Our local Boxing Community, A-D; Brandon Adams to Mark Dion

With there being so many athletes involved in the sport, this article will no doubt increase immeasurably over the years. Take note: the following ladies and gentlemen are not listed by popularity, seniority or talent, they are listed alphabetically.

Brandon Adams

The 5’9″ tall Brandon “Cannon” Adams (21-3, 13 KOs) is a stellar middleweight from Norwalk, Calif. who was managed by local promoter Bobby DePhilippis. Adams fought locally at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel and in Tijuana at the Salon Las Pulgas, winning his first 14 bouts.
On May 23, 2014, Adams battled and lost a Unanimous Decision to Willie “El Mongoose” Monroe Jr. (a taller southpaw with lightning fast hands) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, Calif. for the then vacant NABA and NABO Middleweight Titles. That fight, which aired on ESPN, was the final match in ESPN’s 2014 Boxino Middleweight Tournament. Monroe Jr. is the son of Philadelphia’s legendary Willie “the Worm” Monroe (40-10-1, 26 KOs) who gave Marvin Hagler a boxing lesson.
Brandon Adams has fought the best in what many consider the toughest division in Boxing. In the above photo, we see Adams (right), who at the time had a warm and friendly smile on his face, was receiving a menacing look from his next opponent Jermell Charlo (left).
Back on July 25, 2013, these two gentlemen, former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks along with Adams were celebrity guests at a Bobby D Presents Boxing Show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. It’s doubtful anyone on the Planet has a warmer smile than these two gentlemen. In 1978, in only his 8th professional fight, Spinks won the undisputed heavyweight title after defeating Muhammad Ali in what many considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

With Saul “Canelo” Alvarez having a home in Carlsbad, Calif. and a training facility nearby, plus having his arch rival Kazakhstani Gennadiy “Triple G” Golovkin (40-1-1 with 35 KOs) also living in California and training with well-known San Diego trainer Abel Sanchez at his facility in Big Bear, Calif., these gentlemen meet all the requirements for inclusion in our compilation of local Professional boxers.
Most respected boxer locally? That’s easy, the 30-year-old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Ever since he rented a home in nearby Carlsbad, Calif. and began training here, its become the in-thing to seek him out to have that one glorious, memorable photo with this most accommodating icon of the sport whose record now stands at 53-1 with 2 ties and 36 wins by knockout.

Sindy Amador

Born July 13, 1984, the 5′ tall Sindy Amador of Riverside, Calif. (12-1-1, 1 KO) has a record of (2-1) vs local boxers, (0-1) versus Jolene Blackshear and (2-0) versus Amaris Quintana. Her commendable record, due to a strategy of outworking her opponents, has been successful 85.71% of the time.

Her life is all about focus, and while everyone else seems to be zigging and zagging, Amador appears to be fully grounded. For instance, her high class photo shoots demonstrate not only her national pride in the United States but her deep love and attachment for Mexico.
How does that saying go? You can’t tell a book by it’s cover. Sindy Amador is super strong.
After winning the IFBA World Light Flyweight Title, that belt went everywhere she did.
With her stellar good looks, a little make-up, the fancy dress, Sindy Amador could easily be a fill in on Saturday Night Live, and do her spot on impersonation of Jennifer Lopez.
On date night, it’s recommended you first send Ms. Amador a bouquet of roses.
Sindy Amador always has time for that young admirer who someday might approach her and say: “Remember that day when you autographed my gloves?”

Danny Andujo

Back on August 5, 2016, 18-year-old, 5’3″ tall, super flyweight Danny Andujo from San Diego, made his Pro Debut against 32-year-old Israel Cortes Hernandez on a Ringside Ticket/Greg Cohen Promotion at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. The fireworks came early as Andujo went hard to the body and then delivered the perfect roundhouse right to Hernandez’s chin to secure the knockout victory.
The Arellano Brothers
Four wins and three losses later, marked by a unanimous decision loss to Saul Sanchez in November of 2016, a six-round mixed decision loss to Sergio Lopez in May of 2017, and finally a six round split decision loss to Pedro Antonio Rodriguez in February of 2018, and the dream of becoming a champion ended. Soon after, Andujo retired with a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and two wins by knockout.

Israel and Antonio Arellano

Initially, Antonio “Bazooka” Arellano (8-3-1) 3 KOs (r) and his brother Israel Arellano (7-3, 6 KOs) )(l) (super lightweights) trained at the Chula Vista Boxing Club in San Ysidro. Then, after signing Pro Contracts, they switched to the House of Boxing Training Center in Paradise Hills.
Before signing with Thompson Boxing Promotions, Israel and his brother were faced with several lucrative offers. Should we go Hollywood, accept the action hero parts in an upcoming novella or just take those endorsement deals to model fine clothes.
After turning their backs on the easy life, they immediately headed to the House of Boxing Training Center to focus full time on being the two best pugilists to ever lace up the gloves.
Photo taken at the Arellano brother’s signing ceremony includes co-manager Lou Messina, the CEO of Thompson Boxing Promotions Ken Thompson, boxers Israel and Antonio Arellano, then GM of Thompson Boxing Promotions Alex Camponovo plus co-manager Saul Rios

Pablo Armenta

Dear friends, boxers Pablo Armenta (l) and Genaro Gamez (r) pose for a photo after one of Gamez’s grueling workouts. Back on August 28, 2013, the extremely popular 23-year-old Pablo “Bronco” Armenta (10-1-1, 5 KOs) from South San Diego was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in Tijuana. At the time, his career was still progressing along despite suffering his first loss on September 16, 2011 to the undefeated Guy Robb of Sacramanto and then winning a close mixed decision victory over a journeyman by the name of Erik Aquirre at the popular Salon Las Pulgas in Tijuana.

Cris Arreola, big time Dodgers fan

Showing his unwavering support for the LA Dodgers, the 6’3′ tall, heavyweight Cris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) along with his daughter Danae and son recently visited the ball club’s Camelback Ranch-Glendale, Arizona training facility to eyeball their favorite team in Spring Training.
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Arreola and his trusty trainer Henry Ramirez visited the Barrio Station Community Center on Newton Ave. in Barrio Logan. As you can see from all the smiling, happy faces this visit from the boxing great will be long remembered. The executive director of Barrio Station, Rachael Ortiz, recently celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary. This nonprofit focuses on providing programs to help keep kids busy and away from trouble. Ortiz, who worked hand-in-hand alongside the legendary farm labor activist Cesar Chavez, has led this organization since the day it was founded. 
When reporting on someone like Cris Arreola, you have to be camera ready. Why? Because he’ll often do something outlandish, for instance climb up on the ropes after a win. On one occasion, despite dealing with the flu and a high fever, there he was with his trusty trainer Henry Ramirez traveling 2,742+ miles to battle Brian Minto on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. On the night of the fight, the weather was extremely nasty and the Arreola contingent had to walk two blocks from their hotel to the venue, the Boardwalk Hall, in the bitter cold featuring sleet. Sleet is the precipitation that starts off as snow, then melts to rain as it falls through the warmer cloud cover and finally refreezes as it falls through the cold layer near the surface. If you look at the photo (top right), you can see the anguish on Arreola’s face after successfully stopping Brian Minto in round four of their grueling battle while his flu symptons surely worsened. And there’s this sportswriter needing a photo after his big win. You can imagine Arreola’s thoughts in survival mode: “Henry, let’s keep it moving! Get me back to the hotel!”
During one of his demanding workouts at the House of Boxing Training Center in Paradise Hills, Arreola was abruptly interrupted by TV Personality/major player Mario Lopez who formerly starred as Slater, a teen heartthrob, on the TV Show Saved By a Bell and later hosted “Extra, Extra” and “Access Hollywood”.
While Arreola’s wife Erin was and still is a big fan of Lopez, Cris appeared unimpressed. Then, all of a sudden, there was Mr. Fancy Pants getting a bit too chummy and planting this kiss on Erin’s cheek. The Hollywood type, a 1991 graduate of Chula Vista High School, who recently partnered with Steve Kim on a Boxing Podcast in Los Angeles called The 3 Knockdown Rule, may have just been Saved By The Bell.

Carlos Barragan Jr./Boxing coach

On November 21, 2019, Carlos Barragán jr. (right) was once again welcoming the legendary boxer and dear friend , back to his gym for a workout. After holding four Press Conferences and making 27 separate appearances to train, this was Canelo’s 31st visit to the House of Boxing Training Center. But who’s counting? Some people have speculated there might just be some family connection. How so? Alvarez’s birth name is Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán. So, it is possible, especially if we go back several generations, that these two gentlemen are some way related and who amongst us doesn’t root for an athlete who shares the same last name? They say this is normal and partially responsible for the success of that memorable pop/disco classic “We are Family” sung by Sister Sledge.
Back in 2000, amongst the top celebrated Amateur Boxers in the U. S. was David Barragan.

Jolene Blackshear

Sing along: “and may you stay forever young” After yet another big win we see referee Juan Manuel Morales Lee raising the arm of the victorious 42-year-old Jolene Blackshear after winning a unanimous decision victory over the 25-year-old Linda “La Muneca” Soto at the Salon Las Pulgas in Tijuana on January 30, 2013. At the age of 38, Blackshear defeated the 27-year-old Melissa McMorrow at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. and at the age of 43 Blackshear defeated Sindy Amador to win the Women’s IBA World Flyweight Title at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, Calif. All three of these Blackshear opponents were no doubt considered the hometown favorite and as such the judges deciding these contests had to have been influenced/swayed by the bias crowd of which this reporter can attest.

Dewayne Beamon

Dewayne Beamon (16-4-2, 11 KOs) (left) from San Diego, Calif. by way of Goldsboro, North Carolina, who at the age of 34, has put much of his faith and trust in his most loyal friend/confidant, head boxing coach Joe Vargas (right) from The Arena Gym in Point Loma.

After training long and hard at a facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, Beamon believed he was ready for the biggest fight of his career, the WBC World Super Flyweight Title, versus one of the best ever, Juan Francisco Estrada, who at that time had a record of (40-3, 27 KOs). On August 24th, that title fight was contested at the 12,000 seat, multiple-use, Centro de Usos Multiples, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, which just so happens to be Juan Francisco Estrada’s hometown.

