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Galstyan Sticks His Chin Out in Debut Against Diaz : Boxing: Light heavyweight, who has shown his jaw can take it, has already bitten off a Guinness record.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Robert Galstyan will make his debut as a professional boxer tonight at the Warner Center Marriott, so it remains to be seen if he can punch.

This much is known for sure: He doesn’t have a glass jaw.

Galstyan, who meets Felizardo Diaz in a four-round bout between light heavyweights, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for pulling two connected railroad cars weighing 483,197 pounds 23 feet along a track-- with his teeth-- at Shcherbinka, Greater Moscow, Russia, in July, 1992.

Stan Ward, Galstyan’s trainer, said the 5-foot-6 native of Masis, Armenia, also has pulled 18-wheel trucks and held down helicopters with his teeth.

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Galstyan also has held two light planes from taking off.

Tonight’s main event features light heavyweights at a crossroads in their remarkably similar careers.

Gary Ballard and Eric Brown are 28 years old and on the verge of of challenging for a world title in their fifth years as professionals.

Ballard, from Natal, South Africa, but living in Huntington Beach, has a record of 19-2-1 with 17 of his victories by knockout.

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Brown, from San Jose and training in Las Vegas, has a record of 18-2-1 with 14 knockouts.

Both have reputations as powerful punchers with suspect chins.

Brown’s only losses were by knockout in bouts he was winning on points.

Ballard’s last loss came at the Marriott in August against unheralded Roman Santos. The knockout defeat might have given Ballard’s career a boost. Gerrie Coetzee, the boxer’s adviser, said champions previously leery of Ballard are suddenly willing to fight him.

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Coetzee, promoter of tonight’s card, said he has a verbal agreement to match Ballard against undefeated Dariusz (Tiger) Michalczewski for the World Boxing Organization title in Germany next month.

A victory in that bout could bring him a fight against world super middleweight champion Niguel Benn.

First Ballard must defeat Brown, who probably would vault into title contention with a victory.

“Nobody can accuse me of protecting [Ballard],” said Coetzee, a former world heavyweight champion. “He’s going to have to earn it against the best.”

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The rest of the card features four six-round bouts matching big punchers.

In the top bout of the undercard, top junior welterweight prospect Jaime Ocegueda goes for his third consecutive victory at the Marriott, facing Manuel Margarito.

Ocegueda, from Pico Rivera, has a record of 12-1-2 with seven knockouts. Margarito, 19, from Chula Vista, is 3-1-2 with two knockouts as a pro, after an unbeaten amateur career.

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Junior welterweight Gregory Balcazar of Mexico, who fights out of Northridge, meets Ramon Baez of Sonora, Mexico. Balcazar is 8-0 with six knockouts; Baez is 8-1 with five knockouts.

In a junior middleweight fight, Floyd Weaver meets Fili Castro, a former stablemate of Luis Ramon (Yory Boy) Campas, the North American Boxing Organization junior middleweight champion.

Weaver, from Chino Hills, has a record of 13-3-2 with nine knockouts. Castro, from Sonora, Mexico, is 12-2 with 10 knockouts.

Don Goodwin of Canoga Park, who was decked by Weaver in the second round at the Marriott in September, attempts to rebound against Rodney Jones of San Diego in a middleweight bout.

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Goodwin, who had Weaver in trouble in the opening minute, is 5-5 with four knockouts. Jones is 7-2 with three knockouts.

First bell is at 7:30.


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