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Ruben Villa Makes National TV Debut on Showtime Jan. 11 2019

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Ruben Villa, right, makes his ShoBox debut on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 LIVE on SHOWTIME

PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS BAEZA / THOMPSON BOXING

 

ORANGE, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2018) – Two-time National Golden Gloves Amateur Champion and highly touted Californian prospect Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) will make his national television debut against hard-hitting former Puerto Rican amateur champion Carlos Vidal (14-0, 13 KOs) on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

Villa vs. Vidal is the 8-round featherweight co-feature on ShoBox: The New Generation airing live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from StageWorks of Louisiana in Shreveport.

The 21-year-old Villa started boxing when he was just 5 years old and compiled an impressive 166-17 record as an amateur. The Salinas, Calif., native was a two-time Junior Olympic National Champion and the 2014 and 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion.

He owns two wins over eventual Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson as an amateur before losing to his rival twice in the 2016 Olympic Trials. Villa turned professional in 2016 shortly after the Olympic Trials and has registered 14 professional victories in just over 24 months. The southpaw will face his toughest test to date and just his second undefeated opponent in Vidal on January 11.

“My team and I are really grateful and excited to finally be able to showcase my talents on a national platform and we will not take this opportunity for granted,” Villa said. “I’ve been working overtime to look perfect for this event. I’m coming to put on a show and prove I’m ready for the bright lights.”

Vidal was a two-time Puerto Rican National Champion with an amateur record of 104 wins against just 10 losses. The 29-year-old is a strong power-puncher with 13 KOs in 14 professional fights, with all 13 coming inside of three rounds. Vidal, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, will be making just his second start in the United States against his first undefeated opponent.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to prove myself against another undefeated fighter,” Vidal said. “I live in the gym and have dedicated my life to this dream of being a world champion. This is just the first step of that process and nothing is going stop me from achieving that goal.”

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Sports Business

Firebirds TV Broadcasts Resonating Around the Coachella Valley

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Locally Televised Hockey Broadcasts Bring All the Home Team Action to Desert Residents

In addition to record setting attendance across the season and during the current Calder Cup Playoff run, the Coachella Valley Firebirds are also registering strong ratings on local television. Select games have aired locally on the stations of Gulf California Broadcast Company, including KESQ, Fox11 and CW5.

“We’ve enjoyed having the 12 Firebirds games on our group of stations and have been pleasantly surprised by the TV ratings”, says Jerry Upham, General Manager of Fox 11, KESQ News Channel 3 and the four other Gulf California Broadcast Company stations. “The advertiser support and viewer response has been very positive, and we look forward to carrying more games in the future”.

More local residents are turning to the televised games to support the valley’s first professional sports team, as the Firebirds make a deep run into the Calder Cup playoffs. Since the first broadcast on December 18th, the audience has doubled for Firebirds playoff coverage.

The Firebirds triple overtime victory on May 15th attracted an average audience of around 3500 viewers, with the final half hour (and final overtime) winning the time period among all of the local stations.

The hockey broadcasts include in-arena pre-game, intermission, and post-game shows, hosted by Gino LaMont with Hockey Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr. The in-game play-by-play is handled by Evan Pivnick, the voice of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, with Fuhr providing color commentary. KESQ sports director Blake Arthur and other on-air talent from News Channel 3 provide rinkside player, coach, and fan interviews.

Tune in to catch LaMont, Fuhr, Pivnick, and Arthur this Thursday for coverage of game one of the Western Conference Finals on Fox11. The pregame show begins at 6:30pm with puck drop at 7pm.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS START THURSDAY

The Firebirds will take on the Milwaukee Admirals in the latest round of Playoffs with the winner of this best of seven series advancing to the Calder Cup Finals.  The Firebirds continue to turn up the heat and are burning white hot as they enter Round 4 of the Playoffs. Fans are encouraged to wear white to all Round 4 home games. In addition, pre-game events will kick off for all home games at 5:30 p.m. featuring live music, fan photo ops with Fuego, Firebirds merchandise, food & beverage specials at The Oasis outdoor patio and much more!

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on game days and be seated ahead of the 7 p.m. puck drop for special pre-game Rally the Valley entertainment to help cheer on the home team at Acrisure Arena! Tickets are on sale now with individual tickets starting at just $29 and group tickets (10 or more people) beginning at $25. Visit CVFirebirds.com to purchase and learn more information.

Season tickets for the Firebirds’ 2023-24 campaign are on sale now! For a full list of benefits and more information on Season Ticket Memberships for the 2023-24 season, click HERE or call 760-835-8778.

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Entertainment

Inland Empire Collaborative Launches with Grand Celebration

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Powering the Future of Sports & Entertainment through Collaboration

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce (IERCC) is pleased to announce the successful launch of the Inland Empire Sports & Entertainment Collaborative (IESEC). The vibrant launch party took place yesterday at the popular Topgolf in Ontario, attracting an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 200 attendees.

The event was graced by a lineup of notable speakers, including Dave Allen, West Region President for NASCAR, James Washington, President of the NFL Alumni Southern California Chapter, Michael K. Krouse, President & CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, Nikki Gatch, CEO of the Southern California PGA, Mike Burrows, CEO of the San Bernardino International Airport, and Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.

