What’s cooking in MN boxing…

Rumors are flying and all signs point to an exciting next few months for fans of Minnesota boxing. Our purpose here is not to break news, sometimes letting things out can ruin a good thing, but all signs point to big fights for Cerresso Fort and Caleb Truax in the near future. RDS Boxing is looking at several dates in the next couple of months and T-Rex Promotions has a date set for April 7 featuring many of Minnesota’s favorites, including; Andy Kolle, RJ Laase, Aaron Green, Dustin Mason, Tyler Hultin and more.


Fort’s stock is looking to be on the rise. His drawing power was on display February 24 in headlining the Armory show in St. Paul. Along with his ever-growing popularity, Fort has also been growing his gym, Element Boxing and Fitness LLC. Hoping the rumors are true and we see Fort on an even larger stage…..


Caleb Truax has been on the sidelines ever since his biggest win to date, May 27 2012. His name has been involved in several possibilities since that time, most notably a national tv fight on showtime. Truax was only weeks away from the fight when Brandon “Flawless” Gonzales pulled out due to injury. Talk has been of a tune-up fight for Truax but recent rumors have him preparing for anything but. Again, we have our fingers crossed for a big move from Truax very soon….


RDS Boxing’s first promotion packed the Armory in St. Paul February 24. Word is that they are ready to continue that success in short order. I have heard of dates as early as April for their next show, along with something in May. Lets hope one of those happens….


RJ “T-Rex” Laase’s promotion, T-Rex Promotions has a card set for April 7 at Wessman Arena in Superior WI. At this time, Andy “Kaos” Kolle (24,3) is set to  headline this event. Laase’s fight is very close to being announced and I cant wait… Also on the card are Aaron “Gorilla” Green, coming off of his impressive first round victory in February. Rounding out the show are, Dustin Mason, Tyler Hultin, and Winston Anderson…….

Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell set to fight for WBF Title in Uganda?

Joey Abell, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Joey Abell, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Sources close to the situation informed me a few days back that there was a chance that Joey Abell would be taking the place of Evander Holyfield in a title fight with Francois “The White Buffalo” Botha (47,4,3) and now it is also posted on Abell’s website among other boxing blogs and sites. Although the fight is not yet a done deal, contracts and terms are not yet finished, the fight looks to be set for February 27 at Nelson Mandela Memorial Stadium in Kampala Uganda.


This would be a huge fight for Ice coming off the fiasco that was December 4. Abell had said prior to his fight with Raphael Butler that in 2010 he wanted to be in some higher profile type fights and this would be a nice start. Francois Botha started his professional career in 1990 racking up an impressive record with his only losses coming to premier fighters. His first loss was to Michael Moorer by way of TKO in the 12th round in 1996, his second loss came to Mike Tyson by KO in round 5 of a 10 round contest, Botha then lost to Lennox Lewis by TKO in the 2nd round of a 12 round fight, his only other loss was to current heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko in round 8 of a 12 round fight. At 41, Botha has to be making his final push for the top. Joey Abell may have more time, but has said there needs to be some major steps forward in 2010. Lets hope papers get signed and contracts done so Uganda can get some Minnesota Ice.


Truax (right) Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Truax (right) Courtesy SnapLocally.com


2010 looks to be a fun year for Minnesota boxing. Matt Vanda and Phil Williams have big fights on the 29th of this month and February has pro boxing in each of its first two weekends. From all I have been told and read both MSC and Seconds Out Promotions plan on another very busy year of boxing. Andy “Kaos” Kolle called out Matt Vanda and Caleb Truax towards the end of 2009 and rumor has it that Kolle/Vanda could be right around the corner if all goes well. The Fistic Mystic reported that there were bids sent out to Hinckley Grand Casino for a Caleb Truax/Kenny Kost fight and Matt Vanda / Andy Kolle 2, with Vanda/Kolle 2 winning out (Fistic also reported that nothing was final on Vanda/Kolle as contracts were not done at that time). Lets hope that both of these fights stay alive or at least some pairing of these four happens. Below are some MN vs MN fights we would love to see in 2010 if things continue to go well for the fighters mentioned. Big national or tv fights rank high in our book, but this is just Minnesota possibilities and we realise some of them may not make sense to the fighters for several reasons.


Jason Litzau, Courtesy of SnapLocally.com

Jason Litzau, Courtesy of SnapLocally.com


Jason Litzau vs Wilton Hilario – We know this is probably a pipe dream for the time being


Andy Kolle vs Caleb Truax – This fight seems a ways off with what has been reported


Vanda landing on Williams, courtesy SnapLocally.com

Vanda landing on Williams, courtesy SnapLocally.com


Andy Kolle vs Matt Vanda – Probably the biggest fight out there in terms of money and turnout


Matt Vanda vs Caleb Truax – Another pipe dream as they share the same gym and trainer


Caleb Truax vs Phil Williams – I really like this fight


Joey Abell vs Raphael Butler – I still would like to see this fight, but dont have much hope of it happening


Gary Eyer (right), Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Gary Eyer (right), Courtesy SnapLocally.com


Gary Eyer vs Jeremy McLaurin – might be too soon for such a meeting, but I love the fight.


Brad Patraw vs Ismail Muwendo – weights are slightly different and this may also be too soon, but I love this fight.


Jeremy McLaurin, Courtesy SnapLocally.com

Jeremy McLaurin, Courtesy SnapLocally.com


Jeremy McLaurin vs Ismail Muwendo – same as above

Minnesota’s Boxing

Some rumors and some dates.


Update: Willshawn Boxley has informed me that he will also be fighting on August 29. He will get to have a rematch of his rained out fight with Will Hernandez.


marcus-oliveriaOn the same night that Phil “The Drill” Williams had his marquee victory over Antwun Echols, Marcus Oliveria (pictured on the left) dropped the biggest bombs of the night on Otis Griffin. As far as the regulars of Minnesota boxing cards go, Only Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell hits harder in my book. Oliveria took out Phil Williams when they fought and has kept on with his undefeated ways. He will be showing off his skills August 29, on a Seconds Out Promotions card in WI. The next scheduled pro card (not yet on boxrec.com) is in Rochester MN, on September 12. This card is rumored to have Raphael Butler, in what would be a tune up for his big showdown with Joey Abell in November. I have also heard rumors that Dave Peterson and Corey Rodriguez will also be featured.


In what in my opinion is the most exciting rumor, Andy “Kaos” Kolle and “Golden” Caleb Truax look to be close to a deal to have them fight in October? Only source I have for this is the rumor mill at the most recent fights. Kolle defending his title against the number one contender will always rank highly in my book. And judging from comments and fan interaction it may be the biggest fight out there.


We will keep you up to date on all the major news as it comes in. I will be trying to track down more specifics on the September 12 fight card in Rochester.

Things to look forward to.

Update: I have just been informed by MSC that they have pulled their bid for the Joey Abell/Raphael Butler fight and are not pursuing at this time.


With so much action in the local boxing scene, I thought  I would go over whats been talked about and whats been signed. During iFan.tv’s webcast of Bridge Battle II, Tony Grygelko and I had some time to talk about all the super fights to come in the next 6 to 12 months, and I thought I would share what we talked about as well as the one confirmed big fight.


Matt “The Predator” Vanda vs Phil “The Drill” Williams / Sept. 26 Target Center / MSC


This fight is signed and has a date at the Target Center. I am looking forward to seeing how Phil fairs against the very tough Vanda. Matt’s had trouble with the bigger fellas in the past but they had much more experience than The Drill does. Great match up of size and style. Really looking forward to this one.


Andy “Kaos” Kolle vs “Golden” Caleb Truax / date and place of a ?/ Horton’s Gym Promotions and Seconds Out Promotions?



The fight is not signed but there has been a gentleman’s agreement between Tony Grygelko and Chuck Horton. Andy Kolle is the Minnesota Middleweight champ with victories over Anthony “The Bullet” Bonsante and Matt Vanda. “Golden” Caleb Truax is thought to be one of our states future stars as well as the top contender to Kolles title. I love this fight. Its always great to see the best against the best.


Jason Litzau vs Wilton Hilario /date and place ?/ rumors for both MSC and Seconds Out Promotions

Jason Litzau, courtesy of SnapLocally.com

Jason Litzau, courtesy of SnapLocally.com


No matter who the promoter ends up being or where it is fought, this is a must see match up for all true boxing fans. Jason Litzau has gone further in the national scene than any current Minnesota fighter. Wilton Hilario just got done taking care of Allen Litzau and is ready to bring his name to the top of the MN fighter list. The rumors are that this could be part of the Sept 26 card at Target Center, but I have also heard it could headline a date at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for Seconds Out Promotions.


Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell vs Raphael Butler / date and place?/ rumors for both MSC and Seconds Out Promotions


A fight Minnesota boxing fans have been waiting on for a long time. Nothing brings out the people like a good heavyweight match up. And as far as Minnesota heavy’s go, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Rumors have had this fight taking place at the Target Center for MSC, but it is also rumored that Seconds Out Promotions will be handling the affair. Again, either way, I can not wait to see the big fellas in action.


Zach “Jungleboy” Walters vs Phil “The Drill” Williams / was to be this fall / Horton’s Gym Promotions


Phil had been very vocal about this fight for the last few months. Not really sure why he decided against it but his Target Center date would be hard to pass up. I really hope The Drill wasn’t just all talk. I really like Phil and the times I have been able to talk with him have been a pleasure. I think he is a good guy and was given an offer he could not refuse. Hopefully if Phil can beat Vanda he will be ready to step in there with somebody his own size. He has been asking for Zach and Zach has been saying yes. It will be interesting to see if Phil really has meant all he has said.


Zach “Jungleboy” Walters vs Matt “The Predator” Vanda/ Vanda just called out Zach the day of Zach last fight


I’m sure if the offer was serious, Zach would give him the opportunity. Well, that’s my thought.

Phil “The Drill” Williams vs Matt Vanda / Jason Litzau vs Wilton Hilario, Sept. 26 at the Target Center

Matt Vanda/Andy Kolle Courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved

Matt Vanda/Andy Kolle Courtesy Walters Photography, all rights reserved

Update at bottom of Post, Cory Rapacz and Phil Williams have a comment.


Again, 2009 is a year to remember in Minnesota boxing. Contracts have been signed for the Williams/Vanda affair.I don’t have confirmation on the Jason Litzau/Wilton Hilario portion yet. If true, this would be a very big night of fights.  I don’t really know what Phil gains by taking this fight, but the fans will get a very fun show. I would  not be telling the truth if I said I wasn’t extremely excited to see this bout.I really love how Vanda is always looking to fight Minnesota’s best. Adding Litzau vs Hilario makes the night truly special for the fans.


The one thing I find very unfortunate in all of this is how both Vanda and Williams used calling out Zach “Jungleboy” Walters to get their fight. For Vanda, its a great move and even more proof that he is willing to take on anyone. For Phil, it looks like he really didn’t want anything to do with Walters. Again, I can’t blame him for wanting to fight a welterweight over somebody his size. It’s just very hard to swallow all the talk The Drill was doing about Zach and when the fight was ready to be made, he ran and signed to fight a welter. The other part that is hard for me is this: Phil’s whole reason for not fighting on the last Target Center show was that the guy was not big enough and it wouldn’t prove anything if he beat him. That guy weighed 166. I kind of think this is a lesson in “be careful what you wish for”. He asked for Jungleboy and he actually could have had the fight, but when the reality of fighting the number one light heavy in the state came to be a reality, where is Phil?

Phil "The Drill" Williams/ SnapLocally.com

Phil "The Drill" Williams/ SnapLocally.com


In an effort to be fair, below is a comment from Cory Rapacz



Just got off the phone with Drill and he said he never
once received an official offer to fight Zach from any promoter. He told me he was never even initially contacted for the fight by Horton or Grygelko. He said he did in fact ask Tony G if he could get it done and Phil said Tony told him that, “He’d try.” Then Phil apparently heard nothing. Now I understand that Zach had a fight coming up, but he has a very capable group of people around him who could have at least contacted Phil and let him know any plans. If Phil was indeed Zach’s next move then that should have been conveyed to him officially in private and not by taking some verbal shots at him on a promo video.

