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Young fighter says he’s honored to be part of local card

Anthony Lenk has been boxing since he was 7 years old — but only recently did he finally get paid to beat up someone.

A three-time national amateur champion, Lenk is 2-0 as a professional and will meet Dario Castillo in a four-round junior welterweight bout Friday as part of a Top Rank card at the Hard Rock hotel.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to fight in front of my family and friends,” said Lenk, a 20-year-old Californian, who recently moved to Las Vegas. “To be fighting in Las Vegas this early in my career and on television (Telefutura) is truly an honor.”

The main event on Friday’s card at The Joint will be Jesus Soto-Karass against David Estrada for the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title.

Lenk sparred with Ramon Montano as Montano prepared to fight David Diaz in March. Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman watched Lenk work out, then saw him fight in Brooklyn, N.Y., and thought he had a bright future.

“He hung in there with Montano, and I liked that,” Goodman said. “He’s still in the learning process, but he’s got a ton of ability.”

Boxing is in Lenk’s blood. His mother, Leslie Casal, manages the legendary Johnny Tocco’s Ringside Gym on Charleston Boulevard. His stepfather and stepbrother both fought.

“It’s all I’ve ever known,” Lenk said. “I tried to play other sports as a kid, but I’d get hurt worse than when I boxed.”

Lenk said he expects a good test Friday despite Castillo’s 4-6-1 record, which includes four losses in his past five fights.

“He’s a short guy who switches from southpaw, so I’ll try and work underneath him,” Lenk said. “But I’ll adjust in the ring if I have to. I’m definitely not going to overlook him.”

WHAT KNOCKOUT? — Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s longtime manager, Leonard Ellerbe, vehemently denied an Internet report that the former welterweight champion scuffled with former sparring partner Edner Cherry at a Las Vegas nightclub late Wednesday and was knocked out.

“That’s one of the most ridiculous rumors I’ve heard in 10 to 12 years,” Ellerbe said Friday. “Floyd wasn’t involved in no fight.”

Mediatakeout.com reported the alleged incident Thursday.

“Edner Cherry is 135 pounds,” Ellerbe said. “He’s going to come into a Las Vegas nightclub, knock Floyd out and live to tell about it? C’mon.”

JUDAH-CLOTTEY OFFICIALS — Robert Byrd has been selected by the Nevada Athletic Commission to work the Aug. 2 IBF welterweight title fight between Zab Judah and Josh Clottey at the Palms. The judges assigned are Duane Ford and Glenn Trowbridge of Las Vegas and George Hill of Pennsylvania.

Top Rank, which is promoting Judah-Clottey, announced that the undercard will be headlined by the return of undefeated lightweight Anthony Peterson, who will meet Javier Jauregui in a 10-round bout.

Peterson (27-0, 19 knockouts) took a 12-round unanimous decision over Fernando Trejo for the vacant NABF lightweight belt at the Orleans Arena on June 26.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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