These distinguished figures shared their insights on the potential of the IESEC to stimulate growth, foster community engagement, and enhance the local economy through sports and entertainment.

IESEC is proud to acknowledge its sponsors, Bank of America and the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency, for their invaluable support. The Collaborative is a testament to the power of synergy, with agencies such as the Southern California PGA, NFL Alumni SoCal, NASCAR, GOCAL, San Bernardino Int’l Airport, Ontario Reign, Empire Strykers, Inland Empire 66ers, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Ontario Clippers, and Southern California’s Greater Ontario Sports & Entertainment Authority actively participating.

In true festive spirit, guests were treated to an evening of sumptuous food, refreshing drinks, and engaging golf play. The energy and enthusiasm echoed the IESEC’s vision of fostering a sense of community through sports and entertainment.

IESEC, spearheaded by the IERCC, is committed to promoting, supporting, and facilitating partnerships between local businesses and regional sports teams, and entertainment venues throughout the Inland Empire. The initiative aims to create memorable experiences while generating revenue, stimulating economic growth, and positively impacting the community.

“Our goal with IESEC is to build a stronger, more connected community united in its love of sports and entertainment,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the IERCC. “By bringing people together to celebrate the best that the Inland Empire offers, we are creating a platform for exciting new opportunities and experiences.”

IESEC, initiated by the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, is a consortium of experienced professionals dedicated to supporting sports and entertainment events in the Inland Empire region. Through partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, and government entities, IESEC serves as a central hub for promoting a wide variety of cultural and entertainment experiences. By encouraging community participation and economic growth, IESEC aims to build a stronger, more vibrant Inland Empire.

For more information about the IESEC and its ongoing projects, please visit our website at www.iechamber.org

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Sports Business

George Acosta Defeats Cesar Villarraga to Keep Winning Streak Alive

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Photos by Carlos Baeza - Thompson Boxing Promotions

Super featherweight George “El Yuyu” Acosta (15-1, 2 KO), of Whittier, Ca, defeated Cesar Villarraga (8-3, 4 KOs) of Bogota, Colombia, by way of unanimous decision to keep his 8-fight winning streak alive. The 8-round bout served as the main event headliner on Thompson Boxing’s “New Blood” card this past Friday at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA.

From the opening round, Acosta was in control of the action as he landed more punches and stayed busier throughout the fight. Acosta, after moving down super featherweight in his last few fights, showed he is a stronger fighter at his new weight class. Villarraga did his best to outbox Acosta but couldn’t get away from the constant pressure. Acosta used his jab and combination punching to keep Villarraga on his back foot the entire fight. Scorecards read 78-74 and 80-72 twice.

“This was another good fight where I feel I got better in the ring,” said Acosta. “Villarraga was using a lot of lateral movement, so I had to keep the pressure on him. I was in great shape and all the hard work I put in training camp showed. I’m hoping this is the year I make a run to the top 10 rankings. I’m happy that I’ve been staying busy, it’s a tremendous blessing.”

In the 8-round super featherweight co-main event, Rigoberto Hermosillo (13-4-1, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles, CA, triumph over Blas Ezequiel Caro (9-6, 4 KOs) of Santa Fe, Argentina. Hermosillo, a southpaw, dropped Caro with a left hook to the body in round five. Throughout the fight Hermosillo landed the harder shot, though Caro had some shining moments. The scorecards read 79-72 and 78-73 twice, all in favor of Hermosillo.

In bout number three, a scheduled 6-round lightweight bout, Anthony Chavez (10-3-1, 3 KOs) of Redlands, CA, defeated Diuhl Olguin (15-31-6, 10 KOs) of Jalisco, Mexico. Chavez took control of the early rounds by landing the cleaner shots. Both fighters were landing counter punches and midway through the bout, Chavez landed some nice right hands. At the end, Chavez won by majority decision. Scorecards read 60-54, 59-55, and 57-57.

In bout number three, a scheduled 6-round lightweight bout, Anthony Chavez (10-3-1, 3 KOs) of Redlands, CA, defeated Diuhl Olguin (15-31-6, 10 KOs) of Jalisco, Mexico. Chavez took control of the early rounds by landing the cleaner shots. Both fighters were landing counter punches and midway through the bout, Chavez landed some nice right hands. At the end, Chavez won by majority decision. Scorecards read 60-54, 59-55, and 57-57.

In the opening of the evening, a 4-round welterweight bout, Kevin Salgado (2-1) of Mexico, defeated Steven Walker (0-1) of Long Beach CA. Salgado outworked Walker for most of the fight. Walker landed some nice shots early, but came up short as Salgado won by majority decision.

This event was sponsored by HUSTLER Casino, LA’s only luxury casino; Thompson Building Materials, Transforming spaces into beautiful places; Omega Products International, The leading stucco manufacturer in the United States; Belgard, Paves the way; and Makita, Rule the outdoors.

Photos by Carlos Baeza – Thompson Boxing Promotions

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