Phil believes the Vanda fight is a much bigger fight for his career. Matt is a much better known name nationally and Phil will be main eventing in his hometown (which is much larger than Duluth) in a first class venue against arguabley the biggest star this state has seen over the last 10 years. You’re telling me Phil is running from Zach? Looks like he just accepted the ONE offer that he had.

Can you explain to me even one way that fighing Vanda in Minnesota’s biggest venue wouldn’t be better exposure for Phil than fighting Zach in Duluth?

Finally, a message from Phil: “I chased Zach for so long and got nothing. After I beat Vanda he can start chasing me.”


My response to Cory and Phil.


I love the fight between Phil and Vanda, it will be great for the fans. It shows the kind of guy Vanda is, he will fight anyone. The day before the Phil/Vanda fight was signed, Vanda was calling out Zach. Then this fight was signed the day after Zach won his fight. Now I know, and everyone else knows, there was a fight to be had between Phil and Zach. But now Phil wants to take on a guy who lost to; Andy Kolle, Anthony Bonsante, Kenny Kost, with most people saying those guys were just too big for him. Those fights took place at just under 160 pounds. I guess if Phil is looking to fight at middleweight it all makes perfect sense. I also thinks its a great business move for MSC and Matt Vanda. The fan in me loves the fight. The Duluth in me feels bad for how Zach was used in this.

April 18 Matt Vanda vs KJ Noons at the Target Center Mpls MN

More on this from the Star Tribune 


The Midwest Sports Council is bringing the BOOM to boxing. This is the same promotion that is giving the fans Kolle vs Bonsante March 28, and now has announced KJ Noons (MMA titlist) vs Matt Vanda in an 8 round main event for their April 18 show.  The event on the 18th of April also boasts the highly anticipated fight between Allen Litzau and Wilton Hilario along with Jason Litzau’s return to the ring. MinnesotaBoxing.com is reporting that there are negotiations under way with Zach Walters to ad to the very impressive list of boxers for the Target Center. Stay tuned, we will keep you up to date on these recent developments.


MNboxingleague.com wants to thank the Midwest Sports Council for their first two scheduled events. You talk about fan friendly fights, these guys are pulling all the stops to put on the shows we want to see. We are still working on getting an interview with one of the men behind the promotion to find out what their vision for Minnesota’s boxing future is. I can not say it enough, what a cool time to be a Minnesota fight fan.

Andy Kolle Announces that…….

Chuck Horton had a contract in hand and Kaos in the ring. Unfortunately they were unable to announce the name of Andy Kolle’s next opponent. However, hints were given: March 27, Minnesota foe, huge fight. There are plenty of rumblings, but we will not report on Kolle’s opponent until we get word to do so.


As is usually the case, Horton put on one heck of a show. Grandmas was packed with fight fans. The sportsmanship in the ring was tremendous, and the action was great. I am sure all of us that braved the cold, found that risking freezing our tails off was well worth it.


Amateur to watch. Al Sands, Wow! (all the fellas were great)



Walker Super Show

The latest match-ups I have found for this show come from boxing forums so this will be listed in rumors and upcoming events.


Northern Lights Casino, Walker MN

Saturday Dec. 20

John Sargent (28-5 ) vs Marcus Rhode (34-35)
Ben Lane (4-1) vs Nick Whiting (0-8)
Tyler Gould (5-2) vs Michael Davis (2-5)
Brad Croaker (2-0) vs Mike Howell (1-1)
Brian Cohen (9-1) vs James Walker (0-1)
Boris Shishporenok (5-0) vs Mike Stevens (0-1)
Jesse Barbot (4-4) vs Nathan Wilks (1-16)
Ronnie Peterson (1-0) vs Jeffery Arnold (0-0)

fights subject to change, and probably will

To learn more/ buy tickets/………….