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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avenal's Ramirez, Team USA Head to Brazil for Final Olympic Qualifier

By Ryan Maquiñana
 Avenal's Ramirez takes the final step toward punching his trip to London. (Team Ramirez)

After three and a half years of struggle, sacrifice, and success, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads to the Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the AIBA Americas Continental Olympic Qualifier from May 4-13.  A high enough finish in the tournament will lead to ultimate entry into the London Games.

A total of 38 Olympic berths will be spread across ten weight classes.  Nations from North, Central, and South America will compete for them.  Out of the 10 members in Team USA, three have already qualified by reaching the quarterfinals of last year’s AIBA World Championships (flyweight Rau’shee Warren, bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr., and welterweight Errol Spence Jr.).

RELATED: Boxing Barista Jose Ramirez is America's Best Lightweight

Region 11's Jose Ramirez (King's Gym, Avenal) is America's lightweight representative.

“He's been working hard for this all his life, and now it's time for him to make that final step," said Ramirez' coach, Armando Mancinas.  "I have no doubt that he's ready for whatever challenges arise in Brazil."

Per USA Boxing’s Julie Goldsticker, here is the current qualification status for each member of the team:

Santos Vazquez (Sparks, NV) – Needs Top 3 Finish

Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, OH) – Already Qualified Through 2011 World Championships

Joseph Diaz Jr. (S. El Monte, CA) – Already Qualified Through 2011 World Championships

Jose Ramirez (Avenal, CA) – Needs Top 4 Finish

Jamel Herring (Coram, NY) – Needs Top 5 Finish

Errol Spence Jr. (DeSoto, TX) – Already Qualified Through 2011 World Championships

Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, OH) – Needs Top 5 Finish

Marcus Browne (Staten Island, NY) – Needs Top 4 Finish

Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, NV) – Needs Top 3 Finish

Dominic Breazeale (Alhambra, CA) – Needs Top 3 Finish

Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area ( He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at, check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.


Angel Cordon, Ruben Villa Victorious in Local Junior Olympic Finals

By Ryan Maquiñana

Angel Cordon (right) gets his hands wrapped by trainer Karl Sharrock. (Blanca Gutierrez)

Both Northern and Central California crowned the last of their Junior Olympic champions for the Junior and Senior Open Division on Saturday.

Angel Cordon (Old School BC, Concord) won a decision over Jonathan Rubio (Santa Rosa, Double Punches) to capture the NorCal 80-pound Junior final at West Sacramento's Superior Fighting Academy in a card titled "Steady Mobbin' 3."

"These two little warriors opened up the show and didn't disappoint," Old School's Karl Sharrock said after the bout.  "I thought Angel sealed the deal with a strong, dominating third round."

In Orosi, Ruben "Dracula" Villa (Backyard BC, Salinas) added yet another gold medal to his burgeoning trophy case with a decision over Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) in the CenCal 114-pound Senior final at El Monte Middle School.

The precocious Villa, who has won seven national tournaments, will advance to the J.O. Regional Championships in Arvin on May 12.  He faces Alex Garibay (CYC, Concord) for the right to represent Region 11 in the National Junior Olympics, which take place from June 18-22 in Mobile, Alabama.


For the full list of Northern California J.O. champs from Bantam Novice all the way to Senior Open, CLICK HERE.

For the full list of Central California J.O. champs from Bantam Novice all the way to Senior Open, CLICK HERE.

For the NorCal vs. CenCal bout sheet for the May 12 Region 11 J.O. finals in Arvin, CLICK HERE.'s Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at, check out his weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dawson Defeats Hopkins, Calls Out Andre Ward

By Ryan Maquiñana
Dawson (right) wants Ward next. (Getty Images)

Moments after decisively outpointing Bernard Hopkins by majority decision for the Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight titles, Chad Dawson called out Oakland's Andre Ward to fight him next.

Ward, who incidentally enough owns the super middleweight version of both belts (and the WBA one as well), was the subject of an avalanche of messages on social media.  "S.O.G." was quick to respond:

With the lack of appetizing options at 168 pounds, hopefully the fans can see this matchup come to fruition between two of America's best, whether at 175 or a catchweight between them.