Things did not go as planned for Beamon (16-2-2 with 11 KOs) who soon became the victim of extremely dirty tactics which included six rabbit punches, plus a seventh to the back of the head after both his knee and glove had already touched the canvas. The gritty Beamon persevered until the 51-second mark of Round #9, at which time, the ref legitimately called a halt to this one-sided title fight. The uncontested illegal blows which led to this TKO victory, ensured that the WBC International title would remain with the hometown favorite and thereby satisfy his 12,000 delirious, fans.

Three months later, Beamon faced the 5’7½” tall Marvin Solano (22-4, 8 KOs) to contest the WBC Continental Americas Super Flyweight Title. That fight, which took place at the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando, did not go well. Beamon lost a 10 round unanimous decision (94-96, 90-100, 94-96). Finally, on February 1, 2020, Beamon lost a (91-95, 89-97, 90-96) to Willibaldo Garcia Perez of Copala, Guerrero, Mex. (10-3-1, 5 KOs).

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Joey Beltran/Bareknuckle Fighter

Since Bareknuckle fighting (boxing without gloves) is now permitted in multiple U. S. states, we get to include the 37-year-old dynamo Joey Beltran MMA (18-15, 1 NC, 12 KOs) Bareknuckle Fighting (2-1-1, 1 KO).

José Felipe Beltran of Carlsbad, Calif. (left) made his professional debut at 25 years of age back on February 10, 2007, at Strikeforce Young Guns and lost by way of a unanimous decision. Never a quitter, he then went on to compile a record of 6–2 before being signed by Bellator. In May of 2008, the 6’1″ tall “Mexicutioner” (Global ID#851859) had his first meeting with the big guy to his right, 6’5″ tall Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez of Yucaipa, Calif. They fought in a King of the Cage MMA bout. Coming up short, Beltran suffered a submission loss in the first round. Fast forward to 2009, the pair met again. Though a much closer fight, Lopez again came away with the victory. Beltran, who trains with the Blackline Fight Group/Alliance MMA group continued to persevere and went on to fight for Strikeforce, the UFC and finally Bellator MMA.

In 2018, Beltran was approached with an opportunity to fight on a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship fight card at the Ice and Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, an event to take place Saturday, June 2, 2018, and of all the possible opponents, the promoter had matched him up with the 6’5″, 243 lb. giant, Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez whose MMA record by this time had ballooned to (60 wins, 25 by knockout).
Joey Beltran’s last memorable bout versus Tony Lopez went right up until the final bell.

When talking about courageous fighters with an indomitable spirit, you would have to include Joey Beltran. After facing this giant, Tony Lopez, and losing to him back in 2009, there he was again in May of 2018 accepting the bidding of the demented promoter who again match him up with the giant. Known for his spunk, Beltran again accepted the challenge against the bigger man, this time in a Bare Knuckle fight to be held June 2, 2018. That bloody, five-round, back-and-forth struggle ended with Beltran winning a unanimous decision. By the 5th round, both of these legendary fighters, Beltran (l) and Lopez (r) had become a bloody mess.

Christian & Emilio Bojorquez

Super Bantamweight Christian Bojorquez (11-1, 2 KOs) of Tijuana (2010-2014) was never a big banger but he sure could box. His fall from grace came on May 30, 2014 when facing an even more accomplished boxer 19-year-old Fernando Fuentes of Hemet, CA. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Diego.
As far as classic, fun photos of Christian, this one has to be right up there. All four subjects to included the lovely Ringcard gals became totally invested in posing for this fortuitous photographer.

At the outset of his career, great things were expected of Christian “Huevo” Bojorquez, being that he was the younger brother of Emilio Bojorquez and his father was a well respected trainer. After battling seven less accomplished opponents, Bojorquez finally faced his first real test Walter “School Boy” Sarnoi (12-3) of Monterrey Park, who took him the distance at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. In the end, Christian won that grueling battle by an ever so close six round split decision. Christian’s movement, quick hands and reach advantage had made the difference.

Emilio “Yori Boy” Bojorquez

This fun-loving welterweight, Jesus Emilio “Yori Boy” Bojorquez (24-2, 18 KOs) who lives in Tijuana, last fought February 7, 2020, a TKO victory over 41-year-old Jose Luis Araiza (31-27-2). Bojorquez often trains both locally at The Arena Gym in Point Loma and south of the border in Tijuana with his Dad.

Austin Brooks

As you can see Austin Warren Anthony Brooks, born November 6, 1995 was a bit of a wild child when growing up in the town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from his first trip to the lake to the first snowball thrown. Interesting to note there are currently towns in Idaho where you can purchase a home for $100,000. Why so cheap? It’s what’s missing in Idaho: Democrats, traffic jams and warm weather. What’s exceedingly plentiful? Citizens carrying a firearm, wide-open spaces (2/3 of the state is either Federally or State owned), the many, many lakes, rivers, falls (on Snake River), Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon, Sun Valley Skiing, etc., etc.

Here we see Austin Brooks (left) sharing a moment with his family.
The person who was the most loving and inspirational in Austin’s life.
The trainer/coach/mentor who taught this 5’7″ tall featherweight the most? You’d have to say it was Vernon Lee (left) the head boxing coach at City Boxing in San Diego’s downtown.
We learn and are motivated by the people around us, like pro kickboxer, boxer, instructor Denis Grachev a transplant from Chaykovsky, Russia (center) who no doubt has been there and done that and has some mighty big shoes to fill as a former Muay Thai World Champion and standout Pro Boxer.
In the end, it’s all up to you and you alone, as you face those fierce, likeminded combatants.

In his Pro debut on February 20, 2020 at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, Calif., Austin Brooks (now 1-0) ended up stopping a 26-year-old, fellow southpaw, Javier Francis Navarro, in the fourth round. Navarro was also making his Pro Debut. After dominating competitors in the Amateur ranks, here was Brooks doing the same in the professional ranks. As a rookie Brooks had to be thinking, ‘Is it going to be this easy? I simply work harder than my opponents, develop different techniques, have my body in the best possible condition and finally, listen to the direction of my corner to break down my opponents to eventually land that one, two punch that will have the referee raising my arm.”

Frank Carrillo, Boxing Promoter

We would certainly be remiss if we didn’t mention the following gentleman: Frank Carrillo (right) who is the owner of The Jab Boxing Club plus The Jab Boxing Promotions. In addition, Mr. Carrillo is credited with being a National Medical Systems Creator after connecting the United States with Mexico through the SIMNSA Health Plan of which he is the founder plus President/CEO.
As a long time boxing fan, Mr. Carrillo has always been a sponsor of the sport and has helped a great many boxers (from both sides of the border). His shows at the Grand Hotel Tijuana and more recently at The Quartz Hotel & Spa in Tijuana are always top drawer, high class and many if not all have been broadcast on LATV. As you can see from the above photo, Mr. Carrillo knows a great many prominent people in the sport to include world renown trainer Abel Sanchez (left), WBC champion Brenda Flores (center) plus trainer/extraordinaire Raul Robles shown here with members of his support staff.
When looking to sign on the dotted line with a reputable Boxing Promoter and/or Manager many say you can’t go wrong when you choose Jab Promotions. Just ask any of the above Blue Chip Prospects.
As they say, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” Here’s a recent photo of Frank Carrillo (c) in attendance at a Boxing Show at the Auditorio Municipal Tijuana along with fellow multitaskers: daughter Christina who helps run the SIMNSA Health organization, is a Mother of two, plus owner/GM of a Women’s Pro Football Franchise. To Mr. Carrillo’s right is fellow Boxing Promoter Saul Rios of Borizteca Boxing Promotions who’s also a matchmaker and works full time at the R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility.
You’ll often see Christina Carrillo working out at the gym with weights in excess of ??? lbs. How much weight do you suppose she’s using here as she performs her dead lifts?
Who needs one of those Guardian Alarm Systems when you can rely on these Guardian Angels?

Clemente Casillas, CYAC Director

Way back when, teen-heartthrob Clemente Casillas got himself totally invested in the sport of Boxing after a visit to the nearby National City Community Youth Athletic Center run by the Barragan Family.
Years later, as the facility’s Executive Director, Casillas (left) along with his Head Boxing Coach Joe Vargas started adding some new wrinkles to the program. One Saturday, they got to chaperone some their high achievers and took them to their very first San Diego Chargers Football game.
Casillas (center) keeps expanding those horizons with festivals and visits to the Old Globe Theatre.
Time marches on and the faces of the outstanding coaches, wonderful parents, exceptional athletes and many over-achieving students keep changing at this combo boxing facility/community center.

Beloved Promoter Don Chargin

The list of boxers that Hall of Fame Boxing Promoter Don Chargin and his wife helped is no doubt too numerous to mention.

Christopher Earl Chatman

Homeported in San Diego, seaman Chris Chatman decided to train at City Boxing with their respected coaches Manny Melchor, Vernon Lee, Denis Grachev plus the owner Mark Dion.
We would be remiss if we didn’t add more than a few of the classic photos of this standout.

Going into this championship bout, both local standouts, Chris Chatman (l) and Lester Gonzalez (r) had tremendous respect for one another but at the same time, each was adamant about putting their opponent on his back.

After the announcement of his (77-75, 79-73 and 78-74) unanimous decision victory to win the California State Super Welterweight title, Chris Chatman, with an assist from coach Carlos “Baruch” Ferreira, went skyward.

(l to r) boxing coaches Vernon Lee and Aluche Jimenez, Chatman, City Boxing’s popular, former owner/now deceased Mark Dion, plus City Boxing Downtown’s present day owner Carlos Barruch Ferreira.

Chris Chatman has had his photo taken with some of the best ever to include (top) Iron Mike Tyson, bottom, left to right Roy Jones Jr., plus Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.
From the looks of this photo, it appears the trio had been invited to a fashionable affair or perhaps the yearly ESPY awards which are held in nearby Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theater.  

Old school fight poster for the Grady Brewer vs Chris Chatman fight.

Everyone has their favorite photo and this one of Chris Chatman with one of his good buddies, Denis Grachev, has to rank up there in our top photos of all time.

In his formative years, the 35-year-old southpaw, who now lives in Villa Park, Illinois with his wife and three, possibly four children, not only trained but coached boxers at the City Boxing Gym in San Diego’s Downtown under the tutelage of Vernon Lee, Manny Melchor, plus the former owner Mark Dion who ended up managing his career up until his untimely death. After fighting out of the City Boxing Gym for his first 10 bouts, Chatman headed east to do battle at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island and then on to The Dome at the Ballpark in Rosemont, Illinois. Chatman has faced the cream of the crop: Jermell Charlo, Charles Hatley, Lester Gonzalez, Jarrett Hurd, Isaiah Steen, Demetrius Andrade, Mark DeLuca, and Winfred Harris Jr.

