By Ricardo Ibarra
Not too long ago the Coeur d’Alene Casino’s ‘House of Fury’ in Worley, Idaho was one of the more prominent venues for the sport of boxing in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past six-plus years, however, the once busy fight locale has been dormant, not holding an event there since October of 2011. That lengthy stretch of inactivity will come to an end on Thursday, March 1st, as the Coeur d’Alene opens its doors to the sport once again with a six-bout show that many hope will be the start of regular events at the site.
Headlining the card will be current WBC Unites States (USNBC) cruiserweight champion Patrick Ferguson (10-0-1, 10 KOs), of nearby Spokane, Washington, making his first defense of the title against Topeka, Kansas’ Mario Munoz (12-4-1, 4 KOs).
Ferguson, who is currently rated #7 by the NABF and #11 by the NABA, claimed the vacant U.S. belt last October with a fourth round stoppage win over journeyman Damon Reed. This past January, Ferguson flew to Accra, Ghana in attempt to add the vacant WBO Africa title, but came up short, battling to a ten round draw against local unbeaten prospect Abraham Tabul. Fighting just 30 miles from Spokane, this will be the closest he’s gotten to a homecoming fight in his two-year pro career.
Munoz, on the other hand, has fought at home for most of his career. He is currently on a two-fight winning run with his most recent victory being a two-round knockout of Jim Franklin in Topeka last September, avenging a previous split decision loss. Ferguson and Munoz will face off in a ten round bout at the 200 pound limit.
Highlighting the five-fight undercard will be a six round Jr. middleweight semi-main event between Burlington, Washington’s Steve Villalobos (6-0-1, 5 KOs) and Jose Leon (6-2-1, 5 KOs) of Visalia, California. Villalobos, who is looking for his first win since October, last fought three months ago, battling Eduardo Torres to a split decision draw. Leon, meanwhile is looking to rebound from a fifth round TKO loss to Joe Louie Lopez in September.
In other bouts, unbeaten New Zealand cruiserweight Craig Thomson (8-0, 4 KOs) will look for his ninth consecutive win in a six round bout against Casper, Wyoming’s Billy Martin (0-3); Spokane’s Sean Quinnett (3-3, 2 KOs) will take on Kevin Davila (1-6-2) in a four round Jr. welterweight match-up; Andre Keys (5-1, 1 KO), of Tacoma, will battle Northern California’s Shawn Harwood (0-1) in a Jr. middleweight contest; and popular Montana amateur Kadin LeCoure will make his professional debut against Lewiston, Idaho’s Ron Simmons (3-4-1, 2 KOs).
Tickets to the event are now on sale at the casino box office and online at https://www.cdacasino.com/event/house-fury-boxing/ For more information visit www.cdacasino.com