‘The Duel Downriver’ at Sportsplex Friday

Photo by Daniel Gretzner
George Kaltsas (left) and his oldest son, John, are promoting”The Duel Downriver” Friday at the Taylor Sportsplex.

George Kaltsas of Hitman Entertainment, which owns a number of used car lots in the Downriver area, is the promoter for Friday’s professional boxing bouts scheduled at the Taylor Sportsplex.

Bouts are set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Sportsplex is at 13333 Telegraph Road, near Northline.

Kaltsas has spent most of his life within local communities like Melvindale, Southgate and Riverview. The 55-year-old businessman — with earlier assistance from legendary Detroit boxing trainer Emmanuel Steward — decided to get involved in “The Duel Downriver” event that features the Kings of Kronk.

On the card are a total of eight bouts that have Kronk boxers in the ring against other opponents. The main event will be Ronald Hearns — son of Thomas “Hitman” Hearns — who is a middelweight with a 26-3 record, including 20 knockouts. The elder Hearns, who is a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, will be honored at the event.

“My two sons and I have a fondness for the sport of boxing and follow the local fighters pretty closely,” Kaltsas said. “So, this fight card was an opportunity for me to get involved.”

“I was a past friend to Downriver’s Mickey Goodwin (Melvindale), and have followed boxing shows ever since,” he said. “We invite all fans from the Downriver and Dearborn vicinity to come on down and enjoy the many bouts on the card.”

The official  weigh-in for the main event, was held Thursday at the Southgate Holiday Inn.

Tickets for the fight are priced from $25 general admission to $70 ringside. They are available in advance at the Taylor Sportsplex or at www.HitmanTickets.com.

Kaltsas is a 1976 graduate of Southgate High School and his eldest son, John, a co-promoter, graduated from Riverview Gabrial Richard a few years ago. They are Downriver people who want to see pro boxing make a comeback in the metropolitan Detroit area.

Vintage and middle-aged boxing fans can recall the days when the late Goodwin was the Golden Gloves Champion of Michigan. He then went on to win numerous pro fights, a few of which were staged at Yack Arena in Wyandotte.