Trainer Jose Cital

From humble beginnings, trainer Jose Cital (back row center at his first start-up gym in La Mesa, Calif.), went on to coach/train many outstanding boxers like Jorge Ruiz Jr., Rodriguez and two World Champions Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui, the IBF World Super Middleweight Champion plus Calif. Hall of Famer Jolene Blackshear, the Women’s IBA and IFBA World Flyweight Champion.
Classic photo of some of the boxing greats who trained at the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center Gym when located at 16th and “K” Streets in Downtown San Diego.

Jose Cobian, referee

Alfredo “Galan” Contreras

For years this 6’1″ tall cruiserweight Alfredo “Galan” Contreras Valdez (12-24-2, 5 KOs) of Lakeside, Calif. by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico had been making extra money by being the B-side, that last minute replacement who no doubt hardly ever had sufficient time to train properly. When his opponents, the A-side, got the least bit careless, they ended up paying the price. Many have opined: “If that guy only had the proper training, he could have been somebody special, a champion.” The list of great boxers he faced is a Who’s Who of Boxing: Rigoberto Alvarez, Craig McEwan, James Parison, Sebastian Demers, Anthony Dirrell, David Lemieux, George Groves, Marco Antonio Periban, Anatoliy Dudchenko, Cedric Agnew, Paul Mendez, Shawn Estrada, Ulises Sierra, Ryan Bourland, Blake McKernan and Robin Sirwan Safar who at the time of their meeting had a combined record of 214 wins, just 7 losses when facing the underestimated Alfredo “Galan” Contreras.

Pablo Cupul/Pro Boxer

Pablo Cupul, the well traveled transplant from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico poses for a photo with his manager Jorge Marron. Both have traveled far and wide together to face some mighty stiff competition. Like Contreras above, only nine of the 41 opponents that Cupul faced had a losing record.
Referee Jose Cobian raises the arm of the victorious Pablo Cupul.
Most admired boxer in San Diego at present? That would be Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Ever since he started both living and training here, it has become the in-thing to seek him out to have that ultimate photo taken with the Champ who at this point has held a great many World Titles from the WBO, the WBA, the WBC, the IBO and the IBF, Middleweight to Super Middleweight to Light Heavyweight Titles.

Elias & Emmanuel Diaz

In the past, Elias “Ingles” Diaz of National City, Calif. (6-0, 4 KOs) along with his older brother, Emmanuel Diaz were a dynamite pair of well-schooled USA Amateurs who benefitted big-time from a father, Greg Diaz, a former boxer himself, who passed on his expertise in the sport to his boys who virtually tore up the competition as USA Amateurs.

And now, after either graduating from college or getting married and settling down, the two men may or may not be as focused as they once were on becoming a World Champion.
Emmanuel Diaz, Mario Diaz
In his pro-debut of Saturday, August 10, 2013, Emmanuel Diaz (l) kept landing the solid jab to set up the combinations that led to his domination of fellow debutant Mario Diaz of Tijuana. Fast-forward seven years, it appears Emmanuel, now happily married with one youngster may have hung up the gloves.

Greg Diaz, Boxing Trainer

Mark Diaz

Mark Dion, the beloved owner of the City Boxing Gym on 14th Street in Downtown San Diego bore an uncany resemblance to MMA great Jean St. Pierre (bottom three photos). Dion contracted that rare disease ACLS (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). To read the unabridged article about his life and untimely death go to:

Mulapi Enjani/Pro Boxer

Up until the 2020 Global Pandemic, the 32-year-old featherweight Mulapi Enjani (right) from San Diego by way of Kigali, Rwanda, who turned Pro on September 4, 2014, had a lackluster record of 6-7-2 with 3 KOs, but if you were to talk to his support staff, they’d all tell you, “Mulapi remains positive and we keep seeing the progress. He gets better and better, week by week, fight after fight.” His unabated improvements are in his hand speed, accuracy, strength, power, elusiveness, and of course intensity.

Photos above confirm how this man gets around the boxing circuit, from a meeting with Errol Spence Jr. to traveling north to The Money Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas. From a visit to the Legend’s Boxing Gym in Norwalk, Calif. to train with Ryan Garcia, then back to San Diego and further south to Tijuana, Enjani keeps pushing that envelope. If he’s not sparring with the best on the planet, he’s drilling them for advice. It’s called hard work and Mulapi Enjani is a believer that someday, it’s all going to pay off.

Jorge Escalante/Pro boxer

Promoters will tell you: “We benefit big time from having a gent like Jorge “El Bandito” Escalante (9-3-2, 6 KOs) on our fight card. And why is that? 1) From the standpoint of his appearance, Escalante is unique with his shaved head and goatee. Plus, his manager Jim Berry has the long hair, and matching mustache plus goatee. Both exude this Raider Nation look. Then, you have Escalante’s ability to survive the rigors of a tough division, the (175-200 lb. Cruiserweight Division). And for what? He’s been in the game for six years now, surviving on his on and off sporadic training. It would be like an NFL player not practicing all week, and then being asked to play on Sunday. Check out Escalante’s performance over the past five years. This last man standing has only been stopped once while managing to pull off more than his share of victories, even after being behind on the scorecards. World titles? None. Popular? No doubt.
You can’t beat the trusty, man’s best friend to keep you focused on your goals.

Brenda “La Bonita” Flores

Flores’ on-going tales of highs and lows, glee to heartbreak are almost too difficult to imagine. To begin, on March 1, 2019, at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutiérrez Moreno in Tijuana, our 5’2″ tall, 27-year-old heroine won a TKO victory over Mayelis Altamar (13-2-2) to win the interim WBC World Female Atom Weight Title. The stoppage victory came at the 1:35 mark of Round #3 of their scheduled 10 round championship bout. Both boxers weighed the same 102 lbs. Previously, on September 8, 2018, Flores had won a split decision victory over the five foot tall Louisa “Bang Bang Lulu” Hawton (8-1 with 5 KOs) from Perth, Western Australia, Australia at the Forum in Englewood, Calif. to win the very same interim WBC World Female Atom Weight Title with the contrarian scores of 96-94, 93-97 and 97-93. As a result of these two victories, it is safe to say Tijuana had themselves another well respected champion.

Now here’s where it gets a bit whacky! The 5′ tall Louisa “Bang Bang Lulu” Hawton (10-2) with her 5 KOs, who lost to Flores back on September 18, 2018 and hadn’t faced Flores since, ends up defeating this weaker opponent Lorraine Villalobos (2-2) winning by stoppage in round #5 on 12-08-18. Then, a year later, on 12-7-19, Hawton again defeats the very same weak opponent Lorraine Villalobos and with these two victories over that much weaker opponent, is declared the WBC Female Atom Weight World Champion removing the crown from Brenda Flores, even though Flores had gone undefeated during this same period and soundly defeated the same Louisa Hawton back on September 8, 2018?

?? Without a blemish on her record and not a single defeat since winning her WBC Female Atom Weight World Title, Brenda Flores somehow loses that same WBC title to a boxer she defeated??
Four days after that WBC Title was handed to Louisa “Bang Bang Lulu” Hawton, the Tijuana Boxing Community suffered the tragic loss of Flores’ man, boxer Julian Cesar Pedroza Ramirez,
Alias: Uniko. Above we see the bereaved Brenda Flores holding the couple’s beautiful offspring.
It’s easy to see, Brenda Flores and her daughter share a special bond. In the photos above (right), we see the pair using her daughter’s feet to communicate to each other. (left) Their household pet looks to be in seventh heaven while receiving a gentle hug from Flores daughter from an earlier union.

Anthony Franco

Additional photos of the Anthony “The Future” Franco (l) show him as a young, fledging video game devotee and 14 years later we see Franco after finishing up a rugged/dialed-in sparring session with the Mexican sensation Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) of Tijuana, the WBO World Super Welterweight Champion. Munguia now has his eye on the WBC World Title currently held by Jermall Charlo who is scheduled to defend his title on September 26, 2020 against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the main event of a Showtime pay-per-view card. Munguia, who is staying ready, believes Charlo will win that contest.

Fernando “Chukito” Fuentes

In 2012, as the top USA Amateur Boxer in San Diego & surrounding counties, locals couldn’t wait to see how the 5’7″ tall featherweight Fernando Fuentes would fare in the Pro Ranks. As of September 14, 2020, the 26-year-old Fuentes has a not too shabby record of 14-8-1, 4 KOs, with those 8 losses coming against the following (stiff) competition: Cobia Breedy (15-0), Erik Ituarte (21-1-1), Erik Ruiz (17-8-1), Isaac Zarate (16-5-4), Oscar Negrete (19-2-2), Juan Funez (11-1-1), Ricardo Rodriguez (16-7) plus Edgar Valerio (13-1). When we total up the records of Fernandos’ opponents thus far, they come to a combined record of 130 wins, 25 losses, 9 draws.

Jose Alberto Guzman

The 25-year-old Jose Alberto Guzman (left) (21-3-3, 10 KOs) is known for being all-business in the ring. Ranked in Mexico’s top featherweights, he’ll go non-stop until his opponent is either taking a knee or cringing in his corner awaiting his corner to throw in the towel.

Gamez Family’s salute to Genaro

Working with one of the very best trainers in the sport, Robert Garcia? As they say, that’s a no-brainer.
The Gamez family has been reveling in Genaro’s success for a lot of years.
One of San Diego’s best ever USA Amateurs, Genaro Gamez
Promote, promote, win, win, until everybody knows your name. That’s Genaro Gamez’s present task. In his last outing on July 7, 2020, inside “the Bubble” at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, “El Conde” looked quite impressive stopping Reymond “Robocop” Yanong (11-5-1) from Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Phillippines with just one second left in the first round to improve to 10-1 with 7 KOs.

Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia

After making a successful Pro Debut on September 18, 2004, super featherweight (126-130 lbs.) Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia from Vista, Calif. proceeded to win 9 of his first 10 bouts. Then came those ill-advised match-ups, a loss to Saul Ochoa, a true middleweight (154 lbs.) plus a mixed-decision loss to the undefeated Abraham Lopez who was 5 inches taller and had a four inch reach advantage. Next, there was a split decision loss to Bernabe Concepcion for the WBC Continental Americas Featherweight Title. Despite suffering a nasty head butt in round 8, judge Barry Druxman had Garcia winning seven of the 10 rounds. Returning to action after a 19 month lay-off with trainers Vince Parra and his father Bumpy Parra in his corner, Garcia won four straight bouts and finished his career at the age of 32 with a 4th round stoppage loss to the 24-year-old Daniel Ramirez (10-1) from Tijuana.

Chucho Garcia

Born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico in 1945, the 5’11” tall Chucho Garcia (95-45-7, 61 KOs) fought the majority of his early battles in Mexico, either in Reynosa or Monterrey, sometimes on back to back nights. Before moving on to San Diego, Garcia did fight more than his share of big names in more than his share of countries. For instance there was: Elisha Obed in the Bahamas, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart in Philadelphia, Australia’s Rocky Mattioli in Milan, Battling La’avasia in New Zealand plus our very own David Love right here in San Diego. Closing out his career, Garcia did fight multiple times here in San Diego at both the Coliseum and The Arena. Garcia died on January 22, 2017 at the age of 72.

Esteban “El Chucky” Garcia

Now in possession of one local belt, the 30-year-old welterweight, 5’8″ tall, southpaw EstebanEl Chucky” Garcia (14-0, 6 KOs) now lives in Chula Vista, Calif. after moving from Brawley, Calif. Garcia, who got a late start in Boxing turned Pro on April 29, 2016. His support group includes his manager/agent Christina Carrillo of The Jab Boxing Promotions. In his corner on fight night he has xxxx, Cutman Brian Llano plus his trainer Dale Soliven.

Gilbert Anthony Garcia: just another Garcia, not on your life

This Iberian Lynx has benefitted big time from sparring with the best, and by doing so, Gilbert Garcia has built up quite a loyal following. On his way to the ring and after entering the ring, Garcia knows how to become an entertainer.
Take a gander at the people Garcia surrounds himself with. It’s a support group par excel lance. He’d never pass up an opportunity for a meet and greet with Coach Robert Garcia.
Unabashed, here we have Garcia going through his regular routine of trying to unsettle, fluster his opponent. In hindsight, if your opponent was nervous about the image Gilbert portrays, then you would think he would be even more energized to throw even harder punches.
Teamwork: Garcia also knows that cultivating a bond with his trainer/coach, in this case Sergio Hernandez, plus his cut man and third cornerman is vital to winning the bout.
At the end of the night, all that matters is that he’s the one in possession of that championship belt which at this point he has draped over his left shoulder.
The goal of any respectable Iberian Lynx is to take home the prey, preferably a large rabbit and not a skimpy mouse, so his family can be well fed. The popular, heavily spotted Iberian Lynx has long legs, a short tail with a black tip. With its dark spots and characteristic “beard” around its face, plus prominent black ear tufts, it’s a wonder to look at. A friend of mine had one and it was very skittish around anyone who wasn’t a member of his household. Plus, the owner claimed it was dangerous if you thought you could pet it like a household cat. If Gilbert Garcia has patterned his life around this animal, does this mean we should use a little more social distancing when he comes around. Perhaps.

Mika “The Samoan Destroyer” Gergen

Mika Gergen and his beautiful wife, Tarrah Berger, a former high-fashion runway model.

The boxing career/life of the power-punching heavyweight Mika Gergen often followed this serpentine route before landing right back here in San Diego. Born in Pago Pago, Samoa on June 29, 1977, the now 43 year-old Gergen, a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, grew up in the Seattle area before moving to Montana. Soon after winning this Tough Man Competition in 2003, Gergen turned professional and battled the 32-year-old Jason Condon to a Draw in Maywood, Calif. Somewhere along the way, Gergen spent some time in prison stemming from a street fight, and while in prison he learned how to box. That being said, it wasn’t until he started to train with his new trainer Lou Lake that significant changes started to take place.

“Lake got me using my feet as well as my hands, and working on moving all around the ring the entire fight,” said Gergen. “Before it was like I was standing in cement. Also, my lower back used to tighten up all the time and it would affect my breathing. When you’re a pro athlete, no matter what the sport, it’s important to be breathing properly.”

Gergen’s manager, Bobby DePhilippis, also gave credit to Mr. Lake for rejuvenating his career: “He was good before and now he’s going to be great.” In the end, the budding career never developed and Gergen lost 5 of his last 9 fights to end his career with 10 wins, 6 losses and a Draw.

Amongst his peers, Gergen is thought to be on a par with those lionhearted heroes of the past, reminiscent of folk hero “Big John”. Like the time his mere presence broke up a street fight or his man-up performance on an oil rig. Not every hero gets to marry the gal of his dreams, but it appears Mika did and she bore him a son, Diezel, of which both are extremely proud.

Early on, it was thought that young Diezel was going to be a race car driver but his puppy kept interfering with his practice runs by jumping into the front seat.
At this point, it appears young Diezel has given up on plans to be a race car driver and is leaning more towards being a Lumberjack or perhaps a Truck Driver.
From this photo we get the impression Mika Gergen is right at home in the kitchen
What separates the Gergen household from the rest? Three of their four pups won’t go to sleep until Mika decides it’s time. Then, they’ll all cuddle up around their hero. When this happens the fourth pup goes looking for the remote to watch some sports.

Chris Getz: Boxing & Muaythai Trainer

After the final class of the day, some of The Compound MMA gym members, plus the owner Sean Loeffler (back row, center) and coach Chris Getz (furthest right) pose for a photo. Many of the top fighters in their area have come out of this gym.
With the introduction of Kickboxing on National TV, kickboxer extraordinarie Chris Getz was the man of the hour. After the sport lost some of its lustre, Getz decided to open up his own gym, The Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road across from the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The popular Boxing gym featured training in both Boxing and Kickboxing. After that gym was forced to close and he later met the treasure of his life, he went on to make coaching his full time career at the Compound MMA in Oceanside, Calif.

Denis Grachev, Boxing/Muay Thai

From a tough WCK Muaythai fight at the Pala Casino Spa & Resort in Pala, Calif. to
an even tougher Boxing match at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, it was all about working hard for the money.

If you were to check over Denis Grachev’s resume, you’d soon discover the 6’ tall, light heavyweight (20-10-1, 11 KOs) has gone toe to toe with a great many of the top light heavyweights and even cruiserweights in the sport. From Alfonso Lopez (32-3), Chad Dawson (36-5), Charles Foster (19-0), Imre Szello (24-1), Kelly Pavlik (40-2), Vladine Biosse (15-8-3), Azea Augustama (20-3), Ismayl Sillah (17-0), Lucian Bute (32-5), Zsolt Erdei (34-1), Edwin Rodriguez (31-2), Isaac Chilemba (26-7-2), Ryno Liebenberg (20-7-1) to Thomas Oosthuizen (28-3-2). 

Was there ever an opponent who you felt was unbeatable? As you can see from the artwork on display (top left from Denis Grachev’s personal collection) that green frog is unwilling to entertain any thought of giving up as he continues to try and choke that chicken.
What a team they had: the gone but not forgotten Mark Dion (left), Denis Grachev, Manny Melchor, Carlos Ferreira Baruch & missing from the photo, head coach Vernon Lee.

Denis Aleksandrovich Grachev was born August 3, 1982, in the small town of Chaykovsky, Russia and while growing up, young Denis, like so many other youths developed this passion to become a famous athlete. Paying particular attention to this goal, he later entered the Tchaikovsky State Institute of Physical Culture, where he could maximize those efforts. 

In 2004, the 22-year old kick-boxer was in Switzerland participating in the Kickboxing World Championships in Basel. Participating in the 81 kilogram weight class (that’s up to 178.574 pounds), he finished in third place to receive the bronze medal. In the following year, after graduating from the Institute with his Bachelor’s degree in physical education, he started getting even more involved in kickboxing and became a Champion of note. 

After realizing the real money was outside of Russia, mainly abroad, in 2006, the Russian Kickboxing Champ with a record of 123 wins and only 18 losses decided to emigrate to the U. S. Then, with the help of the owner of City Boxing Downtown, Mark Dion, Grachev decided to settle in San Diego and take advantage of English classes being taught at the nearby Community College. With his specialty being Kickboxing/Muaythai, rather than the more popular Boxing, Grachev again had to adapt from teaching Kickboxing/Muaythai Classes to learning how to box under the guidance of the veteran coach Vernon Lee. To make additional funds, Grachev soon turned Professional in both sports and before long had his manager hanging out the shingle that his services were available. 

And finally, those happily ever after photos of the Grachev Family that feature the latest star in the family, Grachev’s daughter Matilda, who may just end up being the best fiqure skater in all the world.
From caring for the cat, to caring for the dogs and guinea pig, to reading every book in the San Diego County Library system, Matilda has become that one person who can wear her father out.

David & Max Gutierrez

Back in the day, David Gutierrez (left) had women everywhere swooning. He was well on his way to a budding career as an undefeated welterweight. Then, after sustaining a serious neck injury, he was forced to retire. Downcast but extremely adaptable, our hero then became an Attorney at Law to fight for people’s rights in court. In retrospect, this business of overcoming one insurmountable task after another has become a reoccurring theme in his life. Before turning Pro, Gutierrez was an outstanding Amateur Boxer and many thought a shoe-in to represent the U. S. in the upcoming 1984 Summer Olympic Games. As luck would have it, Gutierrez came into prominence at the very same time as East Coast sensation, the very tall and indomitable Mark Breeland who ended up winning the Gold Medal. These days David helps train his son, the undefeated Adrian Gutierrez (10-0-1). The only blemish on Adrian’s record is a mixed decision Draw to a Lennard Davis IV on September 28, 2018 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino. The gentleman in the center of our photo Max Gutierrez is the Patriarch of the Gutierrez Clan, who for years trained a great many of San Diego’s top pugilists to include his two sons David and step son James Parison, along with Timothy Okuvoye, Eddie Sanchez, Amaris Quintana, Homer Palomino, Juan Medina Jr., the list is a long one.

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Terry Hendricks, Boxer/Trainer

Terrence Hendricks (left) poses for a photo with head coach Berlin Kerney IV and assistant coach Tez Avant after one of his many victories which no doubt ended with a referee’s stoppage.

