Our local Boxing Community, past & present

With there being so many local fighters involved in the sport of Boxing, this article will no doubt be in a state of flux for years to come. Take note: the following ladies and gentlemen are not listed by popularity, seniority or talent, they are listed alphabetically.

Danny Andujo

Back on August 5, 2016, 5’3″ tall, 18-year-old, super flyweight Danny Andujo from San Diego, Calif., Global ID# 769022, made his Pro Debut against 32-year-old Israel Cortes Hernandez on a Ringside Ticket/Greg Cohen Promotions show at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. The excitement came early after 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, basically a split decision loss to Pedro Rodriguez in February of 2018, a mixed decision loss to Sergio Lopez in May of 2017 and a unanimous decision loss to Saul Sanchez in November of 2016, led to his retirement from the sport.

Arellano brothers, Antonio, and Israel

Carlos Barragan Jr. with his dear friend Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

On November 21, 2019, Carlos Barragán jr. (right) was once again overjoyed to welcome Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the legendary boxer and dear friend, back to his gym for a workout. After Alvarez held four Press Conferences here and made 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 that there might be some family connection. How so? Alvarez’s birth name is Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán. So, it is possible if we go back several generations that the two gentlemen are in some way related and who amongst us doesn’t root for that athlete who has the same last name? They say this is normal and partially responsible for the success of that memorable pop/disco classic “We are Family” by Sister Sledge.

Dewayne “Mr. Stop Running” Beamon

Dewayne Beamon (16-3-2, 11 KOs) 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 loyal friend and confidant, head boxing coach Joe Vargas from The Arena Gym in Point Loma.

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

Things did not go as planned for Beamon who soon became the victim of dirty tactics which included six rabbit punches, plus a seventh punch to the back of the head after he had already touched the canvas with his knee and later with his glove. The gritty Beamon persevered until the 51-second mark of Round #9, at which point, the referee legitimately called a halt to this one-sided thrashing. The earlier, uncontested, illegal blows which led to the TKO victory, had the WBC International title going to the hometown favorite satisfying his 12,000 deliriously, exuberant fans.

Three months after that loss, Beamon faced the 29-year-old, 5’7½ inch tall Marvin Solano (22-4, 8 KOs) to contest the WBC Continental Americas Super Flyweight Title. The fight, which took place on November 16, 2019, at the University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando, Florida, did not go well. Beamon, hoping to rebound after his TKO loss to Juan Francisco Estrada, lost a 10 round unanimous decision (94-96, 90-100, 94-96).

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Pablo Cupul poses for a photo with his mentor, matchmaker, sometimes trainer, cornerman and promoter Jorge Marron. The two men have done a lot of traveling. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Joey Beltran

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 about an opportunity to fight on a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship fight card at the Ice and Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, an event which was to take place Saturday, June 2, 2018, and of all the possible opponents, the promoter had matched him up with the 6’5″ tall, 243 lb. giant, Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez of Yucaipa, Calif. whose MMA record by this time had ballooned to (60 wins, 25 wins by knockout).

That last memorable bout almost 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 wanted to again match him up with the giant. Known for his spunk, Beltran again accepted the match against the much bigger man, this time in a Bare Knuckle fight to be held June 2, 2018. This 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.

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Chris 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 owner Mark Dion.
We would be remiss if we didn’t add all of the classic photos of this champion.

Going into their championship bout, both Chris Chatman (left) and Lester Gonzalez (right) had tremendous respect for one another but at the same time, each was adamant about knocking their opponent out cold.

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, Aluche Jimenez, Chatman, former City Boxing owner Mark Dion, and present City Boxing owner Carlos Ferreira.

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

Fight poster for the Grady Brewer vs Chris Chatman fight went old school.

Of course, 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.
Over the past decade, the Chatman clan has been on the move several times.

