impressive run in the World Series of Boxing. His amateur career culminated in a trip to the 2016 Olympic Games where he represented the U.S. and defeated fighters from Kazakhstan and Japan before a decision loss in the quarter finals. At a recent media workout Balderas detailed his plans for his career.
Another highly touted prospect making his debut, is Misael Rodriguez, who won a bronze medal for Mexico in 2016. Rodriguez, who is managed by Abner Mares and trained by Robert Garcia, wanted to be a boxer and attain a world title since he was a child.
In what many believe will be fight of the night, former female WBC Middleweight champion, Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo (6-2, 2 KO’s), will step into the ring against the undefeated Sydney “Ginger the Ninja” LeBlanc (4-0-1) from Gretna, Louisiana. As a special gift to her Southern California fans, Cornejo, who is from Los Angeles by way of Grandview, Washington, will have Chiquis Rivera, who is daughter of the late Mexican superstar and singer Jenni Rivera, walk her into the ring. Cornejo, who is now trained by Joel Diaz and managed by Nancy Rodriguez, looks to come away with a victory and setup a huge year for herself and her team. A year that includes plans to avenge her highly controversial loss to Kali Reis and fight Raquel Miller. If Cornejo has a successful year, a fight with the unified WBC and WBO world middleweight champion, Christina “Lady” Hammer (21-0, 9 KO’s), could very well be in the works for the fall or early 2018. One other fighter that we could possibly see Cornejo matched up against is the two time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields. Shields and her team have shown interest in a Cornejo fight, however, the offers they have made to Cornejo have been as low as $3000. When asked about a future fight with Shields, Cornejo responded with a price she feels is respectable for a fight of this magnitude.
Many boxing insiders Frontproof Media has spoken to believe the time has come and a fight between Cornejo and Shields could easily be a Showtime main event and generate that type of purse for both fighters. When asked about her upcoming bout with LeBlanc, Cornejo expressed her desire to keep winning in the ring.
Another Southern California prospect fighting Sunday is John “Bang Bang” Delperdang (10-2, 9 KO’s) of Ontario, California, as he battles Roberto Marroquin (25-4-1, 18 KO’s) from Dallas, Texas. Delperdang, who last fought in December and lost a unanimous decision to “Hammering” Hank Lundy, looks to get back to winning ways against Marroquin. Delperdang and his team, which includes former heavyweight champion Mike Weaver, manager Bernie Valenzuela, and Cutman Sergio Estrada, knows how important a victory would be for Delperdang’s career to keep rising. Delperdang recently spoke to Frontproof Media and stated he is ready for whatever fight this Sunday will bring.
In the co-main event of the evening, unbeaten lightweight contender Alejandro “El Charro” Luna (21-0, 15 KO's) of Bellflower, California takes on former title challenger and Russian native, Andrey Klimov (19-3, 9 KO's), in a 10-round bout.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports, are priced at $30 general admission, $60 balcony reserved, $100 VIP balcony reserved and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through AXS.com.
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The fights are available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña is a contributing writer for FrontProofMedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter @StacksRingside
(Feature photo: Willie Romero/Team Balderas)