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Friday, February 25, 2011

Daly City’s Julaton defends belt against Alcanter (w/ video)

Neither a questionable scale nor the absence of her world renowned trainer could deter WBO super bantamweight champion Ana Julaton from enjoying her Bay Area homecoming party, as the Daly City native earned a unanimous decision over Franchesca Alcanter on Friday night.

A boisterous crowd packed Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion to capacity as “The Hurricane,” normally a speedster by trade, surprisingly pressured the bigger Alcanter into the ropes and unleashed combinations that scored frequently.

With four-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach stuck in Hollywood due to scheduling conflicts and a scale that peculiarly determined that Julaton weighed 116.5 pounds—a staggering 5.5 under the 122-pound limit—“The Hurricane” was forced to adapt to the situation.


1-on-1 Interview w/ Robert Guerrero for CSN (Video)

Before "The Ghost" departed Gilroy for Las Vegas to resume his training, I caught up with him and discussed the three-time world champ's Apr. 9 showdown with Michael Katsidis in this CSN exclusive:


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daly City’s Ana Julaton fights Friday in Richmond (w/ video)

Last Tuesday on Chronicle Live, WBO super bantamweight champion Ana Julaton of Daly City appeared with Greg Papa to promote her title defense against Franchesca “The Chosen One” Alcanter this Friday at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Homecoming for Julaton: “The Hurricane” Returns to the Bay Area

It’s been a week to remember for Filipino boxing in America.

With Manny Pacquiao commencing his cross-country tour to promote his next fight along with nationally-televised knockouts in San Francisco and Las Vegas from the powerful hands of Mercito Gesta and Nonito Donaire respectively, the attention has suddenly focused on Pinoy pugilists.

Now it’s WBO super bantamweight champion Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton’s turn to continue this momentum when she defends her title against Franchesca “The Chosen One” Alcanter, 18-9-1 (9), this Friday at the Craneway Pavilion in Point Richmond, Calif.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

War at the Wharf: Eloy Perez, Mercito Gesta Satisfy S.F. Fight Fans

For the first time in a decade, a national boxing broadcast came to San Francisco at Longshoremen’s Hall as Eloy “The Prince” Perez and Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta impressively kept their undefeated records intact in Telefutura’s latest edition of “Sólo Boxeo Tecate.”

WBO #2-ranked super featherweight Perez decisioned Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez on all three judges’ cards over eight rounds. Gesta, #12 in the WBO 135-pound rankings, made quick work of veteran Genaro Trazancos, stopping him after three. The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don Chargin Productions.


Opportunity Knocks Twice for Jesus Soto-Karass

On a November night in Cowboys Stadium, it was all going according to plan for welterweight Mike Jones.

Having easily won the first round and looking to build on a perfect ledger of 22-0 (18), the physically imposing contender looked to impress HBO and new co-promoter Top Rank with a jaw-dropping knockout of seemingly outmatched Jesus Soto-Karass.

What a spectacular mistake it was.

“He came in thinking he was going to knock me out,” recalled the 28-year-old native of Los Mochis, Mex., whose words were translated by assistant trainer Ricky Funez, “but I showed him and the people everywhere that I was better than that. I was not an opponent.”


Excusive Postfight Video Interview w/ Nonito Donaire for CSN Bay Area's SportsNet Central!

I got the exclusive postfight interview with the "Filipino Flash" after his 2nd round TKO of Fernando Montiel for the world bantamweight championship in Las Vegas!


Stakes high for San Mateo fighter Donaire

As seen on Chronicle Live last week, San Mateo’s Nonito Donaire faces the fight of his life this Saturday in Las Vegas against WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel on HBO.

Donaire (25-0, 17 KOs) is currently ranked Ring Magazine’s No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter in the world regardless of weight class. Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KOs) sits only two notches down at No. 7. (By comparison, Pacquiao and Mayweather occupy the top two spots.)

Needless to say, this is a battle of epic proportions that will undoubtedly shake up the boxing world, so I’ve enlisted the help of a few local fighters (and a notable trainer) to get their take on how things will play out at the Mandalay Bay Events Center this weekend.


War at the Wharf: Perez, Gesta stay undefeated (w/ video)

It’s been a decade since the national cameras came to San Francisco for a boxing telecast, but last Friday night was well worth the wait for rabid fight fans in The City.

At Longshoremen’s Hall in Fisherman’s Wharf, a vibrant crowd braved what seemed like a torrential downpour to support their local fighters on Telefutura’s latest episode of “Sólo Boxeo Tecate.”

They would not go home disappointed, as Eloy “The Prince” Perez of Salinas (above) and Filipino sensation Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta kept their unblemished records intact in separate victories.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Nonito Donaire Dares to Dethrone the King

At the Undisputed Gym in San Carlos, Calif., the heavy bag suffers a princely beating at the hands of four different legends in one night.

