‘Bad Boy’ Brandon Cook of Ajax headlines Saturday night boxing at Pickering Casino


Published April 25, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Photo Jeff Lockhart

The new and improved Pickering Casino Resort Arena gets its ‘official’ christening Wednesday night with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a concert by Canada rock icon Bryan Adams, but the business of boxing takes centre stage at the arena Saturday night with an explosive card headlined by Ajax super welterweight Brandon ‘Bad Boy’ Cook.

Promoter United Boxing actually opened the arena back in January but casino operators Great Canadian Entertainment still had a few finishing touches to do to prepare the venue for its grand opening Wednesday.

Saturday night, however, is all about the sweet science and Cook – who knocked out Richard Homes at that January 29 card and fought for a world title back in 2018 – is in the main event with a bout against Gino Natalio Godoy (29-2) of Argentina. Cook is 24-2 and 4-0 since that loss to still unbeaten Mexican superstar Jamie Munguia five years ago.

Unbeaten Mark Smithers of Barrie (10-0) takes on experienced Argentinian Jorge Luis Rodriguez (23-19-2) in another super welterweight bout while big heavyweight (and former Olympian) Ricardo Brown puts his 6-0 pro record on the line against Jhan Carlo Delgado (8-3) of Ecuador.

Also on the card is rising star and former amateur champion Melinda Watpool of Toronto (by way of Pefferlaw), who takes her 2-0 record to a fight with Mexican middleweight Angelica Flores Lopez (13-1).

Other bouts include Kemahl Russel (13-1) of Jamaica vs Marcos Jesus Cornejo (19-6) in a super middleweight bout; and Mike Cabutan (2-0) of Toronto against super featherweight Jorge Valencia Diaz (3-1) of Mexico.

The action at the sold-out show starts at 7 p.m.

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