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Monday, December 26, 2011

Voting Ends Tonight for the NorCal Boxing Awards!

Only 10 hours left to support your favorites in the Inaugural Northern California Boxing Awards! Winners will be announced either Thursday or Friday. Click the link below to vote!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Descriptions for the NorCal Boxing Award Nominees

Still wondering who to vote for? Check out these brief synopses on each nominee in each category. Remember, deadline to vote is December 26 at 11:59 p.m. PST!



For the male professional fighter who has achieved the most success in 2011

Nonito Donaire (San Leandro) – won 2 belts at 118 with brutal KO of Fernando Montiel in Feb., shut out Omar Narvaez in first defense in Oct.

Robert Guerrero (Gilroy) – won 2 interim belts at 135 with dominant decision over Mike Katsidis in Apr.

Karim Mayfield (San Francisco) – won NABO regional belt at 140 with UD over Patrick Lopez (Oct.); first man to stop Steve Forbes (Jun.)

Eloy Perez (Salinas) – regional NABO champ at 130; won 4 times in ’11 over guys a combined 83-13-1

Andre Ward (Oakland) – world champ at 168; lopsided decision over Abraham in Jun. and Carl Froch this Sat. for WBC/WBA/Ring 168 belts and Super Six title


For the female professional fighter who has achieved the most success in 2011

Ana Julaton (Daly City) – successfully defended WBO 122 title 3 times (decisions over Franchesca Alcanter, Angel Gladney, Jessica Villafranca)

Ava Knight (Chico) – joined Julaton as 2nd women’s world champ (draw with Kaliesha West, KO2 of Arely Mucino for title in Nov.)

Melissa McMorrow (San Carlos) – won NY state title; went 2-1; split with Keisher McLeod and beat Eileen Olszewski

Carina Moreno (Watsonville) – went 1-1; lost WBC/WBO 108 belts to Yesica Bopp; UD over Sharon Gaines


For the male amateur fighter who has achieved the most success in 2011

Aaron Coley (Hayward) – Central Pacific Region 165 champ

Eros Correa (San Jose) – Last Chance Qualifier 108 champ; US Olympic Trials gold (first NorCal guy since Ward)

Michael Fernandez (San Francisco) – National Desert Showdown 165 champ

LaRon Mitchell (San Francisco) – US Nationals 201+ silver; US Olympic Trials silver

Ricardo Pinell (San Mateo/S.F.) – NorCal Golden Gloves 165 champ

Andy Vences (San Jose) – California 141 PAL champ; National PAL bronze


For the female amateur fighter who has achieved the most success in 2011

Tatiana Almaraz (Concord) – defeated Morton, took Ruelas to the limit in loss

Brenda Gutierrez (Sacramento) – Central Pacific Region 132 champ

Raquel Miller (San Francisco) – 165 gold at Desert Showdown; bronze at National PAL; only NorCal fighter in 2012 US Olympic Trials

Casey Morton (S.F./San Mateo) – Central Pacific Region 125 champ; US Nationals quarterfinalist

Shanne Ruelas (Fresno) – National PAL champ at 125; Central Pacific Region 119 champ; US Nationals quarterfinalist

Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gilroy) – Central Pacific Region 108 champ; US Nationals semifinalist


For the collegiate fighter who has achieved the most success in 2011

J.R. Abellon (USF) – Western regionals finalist at 141

Ramsey Ayloush (USF) – Went 9-1, 8 KOs at 160; finalist in Western regionals

Pablo Diaz (San Jose St.) – Western regionals champion at 147; natl quarterfinalist

J.C. Oviedo (Cal) – Western regionals semifinalist at 126; national quarterfinalist

Pat Welde (Santa Clara) – Western regionals finalist at 140; national semifinalist; only NorCal All-American


For the most accomplished pro fighter in 2011 who has not yet challenged for a regional belt (minimum five bouts)

Manuel Avila (Fairfield/Vacaville) – jr. featherweight; 5-0, 3 KOs in ’11; stopped Frank Gutierrez and SD win in last fight vs. David Reyes; now 6-0 (3 KOs)

Bruno Escalante (San Carlos) – jr. bantamweight; 4-0, 3 KOs in ’11; Now 5-0-1 (3 KOs)

