Local junior-welterweight boxer Jesus Soto is humble about his skills in the ring. When asked about his strategy in regard to the upcoming match at Fight Night at the Den, Friday, July 8, at Glendale Arena, Soto says, "I just try to be prepared, go for the best, get in there and fight and try not to get hit." Who has time to get hit? Having boxed on the professional level for only one year, Soto mentions, almost as an afterthought, that none of his four pro fights has made it past the second round -- each one ended in a knockout. He'll see if he can continue the streak when he comes up against another area favorite, Francisco Rios. Don't worry, if anyone goes down fast, there are six other bouts to keep you punch-drunk for the evening. Fight Night promoter Scott Maling, who puts together six of these events every year, says it's the local aspect that really fills the seats. "We could easily book national talent with bigger names, but people here have been watching and supporting these fighters, following their careers, and nothing matches that excitement," says Maling.
The evening's pugilist roster also includes Cesar Carbajal, Joe Varela, and Sergio Reyes. Glendale Arena is located at 9400 West Maryland in Glendale. The first bell rings at 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $10 to $40. Call 623-772-3200. -- Amy Young
Extreme MeasuresCompetition heats up at Coon Bluff
Your unphotogenic mug kept you from appearing on The Amazing Race, but don't despair -- there's ample adventure racing available in the Valley, like the Extreme Heat Summer Series, starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Coon Bluff Recreation Area. This TAR-style competition requires individuals or two-person teams to clear numerous checkpoints along a 15-kilometer route of their own choosing, using orienteering, hiking and "adventure tubing" down the Salt River. There'll also be "mystery events" -- which have previously involved carrying partners through various obstacles -- along the way. Registration costs $65 for individuals and $109 for pairs. Coon Bluff Recreation Area is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Mesa off the Bush Highway, one mile west of Usery Pass Road. See www.sierraadventuresports.com for directions or to register. -- Benjamin Leatherman