The cries against immigrants from the south reached a new crescendo last year with Senate Bill 1070, a law aimed at turning all Arizona police officers into immigration-enforcement agents.

A federal judge has blocked most of the relevant provisions of SB 1070 until courts determine whether they are constitutional.

Whether or not stringent provisions of the law ever go into effect, 1070's signing into law by Governor Jan Brewer soured the Mexico-based World Boxing Council on Arizona, and in April 2010, the council banned Mexican fighters from competing in the state.

Santiago furiously punches Walter Santilbanes.
Jamie Peachey
Santiago furiously punches Walter Santilbanes.
Michelle Rosado and Arizona Boxing Commissioner Dennis O'Connell review 
paperwork at a pre-fight weigh-in.
Jamie Peachey
Michelle Rosado and Arizona Boxing Commissioner Dennis O'Connell review paperwork at a pre-fight weigh-in.

The WBC issued a statement saying the state's anti-immigration efforts are "shameful, inhuman, and discriminatory."

Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions and a famed Los Angeles ex-boxer with 10 world titles in his professional career, also stays away — and keeps his fighters away — from Arizona.

De la Hoya, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, called 1070 a "racist" law in an interview with Norm Frauenheim of www.15rounds.com.

Rosado believes that she can move past such political sentiment by highlighting Valley up-and-comers, such as Emilio Colon-Garcia, Jose Benavidez Jr., and Santiago.

Her philosophy worked for her first Friday Night Fights show, which sold out.

She provided ringside seating for $60 per ticket. Those in the good seats were treated to good views of not only the fighters but traditional bikini-clad ring girls marking the start of each round, as well as access to drink-carrying waitresses.

General admission seating was $25.

Rosado plans to do it again at her second show, slated for July 22 at the Madison Events Center.

"I want to give these young boxers a chance to showcase their talents and give fans something to get excited about," she says.

She knows that it will take more than the occasional entertaining boxing show to win back boxing fans in Arizona. A local boxing champion that fans can rally around would help.

At Central Boxing Gym, one of the dozens of boxing facilities in the Valley, a stable of starry-eyed fighters train on punching bags, jab at invisible opponents, and jump rope furiously.

Eric Delgado Chavez, 25, who won his first amateur fight recently, shadowboxes in front of a wall of mirrors.

He spends 90 minutes training in the gym every evening and another hour running through Papago Park every morning.

"You gotta give up the good stuff," he says. "Junk food, drinking alcohol, staying out late partying.

"It's a sacrifice," he says. "But I just visualize myself winning a match, maybe one day becoming a successful professional boxer."

Santiago Castañeda, a manager and trainer at Central Boxing Gym, near 17th Avenue and Van Buren, has trained Valley fighters for 15 years. Castañeda doesn't lay all the blame for local boxing's demise on anti-immigrant laws. He says most local fighters haven't been willing to do what it takes over the past decade.

"If [enough] fighters don't take the sport seriously, the sport's not going to go anywhere," he says. "It takes a lot of dedication."

Arizona fans have not seen a local fighting sensation since Michael Carbajal, a four-time world light-flyweight (no more than 108 pounds) champion whose last bout was in 1999.

"It's such hard work," says Jose Benavidez Sr., whose son, Jose Benavidez Jr., is hailed as one of Arizona's top boxing prospects.

The undefeated 18-year-old light-welterweight (weight limit 140 pounds) went pro in January 2010 and has 10 wins under his belt, nine by knockout.

Jose Jr. fought at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 7 — on the same ticket as the headlining, much-hyped welterweight (141-147 pounds) title fight between defending World Boxing Organization champion Manny "Pac-Man " Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley, a former champion who'd hoped to regain the title. Benavidez Jr. and Pacquiao walked away with wins.

"It's pretty much sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice" for the young fighter, says Benavidez, who is managing his son's boxing career.

"Everyone wants to be a champion, and they work hard to get to where they win a few fights, and then they think they can kick back and relax," he says. "And Phoenix is so small they think they're superstars."

Benavidez says he has heard pitches from fly-by-night promoters who talk about reviving the sport, but he believes Michelle Rosado could be the real deal.

Rosado made frequent trips to local gyms to get to know trainers, managers, and fighters.

"When Michelle first came around talking about how she was going to bring back boxing, we were just thinking, 'Yeah, we've heard this before,'" he says.

It didn't take long for Benavidez to develop respect for Rosado, who has been a boxing fan since she sat in the living room of her Philadelphia home with her father and watched televised fights featuring legends Tommy "Hitman" Hearns, Mike Tyson, and Felix "Tito" Trinidad.

"With her first show, she's already proven that she's different," Benavidez says. "She has this nobody-is-going-to-mess-with-me attitude. I've never met anyone like her."


Before her first big event, the raven-haired diva, 31, wears the attitude Benavidez mentions as boldly as she wears her black, five-inch heels and black, tight dress with a plunging neckline.

She clicks around the Madison Events Center, checking on fighters, their trainers, a disc jockey, the ring announcer, the ring girls, and the volunteer event staff she had assembled, a team that includes her sister, Jennifer, a family friend, and a former neighbor. She also checks on the regular Madison event staff, including food vendors and security personnel.

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48 comments
Jesus Fuentes
Jesus Fuentes

This article is great for the boxing and its fans in Arizona. Glad to hear Rosado is doing everything she can for the sport in the state and she is gaining ground. I just want to comment on the Bob Arum part. A guy who has brought fame, glory, and admiration to the sport for decades but these past years has actually been hurting it with his weak fight cards that us fans shell out millions for on PPV. He not only pins his fighters with overmatched opponents, hence (Paquiao vs Mosely), but also wants to keep it within Top Rank. Ducking all other promoter's who's fighters are actually worthy of competing with his fighters and beating them. He is what boxing does not need. True boxing fans will understand that the Pacman, who I do like as a boxer, has faced old, out of prime, boxers these past few years. His opponents were worn out and dehydrated by fight night just to make a stupid weight when the title has a specific weight obligation, yet he, Pacquiao, wins the title and Arum makes millions upon million, with the fans getting cheated with these weak and unnecessary bouts.

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lower abs exercises

ohh i think that she sees a great potential to this fighter and i know that this fighter can reach the expectations of others..

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lishuzheng

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Tangled Web
Tangled Web

They are not "anti-immigrant" laws, they are "anti-illegal immigrant" laws - hopefully you noticed the "illegal" part of "illegal-immigrant".

I hope there's a difference, because I'm an immigrant myself, a legal one.

Ted Seift
Ted Seift

Ajincali, they are misdemeanors, not felonies, you fucking cracker. You and your fellow KKK rednecks are the joke.

Ajincali
Ajincali

I agree with ohter commentators. This article is a total joke. iwas hoping it would end with the horns blaring and ICE agents moving toward the ring arresting illegals as they walked.

Alas, another BS story about how illegals are disenfranchaised after they commit several felonies to enter our nation illegaly.

Paul Houseknecht
Paul Houseknecht

the political climate in Arizona vilifies all things Mexico... Honestly? Perhaps if the majority of those coming here illegally were not from Mexico or other Spanish speaking countries than Hispanics could stop using this law as another excuse to whine and complain. When will Hispanics start blaming the illegal Hispanics for causing this mess instead of placing the blame on law makers?

Tired of it all
Tired of it all

This really isn't a story on boxing per se as it is another pathos story on why we should supposedly eliminate our borders and our immigration laws. We as a nation have every right - indeed it is our duty to our fellow citizens - to protect our borders. Another lame pro-illegals story, this time disguised as a sports story.

Dah2346
Dah2346

mexicans have turned into huge whiners. a illegal is a law breaker and i don't care how much u whine, there still law breakers. if our laws are not good enough for u go back to mexico with the illegals.

JMF
JMF

Interesting story, but get a load of the Benavidez Documentary being developed by a local production house. These guys know what they're doing.

http://round1themovie.com/

Firebird
Firebird

Wow... talk about a slanted piece! The story darn near slid off my screen it was tilted so far. "Anti-immigrant"?!? "Anti-Mexican"?!? Wow... and people still say the media isn't biased? ROTF! The writer off this piece might as well said she works for La Raza. She probably does.

Cousarmy0001
Cousarmy0001

Oh no, SB 1070 is preventing illegal immigrants from boxing in Arizona! How terrible!

Jason
Jason

What did the article have to do with boxing?

Michelle Rosado is from Puerto Rico, which is a part of AMERICA. If she has such concern for the fighters why doesn't she pack her ass up and fucking move to Cali or Texas? Apparently there the fighters need be medically fit to fight.

Oh wait.... I forgot......She is pro-illegal.

This article had absolutely nothing to do with a sport that is old and tired. It had to with SB 1070, politicians, and amnesty for the criminal illegals.

dave
dave

REALLY LIKE THAT ...WAAAAY BETTER THAN THAT RACIST PIG LEMON

Samphx2006
Samphx2006

Arizona doesn't have any anti-immigrant laws, we have anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant laws. New Times, you pride yourself on telling it like it is. Get the words right concerning immigration laws.

Doh
Doh

I like the NewTimes, but I am so sick of the all the articles being related to or about illegal immigrants. The bias the staff has is ridiculous ...it just seems that every article is somehow related to illegal immigration....give it an ifffing rest!

t_b_30120
t_b_30120

LEGAL immigrants have nothing to worry about.

Joel Z Williams
Joel Z Williams

the story title is incorrect. anti-immigration is not what's killing Arizona boxing it's the rise of Mixed Martial Arts fighting. After watching a MMA match boxing looks rather pedestrian and anachronistic. Now I compare the "sweet science" to watching women's pro basketball...it's ok, but nobody is going to pay to see it unless it's a big match.

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Fghj Ggbb

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Jmmailin
Jmmailin

Enjoyed the article. More power to Rosado. Shame the writer & New Times in general are so blind to your own racist hypocrisy in regarding all local Mexicans & Latinos as illegal entrants and any opposition to endless illegal entry as "anti-Mexican". Viva Mexico y los Mexicanos-Americanos - (pardon the grammar) - but get a passport.

Mug23
Mug23

Markspray how ignorant can you be. So you telling me only immigrants are gang bangers according to what you said what about all the Caucasian racist groups the African Americans groups also people like you make your race look like idiots. and to other people how sad you cant see someone succeed because right away you try to bring them down a bunch of nobodies haters!

Wontonmaker
Wontonmaker

I bet the out of the 900 peeps that showed up over half of them were family and free giveaways.. BUT IT DON'T MATTER CAUSE IT AIN'T HER MONEY!!!!

Jomomma
Jomomma

Michelle is sleeping with Jose Benevidez Sr. , so that she can get his son under her promotions!!!!

Markspray
Markspray

Tougher immigration laws have NOTHING to do with it. MMA is 100 times more exciting than watching 2 boxers dance around...Joke of an article. Had nothing to do with a female boxing promoter and everything to do about the liberal agenda of providing amnesty to all of the tatted out gang banging gang members that occupy our country. How bout this...amnesty for those that can complete a criminal background search, have never received Govt. financial assistance (welfare is for citizens who need a hand up / no out)..and have show proof that an employer is willing to hire them.

Whatwhatwhatwhat
Whatwhatwhatwhat

lol.. omg .. How classy is that.. dressing up in a tight black dress, and all of a sudden people are on her nuts.. OMG.. get a life.. who the hell is 'bucky"? please give us reports on real az fighters WHO ALREADY OWN A TITLE!!!! like Jesus "el Martillo" Gonzales. Why isn't he getting love from this Pro Immigration Magazine

BOXINGFAN
BOXINGFAN

yeah DOO DOO.. you are right.. That lady is NOT EVEN MEXICAN.. WHY IS SHE RIDING THE COAT TAILS OF THE SB 1070 LAW TO TRY TO MAKE A QUICK BUCK!!!!!

Doodoobird
Doodoobird

Well, First of all .... real boxing fans understand the difference between REAL boxing, and club cards. The fights were ok, BUT WORLD CLASS BOXING IT IS NOT!!! Real Hispanic Boxing fans don't even realize that this lady is PUERTO RICAN.. Not mexican, and is using the sb 1070 to try to wipe your wallets.. clever.. but you can keep amature night and I'll wait for serious boxing..

Guest
Guest

"Anti-Immigrant"? That's just ignorant. I'm anti-breaking the law. I'm pro-immigration, but most of these people seem to think the system just isn't good enough. Why don't the legal Hispanic residents of this country focus on changing the law instead of helping their family/friends break the laws of the country they claim to love? Ask for permission instead of breaking the law and then asking for forgiveness! You'll get no sympathy from me until you quit crying about anti-illegal immigration.

DBenton760
DBenton760

What is with these latino brain dead people. Sniveling because if your here Illegally, you can't vote,can't work, can't get food stamps, get the hell out of America you leeches...

alan
alan

There are no laws in AZ that prevent anyone from coming to this country LEGALLY. Any laws that AZ has passed only apply to people that have come here illegally. I realize the two words look similar but they are different.

NOBODY
NOBODY

Not all Hispanic U.S. Citizens agree with these whiners. I'm sick of them See my comments in the NEWTIMES article, "How An Underage Illegal immigrant Became One of the Valley's Hottest Tattoo Artist". (No, I'm NOT a "coconut", if you know what that means...

NOBODY
NOBODY

To Samphx: Fascinating. You must be psychic. I was about to write exactly what you wrote. Almost word for word. Thanks for doing for me.

ggllww
ggllww

Sanphx - Thank you for your comment.

I have been HARPING on NEWSTIME for a year now, about their seemingly "PRO-Illegal" stance!!!

Seems to me they would br protecting the Ciotizens of Arizona and the U.S., instead of calling out Sheriff Joe, about his Raids!!! Of course they have been after our most re-elected sherfiff for YEARS and he just ignores their ignorance........

Come on NEWTIMES - Lets hear a story about the HARM these people do instead of how we should be feeling sorry for them...........

Anon
Anon

That doesn't surprise me, like she has any real talents besides putting on kneepads and bowing

BigBoxingFan
BigBoxingFan

That's funny you said that cause if that were the case then why in the hell is he fighting on the Showdown promotions card at the Casino? Why wouldn't he just fight at the July Event mentioned on their website?