Back in the day, the current Head Boxing Coach/gym manager of the RSD Boxing Club in Spring Valley, Calif., Terry Hendricks, was scary good. Nearly 80% of his USA Amateur Boxing bouts would end either from a referee’s stoppage or his opponent lying flat on his back. During this period, Hendricks was honing his skills with a big assist from Berlin Kerney IV and fellow team members affectionatly known as the Bomber’s Squad.

Gabriel Hernandez

Early on, everyone, especially the coaches realized that Gabriel Hernandez was special.
Before long, he was being celebrated and hoosted up on the shoulders of his mates after a tough victory.
Always focused, Gabe worked hard, hit the books and never failed to listen to his elders such as well known trainer Chepo Reynoso.
Hernandez has also visited with Freddie Roach at his Wildcard Gym, sparred with two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, and realizes the benefits have been immeasurable.

Here we see several of those intermittent moments when life was surely grand for this up and coming super middleweight. Like that day at the House of Boxing Training Center when the NFL Players made their surprise visit. Or the night when his arm was raised by referee Juan Manuel Morales Lee after he scored his 6th straight stoppage victory. At the time, Gabe’s diligent, meticulous workouts had him feeling like he was indestructible.

At other times, boxing can appear to be a grind, but the goals are always the same. You keep yourself super fit, work on getting stronger and keep winning. At this point, the 25-year-old, 5’8″ tall Gabriel “Torito” Hernandez of El Cajon, Calif. is a bit overweight and would do better to return to super middleweight rather than heavyweight. Still, life is grand as he got to meet heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz plus enjoy those special moments with his family, like the recent celebration of his Mom’s Birthday.

Riccy “The Hammer” Hood

After getting an assist from Trainer Priest Tiger Smalls, Riccy Hood became a force.
Before he knew it, Riccy Hood had himself a degree, a beautiful family and boxing was in the rearview.

Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker

Change can be difficult! A recent development in the Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker camp saw his management team reassessing things and decided it was best to cut their ties with San Diego and trainer Vince Parra. The change will now have Hooker staying at home in Dallas, Texas for future fight preparations. After turning 30-years–old in August of 2019, the former 135-140 lb. Super Lightweight Champion has found it increasingly difficult to near impossible to maintain his weight at that 140 lb. limit. This became evident after his unfortunate six-round TKO loss to Jose Carlos Ramirez on July 27, 2019. Hooker can no longer lose all that poundage without being sapped of his strength and endurance. Like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence before him, Hooker eventually needed to move up in weight.
You talk about fate or getting off to a miserable start in that Hooker vs. Ramirez bout: Jose Carlos Ramirez (right) received credit from referee Mark Nelson for a knock down of Hooker in round one, which was clearly caused by Ramirez backing Hooker up and then stepping on Hooker’s left foot.
That being said, early in Round #6, we again saw Ramirez getting to Hooker with these devastating, power shots to the midsection. Then, after again backing Hooker up, this time against the ropes, Ramirez unloaded the final barrage of punches to the head to finish Hooker off.

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Alex Cruz Juarez, Pro Boxer

Super Welterweight Alejandro Juarez born August 9, 1978, Global ID 171620 of Tijuana, B. C., Mexico made his successful Pro Debut on November 1, 2002 at the Palenque del Parque Vicente Guerrero in Mexicali versus Juan Zambrano and went on to win 14 straight before being stopped in the 12th and final round by Felix Flores (20-4, 14 KOs) in a battle for the WBO Latino Welterweight Title at the Kissimmee Civic Center, Kissimmee, Florida on Friday evening, September 23, 2005.

Berlin Kerney IV, Boxing Trainer

On behalf of the Undisputed Boxing Team, their coach Berlin Kerney IV, accepted this 2013 Boxers for Christ Outstanding Team Trophy. Local entrepreneur Jack Ballo saw the potential in this well-liked, extremely talented coach and soon after opened a gym in El Cajon and of course, he suggested they name it after Berlin’s boxing team, the Bomber Squad.

Felipe Leon, Boxing Analyst

Felipe Leon, the long-time boxing scribe of Fight News, then popular Boxing Commentator and podcast Host of Leave It In the Ring Network, has now made his way to live TV.

While on a recent visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, the above photo was taken of Mr. Leon with the popular cartoon character Barney Gumble (Homer Simpson’s best friend since high school). Of course, back in high school, Barney was sober and Homer had hair. Nowadays, Barney is usually drunk and belching in that popular TV series The Simpsons. Interesting to note: Barney’s father, Arnie Gumble, who died in a 1979 parade float accident along with Sheldon Skinner, Etch Westgrin, Iggy Wiggum, and Griff McDonald, all served in Abe Simpson’s WWII squad, the Flying Hellfish.

In keeping with his often jocular persona, Leon added the following caption to the above photo: “Dios nos hace, y nosotros solos nos encontramos.” Translation: “God makes us, and we alone find ourselves.” If Leon wasn’t so wrapped up in Boxing, he may well have been a philosopher or without exaggeration a comedy writer for one of the late-night TV shows.

Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler

Is that your daughter? She’s precious!
A round about 12-13 years from now and your teenage son is stopping to pick up his date to go to his high school’s Senior Prom. One minor detail, his date is the daughter of gym owner Sean Loeffler and after opening the door to greet you, this giant of a man pulls out a measuring tape and states, “I just wanted to see if you’d fit in the trunk of my car.” Would you advise him to run, or have the courage to take his daughter to the dance? If he takes her to the dance, you’d be feverishly worrying throughout the night, what time did her father want his daughter returned? Should she be back at her house by 10 p.m., 11 p.m.? Most assuredly well before midnight! But what if your son’s car breaks down?
In other words, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who is more intimidating than Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler, owner of the Compound MMA Gym in Oceanside, Calif., a gentleman who simply adores his daughter. As a MMA fighter, this 6’3″ tall heavyweight was 32-5 with 14 wins by knockout, 17 by submission. Then, as a professional boxer Sean Loeffler posted a record of 8-1 with 8 KOs.
How does that song go by the Four Preps? “He was a big man yesterday, but boy you ought to see him now.” At a recent sports expo, Mixed Martial Artist/Pro Boxer Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler and that year’s Mr. Olympia Bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman were asked to pose for a photo.

David Love, Middleweight contender

Practice makes perfect and who better to train with than a former IBF World Super Welterweight Champ like Paul “The Ultimate” Vaden (29-3, 16 KOs)?
With Love being a handsome dude and then marrying a super-model, it was kind of expected that their offspring would also be knockouts.

During his 13-year-Pro career, one boxing pundit referred to David “Sugar” Love (1970-1983) as an outstanding boxer but one who lacked the necessary fire-power to knock people out. No doubt a slew of his contemporaries would disagree with that statement, especially when Love was reeling off 15 straight victories and later defeated four of the top five middleweight in the World. At that time, Philadelphia, the 5th largest city in the U. S. by population, had a large number of boxing gyms and surprisingly most had at least two exceptional middleweights. There was Bennie Briscoe (66 wins, 53 KOs), Bobby “Bogaloo” Watts (31 wins), Willie “The Worm” Monroe (34 wins), Eugene “Cyclone” Hart (30 wins) plus up and comer Perry Abney (11 wins), all but Cyclone Hart were summarily defeated by Love.

Philadelphia, a boxing town, has vivid memories of boxer David Love

Boxer extraordinaire David “Sugar” Love of San Diego first arrived in the “City of Brotherly Love” on January 25, 1973, and like a hired gun who came to clean up the City, he began slowly but surely going through every one of city’s top middleweights. One can only imagine the bashing that the local Philadelphia boxers received from the three local newspapers: “Once again, David Love travels cross country to the City of Brotherly Love to defeat one of our so-called chumps.” The only Philadelphia middleweight contender who didn’t get an opportunity to face Love was Eugene “Cyclone” Hart (30-9-1).

On August 16, 1976, Love won a TKO victory over Willie “The Worm’ Monroe (34-3-1) and followed up that victory with another TKO victory over Bobby “Bogaloo” Watts in March of 1977. The destruction of the highly touted Philadelphia fighter took place in front of 6,000 plus Air Force personnel at the Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

A post-fight comment from Angelo Dundee, Love’s manager at the time: “A fighter isn’t supposed to lead with the right all the time as does David. But he’s so darn fast, he can get away with it. I venture to say, he has the fastest right hand that I’ve ever seen.”

Maybe for his own safety, Love avoided Philadelphia boxers for a year and then returned in 1978 to fight Bennie Briscoe, considered to be “the toughest Philadelphia fighter of them all”.

In this 10 rounder that went the distance, the two judges scored the bout (47-46 and 47-44) for Love while referee Charlie Sgrillo had Love winning every round except for one (49-41).

Whether it was the weather (a snowstorm in late January) or the fact Bennie Briscoe was having trouble making weight, the above fight had to be pushed back three weeks. At their final weigh-in, Briscoe weighed in at 164 lbs. which put him four pounds over the middleweight limit of 160 lbs., and made him a super middleweight. Love, the consummate professional, weighed in at 157 lbs., three pounds under the 160 lb. limit. It didn’t matter. Love’s management decided to go ahead with the fight.

Often described as a gritty, murderous-punching fan-favorite, Briscoe enjoyed a long and historic career in which he had three title shots. As witnessed by yours truly, Briscoe would often allow an opponent to take the first, unblocked punch and then he’d give that poor sap a smug smile. One of the quotes attributed to this intimidator: “Anybody I hit has got to go, and if they don’t, they’ll be fouled up for the rest of their career.” (Or possibly the rest of their life.) Some, if not all, opponents agreed with that boast.

Here we see Coach Love, years later, having a heart to heart conversation with one of his young boxers, Contravis Strozier, who at the time was getting all full of himself after a victory. Coach Love was right there to bring Travis back to reality and offered him the following advice, “Son, you still have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do. In this sport, you have to keep things in perspective. Every boxer’s career will end someday. It is only in the details of how you acted that will be remembered. Stay humble!”

Former boxing great and now volunteer coach David Love (center) joins two of the young boxers who competed in the Saturday, April 18, 2015 show at the Intensity MMA gym in South San Diego, a show featuring the first qualifying match for the Junior Olympics.

Miguel Angel Maravilla, Boxing Writer

The Commerce Little League Baseball Team with the help of their coach has gotten an opportunity to go far and wide from Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine to Petco Park in Downtown San Diego.

Nico Marchan Pro Boxer

As the saying goes, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.” Well, what about when you have this friend who isn’t afraid of heights? To top it off, he’s always doing these extremely dangerous things. Like climbing the highest mountain only to dangle his feet over a narrow ledge, or dives off a cliff into what appears to be shallow water who’s depth changes with each wave. Plane and simple, our next boxer, Nico Marchan, is a daredevil who is never intimidated by the extremely high places.
When visiting New York, he seeks out the tallest hotel and then requests a room on the top floor.
An opinion from one of Marchan’s biggest fans: “I believe Nico has an opportunity to become the next big thing out of the Philippines.”
For most every boxer, their Pro Debut can be nerve-racking. That’s how it was for local fan favorite Nico Marchan on August 17, 2019. That being said, it didn’t take him long before he was in complete control and going nonstop pummeling his opponent Rigo Cruz Cebreros into submission.
What a wind-up he employed! This left hook from Marchan to Cebreros’ midsection had to be a killer.
After his second-round TKO victory over Rigo Cruz Cebreros, Marchan immediately put on this traditional hat from the Philippines. The boxing world should now expect a lot of firsts from this exciting fighter who for his debut weighed just 110 3/4 lbs. which allowed his opponent to out-weigh him by four pounds. As a local USA Amateur boxer, Marchan trained with the Barragan family at the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, and did exceptionally well in his USA Amateur Boxing performances.

Manny “Cabalay” Melchor

Street cred: The 5'3" tall Manny Melchor was born March 14, 1969 in the town of Mansalay, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines and after moving to the U. S. back on , now resides in Chula Vista, Calif. The former WBC Minmum Champion is a well respect trainer who for many years has been training future champions at City Boxing in San Diego's Downtown.
Street cred: The 5’3″ tall Manny Melchor was born March 14, 1969 in the town of Mansalay, Mindoro Oriental, Philippines and by the age of 18 he had had his first professional fight. Learning the hard way, Manny went 0-3-1 in his first year, 6 wins, 5 losses and a Draw in his second, then 6-4 with two wins by stoppage in his third. In his fourth year he went 4-2-1 with three stoppages against better competition. By 1997/1998 he was right back to just putting in time and went 0-2-1. By 1999/2000, there was an offer to fight for the title and Manny’s career went into high gear, winning seven in a row and defending his newly won WBC International Minimum Weight Title. By October of 2000, at the age of 31, his career was virtually over after his management team had him fighting only the cream of the crop (6 fighters with a combined record of 138 wins, 5 losses and four ties. Manny went on to lose his next six fights, two by stoppage and four went the distance to end his career.

After his family moved to the U. S. and settled in Chula Vista, Calif. By this time, the former WBC International Minimum-weight Champion had gained a reputation for being a well respected trainer and from that period he had become to train his own future champions at the City Boxing Gym in San Diego’s Downtown. Over that 16 year Pro career, Manny had fought all over the globe from Lake Tahoe to Sydney, Australia, from Manila to Seoul, from Bangkok to San Juan, from San Antonio to Mexico City, from Miami to Tokyo, he’s certainly been well traveled.
Manny’s wife ? of ? years
One of Manny’s most enduring, charming characteristics has to be his always warm and friendly smile.
The obligatory photos of Manny “Cabalay” Melchor with the overwhelmingly popular Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao the only 8-division world champion in the history of boxing. As far as pro boxing goes, the Philippine Islands have produced 33 World Champions to include: Roberto Cruz, Ceferino Garcia, Rolando Navarrete, Donny Nietes, Gerry and Dodie Boy Penalosa, Erbito Salvarria, Ben Villaflor, Bernabe Villacampo, Eleuterio “Little Dado” Zapanta, plus International Hall of Fame fighters Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and Francisco Guilledo who boxed as Pancho Villa.
Amongst his many dear friends you would have to include these Power Rangers, the Gesta Clan (left to right) Anecito Gesta Jr. plus the former WBO NABO Lightweight Champion Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta.

Referee Angel Mendez plus his wife USA Boxing Official Haydee Mendez

These accomplished boxing officials enjoy travel and as such, they’ve worked for three separate organizations: USA Amateur Boxing, the Tijuana Boxing Commission, plus the California State Athletic Commission.

In 2019, Angel L. Mendez Ramos and his lovely wife Haydee Mendez celebrated the birth of their first child, Giana, who no doubt will put a crimp in their unabated travel here, there and everywhere. Together, they have traveled extensively from Angel’s birthplace of Puerto Rico to the Bahamas, from Niagara Falls and the New England states down to Tampa Bay, Florida. Then, from metropolises like New York and Philadelphia west to Las Vegas, Nevada and on to San Francisco, south to Los Angeles and San Diego and ventures further south to Mexico.
Our world travelers have suddenly become more conservative: “This year, let’s just say we stayed close to home.” On their fifth Wedding Anniversary, the family visited Solvang-The Danish Capital of America which is located in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Raquel “the Pretty Beast” Miller


When talking about well-traveled people, you’d have to include this 35-year-old, 5’8″ tall middleweight Raquel Miller (10-0, 4 KOs), who over the past 4 years has spent a lot of her time commuting back and forth from her home in San Francisco to The Arena Gym in Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. to train with her devoted coach Basheer Abdullah (r). In her last bout, November 23, 2019 at the Centre Videotron, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, Miller won a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision over Alma Ibarra, at the time (7-1-1, 4 KOs) to win the Interim WBA World Female Super Welterweight Title.
In her bout of May 18, 2019, Miller, a middleweight, traveled to the Hawaiian Gardens/Gardens Casino to KO Erin Toughill (7-4-1) and win the vacant NABF Female Middleweight Title.
As an Olympic back-up, Miller had the misfortune of being in the same, wide-ranging weight class as teammate Claressa Shields who being 10 years younger and weighing substantially more than Miller (170-175 lbs.), Miller did not get an opportunity to represent the U. S..
And, you talk about people known for their versatility, Miller fits that description as well. One moment she’s a top model and the next she’s ready to pound somebody’s face in.
They also say she’s fearless. Who do you know goes into a cage with a huge, Royal Bengal Tiger for a photo op and then while in the cage with this big kitty, decides to grab its tail?
In addition, Raquel Miller knows a lot about marketing and how to get her message across.

Mike Millsap, Boxing Official/Timekeeper

Mike Millsap is the California State Athletic Commission’s infallible, unerring Timekeeper. Three minute rounds are just that and the referees can always count on his help when it comes to a ruling concerning an interruption of time.

Dilan “El Rey” Miranda, Pro Boxer

23-year-old, 5’7″ tall, super bantamweight Dilan “El Rey” Miranda from San Diego, Calif. by way of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico is an exceptional boxer. Only recently, Miranda had been training to make his return to the ring on August 24, 2019, at the Viejas Casino and Resort, Alpine, Calif., where on January 31, 2019, he suffered a mixed decision loss to Daniel Constantino (3-3-2, 1 KO). This time around, Miranda, who had slimmed down to fight as a Super Flyweight when facing the 32-year-old, 5’4″ tall, orthodox boxer Ming Freeman (1-4-1, 1 KO) from Northridge, Calif., appeared better prepared. And since Miranda was better prepared, Freeman had no chance and ended up being stopped in the third round.

Once again, someone, this time Dilan “El Rey” Miranda after his TKO victory over Ming Freeman, gets the uncontrollable urge to recreate that unforgettable scene from the movie Titanic.

Archie Moore, Pro Boxer/Ex Champion/Patron

Archie Moore’s nickname, “the Old Mongoose,” alluded to his legendary ability as a counter puncher. The 5’11” tall Moore, the longest-reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport after competing from 1935 to 1963 (28 years). During his career, Moore won 185 fights, lost 22 and had 11 draws. The San Diego Boxing gym on Market St. which bears his name, ABC (Any Body Can) Mongoose Gym is run by his son Billie Moore. In Moore’s long and legendary career, he fought Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, and in 1962, was KO’d by a young man by the name of Cassius Clay (later changed to Mohammad Ali) in the fourth round.

“La Princesa Azteca” Jackie Nava, Boxing Champion, Legislator, Mom

With all your commitments, are you sure you’ll be ready to battle Juarez? “I’m always ready, bring it on.”
Jackie Nava has a support team that is second to none.

Brian Nevarez, former Pro Boxer, now Gym Owner and Trainer

It’s called teamwork and former boxer now gym owner/trainer Brian Nevarez and his lovely wife Sandra Chanel Nevarez are certainly that.

Back on March 27, 2015, we witnessed Sandra Chanel Nevarez rushing over to console Brian, the valiant 26-year-old, welterweight from Vista, Calif. after he had suffered his first defeat as a Pro. The loss was to 5’11” tall, southpaw Daureen Niyazbayev, another extremely talented warrior from Kazakstan, similar to the 31-0 Gennady Golovkin who had already gained prominence after winning three world titles. As they say, you can’t win them all but Brian had certainly come close.

After the couple got married, Brian and Sandra decided they’d be better suited to opening their own gym. Along with Brian’s father, they did just that and soon had themselves a dandy location on the second floor of the World Gym in Vista, just a block and a half off the main thoroughfare, Route 78. After renting such a large space, they were then under the gun to sign enough members to pay the considerable rent. So once again, the fighter and his life partner, had themselves a considerable challenge before them.

Antonio Orozco (28-2)

Manuel Ortiz, Champion Boxer

World Bantamweight Champion Manuel Ortiz from El Centro, California

Up until his death on May 31, 1970, the 53-year-old, former Bantamweight Champion of the World, 5’4″ tall Manuel Ortiz (100-28-3, 54 KOs), Global ID 000001, was a resident of El Centro, Calif. After defeating Lou Salica on August 7, 1942, to win the Title, Ortiz went on to defend it 20 straight times before losing to the great Willie Pep (74-1) by decision on July 17, 1944. Then, on September 12, 1944, he regained the crown by defeating Luis Castillo. He then fought 15 times going 14-0-1, before losing back to back matches to Carlos Chavez and then what many consider a major upset to Harold Dade. Two months later, in his rematch with Dade, Ortiz regained his title and reputation. From that point on, he went 24-14, with a record of 4-1 in title fights. On December 10, 1955, after losing to Enrique Esqueda in Mexico City, the 39-year-old finally called it quits.

