Alabama Summer Spotlight Series: An In-depth Look Into Alabama's Fight Cards of June
Earlier this month Alabama fans witnessed the first event held by Todd Owens' TKO promotion. Owens and company came out of the gates swinging and learned much from their first show, although there were times when many wondered if it would even occur.
Plagued with a multitude of issues, including last minute requirements placed upon them by ISKA to install a second lock on each cage door – something that has been previously required of some promoters, but not others – fighters began immediately dropping off the card.
This show brought with it the fourth ringside doctor to come onboard with ISKA since January. Alabama has definitely had its issues with the doctors, something that is a constant concern for both fighters and promoters. Overall, Owens seemed to present a good show, although we are sure that he would have preferred to have a better turnout. TKO has already booked another date for Summer 2012.
On June 9, Strikehard Productions brought their show back to the Killer Buzz Arena in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the form of SHP 17. Highlights of that event included the appearance of former UFC Champion Sean Sherk. SHP also crowned a new light heavyweight champion in Nathan Gaylord; a fighter who is going to take on his next competitor later this summer for SportFight X. SHP 17 brought with it the third ISKA Event Director and the fifth doctor of the year.
On June 23 in West Alabama, Skyy Promotions, a Professional Boxing Promotional Company will host their first professional boxing show of the year in the form of Brawl At The Mall. Olympic medalist and undefeated heavyweight champion Deontay "Bronze Bomber" Wilder (22-0) takes on Jamaican champion Owen Beck (30-10).
Also on the card will be Tuscaloosa's Gundrick King taking on Mississippi's Billy Cunningham. Anthony Middlebrooks will take on Ray-Ray Bryant as well as a performance from pro boxer Keith Thompson against a still undetermined opponent.
A special guest at the "Brawl At The Mall" pro boxing event will be CLB Boxing Columbian Champion Kidd "Izzy" Luna, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time World Champion Mark Breland along with famed trainer and Canadian television personality Russ Ander
This also marks the first time pro boxing has taken place in the all new Killer Buzz Arena predominantly know for mixed martial arts fights brought to you by Tuscaloosa production company Strikehard Productions (SHP).
Strikehard owners along with businessman Stan Pate of Tuscaloosa turned what was once the old Sticks & Stuff Furniture building into the new Killer Buzz Arena. The Killer Buzz Arena has been a huge hit with SHP Fans and Strikehard has not disappointed in bringing monthly MMA shows to the West Alabama area with record crowd attendance.
On the same night, June 23, in North Alabama, Jake Clairday and Alabama Extreme Cage Fighting have scheduled the next installment of mixed martial arts shows to North Alabama's Rainsville area. AXCF will be bringing back their AXCF 135 Champion Cody Shelton, who is 4-0. Shelton also holds the ECI's 135-pound title as well.
Jack Whitfield will be entering the cage at AXCF for the first time this year. Jack is the American Xtreme Combats welterweight Champion. This will be a very interesting fight card for AXCF as they have a freshman football player from The University of South Alabama fighting, two heavyweights, one super heavyweight and a slew of new fighters.
Clairday's newest show is another State of Alabama amateur sanctioned MMA event and will also mark the first show new sanctioning body MMA Solutions to the Alabama fight scene under the A.A.C.
In our next USCS Alabama Summer Spotlight we will cover the July Shows, who fighting when, were and for what promotional company will be highlighted. Stay tuned for more news from the Alabama Front Lines with Rick Piel of USCS.
Series 1 of 3 in the USCS Alabama – Summer Spotlight Series