Jonathan Garcia (Watsonville) – jr. welterweight; 3-0 3 KOs in ‘11; beat Frankie Martinez; now 6-0 (5 KOs)

Brandon Gonzales (Sacramento) – middleweight; 2-0, 0 KOs in ‘11. Beat 2 tough gatekeepers in Lester Gonzalez and Ossie Duran; now 15-0 (11 KOs) and closest top Top 10 rankings out of everyone on the list

Guy Robb (Sacramento) – jr. lightweight; 6-0, 2 KOs in ’11; decisioned unbeaten Pablo Armenta and knocked out Hugo Ramos; now 7-0 (3 KOs)

Alan Sanchez (Fairfield) – welterweight; 4-0, 1 KO in ’11; stopped Clint Coronel and beat Cristian Favela; now 9-2-1 (3 KOs)


For the fighter most exemplary to the Northern California community in 2011

Robert Guerrero (Gilroy) – involved in several cancer awareness charities; has returned to boxing after putting career aside for family

Ana Julaton (Daly City) – involved in Filipino-American community in Bay Area

Karim Mayfield (San Francisco) – involved with at-risk youth at SFC Boxing in S.F. Tenderloin

LaRon Mitchell (San Francisco) – coaches kids at S.F. Ring of Fire and is HS football coach at Lincoln HS in S.F.

Andre Ward (Oakland) – involved with church community at the Well in Dublin


For the most exciting, competitive professional bout in 2011 from start to finish involving at least one Northern California fighter

Guy Robb MD4 Manuel Morales (Mar. 25) – Extreme action from the opening bell to the final one, with both fighters trading heavy leather and taking each other’s best shots; standing ovation in Fairfield was almost a minute long postfight

Lamont Williams UD4 Juan Hernandez (Apr. 15) – Crazy first round where both were down and Hernandez down in the second

Kaliesha West D10 Ava Knight (Jun. 18) – Exceptional display of skill and heart; tactical but entertaining

Alan Sanchez TKO7 Clint Coronel (Jun. 24) – Blood-and-guts slugfest where Coronel’s pressure meshed with Sanchez’s matador boxing style; Coronel stopped on cuts

Manuel Avila SD4 David Reyes (Oct. 15) – Reyes down in third but both fighters having moments on inside; Avila narrowly escaped on Hopkins-Dawson undercard

Ulises Soriano MD4 Jhonnathan Zamudio (Oct. 28) – Good back and forth action where both men almost took turns unleashing their offense on the other


For the most exciting, competitive amateur fight in 2011 from start to finish involving at least one Northern California fighter

Jose Ramirez W3 Adam Fiel (Mar. 13) – Ramirez, 2-time defending natl champ, was floored by Fiel in 3rd and escaped with win in 132 Regional Golden Gloves final

Andy Vences W3 Vicente Guzman (Mar. 13) – Vences overcame onslaught by Guzman in round 2 and turned tide with hellacious combinations in 141 Reg. Golden Gloves final

Eros Correa W3 Louie Byrd (Aug. 3) – Correa avenged two previous losses to three-time defending natl champ Byrd with 25-25 barnburner that was decided by 132-131 tiebreaker

Tatiana Almaraz W4 Casey Morton (Dec. 2) – Both fighters were relentless in attack with Almaraz taking over an even fight in the fourth

Terry Fernandez W3 Vince Hernandez (Dec. 2) – Absolute war of attrition between two heavyhanded sluggers that Fernandez captured via a standing 8-count in the final round


For the most exciting, competitive round in 2011 from the opening to final bell

Jose Ramirez vs. Adam Fiel – Rd. 3 (Mar. 13) – Ramirez down with left hook but recovered to outbox Fiel in final round

Andy Vences vs. Vicente Guzman – Rd. 2 (Mar. 13) – Guzman winning round until Vences throws 8-punch combination that scores and turns tide of fight

Guy Robb vs. Manuel Morales – Rd. 4 (Mar. 25) – final chapter of a war that saw monster power shots landed but neither fighter backing down; was followed by minute-long standing ovation from fans

Lamont Williams vs. Juan Hernandez – Rd. 1 (Apr. 15) – Both guys down in first as they traded with reckless abandon early

Alan Sanchez vs. Clint Coronel – Rd. 6 (Jun. 24) – Coronel, eyes streaming blood, continued to come forward as Sanchez played matador and tried to put counters behind his left jab

Terron Grant vs. Alonso Loeza – Rd. 4 (Sep. 16) – Good back and forth action that seesawed throughout the three minutes


For the most entertaining, well-promoted Northern California-based pro show in 2011

Golden Boy/Don Chargin’s “Perez vs. Gonzalez” (Feb. 18) – Two of boxing's brightest up and comers (Eloy Perez, Mercito Gesta) in first televised card in SF since Mayweather-Chavez

Brian Schwartz/CP Presents/37 Mgmt./454 Ent.’s “Julaton vs. Alcanter” (Feb. 25) – Beautiful venue in Craneway Pavilion and enlisted musical entertainment to add diversity to product

Golden Boy/Don Chargin’s “Perez vs. Escalante” (Mar. 25) – Upset of the Year Candidate, Fight of the Year Candidate, and 2 KO of the Yr Candidates

Uppercut Boxing’s “Martinez vs. Banks” (Apr. 22) – A couple upsets and entertaining card overall

Golden Boy/Don Chargin’s “Perez vs. Jimenez” (Sep. 2) – Historic 60th anniversary card for Chargin; Perez made statement with KO of Jimenez


For the most entertaining, well-promoted Northern California-based amateur show in 2011

Mateen Boxing Club’s “S.F. Regional Golden Gloves” (Mar. 13) – 2 Amateur Fight of the Yr Candidates, emergence of LaRon Mitchell

Aleman Boxing’s “U.S. Independence Day Boxing Championships” (Jul. 2) – One of the most packed shows in the Central Valley in recent times

Boxing SF’s “Summer Amateur Championships” (Jul. 26) – Like Winter Championships, featured high-profile atmosphere

3rd St. Gym’s “Fight Night” (Sep. 9) – The most thrilling card out of the prolific total from Paul Wade this year

BabyFace/Bad Girls Boxing’s “Beautiful Brawlers” (Sep. 10) – First all-female amateur card in history

Kennel Boxing’s “Battle at the Kennel #2” (Nov. 12) – Excellent matchups in San Leandro and smart move to do it the same day as Pacquiao-Marquez III to whet fans' appetites

Boxing SF’s “Winter Amateur Championships” (Dec. 2) – Card had pro feel and several entertaining bouts as Bay Area legends past and present met in the ring and interacted with fans


For the pro or amateur venue with the best overall atmosphere and fanbase of 2011

Craneway Pavilion (Richmond)

Longshoremen’s Hall (S.F.)

Fairfield Sports Center

King’s Gym (Oakland)

Polk St. Gym (S.F.)

Red Lion Hotel (Sacramento)

Salinas Sports Complex


For the most spectacular, stunning, and sensational pro knockout or referee stoppage of 2011 by a Northern California fighter

Joe Gumina TKO1 Jose Hurtado (Feb. 18) – Outright destruction by Gumina, who wasted no time in swinging for fences and connecting with an overhand right; more of an accumulation

Nonito Donaire TKO2 Fernando Montiel (Feb. 19) – Beautiful left hook had Montiel swimming like fish without water; got up miraculously and was stopped on feet after

Manuel Avila TKO2 Frank Gutierrez (Mar. 25) – Avila shot a straight right hand that had Gutierrez dropping straight down to the canvas

Alejandro Perez TKO1 Antonio Escalante (Mar. 25) – Short right hand crushed Escalante over the top

Eloy Perez KO2 Daniel Jimenez (Sep. 2) – Supposedly featherfisted Perez had Jimenez reeling into the ropes for good with a variety of shots culminating with a left hook

Ava Knight KO2 Arely Mucino (Oct. 29) – After a knockdown was ruled a slip, Knight finished the job with a peach of a left hook to end it


For the pro trainer based in Northern California who has accomplished the most in 2011 with his/her fighter(s) from both a strategic standpoint as well as through individual development

Ben Bautista (SFC Boxing) – Karim Mayfield (140 NABO champ), Ava Knight (112 female IBF champ)

Max Garcia (Garcia Boxing, Salinas) – Eloy Perez (130 NABO champ)

Virgil Hunter (King’s Gym, Oakland) – Andre Ward (168 WBA/WBC/Ring champ), Brandon Gonzales (160 prospect), Mike Dallas (140 prospect)

Al LaGardo (Vacaville PAL) – Manuel Avila (122 prospect)

Angelo Reyes (West-Wind, Berkeley) – Ana Julaton (WBO 122 female champ)

Ray Woods (Bloodhounds, Sacramento) – Guy Robb (130 prospect)


For the amateur trainer based in Northern California who has accomplished the most in 2011 with his/her fighter(s) from both a strategic standpoint as well as through individual development

Ben Bautista (SFC Boxing) – Aaron Coley (165 Central Pacific champ), Raquel Miller (165 Natl PAL bronze)

Eddie Croft (B Street, San Mateo) – Ricardo Pinell (NorCal Golden Gloves 165 champ), Vince Hernandez (165), Casey Morton (125 Central Pacific champ)

Jimmy Ford (Ring of Fire, S.F.) – LaRon Mitchell (US Natls silver, US Olympic Trials silver at 201+)

Blanca Gutierrez (BabyFace, Pacifica) – Raquel Miller (165 Natl PAL Bronze), several female fighters, Keynoe Fenner (165)

Candelario “Candy” Lopez (San Jose PAL) – Eros Correa (108 US Olympic Trials gold, Last Chance Qualifier champ), Andy Vences (CA PAL champ, Adidas Natl Champ, Natl PAL bronze at 132)

Karl Sharrock (Old School, Concord) – Alex Acosta (152 NorCal champ), Tatiana Almaraz (Female Fighter of the Yr candidate)


For the most improbable and impactful win by a Northern California underdog in 2011

Alejandro Perez TKO1 Antonio Escalante (Mar. 25) – Perez came off long layoff and was opponent for former title challenger Escalante, who was blasted early

LaRon Mitchell W3 Lenroy Thompson (Jun. 22) – Thompson was #1 201+ fighter in America before losing clear decision to Mitchell at US Nationals

Terry Fernandez RSC-1 Michael Fernandez (Jul. 26) – M. Fernandez was coming off Desert Showdown title at 165 before getting KOd at BoxingSF Summer Championships

Eros Correa W3 Louie Byrd (Aug. 3) – Byrd was three-time natl champ but fell to Correa by tiebreaker after 25-25 score. (punches counted were a razor-sharp 132-131 in favor of Correa)


For the Northern Califonia-based manager/advisor who has done the most to put his/her fighter(s) in the best position to succeed in 2011
Ben Bautista (San Francisco) – Has been on board for Karim Mayfield’s NABO title run and Ava Knight’s IBF world title after yrs of both fighters going unnoticed

Kathy Garcia (Salinas) – Has steered Eloy Perez to 4-0 record this yr and WBO title shot vs Adrien Broner next yr

Angelo Reyes (Berkeley) – Has secured worldwide media attention for Ana Julaton; went into foe’s backyard twice and won

Bob Santos (San Jose) – Handles Robert Guerrero who beat Katsidis easily; has now entered him in running for Mayweather on May 5

Ricky “Repo Ric” Steve (Fresno) – Handles several young fighters including Escalante, Robb, Mike Ruiz of Fresno, Roman Morales of San Ardo


For the promoter, professional or amateur, who has done the most for Northern California fans in 2011

Aleman Boxing – Held several successful amateur shows in Fresno, especially the local Silver Gloves

BabyFace/Bad Girls Boxing – historic first ever all-female amateur card in Pacifica

Boxing SF – High-profile amateur cards including Summer and Winter Boxing Championships that had pro feel and were matched and publicized well

Don Chargin/Golden Boy – First time NorCal had eight televised cards from one promoter in a year (all on TeleFutura); included his 60th anniversary show in Salinas; would’ve been seven but Guerrero-Maidana at HP Pavilion in SJ was called off

Goossen Tutor – Has promoted Andre Ward into a Super Six trophy

Uppercut Boxing – Held two entertaining shows in Sacramento area

Paul Wade/3rd St. Boxing – Held most amateur shows in SF jampacked with bouts


For the male or female fighter, professional or amateur, who has best overcome adversity away from the ring in 2011 to achieve unexpected success

Glenn Donaire (San Leandro) – Ended 3-yr layoff by stopping Alex Sanchez for WBO Latino 112 title

Vicente Escobedo (Woodland) – Defeated both Walter Estrada and Rocky Juarez after loss to Robert Guerrero; now 130 contender

