New Mexico State Pan American Center
Live Report On Weigh-In and Press Conference

Professional Boxing Fight Card
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Presented by Power Combat Sports with
Real Fights, Inc.
Friday, July 31st 2009

By Thomas (The Wizard) McKay

Photos: D. Arredondo



The weigh in for the fight card was held at the magnificent and luxurious Hotel Encanto, a grand hotel built in the Spanish Colonial style. Most of the press and other media arrived before 5:00 p.m. and were given easy access to the fighters on the undercard. They were all cooperative as were their managers and trainers.

It was such a wonderful feeling to be a part of an atmosphere that was both pleasant and congenial, unlike so many other fight venues in other states.
As set up by the promoters, the main event for tomorrow’s card is none other than George ‘Monk’ Foreman III, son of the legendary former world boxing heavyweight champion of the world, George Foreman.

Naturally most of the hoopla for the fight has been centered about the prodigal son, 6’5” tall and 237 pounds and only making his second start in the squared circle. In his first fight, June 6, 2009, the twenty-six year old flattened Clyde Weaver of Dyersville, Tennessee in the first round and that was that. His opponent for the main event tomorrow is George Burrage. George who? We’ll, this George, 212 pounds, from Meridian, Mississippi is 0-5 with a boxing career that began in August 2002. He lost to John Phillips of Biloxi and in November of that year was knocked out in three rounds by Wayne Driver of Mobile, Alabama. He fought once in 2003, losing by TKO to Marcus McGee of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In May, 2004 he made another boxing effort against Gavern Jason of Chocta, and had to make another quick exit after being TKO’d in the first round.

The year 2004 led to another losing effort. However, he went the distance against Rodney Phillips of Laurel, Mississippi, losing by UD in four rounds. Rodney, with a record of 7-18, hung up his gloves in his next fight as he was literally destroyed by Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch who weighed in at 300 pounds and knocked all 198 pounds (Cruiserweight) of Phillips stone cold in the second round. That history doesn’t bode well for the other George. However, stranger things have occurred in boxing history and one never knows when lightning will strike and an overwhelming favorite loses, rather by fate, design, or by a plain old ass-kicking with rugged determination.

Speaking of strange things, the sometimes quixotic, often paradoxical promoter Ron Weathers was at the hotel and as energetic as he was in the 1980’s, maybe even better fed as he sported a worthy paunch. He was in a festive mood and after speaking to him, we learned that he was back in the service of the elder Foreman and a major player in this fight promotion.

For newer boxing fans who aren’t familiar with George Senior’s comeback in 1994 at age 45 to win the world heavyweight title over Michael Moorer, they should know that it was Ron Weathers who was most instrumental in guiding George to that historical making success. Ron was handpicked by the late promoter/manager Paul Clinite, who formalized the comeback but was dealing with deadly cancer. Ron and Big George had some differences over time but they seem to be amicably settled at this writing. It would be an amazing feat in the boxing world if Ron could guide George III to the title his father once held. The ‘Name’ game alone would lead flocks of fans to the big venues and probably aid Boxing’s slipping popularity.
This card should probably be headed by the stars in the making rather than by George III. Be that as it may, the undercard is loaded with emerging talent and nationally recognized talent. Austin Trout of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is 17-0-0 with 12 KO’s and on the rise in Super Middleweight Rankings. He did have a worrisome encounter with the law last week and we will have to see how that plays out as he battles Marcos Primera of South Carolina who has a record 20-17-2 and 13 stoppages. Knowledgeable boxing fans will likely get their moneys worth with this bout.

The most anxiously awaited entry here is amateur boxing and kickboxing sensation and superstar, Jennifer Han. The elegant, gracious, beautiful yet multi-talented fighter is no stranger to the ring or to the inherent potential dangers of professional boxing. The daughter of Master Bae Han (Han Dynasty III) of El Paso, Texas is in her twenties, a Kinesiology graduate from The University of Texas at El Paso and winner of six amateur boxing national championships and even more in kickboxing. She teaches karate and kickboxing classes at her father’s dojo six days a week usually ending at 10 p.m. She has not had adequate time to concentrate on a professional boxing career until this year. She is hungry to get started and knows that the smaller gloves and stove-pipe bandaged hands and wrists of professional boxing are much different than in the amateur ranks and consequently, more dangerous, especially head and face blows that can disfigure a woman. Though she is proud of her fame, she still seeks another journey, a quest and commitment to expand the family dynasty in professional boxing alongside her hard-hitting brother, Super Middleweight Abraham Han.
Knowing of Jennifer’s rare beauty for a long-term fighter, Tom asked her if she had the opportunity to pick a “Wonder’ date in all of sport, who would that be, Jennifer didn’t hesitate to say, “Oscar De La Hoya,” We won’t go any further than that for now. But we will say some good things about her opponent, Melissa St. Vil.
Melissa is from Las Vegas, Nevada and one can’t help but notice that she too is a raving beauty with a knockout body; oops, did we say knockout? Yes indeed, Melissa and Jennifer could easily be mistaken for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models yearly edition. Check her form out on “youtube” as she demolishes opponents.
Melissa was born in Haiti but moved to Brooklyn, New York before moving to Vegas for her professional career. Like Jennifer she was a national amateur champion and this fight is definitely shaping up as the Platinum fight of the evening.

