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Sunday, April 24, 2011

USA Boxing Central Pacific Championship Bouts Set for May 28 in Fresno

Reigning 141-lbs. California Golden Gloves champ Andy Vences of San Jose PAL

According to USA Boxing Central California Coordinator Armando Mancinas, the Central Pacific Regional Championships will be held on May 28 in Fresno at the Sierra Sport & Racquet Club (4744 North Blackstone).

In this box-off, the Northern California representatives will meet their Central California counterparts, with the winners advancing to the U.S. National Championships in Colorado Springs on June 20-25 as members of a consolidated Central Pacific Regional Team.

The weigh-ins will take place from 12-2 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. Contact Coach Mancinas at (559) 381-2742 for more information.

Here is the bout sheet so far, with the NorCal fighters listed in red, and their opponents in blue. Bouts in italics are rematches of the Regional Golden Gloves which occurred on March 12:


Light Flyweight (108 lbs.):

Eros Correa, San Jose (PAL) – Unopposed

Flyweight (114 lbs.):

Rudolfo Becerril, Sacramento (Round 12) – Unopposed

Featherweight (123 lbs.):

Mario Cardenas, Fairfield (PAL) vs. Edwin Sandoval, Bakersfield (PAL)

Lightweight (132 lbs.):

Eric Altamirano, Concord (CYC) vs. Phillip Fuentes, Fresno (Aleman)

Light Welterweight (141 lbs.):

Andy Vences, San Jose PAL vs. Vicente Guzman, Tulare (TAC)

Welterweight (152 lbs.):

Alex Acosta, Concord (Old School) vs. Hugo Sanchez, Salinas (BC)

Middleweight (165 lbs.):

Aaron Coley, S.F. (SFC Boxing) vs. Joey Perez, Clovis (Valley Vipers)

Light Heavyweight (178 lbs.):

Darrell Taylor, Sacramento (Mateen) vs. Ruben Mendoza, Tulare (TAC)

Heavyweight (201 lbs.):

Clinton Nelson, San Mateo (B Street) vs. Antwon Abron, Stockton (Port City)

Super Heavyweight (201+ lbs.):

Laron Mitchell, S.F. (Ring of Fire) vs. Patrick Schwenke, Bakersfield (Psycho Boxing)


Light Flyweight (106 lbs.):

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Gilroy (Unattached) – Unopposed

Flyweight (112 lbs.):

Jamie Mitchell, Salinas (BC) – Unopposed

Bantamweight (119 lbs.):

Shanne Ruelas, Fresno (Main Event) – Unopposed

Featherweight (125 lbs.):

Casey Morton, San Mateo (B Street) vs. Clarissa Serna, Fresno (Velardez)

Lightweight (132 lbs.):

Brenda Gutierrez, Sacramento (Caballero) vs. Katonya Fisher, Bakersfield (PAL)

Welterweight (152 lbs.):

Theresa Moon, Pacifica (BabyFace) – Unopposed

Middleweight (165 lbs.):

Kerlyn Orellana, Alameda (Multi-Choices) vs. Amy Castillo, Patterson (Kickboxing Academy)

*Only the 112, 132, and 165-pound weight classes will be eligible for the women to compete in during the 2012 Olympics.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maquiñana: Ward makes coveted pound-for-pound list by 'Ring'

The Ring magazine, known to fight fans as “The Bible of Boxing,” has installed Andre “S.O.G.” Ward of Oakland in the top-10 of its most recent pound-for-pound list.

Ward (23-0, 13 KOs), the reigning WBA super middleweight champion, made his debut in the 10th spot replacing Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico, who lost his WBO featherweight title to Mexican Orlando Salido over the weekend.

The definition of “pound-for-pound” has long been up for debate, but the general consensus is that the list ranks the top-10 fighters in the world regardless of weight class, based on skill and quality of opposition defeated.

“As subjective opinion plays a large role in the pound-for-pound ratings, there were many suggestions as to who should replace Juan Manuel Lopez,” said Nigel Collins, editor-in-chief of The Ring magazine, via e-mail. “Among those nominated were Vitali Klitschko, Miguel Cotto, Lucian Bute, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Amir Khan, and Salido. But after reviewing each fighter’s body of work, The Ring decided to award the spot to Andre Ward.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Northern California Notebook: The Amateurs

Kings Gym of Avenal's Jose Ramirez, No. 1-ranked amateur lightweight in America

With London 2012 just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to canvas Northern California to shine the spotlight on the local amateur scene, from Olympic qualifiers to college boxing national champions. Here’s what I found:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Maquiñana: What's next for Guerrero?

