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Thursday, January 31, 2013

National Silver Gloves, Day One: Flores, Castro Advance

By Ryan Maquiñana

Region 11 went 2-1 in the opening day of action. (Sheldon Callum)



12-13 age division, 85 lbs.: Marc Castro (Fresno PAL) dec. Isayah Rolandson (Duluth, MN)

12-13 age division, 85 lbs.: Gabriel Flores (Los Gallos, Stockton) dec. Khalid Johnson (Greenville, SC)

14-15 age division, 95 lbs.: Basil Nasser (Detroit, MI) dec. Fernando Venegas (Golden State Bloodhounds, Sacramento)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Escalante Headlines Mar. 8 Card in Redwood City

By Ryan Maquiñana

Escalante will open the year in Redwood City. (Sean McDonough)

San Carlos junior bantamweight prospect Bruno Escalante (6-1-1, 3 KOs) will headline a show at the Fox Theater in Redwood City on March 8.  The opponent has yet to be determined, but promoter Don Chargin informed that a bevy of local fighters will appear on the card, including S.F. junior welterweight Jonathan Chicas (8-1, 4 KOs), San Bruno cruiserweight Joe Gumina (4-1, 2 KOs), and S.F. middleweight Ricardo Pinell (1-0-1, 1 KO).

Escalante has already taken to Twitter to announce the news:'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, his archive for, 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.

This Week in NorCal Boxing: Donaire-Rigondeaux, Knight-Vazquez II, Mahmutovic

By Ryan Maquiñana

My latest for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's THIS WEEK IN NORCAL BOXING:

-Nonito Donaire Jr. on negotiations to fight Rigondeaux
-Ava Knight's rematch against Susana Vazquez
-Ben Bautista's Champ Nation card moved
-Suray Mahmutovic named NorCal Boxer of the Week


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Donaire Comments on Proposed Rigondeaux Clash

By Ryan Maquiñana

Rigondeaux and Donaire appear to be headed for a collision course on Apr. 27 (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Junior featherweight world champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. spoke to Thursday afternoon regarding a proposed April 27 fight with Cuban 122-pound titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux on HBO.

“Everyone’s saying April 27 is the date, and it’s Rigondeaux, but I don’t know anything about it yet, so I can’t say if it’s for sure,” Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) said.  “I know HBO is wanting to get that fight now.  I’m good with it, but I still need to confirm it with [manager] Cameron [Dunkin].”

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, told’s Ronnie Nathanielsz on Wednesday that such a bout would take place in Las Vegas, and not in Macau, as was previously speculated. 


Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at, check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Te'o: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

By Ryan Maquiñana
Although's specialty is the sweet science, I'm going to chime in with my take on the developments surrounding Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and his nonexistent girlfriend that USA Today has succinctly summarized:

Silence is generally golden, but not in the instance of Manti Te'o.

What Deadspin wrought Wednesday afternoon has already evolved into a fable so incredible, so virally insatiable, that if its central figure took the Fifth, it would only exacerbate things.  The reason is when people want to know the "why" but don't yet have that in their possession, they will fill in the blanks with their own theories until they do--and that's a dangerous proposition for Te'o, who clearly cares about his image.

As a result, I expect the big news outlets, all of whom were fooled beyond belief (and have been chastised for spectacularly failing to do a diligent job in researching the tale's veracity) to come out angrily at the Notre Dame linebacker with guns blazing.  Fair or not, they will be chock-full of bloodlust hoping to carve the truth out of the turkey Te'o has provided so far.

Te'o's family members will be hounded, his teammates will be grilled, and any of his friends or acquaintances in Hawai'i will be milked for any drop of information these investigative reporters can procure.  (So if that includes you, better double-check the address book on your cell phone and refrain from answering unlisted numbers.)

If Te'o really was the victim of an cruel, "elaborate" plot, as both he and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick claimed Wednesday night, then the Heisman runner-up needs to fortify his case-in-chief with more evidence and endure this pickle with faith in the fans to acquit him in the court of public opinion.