Hernandez Elisamaria
Hernandez Elisamaria

Markspray, what makes you think that all "tatted out gang banging gang members" are here illegally. My in-laws own tatoo parlors in Northern California and here in Arizona and I can tell you that most of the people who come in for "tats" are citizens influenced by celebrities who get tats, i.e., Kid Rock, Eminem, Snoop, Tommy Lee, etc. Also, there are many more Anglo people who come in to get tattoos. By the way, when I was in college I worked at the Department of Economic Security (Family Assistance) and no one can get "welfare" without citizenship credentials. Here again, most of the people on welfare are white folks. An interesting fact: Phoenix had no Anglos until about 100 years ago and this country had no "white" folks until Europeans decided to "claim" this continent for themselves and killed Native Americans. This land was owned by Native peoples -- yes, the Native Americans knew what tribes occupied specific areas. To this day, Native American historians will reference parts of this country as "the land of the Arapaho" or "Ojibwe waters," etc. Latinos were in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, California and New Mexico long before Whites because the land was Northern Mexico until the U.S. convinced Texas ranchers, who through an agreement between Mexico and the U.S. were granted use of the land, to secede from Mexico and join the U.S. This was done by vote of the ranchers who were on foreign soil and did not include the will (vote) of the Mexican citizens in Texas. End result, a war and as Mexico had recently been at war with Spain for independence, did not have the economic resources to battle the war incited by the U.S. You may want to rethink your comments because you do not seem to be able to show proof that you know this country's history. I am Native American and Latina and I say that you are a descendant of foreign invaders because even if your family came to this country under the "legal immigration" laws the U.S. established, the laws were enacted by White people who forcibly took this land from my peoples -- yes, peoples is correct English. Had the world had an international rights group when the Europeans began killing Native Americans on this continent, I am certain the organization would have imposed sanctions on the Europeans and applied pressure to get them out of our lands.

Sonny
Sonny

I have seen you fight Chuck. and I think you would actually put that guy in the hospital like you have done with your past opponents. never Fuck with a Dago aka Guinea Italian from the Bronx New York City like Chuck Zito.

guest13
guest13

Yes there are laws that prevent most Mexicans from entering this country legally... such as the laws that limit the number of people that are allowed to immigrate to the US, which is a low number in light of how many would like to move to the US. I also recall reading on another news site that the majority of people desiring to immigrate to the US must have a job making at least $90,000 a year. So that let's the hot air out of your balloon.

Dr Pill
Dr Pill

you should let her crash at your pad then. trade her a place to sleep for sex with you. you sound like a very nice understanding gentleman.

NOBODY
NOBODY

Like my grandparents and their parents, etc., I am an Hispanic U.S. Citizen and speak Spanish fluently. I do not approve of ILLEGAL Immigration, no matter how you color it.

I cannot help but come to the same conclusion that the NEWTIMES maintains a PRO-Illegal" stance.

I hereby petition anyone (including myself), to investigate whether or not if the NEWTIMES has illegal or formerly illegal immigrants tied to it in any shape way or form. See my comments in NEWTIMES's article, "How An Underage ILLEGAL Immigrant Became One of the Valley's Hottest Tattoo Artist". Arizona Anti-ILLEGAL Immigration law is based on Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code and other laws.

Despite what proponents of amnesty or unchecked ILLEGAL Immigration may wish for us to believe, our laws are not racially based. It doesn't matter what nationality one is. If you are in Arizona and cannot prove that you are an American Citizen or otherwise have the proper documentation to be in OUR country, you are breaking the law. It doesn't matter what nationality you are.Most industrialized nations have similar laws. Mexico has it's own laws to prevent illegal immigration. See, http://puttroopsontheborder.co...

I admire AZ Governor Jan Brewer for having the boldness and tenacity to stand up for U.S. Citizens by passing the new anti-ILLEGAL Immigration law. Rather than get into compliance, many of these border violators/trespassers have either chosen to cry incessantly in an attempt to maintain their ILLEGAL status or have simply left the state. Let them leave to other states. That will force these other states to have to deal with the PROBLEM that Arizona has been struggling to deal with for a long time. It's going to take a while, but it IS HAPPENING.

All but two states have some form of a Mandatory Liability Insurance law. Should it be any surprise that it was representatives of the insurance companies that lobbied for these laws? I don't hear a lot of people (except myself perhaps), crying that such behavior reeks of conspiracy to de-facto coerce people into paying premiums to travel within our country. We obey these laws because our lawmakers that we elected (or didn't elect), enacted them. On line 66 of the above article some states, "We have to bring back what the politicians have taken from us!" Hello, nobody took anything from anyone UNLESS they are here ILLEGALLY. Let's see these same people encourage Mexican Citizens to "bring back what the politicians have taken from us!" in Mexico.

 
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