ST. GEORGE – Chris Middendorf from Victory Boxing Promotions presented local boxer and Pine View alum Pano Tiatia as the featured fighter for the upcoming boxing event “The Beginning” this Saturday night at the Dixie Convention Center.
“We titled this event ‘The Beginning’ because it is Pano’s debut into professional boxing and also Victory Boxing Promotion’s first promotion,” said Middendorf. “There will also be two other fighters on the undercards that will debut their professional careers.”
Middendorf, who has been involved in boxing for more than 30 years, recently teamed up with manager Cameron Dunkin. Tiatia signed with Dunkin in February of this year.
“Cameron Dunkin, who has managed many world champions, called me earlier this year and said that the kid who knocked out Darmani Rock had contacted him and wanted representation,” said Middendorf. “Immediately I said ‘Sign him up.’”
Darmani Rock is the super heavyweight amateur that broke out in 2014, winning the USA Boxing Junior and Youth Open. Rock just signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation.
Tiatia was a superstar in the amateur boxing world, compiling a record of 73-6, including four National Amateur gold medals, a World National Amateur boxing championship and victories against top amateur prospects from Russia and the Ukraine in the World Amateur championships. Tiatia was ranked No. 1 as an amateur heavyweight in the United States in 2013.
Tiatia’s first professional opponent will be “Big John” Orr from Kansas City, Missouri. The 29-year old has boxed professionally since 2012 and has compiled a 1-6 record. He has also fought professionally in mixed martial arts with a record of 6-7.
“Don’t be deceived by Orr’s won-loss record,” said Middendorf. “He has a significant size advantage over Pano and plenty of experience in the arena.”
Orr’s boxing opponents had a combined record of 32-1-2 and “Big John” is listed as 6-foot-2 and is thought to weigh close to 300 pounds. Official weigh-in for Saturday’s bout will be Friday at Bout Time. Pub and Grub at 6 p.m.
When asked about facing a larger opponent, Tiatia did not seem fazed. “Shorter boxers can win. Mike Tyson was at a reach disadvantage against all of his opponents. Darmani Rock had a longer reach than this guy.”
Tiatia’s coach and father Pako Tiatia summed it up. “When we face trees, we just chop them down.”
Pano Tiatia was a star running back at Pine View High School in 2014, rushing for 1,666 yards and 13 touchdowns while helping the Panthers make it to the state semifinals.
Below is the card for Saturday’s fights with the VBP boxers listed first:
Heavyweight: Pano Tiatia (debut) v. “Big John” Orr (1-6)
Super Middleweight: Wes Capper (13-2) v. Thomas Rittenbaugh (3-3-2)
Super Welterweight: Zsolt Daranyi, Jr. (8-0) v. Daniel Gonzalez (12-38-2)
Super Welterweight: Donovan Cameron (2-0) v. Jason Tresvan (0-4)
Welterweight: Carlos “El Tiguron” Sanchez (6-0) v. Rashawn McCain (3-5-1)
Welterweight: Jaron Ennis (debut) v. Cory “Shadow” Muldrew (1-9)
Lightweight: Joshua Jones (debut) v. Jason Thompson (0-6)
The official weigh-in is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at Bout Time Pub & Grub. Fight night will be Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Dixie Center.
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