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

Mitchell Stops Hayward-Based Witherspoon in Three

By Ryan Maquiñana
Witherspoon met an unfortunate end on Saturday after taking an early lead. (AP)

Heavyweight contender Chazz Witherspoon, who was training in Hayward with reigning BWAA and Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, was stopped in the third round Saturday night by Seth Mitchell in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

Cal's NFL Draftees in Relation to Recruiting Ranking

By Ryan Maquiñana

Schwartz went to Cleveland in round two. (

As a Cal alum (and a longtime diehard season ticket holder at that), I thought it was worth taking a break from the boxing coverage for a brief moment to look at Cal's six NFL draftees--a number which led the Pac-12--and where they stood coming out of high school with recruiting services like and

MITCHELL SCHWARTZ - Browns (2nd Rd., 37th overall)
RIVALS: 3 stars, #27 OT
SCOUT: 3 stars, #24 OG

MYCHAL KENDRICKS - Eagles (2nd Rd., 46th overall)
RIVALS: 3 stars, #45 OLB
SCOUT: 3 stars, #29 WLB

Insider: NorCal Boxing News & Notes

• Which local fighter is challenging for two world titles on May 16?

• Where can I get tickets for Vicente Escobedo's May 12 fight in Woodland?

• Which amateur from the area just signed with Top Rank?

• Who's representing the Bay in the Junior Olympic Regionals two weeks from now?

Click the picture above for those answers and more in my weekend roundup for!

NorCal Pound-for-Pound Top 10: April Edition

The 14 members of our local media voting panel have spoken.  Here's the official list of Northern California's Top 10 fighters for April:

Did your favorite fighter make the cut? (

For the whole story that includes all the stats, news, and breakdown of every fighter in the Top 10, click HERE or on the picture.'s Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at, check out his weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

*This is a legal waiver. By copying and using the material from this article, you agree to give full credit to or provide a link to the original article.

Flu Knocks Out Ayala Before Saturday Rematch with Salazar

By Ryan Maquiñana
The local fans will have to wait a little longer to see Ayala (left) and Salazar in the ring together. (Team Ayala/Team Salazar)

Rising amateur bantamweight Mario Ayala of Sacramento is ill and has unfortunately pulled out of his Saturday afternoon rematch with Fresno's Gary Salazar.

"Mario woke up with a flu," said Ayala's trainer, Marty Chima of Dogg Pound Boxing.  "I'm going to have to pull him out of the fight."

The nationally recognized 123-pounders were set to meet in "Steady Mobbin' Three," a card that will still take place at Superior Fighting Academy in West Sacramento starting at 1 p.m.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ticket Information for Escobedo vs. Ruiz May 12 in Woodland

By Ryan Maquiñana 

Here is the poster for the May 12 card in Woodland that will feature hometown hero Vicente Escobedo against Juan Ruiz for the NABO junior lightweight regional title

Don Chargin and Paco Presents in association with Golden Boy and Jorge Marron will promote the show, which takes place at the Woodland Community Center.

In the co-feature, former Venezuelan Olympian turned junior middleweight pro prospect Alfonso Blanco (8-0, 3 KOs) will fight an unnamed opponent.

Also on the docket, Chico junior welterweight Moris Rodriguez (2-0-1, 1 KO) meets Vacaville's Bret De La Torre (2-0), Richmond junior welterweight Ulises Soriano (2-0) fights Hillsboro, Oregon's Gabriel Pineda (1-0), and Fresno's Luis Villagomez makes his pro debut against San Francisco's Denis Madriz (0-0-1).

The weigh-in is free to the public and will take place on Friday, May 11, at the Road Trip Bar and Grill.  Presale ticket prices are $45, $60, and $80 and can be purchased at  All three prices will increase by $10 at the door.  First fight goes down at 6 p.m.'s Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at, check out his weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

*This is a legal waiver. By copying and using the material from this article, you agree to give full credit to or provide a link to the original article.