Karim Mayfield (San Francisco) – Came off 1-yr layoff to spar w Pacquiao, sign w promoter Prize Fight, be the first to stop Steve Forbes, and beat Patrick Lopez for NABO 140 title

Paul Nave (San Rafael) – came back at age 51 to fight in San Rafael; lost gutsy decision

Alejandro Perez (Salinas) – after 2 yr layoff, blasted Antonio Escalante to score ShoBox fight with Diego Magdaleno, which he lost in competitive decision


For the person in the sport, participant or non-participant, who most deserves recognition for their contribution to Northern California boxing

Paris Alexander – trainer at multiple gyms in S.F., former contender and regional beltholder

Joe Burke – longtime trainer at King’s Gym in Oakland; worked with several Bay Area greats over the years

Don Chargin – celebrated 60 years of promoting with card in Salinas (got start in SJ)

Dan Goossen – has promoted several NorCal fighters and held shows in NorCal; Guerrero’s former promoter and Ward’s current one

Charles King – founder of King’s Gym in Fruitvale District of Oakland; has trained several Bay Area greats and his gym has been Andre Ward’s home since day one

Paul Nave – has fought several times in Marin County including this year at age 51; former WBF welterweight champ


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big Day for NorCal Boxing

1) Check out later today for my Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch preview.

2) We will also have the final list of nominees for the Inaugural NorCal Boxing Awards--and how YOU, the FANS, can vote and have your say!

3) Tune into Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (@CSNAuthentic) at 7pm PST tonight (11pm replay) as Barry Tompkins and I join Jim Kozimor on Chronicle Live (@ChronLiveCSN) to talk about Ward-Froch, and if time permits, the year in NorCal boxing!!!

Here are some listings for your area if you need to know where you can find CSN on your TV:

NorCal fight fans, come support your local fighters on Thursday for the free public weigh-in, which takes place at 3:30 p.m. in Woodland at Paco's Restaurant (435 Main St.). Fairfield welterweight Alan Sanchez, Sacramento jr. lightweight Guy Robb, and S.F. jr. welterweight Jonathan Chicas will hit the scales for the Solo Boxeo Tecate show.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TeleFutura Solo Boxeo Hits Woodland Thursday/Friday!

By Ryan Maquinana
TeleFutura Solo Boxeo Tecate comes to Woodland, CA, for both the weigh-in and six pro bouts.

The weigh-in is open to the public and will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Paco's Restaurant on 435 Main Street. Tickets ($60 VIP, $40 Reserved, $30 Bleachers) will be on sale all week at Paco's.

The actual fight card occurs on Friday at the Woodland Community Senior Center on 2001 East Street. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

More information about the fighters can be found in my column last week under the subheading "War in Woodland Next Week."

Golden Boy will promote the show in association with Don Chargin, Paco Presents, and Jorge Marron.

BOUT SHEET (click to enlarge)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Inaugural NorCal Boxing Awards - Who Do You Nominate?

We at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area are going to have our Inaugural NorCal Boxing End-of-Year Awards on Thursday, Dec. 29. I have put together a panel of local boxing media who will vote on a variety of categories for both the local pros and the amateurs.

Unfortunately, while there are no trophies or plaques for the winners, the purpose behind the awards is to recognize the hard work and dedication from everyone involved in keeping the sport alive and punching in the region.

Please check out next Thursday, Dec. 15, (where I have my weekly boxing column) for a list of the nominees.

Here are the categories (unless specified, applies to both amateur and pro):

Male Pro Fighter of the Year

Female Pro Fighter of the Year

Male Amateur Fighter of the Year

Female Amateur Fighter of the Year

Collegiate Fighter of the Year

Pro Prospect of the Year*

Pro Fight of the Year

Amateur Fight of the Year

Event of the Year^

Round of the Year

Knockout of the Year

Upset of the Year

Venue of the Year

Pro Trainer of the Year

Amateur Trainer of the Year

Manager of the Year

Promoter of the Year

Comeback Fighter of the Year

Lifetime Achievement

* must not have fought for a regional belt yet (minimum five pro bouts)

^ entertainment value/promotional skill for the show as a whole

For the sake of geography, eligibility is limited to the northern border of the state all the way down to the imaginary horizontal line between Monterey and Fresno.

