A knockout night | The Comstock Magazine


While professional boxing’s demise would have been looming for decades, it flourished on a recent Saturday night at the Cache Creek Casino and Resort in Yolo County’s Capay Valley. Cache Creek, which seems to pop up out of nowhere along Highway 16 in Brooks, continues to be one of the places where the sport can still be found at a professional level in the Capital Region.

A boxing match tradition dating back to the 1960s, the “ring girl” displays the upcoming round as fighters recharge between rounds.

Held in the resort’s new multipurpose South Tower Event Center, the Oct. 29 Showdown at Cache Creek had the distinct Las Vegas buzz of classic fight nights. Resort hotel rooms cost $800 or more per night during the event. Outside the hall rang the bells of the slot machines. Inside, local boxing celebrities such as Tony “The Tiger” Lopez and famed publicist Bill Caplan mingled with fans to watch a roster of top boxers, highlighted by a main event featuring featured two promising fighters vying for a welterweight title.

First opened in 2004 by Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Cache Creek Casino and Resort recently underwent a $200 million expansion with the construction of the South Tower Building and Events Center.

First opened in 2004 by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Cache Creek recently underwent a $200 million expansion with the construction of the South Tower Building and Events Center. The expansion began in May 2017 and was completed in 2021, adding a second outdoor pool, restaurants and 459 rooms to the resort, bringing the total rooms to 659.

Heavyweights Roberto Silva of Texas and Blake McKernan of Sacramento pose during the pre-fight weigh-in October 28 as promoter Paco Damien watches. Both boxers weighed 196 pounds.

Producing the near-sold-out card at the 1,300-seat event center was Woodland-based promoter Paco Damien, whose company Paco Presents and Don Chargin Productions have almost single-handedly kept professional boxing alive in the north from California. Chargin passed away in 2018, but Damien retains the legendary promoter in the company’s name as a tribute to his former mentor and partner.

Workers build the boxing ring at the Cache Creek Casino event center the day before the scheduled fights.

Damien has been busy promoting shows in other parts of the country via the Showtime network’s ShoBox series, but Oct. 29 was his first Northern California boxing card since the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. which resulted. Prior to 2020, he hosted several shows at Cache Creek Casino’s smaller Club 88 venue (capacity 700).

Famed boxing publicist Bill Caplan, who has worked with legends such as George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Don King, at ringside with promoter and longtime colleague Paco Damien.

“It’s an amazing, great feeling to be back here in Northern California,” Damien said at the weigh-in the day before the fights. “It brings back a lot of good memories. I had a good race today with Don Chargin.

Fans had plenty to cheer about during the Oct. 29 five-card boxing program called Showdown at Cache Creek at the casino’s new event center.

Fans who paid $49 to $125 a ticket were treated to five heated fights lasting a full three hours. Nine of the 10 boxers were based in California, including two who train in Sacramento. There were no knockouts, so all five matches lasted the maximum number of rounds. In the main event, Fairfield’s Alan Sanchez, bleeding from the head and cheered by large numbers of hometown fans, increased his record to 23-5-1 to win the WBA Fedecentro title, upsetting the undefeated Saul Los Angeles busts with a 10-round majority decision.

Judge Kermit Bayless checks out the action at ringside October 29 at the Cache Creek Casino Event Center.

Damien says fans can expect another professional card at Cache Creek in the near future, and he’s currently in negotiations for a show in early 2023 with plans to be televised on Showtime or ESPN.

Nearly 1,300 fans watched the action at the Oct. 29 Cache Creek Showdown at the casino’s new event center in Brooks.

Heavyweight Roberto Silva of Texas and his team head to the ring for his fight against Blake McKerman of Sacramento. Silva won by split decision.

Sacramento’s Blake McKerman lands a left on Roberto Silva during their heavyweight bout Oct. 29 at the Cache Creek Casino event center. Silva, however, would win by split decision.

The referee throws up Roberto Silva’s arms after beating Sacramento’s Blake McKerman in a split decision October 29 at Cache Creek Casino.

In the main event of the night, Fairfield’s Alan Sanchez takes a punch from Los Angeles’ Saul Bustos in the 10-round bout. Sanchez would win the majority decision in 10 rounds.

Alan Sanchez of Fairfield, bleeding from the head at the end of the 10-round bout, then defeated undefeated Saul Bustos of Los Angeles in a majority decision, winning the WBA Fedecentro welterweight title on October 29 at Cache Creek Casino.

After winning the WBA Fedecentro welterweight title by upsetting Los Angeles’ undefeated Saul Bustos in a 10-round majority decision, Fairfield’s Alan Sanchez is greeted by fans as he leaves the ring at Cache Creek Casino on October 29.

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