Tomorrow night the biggest Minnesota boxing event of 2013 will take place: long-time favorite Matt Vanda will challenge Caleb Truax for the Minnesota middleweight championship. And, for the first time ever, I will be at ringside.
The heavily-tattoed Vanda has both won and lost a lot of fights; his record is 44-14. But he has fought some big-time boxers, like Julio Cesar Chavez, twice. Six years ago, he battled Tony Bonsante in what some regard as the biggest fight in Minnesota history. Vanda says this is his last fight.
Truax, 29, is aiming for bigger things. He is 20-1-1, with his only loss coming in a 2012 bout against former world champion Jermain Taylor, which I wrote about here. Caleb floored Taylor and came within a hair of knocking him out, but Taylor eventually won a decision. Here is the knockdown:
I have watched lots of boxing matches, but have never attended one live, so this will be a first. My son and Caleb Truax are friends, so he bought a table at ringside for the fight. My wife and I will attend along with some guests. We are looking forward to the experience, and will be rooting hard for Caleb. I will report here on Sunday, and if you follow me on Twitter (@jhinderaker) you will get updates on the action. Loree has thought for a while that it would be fun to attend a major championship fight in Las Vegas; we will see whether that belief survives an evening at ringside.