If you have any nominees, please state your case by sending me an e-mail to, and we will consider it. Thank you!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pro Ambience Makes S.F. City Amateur Championships Special (Review & Results)

By Ryan Maquiñana

An estimated 1,200 filled the Longshoremen’s Hall in Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday night to send a message to the city of San Francisco that the sweet science is alive and kicking.

The communion shared was the Boxing Union's S.F. Amateur Winter Championships, and the fans were treated to 14 entertaining bouts that were well-matched throughout the evening.

“It was amazing to have this kind of support from the local fans,” said middleweight Ricardo Pinell, who defeated Keynoe Fenner in the main event. “It felt like I was fighting in the pros with the atmosphere.”

Entering the venue, the fight experience echoed something one would see at a professional show, with a cordoned-off VIP section, taco and beer lines, a live DJ, and even ring card girls. With last night’s sellout marking the third successful boxing show at the venue this year, it’s safe to say that The City has the infrastructure in place to support an even bigger event in 2012.

During an intermission between bouts, the amateurs got a glimpse at what they aspire to be one day, with past Bay Area greats like Johnny Nava, Andy Nance, and Paris Alexander sharing the ring with the new wave of stars that included prospects Jonathan Chicas and Joe Gumina, NABO jr. welterweight titlist Karim Mayfield, new IBF flyweight champ Ava Knight, and five-time world title beltholder Robert Guerrero.


In the headlining bout, Pinell (B Street Boxing, San Mateo) defeated fellow 165-pound middleweight Fenner (BabyFace Boxing, Pacifica), coming out ahead on all five judges’ cards, 5-0. However, the fight was closely contested, with the margin of victory hanging in the balance until the final round. While Fenner had early success pinning Pinell on the ropes, his southpaw foe ultimately proved elusive, counterpunching and keeping the fight in the middle of the ring where he boxed his way to victory.

Junior welterweight Jesus Reyes (3rd St. Gym, S.F.) took a 3-2 decision over Miguel DeLeon (E. Palo Alto Boxing Club). The early moments were marked by both fighters trading of left hooks with bad intentions. As the bout wore on, DeLeon looked to set a foundation for his offense with a left hook to the body, while Reyes tried to sit back and set traps for his opponent. Eventually, Reyes’ punches emerged as the more effective ones in the eyes of the judges in a very close bout.

In the only four-round bout of the night, Tatiana Almaraz (Old School Boxing, Concord) pulled away in the last frame to capture a 5-0 decision over Casey Morton (B Street Boxing, San Mateo). Virtually tied after the third, Almaraz opened up an assault that caused Morton to pause ever so briefly and induce the referee to give her a standing eight. But Morton's pressure gave the boxer-puncher Almaraz all she could handle, especially in the second round when she cut off the ring and scored off a four-punch combination.

Nationally-ranked lightweight Eric Altamirano (Concord Youth Center) outlanded Abraham Morones (Multi-Choices, Alameda) en route to the 4-1 decision. The taller Altamirano kept the rugged Morones at bay at the end of his long jab and some solid body work.

The knockout of the night came at the hands of middleweight Francisco Madrigal (Bad to the Bonez, Modesto), who sent Paulo Amparado (Univ. of San Francisco) reeling into his own corner with a screamer of an overhand right in the second round. Official time was 1:51.

Lightweight Eduardo Alvarado (3rd St. Gym, S.F.), only 15 years old, continued to impress with a 3-2 decision over Christopher Vazquez (Unattached, San Jose). Most of the bout was fought in close quarters, and Alvarado’s shots were slightly cleaner.

In a matchup of southpaws, Brandon “Dino” Adams (3rd St. Gym, S.F.) blasted his way to a 5-0 decision over Marcelo Nazarian (Novato Boxing Club). Adams scored three standing eight counts, with a short left hand being his prime weapon.

The fight of the night occurred between middleweights Terry Fernandez (Phight Club, Oakland) and Vince Hernandez (B Street Boxing, San Mateo). Fernandez might have earned the judges’ nod by a 5-0 decision by being a little busier, but both fighters had their moments in an all-out brawl. Fernandez scored a standing eight in the second round off a couple stinging right hands, while Hernandez pressed throughout, landing some punishing shots of his own on the inside.

