Weigh-ins for Friday’s Solo Boxeo Boxing Card in San Diego

Charles Huerta of Paramount, Ca. poses for a photo at Thursday's weigh-in. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

In the co-main event on Friday’s Solo Boxeo “Test of Courage” Boxing Card at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, they’re featuring super bantamweights Raul Hirales Jr. of La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, going up against Charles Huerta of Paramount, CA.

Charles Huerta (17-1, 10 KOs) vs. Raul Hirales Jr. (11-0-1, 7 KOs)


Raul Hirales of La Paz, Mexico poses for a photo after being weighed in for Friday's bout against Charles Huerta of Paramount, CA. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Hirales, who is 5’5” tall, just had his 26th birthday on Tuesday. After winning 11 straight, he ended up with a draw in his last contest on September 25, 2010. Take note, Hirales’ opponents in the first 11 bouts had a combined record of 29-78-7.

Divine inspiration comes from many sources. Six years ago, Hirales’ cousin died in a street fight. He was stabbed in the heart. While trying to break up the fight, Hirales was stabbed. He now wears a tattoo of an angel on his shoulder to remind him of his tragic loss.

Huerta is 24 years old and never had any problems until he ran into Derrick Wilson (4-0-1) on July 30, 2009. Wilson, the clear underdog in their bout, was coming off a draw. In the first round Wilson landed a surprise big left hand on Huerta’s jaw that knocked him back into the ropes and down. At the count of eight Huerta made it to a knee but the referee felt Huerta was unable to continue and called for the stoppage. What made the bout so memorable was all the build up for Huerta, as he was the headliner on the local TV event, the “Fight Night Club.” Local hero gets destroyed in under a minute was big news.

The size difference separating Huerta and Hirales favors Huerta who is taller and usually carries more weight, about five pounds more.

Gary Russell Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs) vs. Feider Viloria (23-7-1, 16 KOs)

Gary Russell Jr. (left) and Feider Viloria (right) pose for a photo after their weigh-in for Friday night's fight at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

In the co-main event, featherweight Gary Russell Jr. from Capitol Heights, Maryland is in town to face Feider Luis Viloria, a native of Arbotetes, Columbia. Russell, the former amateur sensation, is now 22 years-old. The southpaw has a 61” reach and is ranked #8 in the U.S. Even though he’s small in stature, 5’5” tall, he packs a wallop and has some of the quickest hands in the business. He’s also well traveled. Besides his recent appearances at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, he has shown his wares in nine additional states plus nine countries.

How many boxers get this opportunity? Since Russell was such a standout as an amateur, he got to make his debut on Showtime’s ShoBox: The Next Generation.

Family and friends know Russell as a child prodigy. Legend has it he first started going to the gym when he was only two and started competing at the age of seven. All six of his brothers box and all six are natural southpaws.

Understatement of the year: Gary Russell, Jr. has extensive amateur credentials. In 2004 he became a Junior Olympic Champion. In 2005, at the age of 16, he won both the U.S. Championships and the Golden Gloves. He became one of only two boxers to win both the U.S. Championships and National Golden Gloves before his seventeenth birthday.

Viloria, ranked #3 in Columbia, is 27 years old, stands 5’7” tall, fights orthodox, has lost six of his last nine fights and been knocked out 4 times. In his last bout, an unanimous 10 round decision loss to Irving Berry at the Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City, wasn’t pretty. On two of the three judges score cards, he lost every round. Russell is a quick starter and in five of his bouts his opponent didn’t even get out of the first round.

Having said all that, Viloria appears confident he can beat Russell. Why? Because he once sparred against him in a Hoboken, New Jersey gym.

After amassing an impressive 20-1-1 record in Columbia, Viloria began to travel the globe. He’s fought in Japan (his favorite), Panama, the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. After heading out on the road, his career faltered.

Blanca Raymundo (0-1) vs. Amaris Quintana (3-0-2)

Amaris Quintana (left) of La Mesa, CA and Blanca Raymundo (right) of San Bernardino pose for a photo at their weigh-in for Friday night's fight. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Light flyweight Blanca Raymundo of San Bernardino, CA, weighs 107 lbs., is 21 years-old and stands 5’ 4” tall. On October 28, 2010, she made her debut at the San Manuel Indian Casino in San Bernardino. She lost by unanimous decision to Cindy Amador (1-0), losing every round.  She’s been training for 10 years now, under the tutelage of her father at the Meadowbrook Amateur Boxing Academy. As an amateur she faired much better, winning 12 of her matches and losing 4.

Her opponent is Amaris Quintana, a local favorite from La Mesa, CA. Quintana is also 21, a few inches taller and trains with the very capable David Gutierrez at the Gutierrez’s Gym in South San Diego. She’s a fan favorite because she goes nonstop. Her wins, all three unanimous decisions, came against Gloria Salas. Her two draws came against Melissa McMorrow.

David Morales (2-0-1) vs. Emmanuel Robles (1-0-0)

Emmanuel Robles (left) and David Morales (right) pose for a photo at their weigh-in on Thursday evening for Friday's bout at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Light welterweight Emmanuel Robles of Old School Boxing, San Diego had his debut at the same location, the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, back on September 10, 2010 against Luis Sanchez (1-4-0) from Fairfield, CA. In that fight Robles was a dynamo, throwing punches nonstop. He smothered the taller opponent landing shots in close range to gain an unanimous decision.

David Morales is a last minute replacement for Shawn Wate. Even though Morales said he had only two days notice, he stated he’s always ready and has become use to it. For his last fight, he took it on one day notice and won. Like Robles, he had an extensive and very successful amateur career with over 100 bouts. Morales lives in Long Beach, Ca. but trains at the well known Oscar De La Hoya Gym in East LA.

Anthony Martinez (6-0-0, 5 KOs) vs. Carlos Musquez (3-3-2)

Anthony Martinez of Las Vegas, NV poses for a photo at his weigh-in for a bout with Carlos Musquez of Sacramento, CA on Friday. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Martinez (6-0-0, 5 KOs) did well against the six opponents he’s faced but like everyone else he had a difficult time with Cristian Favela, the only opponent he couldn’t KO. He ended up winning that fight by split decision. Martinez began his career in 2006 and had three consecutive KO wins, with each opponent being KO’ed in the second round. Then, all of sudden, he quit the fight game and didn’t fight again until July of 2010.

Carlos Musquez of Sacramento, CA poses for a photo at his weigh-in for Friday's fight against Anthony Martinez of Las Vegas, NV. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Carlos Musquez, a journeyman boxer from Sacramento, appears to be another warm-up fight for Martinez. He hasn’t won in his last four fights. His last fight, an unanimous decision loss to Alex Viramontes (8-5-0) at the Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento was back on July 31, 2008. Musquez started his career off with a bang after a debut draw, he won his next three fights by early knockout. Musquez is a tough kid who has never failed to finish a fight, plus the combined record of the boxers he has faced is 29-13-1.

Bastie Samir (8-0-0, 8 KOs) vs. Loren Myers (7-10-1, 2 KOs)

Loren Myers of Fresno, CA (left) and Bastie Samir, a native of Accra, Ghana, now living in Las Vegas, NV (right), pose for a photo after their weigh-in for Friday night's fight. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Samir, a 24 year-old, native of Accra, Ghana, now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the brother of bantamweight Issa Samir and team captain of Ghana’s national boxing team, the Black Bombers. In May 2007, he won the African Championships in the welterweight division. At the All-African Games he knocked out Hosam Bakr Abdin, but lost in the finals to Rached Merdassi.

Samir, who stands 5’9” tall, is known for accomplishing the impossible. In the world championships both he and a close friend, Ahmed Saraku, both welterweights, were faced with a dilemma. To qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics they had to either fight each other or one of them would have to move up in weight.

Bastie Samir, a true hero of Ghana, poses for this photo at his weigh-in for Friday night's fight against Loren Myers of Fresno, Ca. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Samir allowed his friend to continue in their weight class while he jumped two weight classes to light-heavyweight. Samir accomplished the feat in the second qualifier but lost in the finals by just two points.

Another amazing accomplishment? In the competition boxers use head gear. Samir burst his opponent’s head gear. It had never been done.

In his eight fights as a pro, all eight won by knockout, only two of his opponents made it to the second round and none made it into the third round.

In Ghana, Samir had the privilege of training at the same gym where Azumah Nelson, Joshua Clottey and most of the Ghanian boxing greats started out, the Bukom Boxing Gym in Bukom. He now trains at the Pound 4 Pound Boxing Gym in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer, Kenny Adams.

When you ask his corner people about Samir they brag about his power and brute strength. They claim he’s a natural.

Journeyman fighter Loren Myers (7-10-1, 2 KOs) from Fresno, Ca. will be the latest sacrificial lamb. Myers, 29, hasn’t won a fight since November 18, 2008. Coincidentally, James Parison of South San Diego was the last one to face Myers back on November 18, 2010. Parison won by TKO in the second round. Myers does gets some credit because he’s always facing the toughest competition. Over the last five and a half years, the combined record of his opponents is: 77-24-1.

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