Her 0-1-1 professional record is absolutely deceiving. She gained a draw with another of the young women amateur greats entering the ring, Olivia Fonseca, in her debut at Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She upped the ante by taking on former amateur national champion, Emily Klinefelter. That was a rip-roaring fight at 130 pounds in Minneapolis, Minnesota last April 9th and there wasn’t a centimeter of dominance by either fighter; a winner had to be called and the nod by split-decision went to Klinefelter. By the way, Jennifer knows Klinefelter well. She has gone toe-to-toe with her and is cognizant of the fact that Klinefelter is a ten-time national tournament champion. Klinefelter even won the ‘Grand Slam’ of amateur boxing in one year. At present, the Iowan is 5-0 as a professional and a serious contender in the near future for a world title. No cream puffs here; damn, this should be a Super Featherweight bout to remember, a bout the fans will enjoy to the fullest. It will be exciting, it will be action-packed and it will be a grand skillful fight regardless of the outcome. It will be in many minds, The Main Event.
Abraham Han, 5-0-0 is taking on Sergio Santana 0-1-1 of Mexico in a six round Super Middleweight bout. This was a paradox of a fight to arrange for the boxing commission because Abraham fought just last week at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso. Han knocked out Brian Soto with a terrific right hand in the second round and Han was frustrated about not getting more work in the ring. With his sister on the Powerhouse card, he met with boxing authorities in New Mexico and not surprisingly, he was placed on the card. We asked him if he wanted to be like the fighters of the early 20ty Century, especially Harry Greb, and fight twenty plus fights a year. He replied that he just wanted to keep fighting and hopefully work his way to a world title. He said his future is fighting, finishing his degree and working in law enforcement, and opening his own dojo some day in the future. He states that he will get married and so we can surmise that the Han Dynasty will continue unabated. After all, this so-called boxing upstart won the 2002 T.A.C.K.A. Full Contact Kickboxing championship, was a 2005 amateur world champion in boxing, the 2005 I.K.F. North American Kickboxing Champion, the 2005 I.K.B.A.World Champion Kickboxer as well as holding some four other national titles.

Sergio Santana, born in Mexico, is an El Paso fighter who hasn’t entered the ring since 2004. He was competitive in his only two bouts but the long layoff doesn’t appear on paper to give this fight a good chance of going six rounds. Nothing is certain but death and taxes yet Abraham might be looking for another fight next week if he disposes of Sergio in the first couple of rounds.
David had an exciting interview with Salvador Sanchez of Tianguistenco, Mexico, 14-3-2 as a boxer and a nephew of the Mexican Featherweight World Champion Salvador Sanchez, tragically killed in a traffic collision in Mexico, August 1, 1982. The young Sanchez certainly has many genetic traits of his famous uncle and knows his own career and dreams of a championship is dependent on his dedication to training and fighting often to establish himself as a main event fighter and then a contender for a title. As a teenager he entered the boxing world and after a short but successful amateur career turned professional under the guidance of Jimmy Montoya of Las Vegas.

Sanchez is aware that it is difficult to follow a legend like his uncle but believes he can attain his goal but one step at a time. The step for Warzone will have to be made over San Diego’s Benito Abraham,
Benito, born in Mexico, weighed in at 120 pounds versus Sanchez’s 123 pounds. He carries a record of 10-15-4 with 6 KO’s into the fray. Sadly, Benito hasn’t won a match since September 2004 when he beat 0-9 Christian Hernandez. We do point out that he has endured over time in a surreal way to survive in this brutal yet dynamic sport, sometimes the ‘Sweet Science’ at other’s the “Inhumane Blood let.” For what it is worth, Benito has recently gone the distance with some talented Mexican fighters including undefeated Alejandro Martinez.
Another heavyweight card on the fight should prove rough and entertaining. Journeyman Charlie Davis of Tucson, Arizona, holding a record of 17-17-1 with 4 KO’s at 210 pounds will go full throttle in a scheduled six rounder against Arron Lyons, 9-5-0 7KO’s of Las Cruces, New Mexico and hitting the scales at 216 pounds.
Overall this looks like a fairly good fight card. There is no doubt that the undercard will supply the fireworks and the best fights. Rocky Burke, the renowned referee from Las Cruces will be very busy Friday night as will his brother Louie Burke who is helping guide Jennifer and Abraham Han. Also present was Elvis Grant age 43, from Manhattan, New York. Elvis was only 26 when he managed Luis Santana to a world boxing championship. He did some early years as a cornerman with Richie Sandoval who had world champion Jeff Chandler.

George Foreman Sr. and his son showed up after 5:30 p.m., weighed in and left quickly. He shook our hands but had nothing to say to the gathering. He has been busy since arriving in El Paso and then traveling to Las Cruces. It is his son and he is his trainer. We must believe, ‘Father Knows Best.’
We wish for a great event and a safe outcome for all the athletes.
Have A Happy

George Foreman Sr.




George Foreman

Jennifer Han

Austin Trout

Salvador sanchez

Abraham Han

Thomas McKay and Louie Burke