But from my perspective, if Te'o did in fact participate in the ruse willingly, I think the best option he has at this point is to own it and come 100 percent with the truth ASAP.  There's nothing he did here (that we know of) that could land him behind bars, and while ethically distasteful to make up a whopper about a "girlfriend" dying of cancer, it's nothing that would legally bar him from playing football ever again.

Moreover, he still has his whole pro career in front of him to excel on the field and make fans forget about this transgression.  Besides, any further decrease in his NFL draft stock due to character issues will be inevitable regardless of what he does now.  (Maybe Te'o can chalk it up to immaturity, but that would be a pretty weak argument.)

I will say this, with the recent news surrounding Lance Armstrong in mind.  The longer the details of the story linger in the air ambiguously, the longer they will fester in the public consciousness, and in turn, the more fanciful the conspiracy theories that can be conjured up and hurled into the maelstrom.  In this particular scenario where Te'o's desired endgame is surely forgiveness from the general public, the more monstrous the circus, the more difficult that objective will be to achieve. 

Therefore, the quicker Te'o comes clean, the quicker he will be able to sweep this embarrassing episode under the rug, though I admit that it will be akin to hiding an elephant turd under a sheet of Saran Wrap.  Personally I think the kid made an egregious error--but not one in the realm of fully irreparable if he makes the right moves, especially in light of how imperfect athletes are as role models time and time again.  But I digress.

Like I said earlier, aside from the Deadspin piece, as devastatingly damaging as it was to his reputation, this is just the beginning.  As long as demand exists for the latest on Te'o, then the memes will exponentially multiply.  The punchlines will continue to flow like machine gun fire.  (For one,  Armstrong might want to send him a thank-you card for shifting the attention away from his own scandal.)

Worst of all for Manti Te'o, media bigwigs from managing editors to TV producers have undoubtedly begun to apply pressure on their attack dogs to dig up the next bombshell in this mesmerizing drama.  And when they sink their respective teeth into him, he might wish he spoke up and proactively framed the narrative before they did.'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, his archive for, 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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mahmutovic, Trejo, Sanchez Make Team USA Roster for Worlds

By Ryan Maquiñana

Suray Mahmutovic was named the Outstanding Boxer of the tournament. (Rob Fernandez)

A trio of Region 11 boxers earned spots on Team USA for the AIBA Junior Men's World Championships after emerging victorious at the Junior World Team Open in Reno.

Suray Mahmutovic (415 B.C., San Francisco) took home Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament after his dominant 23-8 victory over Matthew Hernandez of Texas in the 176-pound final.

"We wanted to take the early lead so that Hernandez would have no choice but to keep coming forward, and it worked out for us," said Rob Fernandez, Mahmutovic's coach.  "I was still telling Suray to pump his jab because [Hernandez] was going to try to land the right hand over the top.

Evan Sanchez won the 110-pound final. (Omar Sanchez)
"Everyone knows Suray's tall, but I think his athleticism surprised a lot of people.  Yesterday he was on the ropes against the shorter man, and still was able to slip under the punches.  He dominated both fights, and he's a great kid to work with.  He listens to what you tell him and he executes."

Fernandez entered the bout with a heavy heart; his father Albert died the night before following a long bout with kidney and liver issues.

"I knew my dad was living on borrowed time, and with his condition, he had beaten doctors' expectations already," he said.  "But when I got the call that he had passed, I initially thought I should've been home this weekend and spend his last few hours with him.

"I felt guilty.  It would eat me up a bit.  But I thought about it, and I know my dad would want me to be up here with the kids.  I made a commitment to them.  I'd like to think there was someone out there looking out for us tonight."

Following the victory, the newest member of Team USA wanted to show his appreciation for his coach's efforts for helping develop him from the ground floor to the penthouse.  Not bad for a 14-year-old who embraced the challenge of fighting kids in the 15-16 age range this week.

