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Boxers try to energize careers

September 25, 2008|Bill Dwyre | Times Staff Writer

Auditions for the bright lights of boxing continue for Chris Arreola and Paul Williams, stars of promoter Dan Goossen's camp, as part of a card tonight at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif.

Arreola is an unbeaten heavyweight being promoted as the next big thing in a division that has craved stars for several years.

Arreola, from Riverside, is 27, but left boxing for two years after 2001 and is scrambling now to fight often and prove his worth as a marquee boxer. His record is 24-0, with 21 knockouts, and this will be his seventh fight since February 2007. His opponent will be Israel Garcia, 38, of New York, who has fought only 21 times in 10 years, and has a 19-1 record.

Williams (34-1, 25 KOs) had a moment in the bright lights when he beat Antonio Margarito at the Home Depot Center in Carson in July 2007. But he lost his next fight, to Carlos Quintana in February in Temecula, before avenging that defeat in Connecticut in June.

Still, the 27-year-old Aiken, S.C., fighter has had a difficult time being included in the mix of big fights at weights from 147 pounds to as much as 168, partly because, as a long-and-lanky boxer with a reach that is difficult to deal with -- as Margarito learned -- he is an awkward and dangerous opponent.

Tonight, he will fight Andy Kolle, 26, of Fergus Falls, Minn. Both left-handers, Williams and Kolle will fight at 160 pounds, meaning Kolle (17-1, 12 KOs) will be the naturally larger fighter.

The fights will be co-main events and will be telecast on Versus.

On Friday, at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, Calif., Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions will match 2004 Olympian Vicente Escobedo against Dominic Salcido in a 10-round lightweight bout.

Escobedo, from Woodland Hills, is 18-1 with 11 KOs. Salcido, from Rialto, is 16-0 with eight KOs.

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bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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