University graduate ready for pro debut

A total of 10 Minnesota natives will compete tonight at the Target Center.

by Brian Deutsch

A round of applause filled the room yesterday as Caleb “Golden” Truax was introduced for his first weigh-in as a professional fighter.

And the noise will only increase tonight at the Target Center when Truax hits the ring in his professional debut.

The recent University graduate will fight in an undercard bout of tonight’s Heavyweight Invasion, an eight-match spectacle that promises to showcase some of Minnesota’s best boxing talent.

Ten boxers from the state will take part in the event, which is presented by Seconds Out Promotions, including Osseo native Truax.

The first fight of the night will ring in at 6:30. Truax’s match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.

Truax will take on Ray Walker (1-2-0) of St. Paul in a four-round super-middleweight bout.

While Walker weighed in a full seven pounds more than Truax – 175 lbs. to 168 lbs. – Truax’s trainer, Ron Lyke, sees the weight difference as a tribute to his fighter’s intensive training.

“Training went real well, and he’s in the best shape of his life for sure,” Lyke said. “He came in at 168 (pounds), which is a little light for him, but I think he has just gotten into better shape for this fight.”

Although the Truax camp wasn’t made aware of their opponent until recently, Tom Halstad, one of Truax’s trainers at Lyke’s AnokaƱCoon Rapids Boxing gym, said he’s seen Walker before, when Walker fought Jon Schmidt, another member of the ACR Boxing camp.

“(Walker) ran out of gas after two rounds, so I hope he brings a little bit more fight this time,” Halstad said. “I still believe that Caleb will dominate the fight.”

No one knows for sure who will be the victor tonight, but one thing both men can count on is a small army of local fans showing their support.

“I can’t even estimate how many people are coming,” Truax said. “I know a lot of people from the (University) are coming out because of the two-for-one (ticket) deal. A lot of my buddies have bought 20 tickets and given them out to all of their friends.”

Tickets for the event are still on sale, and as Truax said, a two-for-one promotion is available when tickets are purchased with a pair of student IDs.

Fights to be televised

The final two bouts of tonight’s event will be nationally televised on the Showtime network.

The pair of main-event heavyweight bouts will start at 10 p.m.

One of the fights features another product of Minnesota, Rochester native Raphael Butler (253-0 (20 KOs)). Butler will fight Art “The Polish Warrior” Binkowski (14-1-3 (9 KOs)) in a 10-round contest.

The second heavyweight fight is between a pair of undefeated boxers.

Travis “Freight Train” Walker (22-0-1 (17 KOs)) and George “El Torito” Garcia (13-0-0 (4 KOs)) will compete in a 12 round battle for the vacant International Boxing Association Americas Heavyweight Championship.