It's classic boxing vs. pit fighting in A.C. this weekend
For the most part, mixed martial arts (MMA) fight cards that come to town have avoided direct confrontations with old-fashioned boxing fight cards in town. However, this weekend that unwritten handshake agreement will be violated when Yamma Pit Fighting, a new MMA organization created by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) founder Bob Meyrowitz, presents a show this Friday night (April 11) at the Taj Arena. Although the major fight card in town this weekend takes place on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall (see story, p. 56), Top Rank Boxing is presenting a card at the Trop on Friday night. Top Rank was certainly hoping that fight fans, who are making a weekend of it for the Cotto card, would enjoy a warm-up boxing event. However, Chris "The Mechanic" Smith and Jesus Soto-Karass are not exactly boxers from the cream of the boxing world.
On the other hand Eric "Butterbean" Esch, the 400 lb. former super heavyweight pro boxer and Toughman competitor, toplines the Yamma Pit Fighting card. Esch had been alternating MMA bouts with boxing matches, but has since gone strictly to MMA events. He will take on Pat Smith, a last minute substitute for Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge. In the other superfight, Oleg "The Russian Bear" Taktarov battles Don "The Predator" Frye.
The Yamma card also has a heck of a gimmick on its side. Besides the two big-name fights, the event will present an eight-man tournament for the title of Yamma Heavyweight Champion, a.k.a., their own version of "April Madness." The winners of the four bouts will have to come back and fight again to make it to the championship round, and then win again to take the title. The live pay-per-view broadcast is available in the United States and Canada through In Demand Networks, TVN Entertainment, Bell ExpressVu, Viewer's Choice Canada and Dish Network.
It will be very interesting to see how Top Rank does in its head-to-head battle with Yamma.
Don't forget that the Atlantic City Surf presents open tryouts at Bernie Robbins Stadium on Saturday, April 19, and Saturday, May 3. You can sign up online at www.acsurf.com. Registration takes place at 8am; the camp starts at 9am. The cost is $50 per tryout. Players should bring their own equipment; catchers should bring their own gear. All participants must pre-register and pre-pay. Last year, the Surf signed three players from the tryouts to a contract. For more information on the camps, contact Barry Kraus in the Surf front office, 344-8873, ext. 110, or e-mail email@example.com.
After losing their first two games of the season, the Phillies had me worried that they would get off to yet another slow April, with visions of last year's 4-11 record dancing in my head. The Phils, however, stopped the bleeding by avoiding the sweep against Washington, and splitting four games with the Reds. As I write this, the Phils are on their way to beating the Mets in the first game of a three-game series at Shea Stadium, the victory evening their record at 4-4.
The three-day Sweat AC festival will focus on all facets of fitness including nutrition, exercise and general well being with top trainers, coaches and athletes like N.J. native and UFC fighter Frankie Edgar.
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