In his formative years, the 35-year-old southpaw, who now lives in Villa Park, Illinois with his wife and numerous children, not only trained but coached at City Boxing in San Diego’s Downtown under the tutelage of Vernon Lee, Manny Melchor, and the former owner Mark Dion who managed his career until Dion’s premature death. Chatman, who fought out of the City Boxing Gym for his first 10 bouts, soon 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 to face their cream of the crop: Jermell Charlo, Charles Hatley, Lester Gonzalez, Jarrett Hurd, Isaiah Steen, Demetrius Andrade, Mark DeLuca, and Winfred Harris Jr..

Elias 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 helped pass on his expertise in the sport, to virtually tear 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, Saturday, August 10, 2013, Emmanuel Diaz (l) kept landing the solid jab to set up the combinations that would dominate fellow debutant Mario Diaz of Tijuana.

Mulapi Enjani

Currently, the 32-year-old featherweight Mulapi Enjani (right) from San Diego by way of Kigali, Rwanda, who turned Pro back on September 4, 2014, has a lackluster record of 6-7-2 but if you talk to any of his fans or any member of his support staff, they’ll tell you the same thing, “Mulapi has remained positive and we keep seeing the progress. He gets better and better, week after week, fight after fight.” The so-called unabated improvements keep surfacing in his hand speed, his accuracy, his strength, power, elusiveness, and of course his amazing intensity.

The photos above are proof positive how this man gets around the boxing circuit, from his meeting with Errol Spence Jr. to watching film, from traveling north to The Money Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas to his visit to the Legend’s Boxing Gym in Norwalk, Calif. to meet the current sensation, Ryan Garcia. From San Diego gyms to those south of the border, Enjani keeps pushing that envelope. He’s either sparring with the best fighters on the planet or he’s drilling them for advice. It’s called hard work and Mr. Enjani is a believer that someday soon, it’s all going to pay off.

James Franco

On August 22, 2019, Pro boxer, James Franco added this photo and message on Facebook. ________________________________

Jose Alberto Galvez Guzman

Hot prospect, Jose Alberto Guzman (21-2-3, 10 KOs)(left) is known for being an all-business in the ring. He goes non-stop until an opponent or his corner is waving that white flag.

David & Max Gutierrez

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Denis Grachev

Terry Hendricks

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

Back in the day, the Head Boxing Coach/gym manager of the RSD Boxing Club, Spring Valley, Terry Hendricks was scary good. Nearly 80% of his USA Amateur Boxing bouts ended with a referee’s stoppage. As a USA Amateur boxer, he trained with Berlin Kerney IV and his Bomber’s Squad. No doubt he was one of the most feared opponents in San Diego County.

Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker

Change is difficult! A recent development in the Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker camp saw his management team reassess their strengths and weaknesses and decide to cut their ties with San Diego and trainer Vince Parra. The change will now have Hooker staying at home in Dallas for future fight preparations. Now that Hooker has turned 30-years of age, the former Champ has found it increasingly difficult to near impossible to maintain his weight under the 140 lb. limit. This became obvious after his six-round TKO loss to the tough Jose Carlos Ramirez on July 27th of this year. Hooker can no longer lose all that poundage without being sapped of his strength and endurance. Like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, he has to move up in weight.

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Coach Berlin Kerney IV

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 Kerney’s boxing team, the Bomber Squad Academy.

Felipe Leon

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 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.

Middleweight contender David Love

Practice makes perfect and who better to train with than a former IBF World Super Welterweight Champ 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.

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Nico Marchan

Unassignable quote: “At this time, I believe Nico Marchan has an opportunity to become the next big thing out of the Philippines.”
For most, a boxer’s Pro Debut can be nerve-racking and for local favorite Nico Marchan, Global ID# 892348, it appeared to be. But from that opening bell on August 17, 2019, there was no doubt who was in charge as Marchan went non-stop pummeling Rigo Cruz Cebreros.
What a wind-up, this left hook to Cebreros’ midsection from Marchan was a killer.
Putting on the unique hat after his second-round TKO victory of Rigo Cruz Cebreros was a first. The boxing world should expect a lot of firsts from this exciting fighter who for his debut weighed just 110 3/4 lbs. allowing his opponent to out-weigh him by four pounds. As a local USA Amateur who trained long and hard with the Barragan family at the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, the 5’0 1/2″ tall, Marchan was always doing the exceptional.

Boxing writer extraordinaire: Miguel Angel Maravilla

The local Commerce Baseball Team with the help of their coach has gotten an opportunity to go to both Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine and Petco Park in San Diego’s Downtown.

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Angel & 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.

Then, in August of 2019, Angel L. Mendez Ramos and his lovely wife proudly posted this photo of their first child, daughter Giana, who might just put a crimp into their busy travel plans. Together with his lovely wife, they’ve traveled extensively from Baja California to San Francisco, from Angel’s birthplace of Puerto Rico to the Bahamas, from Niagara Falls and the New England states down to Tampa Bay, from metropolises like New York City and Philadelphia to Las Vegas, Nevada as boxing officials.
Our world travelers have suddenly become a lot more conservative: “This year, let’s just stay closer to home.” On their fifth Wedding Anniversary, the Mendez family visited Solvang-The Danish Capital of America….which is located in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Boxer/Coach Brian Nevarez

Back on March 27, 2015, we witnessed Sandra Chanel Nevarez (right) rushing over to console her mate, the 26-year-old, orthodox, welterweight, Brian Nevarez from Vista, Calif. after he had suffered his first defeat as a Pro. The loss came at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to the 5’11” tall, southpaw Daureen Niyazbayev, another of the extremely talented warriors coming out of Kazakstan, just as his predecessor the 31-0 Gennady Golovkin who had gained prominence after winning three major titles.

After getting 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 in Vista, Calif. on the second floor of the huge World Gym. The building, on Thibolt Court, is 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 members. So once again, the fighter, along with his life partner, were forced to become an overnight success story.

Manuel Ortiz

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 Willie Pep (74-1) by a unanimous decision on July 17, 1944. Then, on September 12, 1944, he regained the crown by defeating Luis Castillo. He then fought 15 more 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, Calif., said that his farm had been responsible for keeping him in tip-top shape. In his prime, 1940-1946, Ortiz 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 over his career with 19 being successful. Only Henry Armstrong, a 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?

Eric Puente

Back on Saturday, February 16, 2019, 19-year-old, 5’8” tall Eric Puente, born in Escondido, now residing in Vista, Calif., Global ID#859037, an outstanding USA Amateur, made his Pro Debut on a fight card promoted by Bash Boxing/ PR SportsPromotions, Inc. and his manager of record is David McWater.

The fight, which took place at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, was against 27-year-old, lightweight Keith “Danger” Carson (0-1), Global ID 846741, orthodox stance, from Pomona, Calif. The 5’7” tall Carson, who at the time was training at the Millennia MMA Gym in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was 27-years-old and had a record of (0-1 in Boxing, 5-5 in Mixed Martial Arts). In MMA, 3 of his wins were by KO, 1 by submission, 1 by decision. The 5 losses, entailed 2 by KO/TKO, 2 by submission and 1 by decision. On average, Carson was fighting twice a year. When the scores were announced, all three judges had Puente winning every round.

In his second bout, Eric faced 24-year-old Alejandro Lopez Huerta (1-3, 1 NC), from Wilmington, Calif. at The Hangar in Costa Mesa and once again, Puente won easily by a unanimous decision. The promoter of record for that show was Bob Arum of Top Rank who it appears has big plans for Eric. 

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Undefeated Raquel “the Pretty Beast” Miller


And you talk about busy, well-traveled people! Where does this 34-year-old, 5’8″ tall middleweight Raquel Miller (9-0, 4 KOs), find the time to train at The Arena Gym in San Diego, Calif. under the guidance of her devoted, long-time coach Basheer Abdullah (r)?
In her last bout on May 18, 2018, the 158 3/4 lb. Miller stopped Erin Toughill to win the vacant NABF Female Middleweight Title.
As an Olympic back-up, this home-based San Franciscan had the misfortune of being in the same, wide-ranging weight class as teammate Claressa Shields who is 10 years younger and usually weighs substantially more than Miller with a walk-around weight of 170-175 lbs.
And, you talk about people known for their versatility, Miller fits that description as well. One moment she’s this 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?
Plus, she knows a lot about marketing and how to get your message across.