Brandon Trejo (left) was declared 138-pound champ. (Carisa Morris)
"Suray and his father, Sheldon Callum, came up to me after the fight and gave me the Outstanding Boxer trophy, and that meant a lot to me," Fernandez said.  "I'm just so proud of the kid.  He's still young, and he's not even at his peak yet.  He's definitely going to accomplish a lot more.  I told Suray he put himself on the national map tonight.  I hope it rubs off on the other kids in the gym."

Mahmutovic will be joined by Brandon Trejo (Napa SAL), who defeated Hawaii's Hunter-Gabriel Manaba 14-11 in the 138-pound final, and 110-pounder Evan Sanchez (Parlier B.C.), who downed fellow Region 11 boxer Joseph Cuellar (Tulare A.C.) by a margin of 29-19.

Reigning Junior Olympic champion Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) lost a heartbreaker to Nevada's Devin Haney in the 119-pound final.  After the judges' scores revealed a 10-10 draw, the tiebreaker went to Haney by virtue of punches counted (34-30).

Here's a snapshot of every bout this week involving Region 11 boxers, who enjoyed another successful tournament:

TUESDAY, JAN. 8, 2013
106 lbs. quarterfinals: Izaiah Bautista (Champ Nation, Oakland) def. Kevin Montano (Concord CYC), 14-14 (advanced via punches counted tiebreaker, 41-39)
119 lbs. round of 16: Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) def. Troy Isley (Virginia), 11-8

114 lbs. quarterfinals: Shakur Stevenson (New Jersey) def. Bryan Lua (Main Event, Fresno), 17-11
119 lbs. quarterfinals: Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) def. Dominic Serna (Indio), 15-7
125 lbs. quarterfinals: Xavier Martinez (Golden State Bloodhounds, Sacramento) def. Gonzalo Rodriguez (Texas), 22-18

THURSDAY, JAN. 10, 2013
106 lbs. semifinals: Freudis Rojas (Nevada) def. Izaiah Bautista (Champ Nation, Oakland), 17-9
110 lbs. semifinals: Joseph Cuellar (Tulare A.C.) def. Neketa Arabiy (New York), 17-12
110 lbs. semifinals: Evan Sanchez (Parlier B.C.) def. Timothy Longoria (Texas), 23-16
119 lbs. semifinals: Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) def. Brandon Vega (Ohio), 7-7 (25-22 tiebreaker)
125 lbs. semifinals: Michael Nelson (Ohio) def. Xavier Martinez (Golden State Bloodhounds, Sacramento), 13-9
176 lbs. semifinals: Suray Mahmutovic (415 B.C., San Francisco) def. Mario Hernandez (Nevada), 25-8

FRIDAY, JAN. 11, 2013
110 lbs. final: Evan Sanchez (Parlier B.C.) def. Joseph Cuellar (Tulare A.C.), 29-19
119 lbs. final: Devin Haney (Nevada) def. Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL), 10-10 (34-30 tiebreaker)
138 lbs. final: Brandon Trejo (Napa SAL) def. Hunter-Gabriel Manaba (Hawaii), 14-11
176 lbs. final: Suray Mahmutovic (415 B.C., San Francisco) def. Matthew Hernandez (Texas), 23-8 

MOST OUTSTANDING BOXER: Suray Mahmutovic (415 B.C., San Francisco) 

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at, check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sacramento's Dogg Pound Boxing to Hold Fundraiser Saturday

By Ryan Maquiñana

The Sacramento Dogg Pound Boxing Club will hold a fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.  Several gyms from all around Northern California will participate in sparring sessions, and Mouthpiece Guy Jeff will be on hand to provide a 10 percent discount on all custom mouthpieces, according to Dogg Pound's Marty Chima.  Dr. Cesar Banda will also be doing 2013 medical exams for $15 each.

Here's the address and phone number for the event: 6500 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95822.  (916) 595-9000.

Quartet of Region 11 Boxers Join Trejo in Reno Finals

By Ryan Maquiñana

Suray Mahmutovic is one win away from joining Team USA at the Worlds.

