By Francisco Salazar
Heavyweight Charles Martin will fight Rafael Pedro tonight in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Pier in Santa Monica, CA.
The bout will headline a three-bout "Big Fighters, Big Cause" Charity Boxing Night, presented by Riley & Company and the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation.
The event is to Support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation’s mission to raise funds for research and awareness towards a cure for juvenile diabetes, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Martin (16-0-1, 14 KOs) has slowly emerged as one of, if not, the top heavyweight prospect in Southern California. Martin, who lives and trains in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, stopped previously-unbeaten Alexander Flores.
He is being promoted by King Sports Worldwide.
Pedro (21-10-1, 15 KOs) has once a prospect in the division, but has lost seven of his last nine bouts. In his last bout in February of 2012 in Albany, NY, Pedro was stopped in the second round.
Also on the card will be an eight round light heavyweight bout between Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (7-0, 6 KOs) and Paul Vasquez (10-4-1, 3 KOs).
Rounding out the card, junior middleweight Luis Grajeda (17-2-1, 13 KOs) will fight Said El Harrak (12-2-1, 7 KOs) in a scheduled eight round bout.
This is the fifth year in a row the famed Santa Monica Pier is transformed into a festive event space that showcases complimentary food, open bar, lounges, and special performances. A world-class live auction and silent auction display featuring iconic memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind items and experiences ail also be on hand for fight fans to bid on.
Scheduled to appear at the event are Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Thomas Hearns, Shane Mosley, Thomas Hearns, Mia St. John, Sergio Mora, along with actors George Lopez, Daniel Baldwin, Judd Nelson, Pooch Hall, Tommy Davidson, and Tommy Chong.
For more information and to purchase tickets to tonight's event, visit www.sugarrayleonard.com/foundation.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing