The co-feature between unbeaten Columbian welterweight Samuel Vargas (7-0-1, 1 KO) and outspoken Ahmad Cheikho (6-3-2, 5 KOs), despite neither being natives of Canada, perhaps, best illustrates the provincial rivalry theme between Toronto and Quebec for the October 22 show, headlined by the NABA super featherweight title fight pitting Logan Cotton McGuinness and Benoit Gaudet at The Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
The Oct. 22nd card is being presented by Hennessy Sports, in association with Interbox and United Promotions.
Vargas moved to Mississauga, Ontario from Colombia, while Cheikho came to Montreal from Lebanon. Both boxers take great pride in their homes and plan to push that point when they face each other in the 10-round co-main event.
“This fight means a lot in the sense Quebec has had some of the best fighters in Canada and now we can show everybody that Toronto has better fighters,” Vargas said. “I expect a great show.”
“It’s a very important fight for Ahmad because he’s representing Montreal and the province of Quebec,” Ahmad’s manager Camille Estephan noted.
Styles make fights and this one shapes up as a classic pitting a pressure fighter and underrated defender, Vargas, versus a fast, slick Cheikho, who was a junior kick-boxing champion.
“He’d better be chewing some gum to strengthen that glass jaw he’s got,” Vargas warned. “I’m in great shape, right on weight and good to go, so he better be ready. I hope he knows he’s in for a one helluva fight. He’s a better fighter than his record shows and he can box a bit. But, I can brawl or box.”
The two rivals have two common opponents: Vargas fought a 10-round draw in his last fight against Tebor Brosch, who Cheikho was stopped by in one round in 2009; Michael Springer lost a four-round decision to Vargas and fought a four-round draw with Cheikho.
“We read somewhere that Vargas mentioned that he wants to test Ahmad’s chin,” Estephan added. “Ahmad is coming to Toronto to hurt Vargas. This from Ahmad to Vargas: I want to crush your bones.'”
McGuinness (15-0-1, 7 KOs), presently rated No. 11 by the World Boxing Association (“WBA”), is the reigning North American Boxing Association (“NABA”) Lightweight Champion, but the Orangeville, Ontario native has given up his belt in order to fight Gaudet for the vacant NABA super featherweight title in the main event.
Former world title challenger Gaudet (24-2, 10 KOs), a former NABA super featherweight title-holder from Quebec, was stopped by defending champion Humberto Soto in their 2009 World Boxing Council (“WBC”) super featherweight championship match, which was the co-feature on the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton mega-fight card.
Hennessy Sports’ newly signed unbeaten light heavyweight prospect, Lionell “Lonnie B” Thompson (9-0, 6 KOs), will be fighting an opponent to be determined in a six-round match.
Also on the undercard is an enticing matchup between a pair of Ontario lightweights, Jeremy Abbott (2-2, 1 KO) and Harrison McBain (3-3-1), who will square-off in expected 6 round battle.
In four-round bouts are Ontario fighters Dillon Carman (1-0), a heavyweight prospect, light middleweight Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (2-0, 1 KO), and super featherweight Natasha Spence (2-0-1, 2 KOs). All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, starting at $30.00, may be purchased at the Hersey Centre Box Office, through Ticketmaster at (855) 985-5000