After Thursday night's Junior World Team Open action at the Reno Grand Sierra Resort, five Region 11 boxers now stand one win away from earning spots on Team USA for the AIBA Men's Junior World Championships.

Suray Mahmutovic (415 B.C., San Francisco) was among the local boxers leading the charge.  He advanced to Friday's 176-pound final as he collected a standing-eight count en route to a 25-8 decision over Nevada's Mario Hernandez.

"Hernandez was tough and undefeated in 2012, but Suray was able to handle him," said Rob Fernandez, Mahmutovic's coach.  "We're ready for tomorrow's final and excited for Suray, who I think has an advantage with his height and reach."

Isidro Ochoa (Fresno PAL) continued his torrid pace through the tournament, staking his spot in the 119-pound final with a razor-thin 7-7 (25-22 punches counted tiebreaker) nod over Ohio's Brandon Vega.

Region 11 will be assured of at least one champion in the 110-pound division.  Joseph Cuellar (Tulare A.C.) downed New York's Neketa Arabiy 17-12, while Evan Sanchez outworked Texas's Timothy Longoria 23-16.

In other divisional semifinal action, 125-pound Xavier Martinez (Golden State Bloodhounds, Sacramento) dropped a 13-9 decision to Ohio's Michael Nelson, while Nevada's Freudis Rojas took a 17-9 verdict over Oakland's Izaiah Bautista in the 106-pound bracket.

Brandon Trejo (Napa SAL) has received a bye and advanced straight to the 138-pound final.

Here's the current schedule of Region 11 amateurs competing in the single-elimination tournament and matchups for the finals, which can be viewed live at this link:

Brandon Gonzales in Peak Form for Friday Night Fights

By Ryan Maquiñana

Gonzales weighed in at 167.8 pounds, while Mouton came in at 164. (

Brandon Gonzales was on the cusp of establishing his presence in the middleweight division, but a series of unfortunate events put those plans on hold in 2012.

First, a ShoBox date with Caleb Truax to open last year fell apart when Gonzales tore his groin in training camp, leading to months of rehab.

Next, before his appearance on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights last June, the 28-year-old Gonzales (16-0, 10 KOs) sustained a cut over his left eye in sparring that threatened to cancel a clash against Elie Augustama.  However, the unbeaten prospect from Sacramento, Calif., had it glued shut and proceeded to take on Augustama—and the cut re-opened.

Though he would go on to post a shutout victory with trainer Virgil Hunter in his corner, Gonzales was forced out of action afterward due to the injury.  Then when negotiations fell through for one more bout upon his recovery to close the year, Gonzales found himself inactive for seven months.

On Friday night, his wait will come to an end when he meets Don Mouton (12-4-1, 10 KOs) on another ESPN2 card, with this bout occurring at the Indian School in Santa Fe, N.M. caught up with Gonzales, who has moved up to super middleweight and is primed to make an impression in 2013.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Junior World Team Open: Ochoa Tops Serna, Martinez Bests Rodriguez in Quarters

By Ryan Maquiñana
Ochoa made the biggest splash of the day by outpointing Serna. (Aleman Boxing)

Isidro Ochoa of Fresno PAL captured a 15-7 decision over Dominic Serna of Indio to advance to the 119-pound bantamweight semifinals at the Junior World Team Open in Reno's Grand Sierra Resort.

Overall, Region 11 went 2-1 Wednesday night, with Fresno Main Event's Bryan Lua falling to New Jersey's Shakur Stevenson 17-11 in a 114-pound flyweight quarterfinal; Xavier Martinez of Golden State Bloodhounds in Sacramento defeated Texas's Gonzalo Rodriguez 22-18 in a 125-pound featherweight quarterfinal.

Special thanks to Robert Fernandez for keeping updated on the action.  He currently trains Suray Mahmutovic, who competes in a 176-pound light heavyweight semifinal on Thursday against Nevada's Mario Hernandez.

Here's the current schedule of Region 11 amateurs competing in the single-elimination tournament.  No less than six locals will fight on Thursday night:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bautista, Ochoa Win Opening Bouts in Reno

By Ryan Maquiñana

Izaiah Bautista advanced to the 106-pound semifinals.

Region 11 boxers went 2-0 in the first day of the Junior World Team Open at Reno's Grand Sierra Resort.

In an all-NorCal affair, Izaiah Bautista of Oakland's Champ Nation edged out Concord CYC's Kevin Montano via punches counted tiebreaker after the judges scored their 106-pound quarterfinal bout 14-14.

Later in the night, Fresno PAL's Isidro Ochoa downed Virginia's Troy Isley 11-8 in the 119-pound bantamweight round of 16.

Bautista-Montano, Ochoa-Isley to Kick Off Junior World Team Open

By Ryan Maquiñana

Fresno's Isidro Ochoa is aiming for a spot on Team USA.

In an all-NorCal affair, Izaiah Bautista of Oakland's Champ Nation and Kevin Montano of Concord's CYC will meet in Tuesday's light flyweight (106 lbs.) quarterfinals at the Inaugural Junior World Team Open in Reno.  Fresno PAL's Isidro Ochoa will also fight on Tuesday against Virginia's Troy Isley in the bantamweight (119 lbs.) round of 16.

The Grand Sierra Resort will play host to the tournament, which concludes on Friday and whose male winners will advance to the AIBA Junior Men's World Championships, where the age range is 15-16 years old.  Each session begins at 6 p.m. and can be viewed online by clicking here.  The full tournament stream goes for $14.95 per USA Boxing.

Here's the current schedule of Region 11 amateurs competing in the single-elimination tournament:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ward's Shoulder Surgery a Success

By Ryan Maquiñana
Ward will return to the ring before the end of the year. (Squint Photos)

Super middleweight world champion Andre Ward underwent successful surgery to repair a small tear in his right shoulder capsule this past Friday, his publicist Julie Goldsticker informed


FULL RESULTS: 2013 Region 8 Silver Gloves

By Ryan Maquiñana

Stockton's Gabriel Flores won Outstanding Boxer. (David Owens)

The Victory Park Center Gym in Pasadena housed the 2013 Region 8 Silver Gloves this past weekend.  Young amateurs from the Pacific and Southwest assembled in Southern California to determine who would move on to the National Silver Gloves from Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 in Independence, Mo. would like to offer special thanks to Rick Cervantes and Melanie Ley for providing the results.  Congratulations to all the participants and good luck to the winners at Nationals!

Pinell Scores Comeback TKO, Earns First Pro Win

By Ryan Maquiñana

Pinell (right) showed his resiliency in a second-round stoppage of Gardner. (Ernie Sabbo)

San Francisco-based southpaw Ricardo Pinell (1-0-1, 1 KO) rose from the canvas in round one and stopped Daryl Gardner (1-1, 1 KO) in the second round Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington.

Pinell, 159.5, a two-time San Francisco Golden Gloves champion, notched his first victory as a pro against Gardner, 160.  Official time was 2:34.

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at, check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Glenn Donaire, Mercito Gesta to Appear at Milpitas Boxing Sunday

By Ryan Maquiñana

World title challengers Glenn Donaire and Mercito Gesta will appear at Milpitas Boxing & Fitness from noon-4 p.m. Sunday.  The gym is celebrating its first anniversary since opening at 1535 Seasons at Landess Avenue.  The two Filipino fighters will be signing autographs, and there will be free food and drinks.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Local Amateurs Vie for Trip to AIBA Junior Men's Worlds

By Ryan Maquiñana

Izaiah Bautista of Oakland's Champ Nation will compete at 106 pounds.

A total of 10 amateurs from Region 11 are scheduled to compete in the inaugural Junior World Team Open next week in Reno.  Here's an excerpt from USA Boxing's press release along with the local hopefuls that will be vying for a trip to the AIBA Junior Men's World Championships: