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Wilson looks to stay unbeaten in RV Rumble

Mike Wilson expects the fifth edition of Rogue Valley Rumble to be the best yet.

The seven-fight professional boxing card is at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson County Expo.

Wilson, an undefeated cruiserweight and the event organizer under the banner of his WhiteDelight Promotions, is the headliner.

“It’ll be the biggest yet, hands down,” said Wilson, of Central Point, who expects a crowd of 3,000 for what he considers upgraded matchups over previous Rumbles.

Wilson is 14-0 with nine knockouts, his most recent victory a unanimous six-round decision over Mike Bissett in May at the Expo.

Wilson will take on Armando Ancona, of Columbus, Ohio, in a scheduled eight-rounder. It’s the longest scheduled fight of Wilson’s pro career.

Doors open at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $20 in advance at Lil’ Pantry and Hawaiian Hut locations, and $25 at the door. Admission for kids 12 and under is $15, and those 4 and under get in free.

There are a couple special guests in town for the fights.

Shawn Porter, a former International Boxing Federation welterweight champion who lost a close decision in a title bout with Keith Thurman in June, is here with a young fighter he’s backing. Porter and Wilson have been friends since their amateur days and roomed together as members of the USA Boxing team.

Former referee Richard Steele, a hall of famer who worked 167 title fights, is a trainer in Las Vegas who is checking out the show, said Wilson.

Ancona (8-4-2, five KOs) is a left-hander who was signed at the last minute, replacing Damon Reed, of Topeka, Kansas.

Reed was not approved by the Oregon State Athletic Commission, and Wilson said he doesn’t know the reason.

Wilson is the No. 19-ranked cruiserweight out of 266 fighters in the U.S. Reed is 28th and Ancona 37th.

Reed is 48-19 with 32 KOs and “would have been our toughest fight to date,” said Wilson. “He’s fought everybody and has been in there with the best.”

Ancona, 31, is a suitable replacement, said Wilson, having shown his fitness in a six-round draw against Michael Glasscox in late August.

Wilson characterized Ancona as a “solid” opponent who’s been in with tough competition and has displayed well-rounded skills.

That he’s a southpaw won’t bother Wilson, 33, and a former two-time national amateur champion.

“The punches come out at a different angle,” said Wilson. “Left-handers are always just different. I fought them all through the amateurs, and they never really bothered me. I fight them just like the right-handers, use the jab a lot and stay away from their power side.”

In other fights:

Marcelino Pineda (5-2, five KOs), of Sunnyside, Washington, faces Gabe Pineda (4-2-2, one KO), of Portland, in a six-round welterweight bout.

Victor Morales Jr. — Porter’s fighter — won his pro debut by unanimous decision, and now the highly-regarded Vancouver, Washington, fighter meets Felipe Medina, of Albany, who is making his pro debut, in a four-round featherweight bout.

Rafael Valencia (3-4, two KOs), of Medford, will try to break a two-fight losing streak against Brandon Maddox (5-0, four KOs) in a four-round middleweight matchup. Maddox, of Detroit, beat Valencia by unanimous decision in July 2015.

Enrique Gallegos (6-5, one KO), of Bend, is fighting for the first time in seven years. He goes against Josh Solis (0-2), of Paterson, Washington.

In a cruiserweight bout, Randy Rogers (3-2, two KOs), of Medford, faces Alberto Rivas, of Bend, who is making his pro debut.

In a four-round junior lightweight bout, Rafael Busuioe (3-1, one KO), of Sacramento, California, faces Jose Cabrera (1-3, one KO), of Medford.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com

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