Nwokolo, Canela to Fight for State Title

Times Staff Writer

It hasn't taken Charles Nwokolo long.

He left his native Nigeria earlier this year to follow the same road his uncle, former world middleweight champion Dick Tiger, traveled.

Like Tiger, Nwokolo came to America to gain credibility in his chosen field. Tonight, he gets a chance to fight for a title.

True, it's only the California welterweight championship that Nwokolo, fighting under the name Young Dick Tiger, will be trying to win tonight in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. But that's not bad, considering that this is only his third fight in America.

The newest Tiger arrived in California at 14-0 with 12 knockouts and the African welterweight championship. Two months ago, he won his first American fight, a unanimous 10-round decision over Rigo Lopez at the Sheraton.

Tiger stepped back into the Sheraton ring last month and scored a sixth-round knockout over Jaime Montano.

His opponent in tonight's 12-round title bout will be California champion Felipe Canela (23-5-3, 16 knockouts) of Colton. Canela won the title in May with a knockout victory over Alfonso Long.

Is this Tiger biting off more than he can chew?

"This is the best fight for him," says Nnamdi Moweta, Tiger's manager. "We want the best. There is no sense in taking on a bunch of bums to run up a 40-0 record. What's the point in fighting a guy to get a one-round knockout?"

Tonight's Sheraton card also will include a 10-round welterweight bout between Davidson Andeh (18-2, 15 knockouts) of Nigeria and Lopez (15-2 with 10 knockouts).

Middleweights David Kilgour (1-1, one knockout) of Canoga Park and Kola Haeva (1-1, one knockout) of Samoa will fight a four-rounder.

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