ATLANTIC CITY — Atlantic City middleweight Antowyan Aikens may get a chance to impress some boxing legends at Tropicana Casino and Resort tonight.
Former world champions Thomas Hearns and Mike Tyson are among more than 80 boxers, managers, promoters and referees scheduled to attend Saturday’s All-Star Boxing Legends Gala at Resorts Casino Hotel.
Several of them may stop by to watch Aikens and some other prospects in action at Vineland promoter Diane Lee Fischer Cristiano’s card at the Tropicana.
Aikens (4-0, 1 KO) will oppose Kenneth Schmitz (2-1, 1 KO), of St. Joseph, Mo., in a four-round fight.
“My only goal is to go out there and get the win,” Aikens said Wednesday. “I don’t care if I get a knockout or a decision. I just want the win.”
Aikens has a tough act to follow. The 23-year-old graduate of Atlantic City High School brought the crowd to its feet in his last outing. He followed a victory over Charles Kirby at Bally’s Atlantic City on Feb. 25 by proposing to long-time girlfriend Tara Robinson in the ring.
They are scheduled to be married in June 2014.
Meanwhile, Aikens will be busy trying to build his reputation in boxing while also working two jobs. He is a stocker at 6X Bistro in Bally’s and just recently began driving for Tri-Care Medical Supplies in Pleas-antville.
In-between gigs, he trains under Pat Doran, Vincent Jackson and Butch Mitchell at the Pleasantville Rec.
Aikens has been fighting since he was 9 years old.
“I didn’t play any other sports at Atlantic City High,” Aikens said. “I’ve been boxing all my life and that’s all I know. Boxing is an individual sport, and I know that if I fail, it’s all on me.”
Another local prospect, Somers Point middleweight Isiah Seldon (6-0, 3 KOs) also was hoping to fight on the card, but the New Jersey Athletic Control Board declined to approve several possible opponents.
Seldon, the son of former heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon, has had two potential bouts canceled in the last month.
“It’s very frustrating,” Seldon said Wednesday. “I want to fight and I’ve been training very hard. I went out with a bunch of friends for Memorial Day weekend and they were all doing shots of tequila while I was sitting in a corner eating a little bit of macaroni salad because I had to watch my weight. I just wish I could get back into the ring.”
Punchlines: Seven fights are scheduled for the card tonight, including an eight-round main event between
Philadelphia light-heavyweight Dennis Hasson (13-0, 5 KOs) and George Armenta (14-8, 11 KOs), of Silver Spring, Md., in the co-feature, York, S.C., welterweight Lisa Garland (9-6, 5 KOs) will meet Kita Watkins (7-8, 1 KO) of Camden, Ark., in a 10-rounder for the WIBC title. Doors to the Tropicana Showroom open at 7 p.m. with the first bout slated for 8. Tickets are priced at $40-$100.
On Saturday night, Resorts will host the All-Star Boxing Legends Gala, an event that was put together by Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford and city prosecutor Jonathan Diego. The black-tie optional event is open to the public with tickets at $100. The event is scheduled to honor several boxing legends who have died in recent years, including former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.
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