Garden City's Acevedo headlines Night of Champions




Professional boxing returns to Garden City for the first time since November 2009 when hometown product Herbert Acevedo made his pro debut with a second-round knockout of Jose Rodriguez at the Finney County Convention Center.

It will be the same, albeit more experienced, Acevedo who will be in the main event on Feb. 22 at the Night of Champions, set at the American Legion building, when he takes on Marcos Herrera in a scheduled six-round bout to determine the Kansas and Universal Boxing Federation Midwest champion at the light welterweight division.

Amateur bouts will start the night's show at 7:30 p.m., with the featured events to conclude the program later.

"I'm very excited to be coming home and to be the main event," Acevedo said from his southern California home via telephone interview on Friday. "The career's going pretty good, and when Juan (Aldana Jr., local promoter) called me to tell me about the title, I immediately said yes, I'd come home to fight for the belt."

Acevedo has compiled an impressive 10-1 record during his four-plus years in the pro ranks, but his rising career hit a bump on March 15, 2013, when he lost a majority decision against Joaquin Chavez at the Marconi Museum in Tustin, Calif.

Since then, Acevedo has notched a couple of unanimous decisions, the most recent being on Aug. 9, 2013, against Mike Peralta at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, Calif.

"I had this loss, and that made other decisions that created the opportunity for me to come home and box," Acevedo said. "The chance to fight for the Midwest title was just too good of an opportunity."

Acevedo said he didn't know too much about Denver's Herrera, who has a 6-10-1 record.

"I saw him fight on TV a few years ago, but I just don't know too much as to what kind of boxer he is," Acevedo said. "I'm just working hard, focusing on what I do. I have to prepare for him like anybody else."

Acevedo's bout will conclude a big night of boxing, which is being organized by Aldana and his company, JAB Promotions.

In addition to the final bout for Acevedo, there will be the Joel Vargas vs. Trinidad Marry first Kansas Welterweight Championship bout, also slated for six rounds. Vargas is from Liberal and Marry hails from Amarillo, Texas.

"I think the boxing fans will be in for a good night of fighting," Aldana said. "We're very happy to be able to have Herbert come back and fight in front of his family and friends. It's a big deal for us."

Saturday's schedule also marks the debut of another Garden City Boxing Club fighter when Steven Garcia takes on Emmanuel Llano of Lawton, Okla. Another pro debut will see Garden City's Fernando Serrano take on Guy Smith Jr. of Omaha, Neb. at 145 pounds.

Among the amateur bouts scheduled, Garden City Boxing Club fighters will include Noah Aldana, Elian Garcia, Rafael Chavez, Carlos Lopez, and Thomas Partida of Ulysses. Those bouts will be three rounds at one-minute each.

The Midwest title that Acevedo is pursuing has been vacant for more than 25 years, the last owner of the belt being Johnny Bumpus.

"I think it's a great way for people to see the quality of boxing that we have here in Garden City, and to bring title fights to town indicates that the boxing world sees us as a factor in the sport," Aldana said.

Official weigh-ins will take place on at 4:45 p.m. Friday at Jax Sports Grille. The public is invited to attend.

Tickets are now on sale for $30, $40 and $50 and there is limited seating (approximately 350 seats). Tickets may be purchased at MJ Barber Shop, City Cutz, La Chiqita and Jax Sports Grille. For more information, contact Juan Aldana Jr. at 272-3952.

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