Mike Millsap, the California State Athletic Commission’s infallible, unerring Timekeeper

Dilan “El Rey” Miranda (5-2, 4 KOs)

The 23-year-old, 5’7″ tall, super bantamweight boxer Dilan “El Rey” Miranda is from San Diego, Calif. by way of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. 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. Freeman ended up being stopped in the third round of their scheduled four-round bout.

Archie Moore

The great 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 of all time, 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.

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

Baltimore-born super welterweight Kevin “KO” Ottley, who as an Amateur fought in the Washington D. C. Beltway area, made his way to San Diego in 2015 and soon after turned Professional in 2016 under the watchful eye of well-respected trainer Berlin Kerney IV at the newly opened Bomber’s Squad Academy in El Cajon, California. After a total of nine professional fights in Southern California, Tijuana, B. C., Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada, Ottley announced his retirement from the ring. After his last professional 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 or 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

Ivan Puente

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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.

After another win, we see Roque Ramos having his arm raised in victory by referee Tony Crebs. Working Ramos’ corner were Hall of Fame Boxer Bumpy Parra and his son, well-known trainer Vince Parra who later trained the former lightweight Champ Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.

Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles

You talk about a memorable battle. This photo taken February 27th, at the Thursday evening weigh-ins for the Bobby D Presents Show the following night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel shows the combatants in a rather respectful, civil meeting where Robles allows Ugas to fondle the Championship belt. On Saturday night, a knock-em, sock’em battle would ensue between these boxing greats, (l to r) Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles (9-0-1) and the highly touted Cuban welterweight Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas who at that time was (15-1 with 7 KOs). At first, the quick hands of Robles had him in the driver’s seat. Then halfway through this contest for the Interim World Boxing Council Latino Super Lightweight Title, Ugas started coming on The final scores read: Judge Tony Crebs 95-94 for Robles, then it was Judge Alejandro Rochin 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.

Judge Alejandro Rochin

Back in August, Hall of Fame boxing judge Alejandro Rochin added a new photo to his Facebook page.

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Homesick? Super middleweight Ulises Sierra (15-0-2, with 9 KOs) was in New York recently after being solicited to help another fighter train. When it comes to sparring, there is nothing better than going out on the road, gym to gym, to see all sorts of different boxing styles, from lefty to righty, from the taller gent to the shorter Mike Tyson type, it is invaluable.

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Now retired from the fighting sports, here we see Kealani Vanderleest back in her heyday.

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October 11, 2019, former CSAC Judge Herbert “Fritz” Werner who lived in Pacific Beach, San Diego, Calif. (left) was an honored guest at the Bobby D Presents boxing show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. That was the night local boxing returned to San Diego after more than five years of hosting their shows across the border in Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada. In a celebratory mood, Fritz sat next to his good buddy timekeeper Mike Millsap.

Then, on Friday, October 25, 2019, just 14 days after Fritz Werner had attended that show, came the dreadful news that our dear friend and American Patriot had passed away.
 
Born August 23, 1928, in New York City, young Fritz soon ended up at the Father Flanagan Boys Home, Boys Town, Nebraska, where he later graduated in 1948. He subsequently enlisted in the Marine Corps and 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 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 the 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.
Unafraid, there was the big guy amongst the other big guys ready to step in and stop an onslaught if for some reason that boxer got in deep trouble.

Fritz first became active in the sport of boxing by participating as an amateur in 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+ World Title fights.

Fritz will now be buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery with his wife and amongst other patriots like President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, in the same cemetery 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 heroes and heroines.

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