The good and the bad news concerning local Boxing

On Friday, October 4, 2019, there was coach Carlos Barragan Jr. (right) of the House of Boxing assuming the duties of Master of Ceremonies at the Press Conference announcing the return of Professional Boxing Shows back to the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

With San Diego County being the home of the world’s largest Military Complex, with its 16 Military Installations, it comes as no surprise that within our County we have 80+ gyms dedicated to the fighting sports and as a result have this reputation worldwide of being the breeding ground for some of the best fighters in the world. That’s why it became such a head-scratcher when so many boxing promoters moved their operations across the border. And now, surprise, surprise, we’re seeing some of them making their way back home.

The first is the Borizteca Boxing Promotions Group who first set up shop at the Salon Mezzanine in Tijuana back in 2014 and later moved to the Big Punch Arena where the owner basically let them use his venue free of charge to secure the proceeds from the sale of liquor. And now their CEO Saul Rios has signed an agreement with the more experienced Hall of Fame Boxing Promoter Bobby DePhilippis of Bobby D Presents, which might be the only licensed Boxing promoter in San Diego County, in order to return his shows to southern California. Locals are predicting that this business decision by Borizteca to integrate with Bobby D Presents could be huge.

And then it came to light, there was another reason for this move. As they say, some people are lucky and some people make their own luck. Over the past three to four weeks, the Tijuana Boxing Commission was not doing its job of record-keeping and reporting. Their responsibility to report the results from the numerous Boxing Shows to Box Rec was getting more and more slipshod, neglectful. The number of unrecorded shows had reached 20, with the Boxing Promoters and boxers becoming incensed. When a delay in recording an event turns into a week, then two weeks or more, the job of error-free record keeping becomes a virtual nightmare. The international record keeper, Box, who had been on their case before, stated that the fault with the current debacle in Tijuana and Rosarito lies squarely on the shoulders of the two Boxing Commissions, and as a consequence, more and more boxers and their managers had begun to look elsewhere for safer venues that follow a much stricter protocol on the important task of giving the winning boxer his or her proper credit. Not unlike the problems we’re now experiencing with climate change, this situation was worsening on a daily basis. Surely, someone needed to step in and start doing things differently so that this problem wouldn’t escalate out of control.

Today, Friday, October 4, 2019, we witnessed two of the more established Boxing Promoters calling it quits in Tijuana to host their future shows in San Diego at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel. Why would they do such a thing when it’s far and away more expensive to host a show in the U.S.? The answer we got: “With the boxers in Mexico now maintaining better records, they’re going to need better opponents. So, as a consequence, they’re going to have to come North, not only for the bigger fights but the bigger and better paydays plus more sponsors.”

That being said, it was one problem preceding another. Box, the encyclopedia of boxing’s record-keeping, was not getting the information they needed to post the results. As an example, there was a show held on September 20, 2019, on the balcony of the Grand Hotel Tijuana and as of today, Monday, October 7, 2019, Box had yet to receive the necessary paperwork from the Tijuana Boxing Commission. Imagine you’re one of the 20 fighters who was on that fight card and spent your hard-earned cash to train and then travel to that show. And now, after winning your bout, it appears you’re never going to receive any credit for your work. In other words, you’ve been robbed and now you’re thinking how can I prevent this from happening in the future? Travesties like this do not occur in other sports. Imagine, if something like this were to happen on Sunday in the NFL, National Football League. I guarantee you, there would be no future games played until those results were posted.

There had been too many examples of this happening. Just ask boxers like Cristian “Ruso” Olivas or Victor “Sina” Fonseca. After Fonseca won his last two fights, one in Rosarito and the other in Tijuana, he has yet to receive credit for either win. Wins put a boxer in contention for a title. For a boxer, wins can be likened to getting a promotion at work and as a consequence, your pay scale goes up.

Inaugurated in May of 2000, with its huge database of more than 20,000 bouts, (Boxing Records Archive) has grown exponentially, by leaps and bounds, to over a million boxing bouts by 2005. Then, as of July 2016, they announced they had gone over two million pro fights entered. With all the volunteers worldwide, they not only deserve our thanks, they deserve our praise for the compilation of this data. They have a network of people around the world attending shows, plus their reporters at home in the United Kingdom work diligently to maintain their worldwide contacts with the various boxing commissions.

Unlike record keepers of old, BoxRec provides the exact venues, referees, judges, weights, knockout times, descriptions, images, and other data from each bout to make it the most informative boxing website of our day. If a coarse critic├│n like Donald Trumpeta were to Tweet these Commissioners, he’d likely be calling them “a bunch of lazy bast@&ds!” And, how can we defend them, after these lethargic boxing commissions kept ignoring their responsibility to report the results to Box Rec a “free service.” They’re not only hurting the sport but the hard-working people in it. Imagine if it was mandated that each of the officials responsible now had to pay a fine plus arrange a sit down meeting with the boxers they had wronged.

Working behind the scenes to return Boxing to San Diego are Armando Bareno, CEO of Global Sports Streaming’s Best N Boxing who will be telecasting the October 11th event, then you have the owner of the venue, the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel – Luci Burni, followed by promoter Saul Rios of Borizteca Boxing, boxing trainer/co-owner of the House of Boxing Carlos Barragan Sr. and finally the VP of Global Sports Streaming, Lou Messina.

It’s important to note that last year, the American Boxing Federation awarded Saul Rios, the CEO of Borizteca Boxing Promotions, their annual award for being the top Boxing Promoter of 2018. And now he’s leaving Tijuana and moving his operations on the U.S. side.