(Photo: AP)

Coming off a dominant unanimous decision win over former titlist Michael Katsidis in Las Vegas two Saturdays ago, I recently caught up with new WBA and WBO interim lightweight champion Robert Guerrero.

"The Ghost" not only reflected on his latest victory, but he also revealed his future plans, mainly his continued pursuit of Juan Manuel Marquez in addition to a couple familiar names that he has added to his crosshairs.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Perez, Russell Victorious on Sólo Boxeo in S.F.

(Photo: Daren Ang)

SAN FRANCISCO – NABO super featherweight champ Eloy Perez defeated Alejandro Rodriguez by unanimous decision and featherweight prospect Gary Russell, Jr., won over Adolfo Landeros by the same result last night on Sólo Boxeo Tecate.

The show at the Longshoremen’s Hall in Fisherman’s Wharf marked the first time the action on Telefutura would extend to two hours. As a result, Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin Productions put together a third televised fight, where Lamont Williams beat Juan Hernandez, also by a unanimous nod from the judges.

“What a lively crowd,” said Chargin. “We’ve been doing shows here (in Northern California) and we’ll continue to do them if they keep showing up like they did tonight.”


Friday, April 15, 2011

Eloy Perez Thinks He Can Solve “The Problem”

(Photo: Bernardo Cortes, Jr.)

After Adrien Broner eked out a win against Daniel Ponce de Leon on some questionable scorecards in Anaheim last month, it sent a clear message to boxing fans that Al Haymon’s latest client will be given the red carpet treatment toward HBO stardom.

In fact, one quick glance at the latest junior lightweight rankings shows that “The Problem” has jumped to number six in the WBO, just four spots behind fellow Golden Boy stablemate Eloy Perez, 20-0-2 (5), who fights in San Francisco on a Telefutura “Solo Boxeo headliner this Friday against Alejandro Rodriguez, 12-1 (6).

“I don’t know much about Rodriguez but I’m confident I’ll be ready for him,” said Perez, who had just concluded camp in Big Bear, Calif. “I have to say it’s a little frustrating though. I’m a mild-mannered guy and I follow directions but I feel like all these other up-and-coming guys like Broner have been getting publicity over me. I’d like to fight Adrien Broner because I know I can beat him. I’m faster, smarter, and overall better.”


Maquiñana: Perez headlines Friday fight card in City

San Francisco hosts another nationally televised night of boxing when unbeaten junior lightweight contender Eloy “The Prince” Perez of Salinas headlines against Alejandro Rodriguez at the Longshoremen’s Hall Friday night.

Perez (20-0-2, 5 KOs), a short but smooth stylist ranked No. 2 in the world by the WBO, will look to outwit Rodriguez (12-1, 6 KOs), a face-first brawler from Guadalajara, Mexico, in the latest installment of Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate presented by Golden Boy Promotions.

“I haven’t seen any film on Rodriguez,” said the 24-year-old, who recently enjoyed a long overdue honeymoon with new wife Samantha. “I’m confident I’ll be able to figure him out though once I’m in there.”

Friday, April 8, 2011

10 Questions for This Weekend in Boxing

With four medium to high-profile fight cards going down all around the world this weekend, the seemingly endless slate of matchups on the docket have intrigued me to the point where I have ten questions about ten fighters at various stages of their careers. Set your DVR as I quickly touch on all of them from timezone to timezone.

Question for Kobe, Japan (NO US TV, Friday)

1. Does Jhonny Gonzalez still have something left in the tank?

Aside from a one-sided win over Fernando Montiel years ago when he was WBO bantamweight champ, Gonzalez (right) has since gassed out in a stoppage loss to then-WBC junior featherweight champ Israel Vazquez in a fight where he was way ahead, and then blitzed by Toshiaki Nishioka in a failed bid at the same belt after Vazquez vacated it. This is probably his last chance to win another crown, as he faces off against a former WBC bantamweight champ and pound-for-pound top 15 threat in Hasegawa, himself a victim of Montiel at 118 pounds before moving up to take a piece of the featherweight title in his last bout.

ANSWER: YES! Gonzalez scored a resounding TKO of Hasegawa in the fourth!

Question for Montreal, Canada (ESPN2, Friday)

2. Will
David Lemieux be tested for the first time?

Lemieux, almost everyone's 2010 Prospect of the Year, appears before a sellout crowd in Montreal on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights tonight. With 24 KOs in 25 bouts, Lemieux hasn't had much difficulty breezing through his opponents. This bout, a WBC middleweight title eliminator against a former world title challenger like Rubio, could test him. Or not.

ANSWER: Yes, and then some! After a right hand appeared to land behind Lemieux ear in the sixth, Rubio took over and shockingly stopped Lemieux one round later. At 22, Lemieux is still young enough to learn from this, but how he responds in his next training camp will tell a lot about him.

Questions for Primm, Nevada (Telefutura, Friday)

3. Can Quadtrine Hill really fight?

The former Chicago Bears fullback has committed full-time to boxing in 2009 at the tender age of 27. While the new heavyweight incurred a loss in his second bout and now sits at 4-1, anyone can tell you how tough it is to take on this sport that late. He takes on 3-0 Alexander Flores.

ANSWER: No. He was outclassed by Flores in a clear four-round decision.

4. Can Jessie Vargas erase the memory of his last outing?

Actually, I really want to ask if Vivian Harris should be in the ring given the two knockouts he suffered at the hands of Lucas Matthysse and Victor Ortiz last year, but since I can't do anything to convince the Nevada State Athletic Commission otherwise, I guess the focus shifts to Vargas (left), a Roger Mayweather-trained junior welterweight prospect. Golden Boy has been very high on him, but he looked far from sharp in a decision win over rugged toughman Cristian Favela that most scored a draw. Harris, albeit past his prime, is a former WBA world champ at 140 and a resolute win here could do a lot in restoring Vargas's name.

ANSWER: The jury's still out. Vargas impressively stopped Harris in one, but again, as mentioned above, we don't know if this version of "Vicious" Vivian belonged in a ring altogether. I want to see Vargas in a rematch with Favela before he steps it up.

Questions for Laredo, Texas (Showtime, Friday)

5. Is
Marcus Johnson ready for a Top 10 super middleweight?

In the ShoBox main event, Johnson (right) has done all Lou DiBella and Joe Quiambao have asked of him so far. With a string of steady but not spectacular performances, he brings his 20-0 record into the ring against Dyah Davis, son of Howard Davis, the 1976 Olympic hero. Davis can fight a little bit, too, having won one of the scorecards in a dubious majority draw against Francisco Sierra on Top Rank Live earlier this year. If Johnson can stop Davis here, bring on an Allan Green-caliber opponent.

ANSWER: No. Davis outhustled Johnson all night to a unanimous nod, including a body shot that sent Johnson down momentarily in the ninth. Much like Sergio Martinez righting the judges' wrongs in previous fights with his own fists, Davis did his best to rid himself of the bad taste in his mouth left by the Sierra fight.

6. Will Willie Nelson remain under the radar with an impressive showing?

I saw this guy in Oakland, and he is a conundrum. This welterweight from Ohio is 6'3'' tall and stopped an old pro like Jesse Feliciano in one with some freakish power. He takes on Vincent Arroyo, who can slug as well, but in the only time he has stepped up so far, he was outboxed by Mike Dallas. With that said, Mr. Nelson is one to watch just to see what he can do with his tools.

ANSWER: Yes and no. He will remain under the radar and the showing was not impressive because he was pummeled by Arroyo, tasting the floor in the third, sixth, and seventh round. Nelson will now face questions about his chin and his conditioning, which will probably mean he will move up to 154 now.

Questions for Las Vegas, Nevada (HBO PPV, Saturday)

7. Will Erik Morales's corner have the heart to throw in the towel IF he looks outmatched early?

(PHOTO: Chris Cozzone/Fightnews)

Let's get one thing straight here. "El Terrible" is one of my favorite fighters of all-time. He took on all comers, gave every fight his all, never resorted to dirty tactics (in and out of the ring), and never made excuses. Notice I'm using the past tense.

After seeing him get brutally knocked out not once, but twice by Manny Pacquiao, I am genuinely concerned for his safety tomorrow against a relentless killer like Marcos Maidana, especially when considering this bout is ten pounds heavier at junior welterweight, where Morales's power has not seemed to carry in his last few comeback bouts.

If Amir Khan couldn't put Maidana away with a murderous body shot, what makes Morales think his power would eclipse that level? Look, I could be wrong and Morales somehow bathes in the fountain of youth one last time tomorrow night. I just hope the NSAC has assigned the right ring doctor and referee for a fight like this just in case he doesn't.