Ortiz, who owned and operated a 442-acre farm near El Centro, said that his farm had been responsible for keeping him in tip-top shape. In his prime, 1940-1946, Ortiz had lost just 3 times in 62 fights. His 8 title defenses in one year is tops in his division, as is his total of 21 title defenses over his career with all but 2 being successful. Only the great Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, a 5’5 1/2″ welterweight, is ahead of Ortiz when it comes to title defenses within a year. Armstrong defended his title 11 times. Boxing historians might also argue how many more bouts would Ortiz have won if he hadn’t been drafted into the U. S. Army to fulfill his Military duty?

Johnny Boy Quiroz

Seen here facing utstanding Amateur, very competitive Pro who

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Kevin Ottley

Ex-Boxer, Global Sports Streaming/Best in Boxing color commentator and now marketing guru, Kevin Ottley has turned the page.

As an Amateur, Baltimore-born super welterweight Kevin “KO” Ottley first fought in the Washington D. C. area. He made his way to San Diego in 2015 and after turning Professional in 2016, Kevin competed under the watchful eye of trainer Berlin Kerney IV at his newly opened Bomber’s Squad Academy Gym in El Cajon, Calif. After nine local fights in either Southern California, Tijuana or Las Vegas, Ottley announced his retirement. After his last pro fight on September 7, 2018, his record now stands at 6 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, with 5 victories by way of knockout.

Ottley’s explanation for the last hurrah: “BOXING FOR ME WAS TOO SELF SERVING. EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT ME. I WASN’T TAUGHT THAT MENTALITY BEFORE AND SO OVER TIME IT CHANGED ME AND PUSHED ME AGAINST MY CORE VALUES. IT TOOK TIME FOR GOD TO REVEAL THAT TO ME AND WHY HE REMOVED ME FROM THE SPORT. BUT I’M GRATEFUL HE DID. AN ISOLATED LIFE ISN’T A LIFE TRULY LIVED. I LOVE BOXING AND HOW IT HAS HELPED ME AS A MAN AND I BELIEVE GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE OPPORTUNITY THROUGH KO SPORTSWEAR TO ALWAYS BE CONNECTED TO THE SPORT THROUGH THE LENS OF SERVICE, WHICH FITS ME COMPLETELY.” Kevin “KO” Ottley

From time to time, Ottley has filled in as the color commentator on the Borizteca Boxing Promotions Shows which air on Global Sports Streaming’s Best In Boxing. Fans have been able to watch this streaming service on You Tube, FaceBook and the like.

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James “Choco” Parison

Back on March 9, 2012, the above fight card happened to be the talk of the town since it featured the return of the popular James “Choco” Parison (15-1, 6 KOs) who due to an injury sustained in his split decision victory over the 6’1″ tall, 22-year-old, highly thought of Paul Mendez, had been inactive for six plus months. His opponent, southpaw Lester Gonzalez (12-6-3), a Cuban refugee, had looked mighty impressive winning 11 of his first 12 fights with the only blemish coming from a Mixed Decision draw versus Juan Camilio Novoa (13-3) and then things suddenly went sour. After that draw with Novoa, Gonzalez lost 6 of 8 with 2 Draws. Of course that record is a bit miss-leading when you consider the competition which Gonzalez faced. Those boxers had a combined record of 115 wins and just 17 losses and if we eliminate the one fighter who had 9 losses, you’d have to agree all but one of Gonzalez’s opponents were considered legitimate contenders. And then wouldn’t you know it, this Parison vs. Gonzalez match ended with a split decision draw.

Eric Puente, Lightweight

Eric Puente of Vista, Calif. (far left, kneeling) did himself proud as a USA Amateur Boxer by winning several National Titles and thus far in the Professional Ranks he is already 4-0 and already signed with one of the best promoters in all the land, a fellow by the name of Bob Arum of Top Rank who’s been an established boxing promoter coming up on 50 years.
Joyous photos include Eric and his father Ivan Puente with ladies and gents from the family’s Backyard Gym in Vista, Calif. (bottom, left) We have renown trainer Robert Garcia whose job it is to prepare Eric for the various stages involved in making a boxer a true champion.

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, with his manager of record David McWater, the then 19-year-old Eric Puente, born in Escondido and now residing in Vista, Calif., an outstanding USA Amateur Boxer, was making his Pro Debut on a fight card promoted by Bash Boxing/PR Sports Promotions.

The bout, which took place at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, was against a seasoned professional, 27-year-old Keith “Danger” Carson of Pomona, CA. who trained at the Millennia MMA Gym in Rancho Cucamonga, who had a record of 0-1 in Boxing and 5-5 in Mixed Martial Arts. Three of his wins were by KO, 1 by submission and the final by decision. The losses involved 2 by KO/TKO, 2 by submission and 1 by decision. On average, Carson was fighting twice a year. In Puente’s debut on Saturday night, all three judges had him winning every round.

Puente’s second contest took place at the The Hangar in Costa Mesa, where Eric faced the 24-year-old Alejandro Lopez Huerta (1-3, 1 NC), from Wilmington, Calif. and once again Eric won by an unanimous decision. Interesting to note, the promoter of record for that show was Bob Arum of Top Rank fame who at this point appears to have big plans for Eric. In his third contest, Eric faced Diego Elizondo (2-1-1)  and he won a four round mixed decision to improve to 3-0. In his last bout, Eric traveled to Las Vegas to win a solid unanimous decision victory over 28-year-old tough guy Luis Norambuena from Talca, Chile, who had been 4-5-1.

If you’re interested in following Eric Puente’s upward trajectory, you should be checking out our on-site, regularly updated Pro Boxing Schedule.

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Alberto “Cookie” Ramos

Popular Mexican/American referee Alberto “Cookie” Ramos along with his wife and three sons, currently reside in Chula Vista, Calif.

There can be no doubt, veteran referee/judge Alberto Ramos, has been entrusted with the officiating of some very high level bouts either South of the Border for the Tijuana Boxing Commission or here in Southern California for USA Amateur Boxing.
While Boxing is important, there’s nothing dearer to his heart than his lovely wife and three sons.

Angel Ramos

In early March of 2013, rumors abound that the tourist haven of Ensenada, B. C., Mexico was about to experience a major revival of Professional Boxing. And, as a result of this new cash flow, there would be more opportunities for the local boxers to make a buck. It’s likely Angel Ramos, an upcoming super flyweight heard the same rumors and began to hit the heavy bag with even more gusto. Fast forward to November 30, 2019, and that same Mr. Ramos, now 26, has an impressive record of 24-1-2, 17 KOs.
At this point, the 26-year-old is happily married and has two children. After being coached and managed by the likes of Luis Lorenzo and Gabriel Quinones of San Diego, he’s now back in Ensenada being molded into what can best be described as a human dynamo. He goes all out, all of the time. (bottom right) Is a photo of Ramos’ proud parents (now deceased).
Family always comes first. Here we see the Ramos family celebrating La Princesa’s Birthday.
From Angel Ramos’ Facebook page: it wasn’t long ago Ramos and fellow boxers Sergio Lopez, Marco Hersham and Jose Guardado had their mugs placed on brown bottles of an American Pale Ale of Showbox Beer from the ShowBox Micro Brewery south of the border.

Mario Ramos

All the hard work is beginning to pay off for San Diego’s Mario “Matador” Ramos who at the young age of 19 now has 9 victories, 7 knockouts after only two years as a professional.
Now that Mario Ramos (r) has nine solid victories, he is no longer just another opponent, he has become a force to be reckoned with.

Emmanuel Robles/Pro Boxer

The above photo was taken February 27th, at the Thursday evening weigh-ins for the Bobby D Presents Show on the following night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It shows the combatants in a respectful, civil meeting, where Robles allows Ugas to hold the Interim WBC Latino Super Lightweight Title belt. On Friday evening, a knock’m, sock’m battle ensued between these boxing standouts, (l to r) Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles (9-0-1, with 3 KOs) who was ranked #318 in the world and the highly touted Cuban welterweight Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas (15-1 with 7 KOs) who at the time had a world ranking of #7. At first, the quick hands of Robles had him in the driver’s seat. Then, halfway through their match, Ugas started coming on. The final scores read: Judge Tony Crebs 95-94 for Robles, Judge Alejandro Rochin scored the bout 96-93 for Ugas and the decider in this awesome match turned out to be Fritz Werner who scored the bout 97-92 for the winner by split decision, Emanuel Robles.
Since that fight, the now 32-year-old Robles, who now resides in Tijuana, has fallen from favor and his record is now 17-6-1 with 5 KOs. In other words he’s now gone 7-6, with just 1 KO since battling Ugas and he’s now fighting just twice a year where as before Robles was more active and fighting 3 times a year.

Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles

From the outset of her Pro career nine years ago, Sandra Robles, a southpaw, has remained quite active and faced many of the top fighters in her division, for instance Kealani Vanderleest in her Pro Debut, Brenda Flores in her third fight, the 7-1 Rosa Diaz in her fourth fight, and before she knew it, she was fighting for the title versus Anabel Ortiz in her fourth year and later the lady considered the best ever in Robles’ weight class the 34-year-old Yessica Yolanda Bopp (34-1, 15 KOs) in 2018, her 7th year. At this time the 26-year-old Robles, who has gone 3-0 since her loss to Bopp, has a record of 24-3, with 12 KOs.

Boxing Judge Alejandro Rochin

Since being a non-controversial judge in Boxing is all about gaining, plus maintaining the respect of your peers, plus the various Boxing Commissions throughout out the world, it would appear Hall of Fame Boxing Judge Alejandro Rochin has certainly passed that test after officiating so many contests.

Andy Ruiz Jr.

From the night of June 1, 2019 until December 7, 2019, this 268 lb. heavyweight champion, Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, ) of Imperial, Calif. was the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO World Heavweight Champion. Then, on the night of December 7, 2019 at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia, Ruiz was relieved of his four Championships Belts by the same man that he had defeated back on June 1, 2019, the former World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua who again weighed in at the same 237 lbs. while Ruiz added an additional 16 lbs. As far as Andy’s performance in that fight, it was a case of too little too late. In the closing 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th rounds, Ruiz all of a sudden began to (ever so slightly) outscore his opponent. With there being no way in hell that Ruiz’s out-pointing his opponent in the final four rounds could be able to overcame Joshua’s insurmountable lead, this match became painful to watch for the Ruiz supporters. The final punch stats had: Joshua landing 47 more punches to the body, 42 more jabs, and landing 40.8% of his power punches to just 28.5% for Ruiz.
For all the Andy Ruiz Jr. fans, it was certainly painful to watch.
Back went the four World Heavyweight Championship belts to their rightful owner.

