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BOXING

Future stars prep on Ontario card

November 29, 2008|Bill Dwyre | Dwyre is a Times staff writer.

Three boxers positioned to be major players in the future of the fight game will attempt to take big steps tonight in a shiny new arena.

Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, capacity 11,000, will hold its first boxing show for an "HBO After Dark" audience, and the prime players will be Paul Williams, Chris Arreola and Shawn Estrada.

Williams and Arreola have been around for a while, and Williams already made his mark with a stunning defeat of Antonio Margarito at the Home Depot Center in July 2007, at 145 pounds.

That made Williams a major player in several middleweight divisions, but his most difficult opponents since have been other promoters, who have seemed unable or unwilling to put him in the ring with their fighters. Williams is left-handed, stands 6 feet 1 and has a heavyweight-like reach of 82 inches, plus he can fight comfortably anywhere from 145 to 167 pounds, all of which makes him a problematic match.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, December 12, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 54 words Type of Material: Correction
Boxing: Articles on the heavyweight fight between Chris Arreola and Travis Walker in Sports on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 said Arreola was on a quest to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion. He would be the first champion of Mexican descent, but he is a Mexican American who was born in Los Angeles.

Williams (35-1) will fight veteran Verno Phillips (42-10-1) at 154 pounds. Phillips has been a pro fighter for 20 years and will turn 39 on the day of the fight.

Arreola, 27, is unbeaten in 25 fights, 22 of those knockouts, and usually carries a solid 240 to 250 pounds into the ring. He has been promoted as the next heavyweight champion and the first Mexican to take that step. His top-10 ranking in several of boxing's sanctioning groups points to a near-future shot at something bigger, if tonight goes well.

His opponent will be 29-year-old Floridian Travis Walker, who is 28-1-1 and also has 22 knockouts.

The Williams fight will be the main event, preceded by Arreola-Walker, which is scheduled to start at 7.

The third fighter of note, also from the Goossen-Tutor Promotions camp, is recent Olympian Estrada, who will make his pro debut in a four-round middleweight bout. His opponent will be 37-year-old Lawrence Jones of Washington D.C., whose record is 2-1-1.

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bill.dwyre@latimes.com.

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