Toro Promotions Inc

Professional boxing makes its long-awaited return to the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington on Friday April 7 when Toro Promotions Incorporated in association with Whitfield Haydon brings a seven bout card to the state of the art EQC Event Center at 8PM. At stake in the main event will be a matchup for the WBA Fedebol featherweight title when Mexico’s upset specialist Angel Antonio “Cachorro” Contreras (15-5-2, 7 KO) takes on Colombian Brandon Valdes (14-3, 7KO) in what figures to be a rough ten round affair.

This will be the first bout held at the long-standing fight venue since January 2020, which held well over 100 pro boxing cards known as the “Battle of the Boat” series during the last three decades, overseen by legendary Northwest boxing promoter Brian Halquist. However, this will be the first to be held within the confines of the new Event Center on the casino premises, which offers great sightlines and the feeling of being up-close to the action in a modern setting.

One thing that won’t change, however, are the great fights that “The Queen” and its loyal fans have seen over the years. Whitfield Haydon was a part of that in 2000s and 2010s as matchmaker for Halquist’s Battle of the Boat series and looks forward to giving the Northwest boxing fans what they expect and are used to, which are great and evenly-matched fights.

“The Northwest boxing fans are the very best this country has to offer, and I have seen them all. They appreciate the fighters and aren’t like some regions where the fans feel like a ticket to the fights is an opportunity to take out life’s frustrations on the fighters who go in there and risk everything. The Seahawks and Mariners are lucky to have fans like this. Anybody ever placed on a professional fight card at The Queen begs for an opportunity to return, and many call fondly remembering their fights there 10, 15, 20 years ago. Not everybody goes on to win a world title – this here is the super bowl for many many fighters.”

An opportunity is exactly what the main event will be for the careers of both combatants. Contreras and Valdes have both seen success on the “B-side”, but both lamenting various close losses while in that role versus brutally tough opposition. For example, prior to his last fight Contreras held up well against this elite opposition posting a respectable 3-3-1 record against opponents whose combined record was 96-4-1. Among these wins was a decisive win at T-Mobile Arena in August of 2021 versus undefeated Filipino John Dato, then 14-0-1 in a wild affair on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao versus Yordenas Ugas.

“I want to thank Toro Promotions Incorporated for this great opportunity. I’m coming with full force to bring him the victory and the WBA Fedebol belt back with me to Mexico. The fans can expect nothing less than the very best “Cachorro” Contreras.”

In Valdes, a one-time prospect came to the U.S. with great hopes and has had his share of ups and downs. Tough narrow defeats mixed in with wins against stellar opposition, namely a 6th round knockout loss to 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Robeisey Ramirez in December of 2020 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas where one judge actually had Valdes leading on the scorecards in the tight affair at the time of the stoppage. Regardless, Valdes brings in a very good record of 14-3 and will be ready for battle on the 7th.

“I’m excited and more than ready to take on the challenge. All my wins and losses have prepared me for this moment and I plan on seizing the opportunity.”

“This fight is happening for a reason” says Haydon. “They have earned the right to compete in a main event and potentially win a WBA regional belt. Our impetus for putting this fight on is very simple, to give the fans an opportunity to see a great fight on April 7at The Queen.”

The remainder of the card will feature both regional and local talent in competitive bouts, highlighted by combined records of all combatants on April 7 being just shy of an 80 percent win ratio. Leading this charge will be Angel Ruiz Astorga (17-2-1,12 KO) from Los Angeles in an eight round scrap in the super welterweight division versus the tough Ramon Ayala of Mexico City (25-7-1, 13 KO).

Heavyweight hope Dante Stone of Phoenix (11-1, 9 KO) will face tough undefeated Mississippian Detrailous Webster (5-0, 2 KO) in a six round heavyweight slugfest.

Local Bremerton Washington standout super welter Jon Bryant (6-0, 2 KO) will test his undefeated record against the very capable Timothy Parks of San Diego (5-3-1, 4 KO). Parks has shared the ring with what figures to be a future boxing superstar in Travon Marshall.

Rounding out the card will be three different four round bouts featuring pro debut talent including Josue Cadena from nearby Auburn when he takes on Browning Montana’s Jayden Salway (0-1-1) in a super lightweight clash. Cadena is trained by Emerald Queen Boxing Alum Francisco “Paco” Reyes, whose brief but very exciting career concluded with a ten round decision loss in March of 2011 to Eventual IBF featherweight world champion Evgeny Gradovich in front of a standing room only sold-out crowd in the main event. Interestingly, Reyes defeated Brandon Valdes’ trainer Cesar Garcia in an all-out war in 2009 at this same location.

Heavyweight Bryan Hall of Fresno will see his first action at the pro ranks versus combat fight veteran Joshua Tuani of Seattle (2-3, 1 KO) and Margarito Hernandez of Waputo, WA (3-5-1) will aim to get back into the win column against a rugged Michael Portales of Hayward (2-1-1, 1 KO) in a four round super lightweight fight.

Toro Promotions Inc is headed by Azat Torosyan, who is greatly looking forward to the inaugural show at The Emerald Queen Casino. “I want to thank the Emerald Queen, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and all those involved to help us make this a very memorable night.”

Tickets for the event are priced at 100/60/40, and can be purchased by calling (253) 594-7777 or at

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