The mention of the difficulties south of the border was a prelude to our introduction of the main players on Friday’s Fight card at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel on Aero Drive in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego. The San Diego faithful are quite familiar with this venue since Bobby D Presents hosted at least 30 Pro Boxing Shows at this site with headliners like Dallas’ Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia, Russia’s Denis Grachev and local champions like Chris “The San Diego Kid” Martin. We could go on and on. On a yearly basis, the group will be sharing this venue with the equally established Epic Fighting MMA and Dennis Warner’s WCK Muay Thai. Word to the wise: There are some tickets left for this October 11th event, but not many.

The addition of lightweight Edgar Ivan, “the Professor” Garcia from San Luis Reo Colorado, Mexico to the line-up could not be confirmed until late Wednesday after the gentleman arrived from south of the border and then passed the various physicals.
After an extensive amateur career, 3 years as a Pro, and receiving all this advice from guys like Mr. Alvarez and Mr. Roach, you have to figure Andrew Rodgers is going to have a rough go of it.

Bout #5, the super lightweight, co-Main Event will have Gonzalo Vallera (6-5, 4 KOs) coming all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina to face tough guy Jorge Marron Jr. (below) (15-1, 5 KOs) who is from nearby Lakeside, Calif.

Bout #4, a 6-round lightweight scrap features the 26-year-old, Ricardo “The Blessed” Valdovinos (left) of San Diego, Global ID #767464, (7-1, 5 KOs), who will be making his return to the ring after dealing with a knee injury suffered September 28, 2018 in his KO loss to Kevin Shacks at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Ca. which aired on Showtime’s Showbox.

Valdovinos’ opponent is 29-year-old, 5’6″ tall, tough guy Giovannie “King Gio” Gonzalez (9-3, 7 KOs) Global ID 791016 who hails from Stockton, Calif. As of late, “King Gio” has been facing less than stellar opponents. His last five opponents had a combined record of 16 wins 77 losses. I’d say it’s time for the “King” to man-up and show the Boxing World what he’s made of.

Sandwiched between Kevin “Diamond Boy” Torres (left) and James “Fresh Prince” Earle (right) is another local standout, 24-year-old, 5’7″ tall, welterweight Adrian Gutierrez (9-0-1, 4 KOs) Global ID 779057 from Chula Vista, Calif. who will be taking on 26-year-old, 5’7″ tall, righty Carlos “Guerrero Indio” Huerta (6-3-2) Global ID 578570, who will be traveling to San Diego from far off Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. (photo below, right side)

Attendees at Friday’s Press Conference included (l to r): Pacific Coast Training Center’s Co-owner/Head Boxing coach Eddie Loco, cruiserweight Darnell Tyrone Price II, Hall of Fame Promoter Bobby DePhilippis, boxer James “Fresh Prince” Earle plus well-known trainer Vince Parra.

In Bout #2, they have southpaw Darnell Tyrone Price II, Global ID# 898670, who stands 6’1″ tall. This former Marine Corps Staff Sargeant was involved in five tours of duty, three were Combat tours. Mr. Price was born and raised right here in San Diego where as a youngster he trained at the ABC (Anybody Can) Mongoose Boxing Gym on Market Street. He is now married and has three children, two daughters, and one son.

Price has put his boxing career on the fast track. After Friday’s fisticuffs, he’s headed north to Los Angeles for his second Pro fight. In his Pro Debut, he’ll be facing the 6-foot tall, 25-year-old cruiserweight Nicholas Gay (0-1) Global ID 898670 who will be coming from Houston, Texas.

Back on August 11, 2017, Gay made the mistake of taking on the far more experienced Thomas Knox (3-0) and only lasted three rounds. With Gay, two years removed from that loss, and further along in his training, he feels much improved over that younger version of himself.

Returning to Mr. Price: the big guy has over 80 Amateur bouts plus time spent on the Armed Forces Boxing Team. This reporter first met Mr. Price back in 2012 while working for the Military Press. Price was stationed at Camp Pendelton in Oceanside, Calif. where we got to cover both of his fights in the yearly Armed Forces Tournament.

Fast forward to the present: in preparation for this upcoming bout with Nicholas Gay from Houston, Texas, Mr. Price has been working out at the Pacific Coast Training Center with Eddie Loco and Vince Parra (the former assistant coach and head trainer of the former World Lightweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker. The Pacific Coast Training Center is located in Bird Rock, that seaside neighborhood within the larger community of La Jolla in San Diego. Nearby is the vacation home of Senator Mitt Romney. Rumor has it Gay will be Price’s first of many victims.
Our final photo shows fellow debutant, 23-year-old lightweight, James “Fresh Prince” Earle, Global ID #899435, DOB 8-28-96, 5’10” tall, 74-inch reach, an orthodox boxer who now lives in San Diego by way of West Chester, Pa. This photo was taken after Earle had finished a sparring session with Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker at the Pacific Coast Training Center. Earle’s registered manager is T. J. Brown and trainer Lawrence Lowe. On Friday, Earle, who has a record of 68 wins, 11 losses as an Amateur will be facing 31-year-old righty, 5’5″ tall Edgar Ivan “El Profe” Garcia (7-20-1, 2 KOs) Global ID# 637661 from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. Garcia’s 7 wins came against boxers with a combined record of 2-41-2.
(l to r) Borizteca Boxing Promotions’ CEO Saul Rios, boxing promoter Bobby DePhilippis, the owner of the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego Ms. Luci Burni, followed by boxers Kevin Torres, Adrian Gutierrez, James Earle (hidden) and finally Darnell Price.

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