It’s been more than a decade since there was professional boxing bouts in Southeast Texas. That will end on Jan. 17 at the Montagne Center at Lamar University in Beaumont. LOEF Boxing Promotions is promoting the event in partnership with Corona Extra.

At the top of the card is Cody Richard of Orange. He will face Blake Franklin of Shreveport for the  Junior Welterweight Texas State Title in the North American Boxing Union. Richard, 25, is 16-1 as a pro with nine Knock Outs. Franklin is 14-7 with six KO’s.

“I’ve been fighting since I was 10 years old and I’m excited to be fighting here,” Richard said. “You’re going to see a lot of action on the 17th. I graduated from Lamar University and fighting at home means a lot to me.”

There will be two title fights in Beaumont that night with a belt on the line.

Also joining Richard on Jan. 17 are a slate of local boxers on the down card.

Promoter Allen Jaco said the last time there was professional boxing in Beaumont was in 2002.

“It will be a show. It will be exciting and entertaining,” Jaco said.

He added he will have other bouts at the Montagne Center for April, July and October.

“We plan to hook up with a larger draw later. But first we need to get Southeast Texas fight fans to get behind this,” he said.

Jaco said Southeast Texas has a great boxing tradition with fighters such as Bubba Busceme, Ronnie Shields and Wilford Scypion. He added he doesn’t see any reason why the young local boxers he promotes can’t do the same.

“We have some very good athletes in Southeast Texas. We also have a lot of sports lovers here and we want them to be part of the excitement,” Jaco said.

Jaco said his boxers are the 409 vs. everybody else.

“It’s been my mission since I got my license to bring boxing to Beaumont,” Jaco said.

Jaco said his boxers are the 409 vs. everybody else.

“It’s been my mission since I got my license to bring boxing to Beaumont,” Jaco said.

Jaco said his boxers are the 409 vs. everybody else.

“It’s been my mission since I got my license to bring boxing to Beaumont,” Jaco said.

Richard said he’s currently training in Houston. His father helps with the training and is his manager, but Richard’s roots are in the Golden Triangle.

Richard said he’s been watching video of his opponent and he plans to fight him in either a quick fight or a long one.

He added he would like to KO Franklin in front of the hometown crowd.

Richard said he would become nervous fighting in front of friends and family when he was younger. Now that he’s more mature, that doesn’t bother him.

“I started at the old Navy base when I was 10. I turned pro at age 19. I’ve been fighting in the 140 pound weight class,” he said. “I’ve been training hard with a lot of sparring partners. I want the local fans to come out.”

For more information go to www.montagnecenter.com.

Photo: Cody Richard of Orange spoke at a press conference Tuesday night at the Hotel Elegante in Beaumont. Richard will be facing Blake Franklin of Shreveport for the Junior Welterweight Texas State Title in the North American Boxing Union at a bout on January 17 at the Montagne Center at Lamar University in Beaumont.

RECORD PHOTO: David Ball