Trainers and promoters in the professional boxing industry often get caught up in its highly competitive nature, but Miami promoter Richard Dobal manages to make friends despite the pressure to create rivals. His close confidants include Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee (who's trained Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman in addition to The Greatest of All Time), boxing historian Hank Kaplan, and Jamaican promoter and Bank United president Lucien Chen. Dobal has worn all of boxing's hats, from amateur boxer to trainer and now promoter. He remembers the Eighties, when boxing was "big in South Florida," and seeks to bring it back by promoting local fighters in their element, hence tonight's Night of Future Champions IV at the Sheraton Miami Mart Hotel (711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami).
"There's nothing like the atmosphere of a fight," says Dobal. Cheer your lungs out for popular local fighters, including junior welterweight Juan Arroyo (above, right), Dominican Republic native Felix "El Ponderoso" Cepeda, and undefeated female contender Laura Norton.
"Live professional boxing fits in perfectly with Miami," says local boxer Everett Weaver, who attended July's event. "It was great to watch the fight and see famous boxing professionals in person." Raffle tickets will also be sold, with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Doors open at 7:00, with the first bout at 8:00. Tickets start at $20. Call 305-389-5035. --Christina Kent
The Marlins take on the Nats
Two weeks before this three-game series, two out of three Washington Post sports columnists were writing off the Nationals, who, at that point, were still in contention for a National League wildcard playoff spot. The Marlins had just taken a lead in the wildcard standings. And we say -- so what? Sure, we'll be happy to see the Marlins in the playoffs. But we're also happy to simply see the Marlins play. This is an exciting team, and the Nationals are new enough to foster interest. The Nats aren't bad either, regardless of what the D.C. sports writers claim. The series takes place over the next three nights at 7:05 at Dolphins Stadium, 2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami. Tickets start at eight bucks. Call 305-623-6100, or visit www.floridamarlins.com. --Greg Baker