Are you ready to rumble? No punches will be held Saturday when Warrior Boxing Promotions and the Seminole Tribe of Florida present Throwdown at the Creek. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, with the first bout going off at 6:30 p.m.
Throwdown, the third leg in the Backyard Brawl Series, has an eight-bout fight card full of talent, headlined by a heavyweight main event featuring Lance "Mount" Whitaker, who is 25-2-1 with 21 knockouts, facing Russell Chasteen, a big brawler from Kentucky who is 20-6-0 with 14 knockouts. Whitaker is looking to make it back to the world-class form he exhibited as a top-five-rated heavyweight contender just one year ago, and he vows to punish Chasteen quickly. "He's the next obstacle in getting back to the top. I'm going to knock him out in the first two rounds."
The co-main event will feature the seventh-ranked IBF middleweight contender, Tito Mendoza of Panama, moving up to the 168-pound super middleweight class to fight Raymond Berry (19-10-2, 7 KO) in a bout for the vacant WBC Latin American Super Middleweight title. The Panamanian is 27-4-0 with 20 KO and is looking to make an even bigger name for himself in this match.
Another vacant title up for grabs will be the WBC Latin American Bantamweight Champion. Atlanta's Vernie Torres (25-5-0, 15 KO) will take on Angel Priolo (27-1-0, 27 KO) of Colombia in that bout.
And if for some reason that laundry list of men engaging in fisticuffs still doesn't get you excited, here's some good news: The ladies will also mix it up in the ring. WIBA Women's Bantamweight Champion Ada Velez (13-1-1, 6 KO) will take on Delia Gonzalez (13-8-4, 3 KO) of Chambertino, Texas. Other female action will see Tracy Byrd (13-7-4, 4 KO), sister of IBF Heavyweight Champ Chris Byrd, take on Puerto Rican Belinda Laracuente (20-5-1, 9 KO) in a Lightweight contest.
General admission is $30, with ringside reserved seats ranging from $100 to $150. Call 1-877-50FIGHT. -- Russ Evans
Let's Go Rodeo
Well, partners, who's in the mood for some calf ropin' and steer wrestlin'? If that tickles your fancy, saddle up for a big weekend. Friday and Saturday, the 2003 Five Star Rodeo Series comes to the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds (4271 Davie Rd., Davie).
Along with roping and wrestling, other events on the menu include bull and bronc riding, barrel racing, and of course, those crazy rodeo clowns. After all, what would a rodeo be without some old-fashioned clown shenanigans?
The Rodeo for Youth begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and the day's events are specially geared for kids. Along with a customary rodeo competition, children take part in an educational show to teach those aspiring cowboys and cowgirls in attendance all the rodeo basics. According to Five Star promoter Tammy Maret, Friday has a specific target audience: "Youth Rodeo is a special program we offer in June and July for summer camps and children needing something to do."
Saturday night's rodeo competition may be more traditional, but it promises to be every bit as exciting. Events begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for either day cost $8 for kids, $14 for adults. Call 954-389-5311. -- Russ Evans
As All-Star break nears, a grim assessment of the first half of the season
Monday, the Fish play their final home series before the All-Star break, and it would have to be against the Atlanta Braves. Few teams in baseball, nay, in the world of professional sport, are as hated and reviled as the Braves. The name "Chipper" alone is enough to cause waves of nausea in some fans. The Braves-hating may be because the team is constantly forced down the nation's collective throats on TBS. Or it could be because the Braves are so damned good. Though the Marlins have finally pulled out of the basement, leaving the Mets choking on cellar dust at the bottom of the NL's East, the Braves are undisputed as the champs of that division. No team in the National League dominates its division the way the stinkin' Braves do. So if there's any justice in the world (and we seriously doubt there is), the Marlins should go on a three-game winning streak in this series. See it begin at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Pro Player Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami). And if, as expected, the Braves sweep our beloved Marlins, it's up to all of us to start cheering for number-two Montreal. Seriously. Call 305-626-7328. -- Dan Sweeney
Sports movies (almost) always do well at the box office. Americans love to root for the underdogs and whip out their flags and giant foam number 1 fingers for the home team. But what about beach volleyball? Now there's an untapped market just screaming to have sand kicked in its face. Who can (or wants to) forget the 1990 gem Side Out, starring 1980s wonder boy C. Thomas Howell as a law student who comes to California for the summer and meets up with his beach-bum friend, played by Peter Horton. Of course, Horton takes Howell under his wing, and they end up playing professional beach volleyball together. And, of course, they both try to win the affections of the same girl. And, of course, the washed-up ex-athlete rises from the ashes of beach bumdom and wins the championship in a final slow-motion victory shot. Speaking of which, the Pontiac Beach 2003 Volleyball Tour comes to Hollywood Beach on Saturday and Sunday for 12 division events. Games start at 9 a.m. Call 954-316-6642. -- Audra Schroeder