He Ain't Heavy, He's a Boxer

Lighter fighters keep it real at Reliant

SAT 11/22

When people think boxing, they think of heavyweight boxing -- you know, like the classic bouts between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. But somewhere in the muck of Don King's ridiculousness, Mike Tyson's prison stint and George Foreman's grill, heavyweights have become a sideshow, more akin to pro wrestlers than pugilists. Is it really that bad? Yes, it is. But there are still pockets of boxing outside of the heavyweight realm -- where contenders really want to contend and the prize includes pride.The lower professional weight classes are full of young fighters trying to prove themselves by training hard and avoiding fights with fellow motorists (see Tyson, above). Among these is local boy Rocky Juarez, who will take on Tijuana's Hector Velazquez (who's on a four-fight winning streak) for the World Boxing Organization Continental Americas featherweight title at the main event of a three-card bill at Reliant Center this weekend.

The undercards of Saturday's Budweiser Saturday Night Fight include Francisco "Panchito" Bojado facing Juan Carlos Rubio, the only man to beat him as a pro, and world-ranked No. 6 lightweight Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz battling Joel Perez. You want a circus, go heavyweight. You want real boxing, go lightweight. 5:30 p.m. Saturday, November 22. One Reliant Park. For information and tickets, call 713-829-3700 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. $25 to $100. -- Eric Norvell

Blow Up

In this era of metal detectors and random searches, why court danger in your off hours? ADREN-L-N Sports offers the rush of skydiving without the risk. You can experience the feeling of free fall from inside a vertical wind tunnel powered by an 800-horsepower, diesel engine-driven fan. Don't worry about being sliced to ribbons by the fan blade below, or being blown out the top of the tube and into true free fall -- giant nets at both ends will keep you firmly in the tunnel. On the ground, you'll get your gear and a quick set of instructions, including hand signals, because, as company president Sean Hicks says, "You can't hear anything once you're in the tube." 9 a.m. until dark, Tuesdays through Sundays. Three Palms Extreme Sports Park, 15100 North Freeway. For information, call 1-800-506-RUSH or visit www.adrenln.com. $30 to $360. -- Lisa Simon

 
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