'Glendale Glory' back for third round

GLENDALE — As its third installment fast approaches, the popular Glendale Glory boxing series continues to build up its brand, following up Jan. 8's Glendale Glory 2, which was broadcast live on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights," with a championship bout to head the card that will kick off at 8 p.m. Friday at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.

"It's pretty diverse, as a lot of our cards have been, but also I don't know too many promotional outlets that can do a nationally-televised show their second show and then a title fight their third show, so I'm really excited about that," said Bash Boxing's Steve Bash, who is co-promoting Glendale Glory 3 with Glendale resident Kahren Harutyunyan's Art of Boxing Promotions.

The main event will feature Khabir "The Crazy Russian" Suleymanov (10-0, four knockouts) taking on Javier "El Girito" Gallo (17-1-1, nine KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Organization bantamweight title in a 10-round affair.

"I'm going to be ready for sure," Suleymanov, a former Golden Gloves champion in New York, who now fights out of Los Angeles by way of Chelyabinsk, Russia, said in a taped interview released by Bash Boxing. "It's just going to be a tough fight."

Gallo, a native of Tijuana, currently resides in Buena Park, but will be making his United States debut.

There will also be a world ranking on the line for the winner, a stipulation Bash said will only add to the intensity of the fight.

"In my eyes, I'm a boxing fan and kind of a boxing purist, so a lot of the lower weight classes today are the really exciting weight classes to watch because they're action-filled and punches are flying everywhere," Bash said. "A lot of these little guys are the ones who put on really great shows.

"Both fighters know whoever wins this fight becomes world-ranked, most likely top-10 in the world and will have an opportunity for a world title."

Amid an intriguing undercard, there's at least one fight that could prove to be a show stealer.

Light middleweight prospect Holly "Lil' Bear" Lawson's professional debut in a four-round bout against Brittney Christian (1-1, one KO) out of Denver will be the first women's boxing match ever held in Glendale and, according to Bash, promises to be a rousing spectacle.

"I fell in love with women's boxing because they just go at it for whatever it is, four rounds, six rounds, eight rounds, you name it, it's nonstop action," Bash said. "I can only predict that the female fight will be the fight of the night."

Lawson, who is Canadian-born and currently resides in Los Angeles, won a California Golden Gloves title this year and has been training at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club preparing to go pro.

"I'm excited, I just want to fight now," Lawson said in a taped interview. "I love boxing and I want to be a world champion. …I know that I'm the first woman to fight in Glendale and that's a huge honor for me.

"I don't think I need to look for a knockout [against Christian], if it comes, it comes, if it doesn't, it doesn't. I'm ready for four rounds."

Also on the undercard, cruiserweight Anatoliy "The Dragon Man" Dudchenko (9-2, seven KOs) will make his second Glendale Glory appearance in an eight-round bout against Rayford Johnson (5-5, three KOs) and Deon "The Natural" Elam (12-1, six KOs) will take on DeAndrey Abron (15-6, 10 KOs) in a six-round cruiserweight tilt.

Jesus "El Pollo" Hernandez (8-0, two KOs) and "Sugar" Ray Beltran are also scheduled for undercard bouts.

All bouts are subject to change, with doors opening at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit http://www.glendaleglory.com or call (626) 388-8888.

Weigh-ins are scheduled for 5 p.m. today at The Tavern on Brand. Those who attend can purchase tickets for the event at 40%s off.

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