Amateur Beat: Salazar vs. Ayala II in W. Sacramento, Dracula vs. Ochoa in Orosi

By Ryan Maquiñana
Ayala (right) and trainer Marty Chima are out for revenge on Saturday. (Dogg Pound BC)

NOTE: The University of San Francisco has moved their Spring Fest show to June 9.  Thanks to Lydia Martinez Razo and Candelario Lopez for keeping posted!

Fresh off last week's Junior Olympic qualifiers, the region will hold a pair of amateur shows this Saturday.

First, “Steady Mobbin’ Round Three” will take place at Superior Fighting Academy in West Sacramento at 1 p.m.  Nationally recognized 123-pounders Gary Salazar of Fresno and Mario Ayala of Sacramento will duke it out in a rematch.  Salazar outpointed Ayala in their first meeting two weeks ago at Fresno's Velarde Training Center.

In the Central California region, a USA Boxing-sanctioned event will occur at El Monte Middle School in Orosi at 4 p.m.  Among the matchups on the docket is a 114-pound Regional Junior Olympics qualifier between Fresno's Isidro Ochoa and Salinas' Ruben "Dracula" Villa.

For a full schedule of pro and amateur boxing events in the region, click HERE or the link on the upper-right hand side of the page.'s Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at, check out his weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

*This is a legal waiver. By copying and using the material from this article, you agree to give full credit to or provide a link to the original article.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kentikian-McMorrow for Unified Flyweight Title May 16 in Germany

By Ryan Maquiñana

McMorrow (left) and Kentikian meet on May 16. (Team McMorrow, WBAN)

Unified women’s flyweight world champion Susi Kentikian will put her titles on the line against San Jose’s Melissa McMorrow on May 16 at Brandenburg Hall in Frankfurt, Germany.

We learned a lot from her last fight against Arely Mucino in terms of traveling into a foreign country, and taking the title from the champion,” said McMorrow’s trainer Eddie Croft, himself a former three-time world title challenger.  “She is ready to go into hostile territory and win again.  Only this time she will leave no doubt.”

Kentikian (29-0, 16 KOs) currently holds the WBA and WBO belts in addition to the WIBF 112-pound crown.  Although the resident of Hamburg, Germany, via Yerevan, Armenia, is only 24 years old, this bout will mark her 15th world title defense of any sort.  A brilliant combination puncher, “The Killer Queen” is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision over Thailand’s Teeraporn Pannimit last October.

Bout Sheet for 2012 Junior Olympic Region 11 Championships

By Ryan Maquiñana

On May 12, Arvin will play host to the 2012 Junior Olympic Region 11 Championships at Haven Drive Middle School, where Northern California's best young fighters will meet their Central California rivals.

While both the Intermediate and Senior Open Divisions will crown regional champions, only the latter will advance to the National Junior Olympics, which take place in Mobile, Alabama, from June 18-22.

Here is a tentative bout sheet featuring each age division and weight class.

FULL REPORT: 2012 Central California Junior Olympic Winners

By Ryan Maquiñana
Above: Aleman Boxing competed in Lemoore. (Frank Aleman);
Below: King's Gym in Avenal also sent a contingent, seen here in Fresno the week before. (Armando Mancinas)

Central California held their Junior Olympic Championships this past Saturday in Lemoore at the Cinnamon Municipal Complex.  Several talented fighters took the ring, with almost 60 boys and girls crowned Central Cal champs.

While some of the representatives for Regionals have been determined, the rest will fight in Orosi next week.

Regionals will take place on May 12 at Haven Drive Middle School in Arvin, with the champions advancing to June's National Junior Olympics in Mobile, Alabama.

Here are your winners for each division and weight class. Special thanks to CCA head Armando Mancinas:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FULL REPORT: 2012 Northern California Junior Olympic Winners

By Ryan Maquiñana

RELATED: This weekend's Junior Division Best Boxer Charlie Sheehy is interviewed 
by Ryan Maquiñana for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area before Silver Gloves.

Not a vacant seat could be found at the Ring of Fire Gym in Brisbane this weekend, as an unprecedented 115 young fighters participated in the Northern California Junior Olympic Championships.

"It was a minor miracle that we were able to fit everyone in there," Ring of Fire's Miguel Rios said.  "We had a record turnout as far as the fighters, and it was great to see so many people excited about boxing and the young kids coming up."

Tournament director Oscar Ortiz had an extremely busy Saturday and Sunday, but he was able to coordinate everything without a hitch and should be recognized for his tireless work.

"It was crazy out there in a good way," Ortiz said.  "We got it done, and I'm excited to see how the kids do against Central [California] in the regionals."

While the Bantam (ages 8-10) and Junior (ages 11-12) Division winners' journeys are complete, the Intermediate (ages 13-14) and Senior Division (ages 15-16) titlists will move on to Arvin for May 12's Region 11 Championships against their Central California counterparts.

However, only the Senior Division winners will be eligible to advance to the Junior Olympic National Championships in Mobile, Alabama, on June 18-22.

Here are your champions below.  Special thanks to Oscar Ortiz for providing the results and individual awards!

Abdullah Nominated U.S. Olympic Team Head Coach

By Ryan Maquiñana

 Abdullah would be signing up for his second tour of duty as Olympic head coach. (U.S. Army) has been advised that USA Boxing has nominated Basheer Abdullah as the new head coach of the U.S. Olympic Team.

Abdullah, current head coach of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, would replace Joe Zanders, who held the position from August of 2011 until earlier this month, when he vacated the post.  Zanders will continue to work with USA Boxing in a different capacity heading into this summer’s London Games.

According to an interview with The Independent, former British national team coach Terry Edwards, who has been putting the Olympic tournament arrangements together as technical operations manager, had been in formal negotiations with USA Boxing regarding the spot but ultimately declined.


Novato's Alcantara, Richmond's Lugo Back in Action Next Month

By Ryan Maquiñana

Alcantara reacts after his last win in January. (AP)

Novato's Jonathan Alcantara is back in action on May 11 against fellow featherweight Walter Sarnoi at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., per matchmaker Edward Rodriquez.

The 23-year-old Alcantara (5-7-2, 1 KO), has one of the most deceiving records in boxing, having faced undefeated fighters in nine out of his last 10 bouts.  Some of those names include hot prospects Jonathan Arellano, Jesse Magdaleno, Bruno Escalante, and Efrain Esquivias, all of whom were taken the distance.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Salinas' Rudy Puga Jr. Signs with Top Rank

By Ryan Maquiñana

Puga (fourth from left) after signing with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. (Team Revelation)

Promising light heavyweight prospect Rudy "The Revelation" Puga Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) of Salinas has signed with Top Rank, according to a report by Ryan Wallace of the Salinas Californian.

Puga, a decorated amateur and former member of Team USA, will receive compensation every month for the first two years of the contract in addition to a signing bonus he has already been given, according to his father and trainer, Rudy Sr.

Juan Ruiz New Escobedo Foe for May 12 Woodland Card

By Ryan Maquiñana

Escobedo speaks after his last win, a first-round stoppage of Lonnie Smith.

Vicente Escobedo (25-3, 15 KOs) will no longer be facing Edner Cherry on May 12 at the Woodland Community Center in Woodland, Calif.  Instead, Juan Ruiz (23-9, 7 KOs) will step up to the plate according to sources within Golden Boy, who will stage the card with Don Chargin Productions, Jorge Marron Promotions, and Paco Presents.

Hayward's Coley Wins Pro Debut; Gilroy's Loeza Stopped in Second

By Ryan Maquiñana

Coley (right) and Gonzalez show some sportsmanship after the fight. (Ben Bautista)

Hayward-based junior middleweight Aaron Coley (1-0) won his professional debut with a unanimous decision over Jason Gonzalez (0-1) at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, Calif.

"Gonzalez was no slouch," Coley told "One thing I learned about the pros is that every shot is hard.  Getting hit on top of the head without the gear, you can actually feel it in your knees. You just have to come back faster and harder, and I think I did that."

Scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice for Coley, whom USA Boxing ranked as high as sixth in the middleweight ranks as an amateur.  Nicknamed "Heavy Metal" for his day job in his father's scrap yard, Coley has represented Northern/Central California's Region 11 as the 165-pound entrant in the national championships two consecutive years.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Walnut Creek's Mendez Signs Managerial Pact with Garcia Boxing

By Ryan Maquiñana

Mendez speaks to Comcast SportsNet before the Chudinov fight.

Middleweight prospect Paul “El Gallo Negro” Mendez has signed a managerial pact with Garcia Boxing of Salinas, Calif.

“It’s a great move for me,” Mendez (7-2-1, 2 KOs) told Wednesday night. “They’ve gotten other fighters in good positions, and I want to be the next one.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Donaire Moving to July 21 Date vs. IBF Champ Mathebula?

By Ryan Maquiñnana

Mathebula has emerged as the lead candidate to fight Donaire next. (Gallo Images)

San Leandro's Nonito Donaire might be headed for a July 21 unification date with IBF junior featherweight champ Jeffrey Mathebula, according to a report from BoxingScene.

After defeating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. by split decision two months ago, Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) annexed the WBO 122-pound title to become the first Bay Area fighter to win world titles in four weight classes, and the first to win three not counting interim titles.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fairfield’s Avila Injures Back, Off Woodland Card

By Ryan Maquiñana 

Avila (left) has pulled out of a May 12 fight in Woodland. (Stephanie Trapp)

Unbeaten junior featherweight Manuel “Tino” Avila has pulled out of the May 12 card in Woodland due after sustaining injuries from a car accident.

“It actually happened a month ago, but I kept it quiet to see if I could recover in time for the show,” Avila (7-0, 2 KOs) said. “I was driving on the street, and when I stopped, some girl in a Dodge Truck was texting while driving and rear-ended my Honda Civic. Then that pushed me into a [GMC] Yukon.”

Escobedo vs. Cherry 5/12 in Woodland Pending Medicals

By Ryan Maquiñana

Escobedo (left) will likely face Cherry on May 12. (Ethan Miller, Justin Stone)

Sources have advised that pending medical approval, Edner Cherry is slated to make an immediate return on May 12 to face junior lightweight contender Vicente Escobedo in the main event for TeleFutura’s Solo Boxeo in Woodland, Calif.

Cherry (30-6-1, 16 KOs), from Wauchula, Fla., via Nassau, Bahamas, escaped with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Martinez in last Saturday’s Solo Boxeo headiner. He is meeting with a doctor today to be examined.

Meanwhile, Escobedo (25-3, 15 KOs) will come back to his hometown for the second straight time. In March, the longtime lightweight turned 130-pounder decked Lonnie Smith three times in the first round en route to an emphatic stoppage win, also on Solo Boxeo.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Griffin Returns May 3rd for Regional Title Shot vs. Agnew

By Ryan Maquiñana

Griffin comes back on May 3. (Team Griffin)

Sacramento-based light heavyweight contender Otis "Triple O.G." Griffin is scheduled to challenge Cedric Agnew for a regional belt on May 3 in Dallas, Texas.

The 34-year-old Griffin (23-9-2, 9 KOs) is coming off a fiasco in Montreal, Canada, where he and local promoter Yvon Michel came to a heated disagreement regarding terms to fight Eleider Alvarez.

Now the WBC USNBC regional belt will be on the line, and a win for the former San Jose SaberCat against Chicago's Agnew (22-0, 13 KOs) would break a three-bout losing stretch.

"Triple O.G." will be a live underdog. While the 25-year-old Agnew is unbeaten, he is untested.

Despite victories over former world title challenger Rubin Williams and veteran Daniel Judah, both were on lengthy losing streaks.  A closer look at Agnew's record reveals that only seven of his 22 opponents had winning records at the time of their respective meetings with him; out of those seven, only four had more than two total wins.

The news was first reported by Rich KO.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sellout Crowd in Burlingame Views 650 Show; Full Results!

By Ryan Maquiñana

(From left to right) Croft, Morton, and Lopez enjoyed a triumphant Saturday. (Casey Morton)

By all accounts, Saturday night's "650 Show" was a smashing success, as over 500 fans packed the Machinists Hall in Burlingame to watch an entertaining card of amateurs, according to B Street owner/trainer Eddie Croft, whose club hosted the event.