“Here’s Mike Tyson,” says bantamweight Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire, as he pulverizes the bag with blazing double left hooks. “Bap-bap! Bap-bap! Who’s next?”

Donaire’s bob-and-weave impression of the heavyweight legend is soon followed by an uncanny southpaw rendition of Manny Pacquiao as well as a pinpoint imitation of the stylings of Roy Jones, Jr., all of which receive raucous applause from his wife Rachel and the spectators in attendance for his public workout.

But once the fanfare subsides and playtime is over, THE RING’s number five pound-for-pound fighter’s persona is the last man standing. “Iron Mike,” “RJ,” and the “Pac-Man” can come back another time.


Maquiñana: Perez, Gesta bring boxing back to S.F. on Friday (w/ video)

Decades ago, San Francisco was a fight town, with Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson among the legends to grace The City’s boxing rings with their pugilistic prowess.

The revival begins Friday night, as Longshoremen’s Hall will play host to the first nationally televised boxing show in the area since an HBO twinbill a decade ago featured Floyd Mayweather and a relatively unknown Manny Pacquiao on the undercard.

The roughly 1,100-seat venue at Fisherman’s Wharf will feature a pair of future stars in Filipino lightweight sensation Mercito Gesta (above) and super featherweight contender Eloy Perez of Salinas in the latest installment of Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate series.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

From Brooklyn to L.A. and Everywhere in Between: Introducing Peter Quillin

Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin’s life mirrors the name of the famous motel that neighbors the Hollywood gym where he currently plies his trade.

“I see the Vagabond Inn every day on my way to training,” he said. “They actually wanted me to stay there at first before I got an apartment somewhere else.”

While the place is known to boxing fans as the original residence of Manny Pacquiao when he started frequenting the Wild Card Gym next door, perhaps it best describes the undefeated super middleweight prospect who now calls Tinseltown his home.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places like Chicago, Grand Rapids, New York, and now here,” said the heavy-handed Quillin, 22-0 (16). “Seeing what Manny Pacquiao has now knowing that it could happen to me if I can keep working hard is a blessing. It didn’t come easy to him. He had to work hard for it and I’m going to do the same.”

On Feb. 11, the well-traveled fighter will be able to cross off the Bay Area from his list when he headlines Telefutura’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” against Dennis Sharpe, 17-5-3 (4), at the Fairfield Sports Center.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frank Espinoza Discusses Abner Mares, Israel Vazquez and More

One of the staples of the Southern California scene is Frank Espinoza. Always calm, collected, suited and booted, the World Boxing Hall of Fame’s 2007 Manager of the Year has amassed a talented assembly of fighters in the area, namely bantamweights Abner Mares and Yonnhy Perez. The list also includes prospects like super featherweight Ronny Rios and the rising light welterweight duo of Carlos Molina and Luis Ramos Jr.

Of course, no mention of Espinoza’s career would be complete without the job he did in steering former super bantamweight king Israel Vazquez toward boxing immortality and an assured spot in the Hall of Fame. Leading up to this Tuesday’s press conference in L.A. for the April 23rd tilt between Mares and Joseph Agbeko, Espinoza took some time out of his busy schedule this week to speak to Maxboxing about the current status of an active stable that has a combined record of 105-1-2 (65).

Check out the transcript, along with a second take on last Friday's ShoBox card featuring Franco-Miranda and Kayode-Iannuzzi!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Is Lateef Kayode’s Hollywood Story Ready for Prime Time?

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the last great University of Nevada-Las Vegas basketball team.

During a two-year stretch where the Runnin’ Rebels ran up a record of 69-6 and earned two Final Four berths, they loved to share their secret to success, one that I feel can be applicable to all standards of competition.

“Because we practice harder than anyone else,” UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian once said, “we deserve to win.”

Such is the mentality behind NABO/NABF cruiserweight holder Lateef “Power” Kayode, 15-0 (14), who dreams of fighting under the glitz and glamorous lights of the Strip one day. Until then, the Nigerian tirelessly toils at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, looking to warrant a world title shot when he takes on Nicholas Iannuzzi, 16-1 (9), on tonight’s edition of “ShoBox: The New Generation” from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif.

“I want to show I deserve a title shot,” said the brick-fisted Kayode, who sports scars on his cheeks from a Yoruba tribal ritual. “I want to show that my hard work and everything I’ve been through are worth it.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mercito Gesta Brings “No Mercy” to San Francisco

The Filipino southpaw identifies the crux of his opponent’s attack and employs his swift feet to evade it. With his nemesis now vulnerable, a counter right hook comes all the way from the Pacific Ocean to club its target with precision. The lightning-straight left follows in ruthless succession.

As inevitable as the sun’s daily disappearance over the horizon, the helpless adversary relinquishes his equilibrium and staggers into the ropes, bewildered and facing sure defeat.

Rather than giving you the blow-by-blow for the last Manny Pacquiao extravaganza, I actually described the explosive ending for aptly nicknamed Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta’s second-round stoppage of Ivan Valle last October.