The longest-running televised boxing series remains on hold but the show still goes on for Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr. and the All Star Boxing team.
NBC Universal has yet to determine when to resume Boxeo Telemundo, which has aired for more than 30 years on Telemundo prior to 2022. In need of getting its fighters in the ring, All Star Boxing moves forward with another recent tradition as ‘Seneca Fight Night’ returns Friday evening from Casino Events Center in Niagara Falls, New York.
Headlining the event, locally-based lightweight prospect Wilfredo Flores (9-0-1, 5KOs) faces Mexicali’s Victor Betancourt Jr. (27-4, 14KOs) in a scheduled 10-round regional lightweight title fight. The show will air live on ESPN Knockout in Latin America.
“We are happy to return our boxing series back in Western New York after more than a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic," Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr., president of All Star Boxing, Inc. said of the event. "This will be a fantastic night of boxing with intriguing matchups. Each fighter will have to earn their victory.”
A U.S.-based platform was not yet established as this goes to publish.
The decision to pause Boxeo Telemundo was admittedly difficult for Zabala and his company to accept, though understanding of the many changes occurring at NBC Universal, which owns Telemundo. Zabala’s late father founded the series in 1989, having run every year through 2021 and often in front of sold-out crowds in Central Florida and Mexico City.
The series traveled to upstate New York for the first time ever in 2019, with plans to return in 2020 only for the pandemic to force a reshuffling of the deck which meant canceling its spring season—and with it the road trip to Niagara Falls. All Star Boxing ran eight straight shows behind closed doors from series favorite Osceola Heritage Park (OHP) in Kissimmee from August 14 through October 23, two four-show seasons interrupted separated by just a four-week break.
Boxeo Telemundo returned at full strength in 2021, running twelve shows over four seasons of three Friday nights each. The hope was to continue that tradition earlier this year, only for NBC Sports to decide to press pause on the series while figuring out which products to roll over into its Peacock app.
Meanwhile, the All Star Boxing team does what it has always done best—adapt to the times and continue with business as usual.
“Our primary focus is always on the fighters,” Zabala told BoxingScene.com. “We’re just happy to put on this show and look forward to a busy year ahead.”
Below are the weights for the full card, which begins 8:00 p.m. ET.
Wilfredo Flores (9-0-1, 5KOs), Dunkirk, New York, 135 pounds vs. Victor Betancourt Jr. (27-4, 14KOs), Mexicali, 135 pounds—10 rds, flyweight
Anthony Olascagua (3-0, 1KO), Los Angeles, 112 pounds vs. Gustavo Perez (8-0, 2KOs; 1NC), Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, 112 pounds—8 rds, flyweight
Alexander Castellano (7-1, 2KOs), Tonawanda, New York, 122 pounds vs. Vietz ‘Vit Y’ Yang (7-0-1, 4KOs), Rock Hill, South Carolina, 122 pounds—6 rds, junior featherweight
Mikiah Kreps (2-0, 1KO), Niagara Falls, 118.8 pounds vs. Kedra Bradley (1-4, 0KOs), North Carolina, 117 pounds—6 rds, bantamweight
Gerffred Ngayot (4-1, 3KOs), Buffalo, 135 pounds vs. Juan Carlos Montanez (1-2, 0KOs), Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, 136 pounds—4 rds, lightweight
Anthony Bizzaro (2-0, 0KOs), Erie, Pennsylvania, 145 pounds vs. Chris Ortiz (0-1, 0KOs), Huntington, West Virginia, 143 ½ pounds—4 rounds, welterweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox