Ali’i Warrior eyes smooth return to HP Pavilion after spring
Hollister – They’re ready to do business again. After a last-minute debacle resulted in Kelsey Jeffries stepping away from a scheduled bout in March, Fight Night at the Tank announced Tuesday that the Hollister-based boxer will return to HP Pavilion at San Jose on its Sep. 14 card.
“I’m very excited to be back at the Tank,” said Jeffries, who returns to her ‘home’ arena for the 10th time, but first since July of 2005. “It’s a great place to fight. People have been dying to see me. … Here’s the chance.”
Jeffries is slotted to be the semi-main event in an evening to be headlined by junior middleweight Hector Camacho Jr.
Even though the event is less than a month away, Fight Night at the Tank has yet to announce opponents for any of the five featured boxers, a situation that raises an eyebrow in the Jeffries camp. The Ali’i Warrior of the South Bay joined the March 23 card under similar circumstances, only to find that Fight Night promoters matched her against a much-heavier opponent just two days before the weigh-in.
Jeffries (34-9-1) expressed cautious optimism that Fight Night would find a suitable opponent this time around.
“I’m a little nervous about waiting to get an opponent,” Jeffries related. “I have no doubt they’ll find somebody for me, but I’m just a little nervous because of the past.”
But Bruce Anderson, the Road Warrior’s manager, said the difficulty in finding women willing to take on the International Female Boxers Association (IFBA) featherweight champion and the unfortunate disaster in the spring leave him unsettled.
“Sure, I’m concerned. I won’t rest ’til I know who the opponent is,” Anderson shared. “I’m uncomfortable with it because this promoter is known for last-minute deals.”
Goosen Tutor, Fight Night’s promoter, matched Jeffries against Valanna McGee in March, an opponent Anderson said was two weight classes heavier than the Ali’i Warrior of the South Bay. Jeffries’ manager hoped that Goosen Tutor’s understanding of the inherent difficulties in finding a suitable opponent for his boxer – “a fact of people don’t want to fight me,” said Jeffries – would make the September bout a smoother run.
“They’re well aware of it now. It’s going to cost them to get someone to fight her,” Anderson said.
“I think they understand that she’s difficult to match,” he continued, “and they’re going to have to work to find somebody to fight her for the money they’re willing to pay.”
After defending her IFBA belt in June and winning the inaugural North American Boxing Federation (NABF) women’s super bantamweight title a month later, Jeffries simply hopes to step into the ring next month with no further complications.
“I’m trying to think everything positive about the situation,” she said. “I just want everything to work out. That’s my main concern.”
In addition to Camacho Jr. (42-2-1, 23 KOs) and Jeffries, junior welterweight ‘Chuy’ Rodriguez of Salinas, heavyweight Malcolm Tann of Seabord, N.C. and Las Vegas’ Teke Oruh are scheduled for the Fight Night card.