‘Bad Boy of Ajax, pride of Punjab headline Pickering Casino boxing card
Published November 27, 2023 at 2:00 pm
The path to major title fights for a pair of Ajax fighters takes a step forward Saturday when welterweight Brandon ‘Bad Boy’ Cook – who has a world championship bout on his resume and is surely itching for another crack – and super middleweight Sukhdeep Singh ‘Chakria’ Bhatti – already the Canadian champ and looking to move up – step into the ring in separate bouts as part of an explosive night of boxing at the Pickering Casino Arena.
Cook is 25-2, with one of those losses coming against still unbeaten world champion Jaime Munguia in 2018. He will take on veteran Mexican fighter Luis Vidales (24- 9) in the main event. Vidales, who is dropping a dozen pounds for this fight, lost to Singh Bhatti his last time out September 9 in Pickering.
Unbeaten Bhatti (16-0) will be up against German boxer Yaser Yuksel (15-6-1) in the co-main event. Bhatti, the pride of Chakria in the Punjab, will likely have a big contingent of Indo-Canadian fans from Brampton and Mississauga in town for this bout.
Former Jamaican Olympian Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown, sporting a perfect 9-0 record, is also looking to set up a title fight in the near future. The heavyweight, now fighting out of Brantford, has only needed to go as far as the third round once in his pro career so far and will be using tough Hungarian Jozsef Darnos (14-6-3) as a stepping stone to get that championship fight.
Former Canadian amateur champion Melinda ‘The Whip’ Watpool, who is 4-0 as a pro, will be challenged by Timea Nagy of Hungary in a middleweight fight.
Both Brown and Watpool are coached by former Canadian Olympian Dewith Frazer, who runs Dewith’s Boxing Studio in Mississauga.
Middleweight Kemahl ‘Hitman Russel of Jamaica (15-1) will square off with Rafeal Ortiz of Mexico (15-5-1), while the opening bout features up-and-coming Oshawa light-flyweight Evan ‘Kid Chrome’ Gillard (5-0-1) against Mexican fighter Sergio Rebolledo. The only blemish on Russel’s record happened more than six years ago when he was knocked out by Ukrainian fighter Sergiy Derevyanchenko, while Gillard’s last fight was a six-round unanimous decision victory over PJ Tondo at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel in March.
Josh ‘Dubs’ O’Reilly, a highly regarded lightweight (18-1) from Hamilton had to bow out of his scheduled bout after sustaining an injury in training.
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