ANSWER: They didn't have to, as a gutsy Morales almost edged the fight in a majority decision loss. "El Terrible" turned in the performance of a lifetime given his chronological and ring age. I guess you can really win in losing sometimes, and in my opinion has earned the right to continue fighting at an elite level without the same amount of scrutiny that surrounded last Saturday.

8. How resilient is Michael Katsidis's skin after multiple wars?

Katsidis has been through so many blood-and-guts affairs that Nonito Donaire, Sr., will have his hands full as his cutman on Saturday, especially against a precise boxer-puncher like Robert Guerrero. I see the fight getting stopped on cuts late unless Katsidis can put "The Ghost" on the canvas early and often in a brawl. It could happen, remembering that Katsidis had Juan Manuel Marquez, the reigning lightweight world champ, on the canvas last November but just couldn't finish the job. I doubt it though.

ANSWER: Katsidis's face held up to the finish line, but he was dominated by a stronger Guerrero. The Australian even resorted to low blows in the seventh and eighth, where he was penalized for throwing them below Guerrero's beltline. The tactics were to no avail, however, and a valiant warrior like Katsidis must now at least entertain the idea of retirement.

9. How far along is James Kirkland in his comeback?

Cameron Dunkin has been keeping his junior middleweight client very busy since returning from incarceration. He fought twice in two weeks, and now comes a credible test against Nobuhiro Ishida, who is coming off an unsuccessful challenge for the interim WBA belt at 154 pounds. If Kirkland stops Ishida, like he's expected to do, look for him on an HBO Boxing After Dark show sometime in the early summer.

ANSWER: Not very far at all. Ishida dwarfed Kirkland with his height advantage and sent him to the ground with short punches three times on the way to the upset of the weekend, a first-round TKO. Kirkland has to be wondering not only if rushing back into the ring was a wise decision, but also whether leaving longtime trainer Ann Wolfe has hurt his promising prospects at stardom.

Questions for Newark, NJ (Integrated Sports PPV, Saturday)

10. Can Tomasz Adamek generate enough buzz to make a Klitschko fight credible?

With the dearth of quality heavyweights in line to fight the Klitschko brothers, Adamek can make a statement by looking dominant against Kevin McBride, who stopped a faded Mike Tyson in his unceremonious farewell fight six years ago. According to USA Today, the two-division Polish world champ will most likely get Vitali, the WBC champ, if he gets by the 37-year-old McBride. Wladimir, the other brother, will reportedly fight David Haye to unify their IBF, WBO, and WBA belts.

ANSWER: The buzz was minimal, but a win is a win, as Adamek took the unanimous decision. It wasn't pretty, as McBride was overweight and the two-division Polish champ seemed more intent on prolonging the fight over the distance. But Adamek didn't do anything to damage his reputation, and on paper, a win over Chris Arreola will be the marketing point of his next fight with Vitali Klitschko.

Boxing is Alive and Well for Montreal's Michel

This Saturday night, HBO Pay-Per-View will televise a battle between two former world champions when Golden Boy Promotions brings us Marcos Maidana vs. Erik Morales at the MGM Grand in glamorous Las Vegas.

Just one day prior, the Bell Centre in Montreal will play host to prospect David Lemieux’s bout against Marco Antonio Rubio on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” under the GYM promotional banner with a lower budget.

Despite the first show having all the bells and whistles associated with a premium cable telecast, many industry insiders will argue that the second one will be more successful at the gate.

“In Quebec, we’ve been doing the right thing,” said GYM founder Yvon Michel. “I was saying to someone from America the other day that we’ll have 10,000 people in the stands but we’ll know 8,000 by their first names. We’ve been working hard to develop a fan base for our fighters.”


Saturday, April 2, 2011

S.F.'s Mayfield to prepare Pacquiao for Mosley

Saturday night, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao makes his much awaited return to Los Angeles, and a hero’s welcome full of rabid fans and camera crews will await him at the airport.

One day later, San Francisco native Karim Mayfield’s arrival at LAX will be met with much less fanfare, but his role within Team Pacquiao will be vital to the current pound-for-pound champion’s success.

Nicknamed “The Hard Hitta,” Mayfield (13-0-1, 8 KOs) has received the call to be Pacquiao’s next sparring partner for the Filipino’s May 7 defense of his WBO welterweight title against “Sugar” Shane Mosley on Showtime Pay-Per-View.