IRVINE — Orange County, which hardly has a reputation of playing host to major boxing events, will move up a step when a world title bout takes place Aug. 17 at the Bren Center in Irvine.
Orange County has been the site of monthly boxing programs, promoted by Don Fraser, at the Irvine Marriott for the past seven years, but they have mostly featured club fighters.
Nick Bartlett and LBNT Pro Sport started promoting boxing at the Bren Center in June with the promise of bringing higher-quality bouts to the county.
Now, because of a disagreement in Monte Carlo, Bartlett has hit the promoting jackpot.
Darrin Van Horn (46-2) of Morgan City, La., will make a mandatory defense of his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title against John Jarvis (22-2) of Richmond, Va., to headline the 1 p.m. card at the 6,000-seat Bren Center.
"We are very, very pleased," Bartlett said. "It's the big time for us, that's for sure. We never expected to get into a world title fight this soon."
The bout, promoted by Cedric Kushner, was originally scheduled for Aug. 17 in Monte Carlo, but there was a disagreement over the venue. Kushner is now a co-promoter of the fight in Irvine.
"We heard we had a chance about two weeks ago, so we went after it," Bartlett said. "We increased our attendance for the second card (2,000) by about double of the first, so we hope this one will do really well."
Van Horn, 22, turned professional at 16. He won the IBF super middleweight title May 18, when he defeated Lindell Holmes with an 11th-round knockout.
Van Horn had won his first 38 professional fights, including a 12-round decision over Robert Hines, to take the IBF junior middleweight title. But he lost that title in his first defense, against Gianfranco Rosi. Rosi won the rematch about a year later, handing Van Horn both of his losses. Van Horn has 26 knockouts in 48 fights.
Jarvis, 32, comes into the bout as the Intercontinental super middleweight champion. He gained his title with a decision over Ken Shannon in February, 1990. He has 16 knockouts in 24 pro bouts.
Tickets--priced at $25, $50 and $100--are on sale at the Bren Center and Ticketmaster locations throughout Southern California.