Junior welterweight Alex Berrios (U.S. Kick-Boxing & Karate, Hayward) utilized his southpaw stance and right hook to outslug pressure fighter Carmelo Diaz (The Park Gym, S.F.) by a narrow 3-2 decision.

Featherweight Jessi Lopez (B Street Boxing, San Mateo) took a hard-earned 5-0 decision over tough southpaw Andrew Moy (445 Boxing, S.F.). While Moy had arguably been on the wrong end of the cards in his last two Boxing Union shows, this time the judges got it right, as his pro style caused him to be too dependent on his accurate counter-punching. Meanwhile, Lopez took the fight to Moy, and was rewarded by the judges by pushing him to the ropes and landing upstairs with overhand rights.

Stelacia Leggett (Multi-Choices, Alameda) stopped fellow lightweight Nargis Shagasi (Univ. of San Francisco) with a barrage of power shots at 0:26 in the second round.

In the first of two youth bouts, 85-pounder Khalid Mahasin (BabyFace, Pacifica) was the aggressor throughout and held off a tough challenge from Ernesto Cuellar (Richmond PAL) to take a 5-0 decision.

The second youth fight, a clash between 75-pounders, was cut short when a punch from Paris Wallace (Unattached) caused blood to stream from the nose of Joseph Santos (San Jose & Boxing Fitness) at 0:35 of the second round. While Santos was fine to continue, his corner was unable to stop the crimson flow, and the referee stopped the fight.

Opening the night’s action, Jessie Henderson (E. Palo Alto Boxing Club) employed a quick left hook and smoothly put his punches together in bunches to capture a 5-0 decision over Humberto Otoya (U.S. Kick-Boxing & Karate, Hayward).

A bantamweight scrap between Bobby Santos (San Jose Boxing & Fitness) and Juan Benitez (Richmond PAL) was cancelled when the latter pulled out of the fight.

Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at, check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Almaraz, Morton Ready for War at the Wharf Tonight

By Ryan Maquiñana

NOTE: For my latest article and video for Comcast SportsNet on Ricardo Pinell, who fights Keynoe Fenner in Friday’s main event, click here.

In an anticipated amateur showdown, Casey Morton (B Street Boxing, San Mateo) meets fellow featherweight Tatiana Almaraz (Old School Boxing, Concord) on the undercard of the San Francisco Winter Boxing Amateur Championships tonight at the Longshoremen’s Hall in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

Morton, a tough-as-nails pressure fighter from San Francisco by way of Hawaii, was NorCal’s representative at U.S. Nationals in the 125-pound division this year. Her training camp was aided by the presence of world-ranked flyweight contender Melissa McMorrow and trainer Eddie Croft. Of course, the ultimate test comes tonight.

Meanwhile, Almaraz is a native of Concord who is known around Bay Area circles as a trusted sparring partner for two world champions—WBO jr. featherweight boss Ana Julaton and new IBF flyweight queen Ava Knight. With Karl Sharrock in her corner, she looks to build her own name with a memorable performance.

I was able to catch up with both fighters to get their respective takes on Friday’s matchup in some Bonus Coverage.


“I’ve seen her fight once in Fresno the day I fought Shanne Ruelas. She’s aggressive and keeps coming at you. I’ve been hearing she’s been getting better everyday, especially with her footwork, so I can’t wait to fight her. Everyone’s been asking me when the fight is, and now it’s here, so I’ll give everything I have. I’ve been working hard for this.”


My combinations and power have gotten better, too, and I feel like I’ve been getting stronger every day. My trainer and I have come up with the gameplan, and I know what I need to do on Friday.”


“You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this. I’m ready for this. I’m ready to fight right now. I’ve never fought in front of an audience this big. The BabyFace card in Pacifica was a big card, but nothing like this with 1,500 people.”


“I’m really excited to fight her. We’ve been wanting to fight for a long time—nothing personal, it’s just that she’d be a really good opponent. I can’t wait.”


“I’ve always had a pressure, come-forward style, and when I came to Eddie, he fixed my feet and helped me be a lot more defensive oriented.”


“It’s amazing. We don’t get the spotlight on amateur boxing a lot, so the glamour, the posters, the interviews, and the big setup at Longshoremen’s Hall is amazing. It’s a privilege to be a part of it.”

For ticket information to tonight’s 16-bout S.F. Amateur Boxing Winter Championships card (Doors open at 6 p.m.), visit

Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at, check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.