ORANGE - When the Forum in Inglewood closed for boxing nearly two years ago, 88-world championship bouts had been contested there in 31 years. On August 17, Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with the World Boxing Hall of Fame will re-open the legendary arena with two California State Championship fights.
The main event will feature Inglewood's own Dwain "Tyger" Williams in a defense of his state middleweight belt. Williams (23-3, 16 KOs) will take on Pat Coleman (27-7, 19 KOs) of San Diego via Rockford, Ill., in a title bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
Williams is a solid veteran who has fought several times at the Forum and also has fought at the Pond in Anaheim. Williams has good power and ring savvy, but he will be in tough with Coleman, known as a guy who always comes to fight and has a record to back that up.
In the eight-round, semi-main event, Samuel Lopez (10-1, 3 KOs) of North Hills via Mexico City will take on an opponent to be determined in a defense of his state bantamweight belt.
Realizing that a good top-to-bottom card is what interests most fans, Ken Thompson and matchmaker Alex Camponovo have put together a solid card. Five bouts are set; one other is to be determined, for a total of six.
In one of the undercard bouts, tough Armando Velardez (10-1, 6 KOs) of San Bernardino will go against Eduardo Castillo (8-15) of San Diego via Mexico in a six-round welterweight bout.
Ernest Johnson (5-0, 3 KOs), of Dayton, Ohio, will go against Justo Almazan (5-14, 2 KOs) in a six-round lightweight fight. Johnson had a good amateur career and is currently training in Las Vegas. Richard Steele, the recently retired world-class referee, manages him. Steele in 2000 was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
In the super bantamweight division, Daniel Ponce De Leon (4-0, 4 KOs), a 2000 Olympian for Team Mexico, will put his undefeated record on the line against countryman Juan Manuel Castro (1-1, 1 KO).That bout is scheduled for four rounds. One other four- or six-round fight will be added.
Tickets for Path to Glory can be purchased at all Ticket Master outlets, or by calling the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Prices are $10, $15, $30, $40, $60 and $75.00.