From the Paulick Report
Two of Del Mar’s top jockeys – Corey Nakatani and Elvis Trujillo – are going to battle it out in the ring rather than on the track Saturday, August 30, in a highly anticipated three-round exhibition boxing match. Winner earns jockeys’ room bragging rights as these two elite athletes trade punches to raise money for a great cause in what has been dubbed the “Battle Off The Saddle.”
The event – featuring seven fights with the tussle between Nakatani and Trujillo being the sixth of the night – will begin immediately following the last race of the day at approximately 7:15 p.m. The professional main event features WBC Caribbean Champion Ruben “El Cobra” Garcia (10-0, 5 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico and battle-tested Javier “El Bravo” Gallo (21-9, 12 KOS) of Buena Park.
The coming to blows in the “Battle Off The Saddle” benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a public charity that provides financial assistance to some 60 former jockeys who suffered career-ending injuries while riding. A percentage of each reserved ticket purchased will be donated to the Fund, which is overseen by The Jockeys’ Guild. Advanced tickets can be purchased via ringsideatdelmar.com.
Forty-three-year-old Corey “Knock Out” Nakatani, is one of the top athletes in the room and a man who has never shied from a scuffle in the past, giving him the reputation as a bit of a racing bad boy. The veteran rider, who will celebrate his 26th year in the saddle this October, has more than 3,700 wins and $221 million in purses to his credit.
Newer to the scene, but riding at the top of his game, is 30-year-old Elvis “Heart Break” Trujillo. The Panamanian is currently tied for leading rider at the shore oval with 18 wins in the first 21 days of racing. In his 13-year-career he has won nearly 2,000 races and more than $61 million in purses. Before finding his passion for racing, Trujillo trained to be a boxer in his youth, a fact that could certainly come into play in the “Battle Off The Saddle”.
Nakatani and Trujillo will officially weigh in for their fight between races in the winner’s circle at Del Mar Friday, August 29.