Jorge Ruiz Jr.

As you can see, Jorge Ruiz Sr. (right) is oh so proud of his son Jorge Ruiz Jr.
When Jorge Ruiz Jr. goes to work, it is work. Especially when your sparring partner just happens to be Orlando Salido, the former World Champ in the Featherweight Division.
Wham goes this serious left hook to the right side of face.
Jorge Ruiz Jr. (r) is shown landing a powerful over-hand right to the side of Fernando Fuentes’ head.
There’s nothing better in life than that classic night out with the family at your favorite restaurant.

Ulises Sierra, Pro Boxer

Super middleweight Ulises Sierra from The Arena Gym in Point Loma was recently in New York after being summoned to help a fighter prepare for his upcoming bout. A few years back, the 6’1″ tall orthodox boxer traveled north to Oakland to help the six foot tall Andre S. O. G. Ward get ready for his fight with Sergey Kovalev. When it comes to getting people tuned up, there’s no one better than Sierra who’s been out on the road numerous of times to see the different styles, from lefty to righty, from the taller gent to the shorter Mike Tyson type, it has been an invaluable experience to get Sierra prepared for almost anyone.
One of the best, most opportune photos ever taken of these two gentlemen, Ulises Sierra (far left) and Giovani Santillan (center rear) at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel at the very outset of their pro careers. At this point Sierra is now 15-1-2, 9 KOs and Santillan 26-0, 15 KOs.
Just like the President, most everywhere that Ulises Sierra goes, he goes with an entourage.
(As if he needed an introduction) At Sierra’s home gym, The Arena in Point Loma, there was head coach Joe Vargas introducing Sierra to the Hall of Fame boxing great Roy Jones Jr.
Ulises Sierra has always been a good listener whether that advice came from his parents (his father played in the Major Leagues) or it came from the Hall of Fame Boxing Trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristáin who hales from far away Veracruz the city and port on the Gulf of Mexico.
As far as support groups go, its likely Ulises Sierra has one of the biggest.
As mentioned, it’s unlikely anyone has ever had an opportunity to spar/train with so many great fighters within their own weight class, gentleman on a par with the two ex-champions Andre S. O. G. Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) and Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs). Highly unlikely.
Here are two more great fighters with whom Sierra sparred, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin from Brooklyn, New York (34-2-1, 23 KOs) (left) and Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) from Houston, Texas (right).
Photo right was taken after a heavy duty workout/sparring session with another champion, Jose Uzcategui (29-4, 24 KOs), a former IBF World Super Middleweight Champion.
More recently, Sierra was photographed after sparring with 23-year-old David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez from Phoenix, Arizona, the current WBC World Super Middleweight Champion, which ended up netting him a shiner around his left eye. (Photo right) We see fellow gym mate/standout Bryan Figueroa (17-1, 8 KOs) who often spars with Sierra.
Of all the times to be nursing an injury! For this battle with the 29-year-old undefeated Russian Vladimir Shishkin on January 17, 2020, the 31-year-old Ulises Sierra was clearly not himself and lost a 10 round, unanimous decision.
Bottom photo shows Ulises Sierra making his way to the ring on January 17, 2020 at the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort in Sloan, Iowa to face the Russian Vladimir Shishkin.

Aracely Tinoco

On April 19, 2013 at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, the 115 lb. Super Flyweight Aracely Tinoco (left), Global ID 645330 of Fallbrook, California made her successful Pro Debut with a mixed decision victory over the 115 lb. Guadalupe “Lupita” Gutierrez (1-3) from Fallbrook, Calif. with scores of 38-38 from Judge Jose Cobian, 39-37 for Tinoco from Judge Tony Crebs and finally 40-36 from Judge Fritz Werner.
On the day before their fight, we had a chance to get this photo of Aracely Tinoco who was about to make her Pro Debut the following day.
From the look on her face, one of the coaches began to wonder if the mild mannered Aracely Tinoco had that kill instinct which is necessary for someone in the fighting sports. As it turns out, Tinoco went on to win two additional bouts, a second over Gutierrez (1-4) and the final one over Blanca Raymundo (1-8).

Edgar Valadez

Back on July 15, 2016, super welterweight Edgar “Veneno” Valadez of Spring Valley, San Diego made his successful Pro Debut by scoring an emphatic second round TKO victory over Hugo Gutierrez (0-5-1) at the Salon Mezzanine in Tijuana on a Borizteca Boxing Management Show. After two additional victories at that same venue, same year, he ended up battling an even tougher opponent, Marco Antonio Salinas, on February 3, 2017 to a Mixed Decision Draw (38-38, 38-38, 39-37) at the Grand Hotel Tijuana in Tijuana. So, after battling in the ring for 7 plus months, Edgar Valadez went into a self-imposed retirement to raise his growing family.

Every parent in Southern California knows that it’s their solemn obligation to take their little ones to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse, so that’s just what Mr. Valadez and his wife did with their son.

Kealani Vanderleest

College Graduate, dedicated mother of two, Pro Boxer, Muay Thai and Jui Jitsu fighter, Kealani Vanderleest has given all of the fighting sports a shot and low and behold she’s done “fair to middling.”

As they say, “Working her corner were good friends Doug and Hoover.

Putting an emphasis on winning at all cost, Vanderleest soon found herself competing on a regular basis. Her commitment to the fighting sports often made finding a last minute baby-sitter a challenge. As her children grew and became more self-reliant, she started leaving them at the nearest park, explaining that if they ever got bored and wanted to return home, they could always use the map she left for them.

Joe Vargas

(left to right) cornerman Juan Jose Ramirez, manager Gregorio Ambriz, trainer Joe Vargas, boxer Bryan “The Kid” Figueroa Garcia and trainer Manuel Estrada in Pasadena, Calif.
The more help and sponsors the better as we see Bryan “The Kid” Figueroa’s entourage keeps growing. (left to right) Psic Jesus Almada Bravo, Joe Vargas, Gregorio Ambriz, boxer Bryan Figueroa, Juan Jose Ramirez, Gerardo Rocky Valero and Marco Perez Tony.

Israel “El Magnifico” Vazquez

From the USA Amateur Boxing ranks to the Professional ranks, Israel Vazquez had quite a ride.
In this photo you can see Israel Vazquez’s determination.
The battles between Israel Vazquez (left) and his nemesis Manuel Marquez (right) were legendary.
As a Belt Collector, Vazquez accumulated more than his share. Among them, he’s a 3X Super Bantamweight World Champion, IBF, WBC, Ring Magazine plus he captured two Lineal Titles.
Boxing greats: welterweight 5′ 5 1/2″ tall Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao 62-7-2, 39 KOs (left) from General Santos City, Cotabato, Philippines by way of Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines (Career 1995 – 2019) and super bantamweight, 5′ 4 1/2″ tall Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez 44-5 with 32 KOs (right) from Huntington Park, Calif. by way of Mexico City, Mexico (Career 1995 – 2010) pose for a photo.
Here we see Israel Vazquez with the youngest of his three children.
Working one of the many Boxing Shows down Mexico Way for LATV, is (l to r) Nayelita Franco, Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez, Abedith Rico Arellano plus Abraham Barreda Murrieta. Having an opportunity to work with Emmy Award winning sportscaster/journalist Fernando Paramo and take part in LATV’s coverage of live boxing certainly came along at an opportune time. What’s even more intriguing is how quickly Vazquez was able to assume his responsibilities as the show’s interviewer/color commentator. Without the use of his right eye and suffering from systemic sclerosis, boxing fans have to marvel at this man’s professionalism while dealing with such obstacles.

Ref/Judge Herbert “Fritz” Werner with timekeeper Mike Millsap

On October 11, 2019, former CSAC Judge Herbert “Fritz” Werner (left) who lived in Pacific Beach, was one of the honored guests at the Bobby D Presents/Borizteca Boxing Promotions show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel. This was the long awaited night local boxing fans had been longing for. Live Professional Boxing had returned to San Diego after a five year hiatus. It was a dank period when local promoters only hosted shows across the border. In a celebratory mood, Fritz sat next to his long time chum, timekeeper Mike Millsap.

On Friday, October 25, 2019, just 14 days after Werner had attended that event, came the sad news that our dear friend and American Patriot had passed on to his eternal reward.
 
Born August 23, 1928, in New York City, soon after young Fritz ended up at the well known Father Flanagan Boys Home, Boys Town, Nebraska, where in due course he graduated in 1948 and subsequently enlisted in the Marine Corps. During his first combat tour in Korea (August 1950 to May 1951), he participated in the defense of the Pusan perimeter, the landing at Inchon, the seizure of Seoul, and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. During his second tour of duty in Korea from August 1952 to December 1954, he again participated in numerous combat operations. 

From 1954 to 1955, he was a drill instructor at Paris Island, South Carolina and later a Recruiter in Philadelphia from 1955 to 1958. In 1958, he returned to Parris Island to become a Drill Instructor until 1961. Then, in November of 1968, Fritz received a Field Commission while serving with the First Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division in Vietnam. During this tour of duty, he served as an Infantry Platoon and 81mm Mortar Platoon Commander before heading back to Parris Island to serve as the Assistant Director of their Special Training Branch.

Werner’s many decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, Navy Achievement Medal with 2 Gold Stars, a Purple Heart with 2 Gold Stars, a Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Medal of Honor, plus various campaign and service awards. 

On May 1, 1985, Fritz retired from the Marine Corps after almost 37 years of service. He was then hired by the California State Correctional Department as a Correctional Officer and later switched to Prison Industries.
Standing tall, referee Fritz Werner hangs close ready to step in and stop any and all illegal tactics.

Fritz first became active in the sport of boxing by participating as an amateur at Boys Town and later in the Marine Corps. Years later, he became a referee with the AAU, refereeing Inter-Service contests, CISM, AAU, Golden Gloves, PAL, and Pan American Games bouts. In 1976, he became a Professional Judge/Referee with the California State Athletic Commission, as well as with the WBA/IBF and their subsidiaries. As an official, he took part in 95 or more World Title fights.

Like President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, Fritz Werner was later buried with full Military honors at the Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife. Arlington is where 400,000+ soldiers are buried. It’s where Robert E. Lee, Joe Louis, Megger Evers, the crew of the ill-fated Challenger SpaceCraft plus many other notables have been laid to rest.

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Luis Yanez

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