"I am excited and humbled by the great turnout last night," Croft said.  "I love our sport, and I am proud to be a part of Northern California's boxing legacy."

The show was filled with local talent.  Four fighters who recently competed in the USA Boxing Northern California Championships took the ring, including junior welterweight Ali Ahmed (Dreamland, San Jose) and heavyweight Mike Marshall (Westside, San Mateo), who captured stoppage and decision victories, respectively.

Jessi Lopez of B Street earned Most Outstanding Boxer of the night after a points victory over the always tough southpaw Andrew Moy (445 BC, San Francisco).

"If I were to grade Jessi's performance, I would give him a B-minus," Croft added.  "Scary thought, considering he looked very sharp last night.  Going into the fight, I knew he wasn't in the best of shape.  So, I told him to stay as calm as possible, fight in sharp spurts, and trust his talent.

"When his conditioning, technical skill, and experience level catch up with his talent he will be something special."

Salazar Decisions Ayala; Full Results from Fresno!

By Ryan Maquiñana
Salazar added another win to his total.

In a battle of two of California's best amateur bantamweights at Fresno's Velarde Gym, Gary Salazar sent his hometown fans home happy by winning on all three cards over Sacramento's Mario Ayala for a final score of 3-0.

Salazar was also voted best senior boxer of the show.  Ayala will have a chance to avenge his defeat when the 123-pounders meet again in Sacramento two weeks from now on the 28th.

"It was a beautiful fight," said Ayala's trainer, Marty Chima, who was unhappy with the result.  "Mario clearly won but Gary got the hometown decision."

The massive card featured almost 30 bouts that included several former state Silver Gloves medalists from Northern and Central California.

Special thanks to CCA head Armando Mancinas and Robert Fernandez for supplying the results.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Fairfield's Sanchez Shocks Reyes with First-Round TKO on ESPN!

By Ryan Maquiñana

In an absolute shocker, Fairfield’s Alan Sanchez delivered a first-round technical knockout of former conqueror Artemio Reyes at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas Friday night.  

RELATED: Big bout for blue-collar Sanchez

After a cautious opening minute, a thudding right uppercut from Sanchez (10-2-1, 4 KOs) suddenly had Reyes (15-2, 12 KOs) backpedaling into the ropes.

The Bay Area fighter subsequently took advantage of his foe’s waning condition, throwing a relentless series of right hands upstairs that would eventually floor a vulnerable Reyes and prompt referee Joe Cortez to stop the fight.

The official time was 2:08.


Ayala-Salazar Heads Saturday Amateur Showcase in Fresno

By Ryan Maquiñana

Sacramento's Ayala (left) meets Salazar in Fresno on Saturday.

Fresno's Velarde Boxing Gym will host an amateur show Saturday featuring several tantalizing matchups, including a clash between two of the top bantamweights in California--Sacramento's Mario Ayala and Fresno's Gary Salazar.

"I would like to fight the best bantamweights out there," Ayala told  "In order to be the best you have to fight the best, and I believe Gary is one of the best out there. I believe it's going to be a tough fight. Gary brings his A-Game to every fight and I will have to do the same."

Daly City's Julaton Returns May 4 in Mexico vs. Segura

By Ryan Maquiñana

Daly City's Ana Julaton will return to the ring on May 4 against Yolanda Segura on May 4 in Kanasin, Yucatan, Mex.

The 31-year-old Julaton (10-3-1, 1 KO) is coming off a decision loss to Yesica Marcos (19-0-1, 6 KOs) in Argentina in March that cost the Bay Area fighter her WBO junior featherweight world title.

Segura (8-3, 7 KOs), from Tamaulipas, Mex., scored a second-round stoppage of Erika Gonzalez in March.

ARTICLE (with VIDEO): CSN Bay Area Spotlight on Fairfield's Sanchez; Fights Reyes on ESPN2 Tonight!

Fairfield welterweight Alan Sanchez faces Artemio Reyes on ESPN Friday Night Fights tonight (8 p.m. PT). A true 99-percenter, Alan works a double-duty day job of both cook and dishwasher at a chicken restaurant six days a week to make a living.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Andre Ward's Plans May Shift Due to Showtime 6/2 Card

By Ryan Maquiñana

Ward, flanked by Goossen (left) and trainer Virgil Hunter (right) may not fight in June after all. (Alexis Cuarezma)

Dan Goossen, promoter of unified super middleweight champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, addressed a recent report that his fighter’s return was slated for June 2 at Oracle Arena in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.

“No, it’s not finalized just yet,” Goossen told Wednesday afternoon.

Showtime’s recent announcement to hold a quadruple-header on the same date featuring Antonio Tarver’s cruiserweight battle with Lateef Kayode in Carson, Calif., has certainly affected Team Ward’s outlook on when the reigning World Fighter of the Year will make his much-anticipated homecoming.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hayward's Coley Turns Pro Apr. 20 in Southern California vs. Gonzalez

By Ryan Maquiñana

Hayward's Aaron Coley will join the professional ranks on April 20 at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, Calif., where he is scheduled to face converted kickboxer Jason Gonzalez in a middleweight bout, per matchmaker Edward Rodriquez.

"A lot of guys have been pulling out left and right, so we'll see if it's the same guy come fight night," trainer Ben Bautista said.  "Either way, we're excited to be heading to Montebello for Aaron's debut."

Coley, nicknamed "Heavy Metal" due to his raw punching power and his day job at his father's scrap yard, has been working on his craft diligently at SFC Boxing in downtown San Francisco.  Ranked as high as sixth in the nation in the 165-pound middleweight division by USA Boxing, the former Central Pacific Regional champion will aim for even bigger prizes in the pros.

Gilroy junior welterweight Alonso Loeza (1-4-1, 1 KO) will also see action against Jaime Ocegueda Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs).

For my feature story on Aaron last summer, click this link. 

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

*This is a legal waiver. By copying and using the material from this article, you agree to give full credit to or provide a link to the original article.

The 650 Show Comes to Burlingame This Saturday (Bout Sheet)

By Ryan Maquiñana

San Mateo-based B Street Boxing will hold "The 650 Show" at Machinists Hall in Burlingame this Saturday at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door or by calling Eddie Croft at (650) 279-4490.

The amateur card has 13 scheduled fights in all and includes four fighters who recently competed in the USA Boxing Northern California Championships.  Here's the bout sheet below:

Monday, April 9, 2012

POSTER: Mayfield vs. Serrano May 18th in Albany, N.Y.

By Ryan Maquiñana

As stated last month on, San Francisco's Karim Mayfield (15-0-1, 9 KOs) will defend his regional junior welterweight belt for the first time on May 18th in Albany, N.Y. against Raymond Serrano (18-0, 8 KOs).

The bout will be the televised main event for ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."

Thanks to Mayfield's trainer, Ben Bautista, for the poster image.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lopez, Ambrosio, Valdivia Earn Mexican National Team Tryout with Mex Games Wins

By Ryan Maquiñana

With a formal Mexican national team tryout on the line, a combined six fighters from Northern and Central California fought their hearts out in the 2012 Mex Games finals at the Long Beach Hilton on Saturday.

A pair of Fresno fighters out of the Main Event Boxing Gym, Efren "Chico" Lopez (123 lbs. J.O.) and Luis Ambrosio (123 lbs. Open), emerged victorious in their respective weight classes.  Lopez defeated Anthony Zavala while Ambrosio beat Humberto Ruvalcaba.

A third Central fighter, Bakersfield PAL's Daniel Valdivia, outpointed Bryan Rangel to win his 165-pound Open middleweight showdown.  He will add the gold medal to his 2011 National PAL title.

San Jose State's Gomez National Welterweight Champ; Cal's Ramos Loses Middleweight Final (Plus Full College Results!)

By Ryan Maquiñana

Gomez (left) will bring a national title back to San Jose State. (Team Gomez)

San Jose State's Oscar Gomez became the school's third national champion in four years with a 3-2 decision victory over Navy's R.J. Garcia in the National Collegiate Boxing Association welterweight (147 lbs.) final Saturday afternoon at the Air Force Academy campus in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"He was a pitbull," Gomez said of his opponent.  "I saw his last fight, and he was like me, very aggressive.  I tried to match the number of punches he threw, went to the body, hit him from angles, and I turned him as much as possible. I was picking up the pace, especially in the later rounds, and the gameplan worked."

Two years ago, the senior from South San Francisco found himself in the Final Four only to settle for bronze.  This time, he approached the NCBA national tournament with unfinished business on his mind.

Friday, April 6, 2012

SJSU's Gomez, Cal's Ramos One Win Away from National Title

By Ryan Maquiñana
SJSU's Gomez is one victory away from a national title. (Team Gomez)

A pair of Bay Area college fighters are just one win away from national titles as a result of their triumphant performances Friday afternoon in the NCBA National Championship semifinals, which took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., on the Air Force campus.

Clean Sweep for Local Fighters in Mex Games Semifinals

By Ryan Maquiñana

Vences (right) thumped his way to Saturday's final. (Team Vences)

Northern and Central California fighters enjoyed an unbeaten afternoon at the Long Beach Hilton, winning all four of their scheduled semifinal bouts.  A pair of Fresno fighters--Efren "Chico" Lopez (123 lbs. J.O.) and Luis Ambrosio (123 lbs. Open)--advanced, as well as San Jose's Andy Vences (132 lbs. Open) and Bakersfield's Daniel Valdivia (165 lbs. Open).

CSN Bay Area Spotlight: Ava Knight, Raquel Miller, Mex Games, College Boxing Results & More!

By Ryan Maquiñana
My latest for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area: Anything you wanted to know about Northern California Boxing this week is in my piece, from Ava Knight's first title defense, to Raquel Miller's trip to Canada, to the 2012 Mex Games, and even some College Boxing National Championship results! Please hit "Recommend" or "Like" at the top of the article to show your support of boxing in mainstream media!

The Greatest High School Outfield of All-Time

By Ryan Maquiñana

(From right to left) Robinson, Flood, and Pinson roamed the McClymonds outfield once upon a time.

The greatest high school outfield ever came from Oakland in the form of the 1953 McClymonds Warriors. 

Between the trio of Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, and Vada Pinson, one will find 21 All-Star selections, nine Gold Gloves, four World Series rings, two League MVP Awards, and a mountain of accolades. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Miller Heads to Canada for Women's Continental Championships

By Ryan Maquiñana

Miller (second from right) and her teammates are ready for Canada. (Gloria Peek)

San Francisco's Raquel Miller has completed a week of training with Team USA in Colorado Springs and now heads to Cornwall, Canada, for the 2012 Women's Continental Championships, which take place Wednesday through Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be able to fight different countries and to find out different looks," she told last month (VIDEO here).  "I just want to be able to go out there and win, and represent for my country."

Redwood City's Partida Scores First Win in Pomona

By Ryan Maquiñana
Partida enjoys his first pro win. (Redwood City Gladiators)

Junior lightweight Jesus Partida (1-0-1) battled his way to his first win as a professional by taking a majority decision against Carlos Gonzalez (0-1) at the Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona last Saturday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Zamudio Earns First Pro Victory, Balestra Trades Knockdowns in Defeat

By Ryan Maquiñana

Zamudio (right) was undeterred by Fernandez' prefight stare. (Edward Rodriquez)

A pair of NorCal fighters, Sacramento welterweight Nick Balestra and San Francisco junior welterweight Jhonnathan Zamudio, took the ring in separate bouts Saturday night in Tacoma, Wash., at the Emerald Queen Casino with mixed results. 

Knight Stops Tor Buamas in 10th, Retains Title

By Ryan Maquiñana
Knight (right) rips Tor Buamas with a left hook to the body.

Ava "The Lady of Boxing" Knight (8-1-3, 5 KOs) successfully defended her IBF flyweight title for the first time with a 10th-round stoppage of Thailand's Hongfah Tor Buamas (15-5, 2 KOs) at the Gimnasio Auditorio in Los Cabos, Mexico.