By Ray Hamill — Fight night returns to the Bear River Casino on Saturday night, with a packed card of 14 fights scheduled, as of Wednesday night.
Numerous local favorites are featured in the lineup, including former Hoopa wrestler Orion Cosce, who will fight veteran Justin Baesman in a pro fight at 171 pounds in the main event.
“Everything’s looking great,” said event promoter Brian Wilson of Hard Fought Productions. “We have 14 fights right now, three of which are professional. We got some big names.”
More importantly, the card includes a number of big local names, including Austin Moore and Andrew Guisa, who are each expected to join the pro ranks sooner rather than later.
Moore, who fights out of Crescent City but trains with Wilson’s Lost Boys Gym in Arcata, will fight Isaac Qiokata in another 170-pound showdown.
“He has a huge following up in Crescent City,” Wilsons said of Moore, who had a devastating knockout at Bear River in November.
Something will have to give in this battle of undefeated fighters, with Moore carrying a 5-0 record and Qiokata 3-0.
Guisa, who also trains with the Lost Boys, will defend his Bear River belt against Dupra Goodman at 170 pounds.
Wilson feels both Moore and Guisa will be turning pro soon.
“It’s really a matter of when they want to take that plunge,” the promoter said. “As far as talent, (Guisa’s) there.”
Another Lost Boys fighter and local favorite, Tyler Watkins, will also be in action at 155 pounds.
Watkins, who is 5-3, will fight Obadiah Johnson out of the Alpha Male gym in Sacramento, who is 4-2.
Tim Hayden, out of the Redwood Mauy Thai gym in Fortuna, will also be in action at Bear River, where he has become a regular in kick boxing.
“The card is stacked with a lot of talent,” said Wilson. “It’s the best show in town. We’ve got the best local talent.”
Doors open at 5 p.m., with the fights getting started at 6:30 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to get their tickets in advance through the casino, with the event expected to sell out.