Tampa Bay’s Proud boxing tradition continues April 28
At Ferg’s Sports Bar in St. Petersburg, the official buildup to No Pain No Gain 9 began on Saturday afternoon. The fight card is a deep one, with up to 52 rounds of action ahead on April 28 at The St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater. A number of fighters were on hand along with promoter Dave Bowser of Status Events.
The bout between Armando Alvarez and Jesus Tavarez is at the very top of the card, but it will be a full fight night in St. Pete on the 28th. Tampa Firefighter Christina Swanson Campfort takes on Kendra Mendoza, Santiago Arroyo Jr. is to be highlighted, and a pair of fighters make their professional debuts in an area where boxing has long been a prominent sport.
My’cheal Teal had a considerable career as an amateur, competing on both the state and national levels. Now, he prepares to take his first steps into the ring as a professional. He has some top-notch help in longtime trainer Dan Birmingham, who also trained St. Petersburg’s own Boxing Hall of Famer Winky Wright and Jeff Lacy. Teal hopes to continue the Suncoast boxing tradition as he enters the pro ranks eager for a new challenge.
“I understand it’s going to be longer fights (in the professional ranks). So you’re going to have to conserve more energy.”
“He’s got all the skills to go as far as he wants to,” says Birmingham, who also suggests that Teal has some big dreams. “He sees himself as a young Muhammad Ali.”
The event is sure to have more than a touch of Florida’s boxing history on hand. Wright is expected to be in attendance on the 28th, along with former World Light Heavyweight Champion Antonio Tarver Sr. Add to that a Tampa firefighter appearing on the card, a fighter in Arroyo who is based out of Winter Haven, and a Dan Birmingham fighter stepping into the ring for the very first time and No Pain No Gain 9 is sure to be another memorable page in Tampa Bay’s rich boxing history.
In two weeks, boxing returns to St. Petersburg with a fight card large enough to make a baseball game out of the participants. Careers will be launched, and others will take the next step toward the top of the boxing world as Florida’s love of the fight game is rekindled once more.