By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
BAHAMIAN pro boxer Amron Sands will look to continue his undefeated streak next month when he makes his return to the ring next month.
Sands (6-0) will face journeyman Francois Russell (3-28) at Friday Night Brawl presented by Fight Night Promotions and hosted October 5 at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC Auditorium in Tampa, Florida.
Based in Orlando, Florida at Orlando Boxing Academy, Sands is currently at home in Nassau completing his training camp before he leaves for Florida on October 3.
Event promoter Phil Alessi said: "The Fight Night Promotions Fight Cards deliver high quality matches with the support of a great matchmaker which results in action packed competitive bouts. We want championship contenders. We want championship fighters with integrity. Our matches are quality, competitive fights, the kind that brings the audience to their feet. That means world-class boxers, rising prospects and local favourites.
Sands' coach, Jose Cruz, told the Orlando Sentinel that the young heavyweight has "unteachable, unshakable" desire to chase a world title.
"I've been around boxing for almost 40 years. I've had lots of champions, and what makes a champion is his inner fortitude, what he's got inside of him. The 24-year-old made his heavyweight debut with a TKO win over Julio Mendoza at the Lakeland Events Center in Lakeland, Florida, on August 5. He followed with consecutive knockout wins over Eric Evans (November 18 at the Crossroads Arena in Corinth) and Kendrick Houston (February 17 at the Orlando Live Event Center). He spoiled the debut for Darrell Parker with a TKO at the Florida State Fairgrounds Hall in Tampa on May 18. Sands made his pro debut at home on the undercard of "The Backyard Rumble" with a unanimous decision over Jerry Butler on May 26. He returned to the US and scored a knockout win over Cade Rodriguez on July 21.
A former basketball player, Sands used boxing to help his recovery process following an injury, but eventually fell in love with the sport. "I was recovering from an ACL/MCL injury I sustained in Oklahoma while playing AAU basketball and began training with Ron Rodgers at Strikers Boxing Club to get back in shape. Ron saw my progress and convinced me to try boxing too.
"I told Amron it doesn't matter if you make one million dollars playing basketball or boxing, as long as you make one million dollars," Rodgers said, "The same dedication he had on the basketball court, I knew he could bring that to the boxing ring and would be able to do that at a high level.
Sands made the full transition and spent three years in the amateur ranks.
"I hope to bring back the glory of the Ali era to the heavyweight division and to be the first Bahamian heavyweight champion. I would like to give the youth another option besides track and basketball as a sport. Baseball is making a comeback as well. Boxing is an individual sport where you determine how far you go with the right people around you and financial backing of course."