SAN DIEGO, February 18, 2017 – Boxing fans aspire to see the biggest names in the top venues like Madison Square Garden in New York, the T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the Staples Center and The Forum in Los Angeles, and the big houses like AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Wembley Stadium in London, soon to host 90,000 fans for the heavyweight fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua in April.
But for many hardcore fans, watching rising stars in small club venues has a special charm, and can be equally exciting. Fans are close together and close to the action. Years later, you can brag to your pals, “I saw this guy fight back when he was starting out.”
Oscar De La Hoya gets it, and Golden Boy Promotions has made his LA Fight Club series at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles a significant attraction for boxing fans. It gives Golden Boy the opportunity to put its prospects in the ring and rack up rounds against solid competition.
Enjoy scenes from Friday night’s card courtesy of Communities Digital News photographer Mickie Bonilla, along with Marlene Marquez of Pound4Pound courtesy Golden Boy Promotions.
Roberto “Tito” Manzanarez (34-1, 28 KOs) of Mexico, now based in Phoenix, Arizona enjoyed a solid American debut, stopping Gamaliel “El Plátano” Diaz (40-16-3, 19 KOs) at 2:23 of Round 4. Manzanarez dominated Diaz with speed and superior skills, stopping Diaz with a left hook to the body that brought Diaz to his knees.
“There’s a big difference between fighting in the U.S. and in Mexico, fighting here was a dream come true of mine, and I hope I get more opportunities to do so,” said Manzanarez.
In the co-main event, Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (4-0, 3 KOs) of San Diego won a shutout unanimous decision against Alejandro Ochoa (7-13-2, 1 KO) of Bell Gardens, California. Just 21 years old and a rising star in the style of his role model De La Hoya, Gamez went the distance for the first time as a professional after three straight first-round knockouts. Gamez scored a knockdown in the first round and continued to show the heavy handed punching power fans are getting to know. In the end, the judges all awarded the undefeated Gamez the fight with scores of 60-54.
Prior to the bout in an interview with Communities Digital News, the confident Gamez said, “Last year it was a just a little warmup, a little something. I hope I can be in the ring more and more so you can see my talent. My goal is to make it my year. What I want to do this year is go more rounds. That’s what I want, more rounds. The more I have, the better I become. I adapt to any fighter. I have demonstrated that in sparring and I can do way better in fights.”
Gamez, who calls De La Hoya his role model for his accomplishment both inside the ring and outside the ring as a promoter and businessman, exudes youthful confidence. “As a boxer I am ready to become a world champion starting today. I want to show all the people the talent I have. I think God gives talent to certain people, and I’m one. I’m not being cocky, I’m being honest.
“This was the first time going all six rounds, which was a great experience for me,” said Gamez. “He took a lot of hard punches from me and I took a lot from him. I wanted another knockout, but considering that this is my first fight in a couple of months, I’ll take this win. I am ready for another fight soon, so you will certainly see me back in action.”
Local Los Angeles favorite Tenochtitlan “T-Dog” Nava (5-0, 1 KO) fought four rough rounds against Thomas Smith (3-4-1, 2 KOs) of New Orleans. Neither man let up, but Nava eventually wore down Smith round by round. Scores were 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37 for Nava. Nava’s many supporters who call themselves the “Marching Skulls” from Westside Boxing were on hand for the win.
Professional boxing takes place every week across the United States in smaller venues and clubs. If you aren’t sure where to find these events, visit the website BoxRec.com and click on the schedule which lists all professional fight cards around the world in date order. Get some friends together and take in the action.
If you don’t have these events near you, enjoy the action from the LA Fight Club live online at RingTV.com See the schedule on the Golden Boy Promotions website for upcoming events.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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