Black Diamond promoter brings huge card to Calgary
Boxing: Zab Judah headlines Grey Eagle Show on Jan. 27
Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 06:00 am
The biggest boxing event to hit Western Canada in half a century has deep roots in Black Diamond.
Six-time world champion Zab Judah and a slew of contenders enter the spotlight at the Grey Eagle Casino on Jan. 27 for Dekada Fight Night – a rapidly rising promotion built from the ground up by Black Diamond’s Dennis Herrmann and business partner Michael Short.
“This show is the biggest card we’ve ever had with the biggest records,” Herrmann said. “It’s the biggest Western Canada has had since Chuvalo and Ali.”
Yes, that Ali.
Muhammad Ali and Canadian George Chuvalo met for the second of two legendary bouts in 1972 in Vancouver.
Big cards have been few and far between north of the 49th parallel on the west side of the Great Lakes.
Headlining the Calgary card is six-time world champion Zab ‘Super’ Judah.
The southpaw welterweight has 43 wins over his 22 years of professional boxing, has exchanged blows with the biggest names in the sport from Floyd Mayweather Jr., Cory Spinks and Miguel Cotto to Micky Ward.
The 40-year-old has elected to embark on his resumption with Dekada.
“He wants to fight for us, he’s coming to us because of our showmanship,” Herrmann said. “For his resumption for one more year to get the seventh title, he wants to start with us and maybe even finish with us.”
Judah squares off against Noel Mejia Rincon, who has 21 wins as a professional, at the Grey Eagle.
“Some people are saying you’re bringing in a tomato can, but Rincon is not a tomato can, he’s a tough guy who will take on anyone you put in front of him,” Herrmann said. “Even if you told him he was fighting Mike Tyson, he would do it.”
The matchmaking is the domain of Short – a maestro and the boxing half of the equation. Herrmann comes from a background in Stampede Wrestling, bringing the show and storyline element to boxing.
“I’m the voice of reason, he’s crass, it’s an odd couple,” Herrmann said. “He is like an artist when it comes to matchmaking. He can take two cab drivers and make them look good because their records are perfect, their perfect to fight against each other.
“He is a master at it, truly one out of a million chances you’re going to find somebody like that and he feels the same way about me with the showmanship. I take his stars and make them bigger.”
Also on the card is Nigeria’s Albert ‘the Punisher’ Onolunose, whose fought back from a chequered-past with the law. He puts his 21-1-1 record on the line in Calgary. The middleweight was ranked top 10 in the world as recently as 2014.
He goes toe-to-toe with Mexico’s Victor Manuel Palacios.
“(Onolunose) has got a little bit of a shady past, but I think boxing has saved him,” Herrmann said. “He’s turned his life around. He’s now a good guy.”
Fan-favourite Alvin ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ Tam, the son of former world champion Rey Tam, takes his 13-6-0 record into the bout versus Mexico’s Arturo Garcia Lujano. Calgarian up-and-comer Devon Reti puts his undefeated 8-0 mark on the line versus Mexican super lightweight Isidro Toala.
“We’re looking to push them into a title, to give them stiffer opponents every time so they get ranked and they get a title shot,” Herrmann said. “Whether it’s Western Canadian, Canadian or even WBU and then a world title in 2019 and that might be Zab Judah.
“Next year at this time we’re hoping to have that fight. That’s probably going to be close to a $5-million dollar fight.”
To date the promotion has six shows lined up for 2018. Dekada has dreams of taking the promotion on a global scale.
“A lot of the things we said we were going to accomplish, people laughed at us and said you guys are crazy,” Herrmann said. “Because you’re always trailblazing and creating this new thing.
“We’ve fallen on our faces with a few things, but all of our theories came true and people are buzzing about it because of all of those theories that everyone else was too afraid or didn’t have enough money to invest in or to create and learn how to do it on their own.”
For more information go to dekada.ca