Shane Mosley Hosts Weekend Event!
Boxing fans are a hearty group. A tough and dedicated group willing to battle the rainstorms–and willing to “give up” watching the exciting NFL playoffs in order to watch the next generation of future champs lace up at Sunday’s “Pomona Pride” Amateur Boxing Show.
Grabbing a thick sweater and a warm scarf, I also chose the sweet science over the pigskin playoffs (with the results pitting Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning in a classic Super Bowl showdown!) to check out “Sugar” Shane Mosley and his sister Cerena Mosley-Prude’s 1st Annual “Pomona Pride” Community Event at the Pomona Civic Center. The gala benefited the Diamond’s Love Foundation, named after the champs 3-year-old nephew who passed away in 1988.
The three-day festivities kicked off on Friday with a carnival for the attendees. While they had to adjust to the rain during Saturday’s events, the weather remained clear during Sunday’s big amateur show. “We’ve had a really great turnout,” Cerena told me at her post at the entrance. “And everybody’s really excited about the boxing show today!”
Who says boxing is a dying sport?
The tent where trainers, fighters, and officials met to make the 26 matchups was a hotbed of activity.
With so many young amateurs all hungry for a fight, there weren’t enough matches to go around, which often happens in the sport. There were some heated discussions to get on the bout board and half the battle spent was in just getting a match. But for the lucky 52 boxers who were paired up, they were looking to add another victory on their road to the Olympics or pros.
The USA Boxing officials were kept busy with the large crowd, all clamoring for a fight. This is one hard-working crew who volunteer their time for youth boxing. Dick Jones, Delilah Rico, Henry Garcia, Sharon Sands, Anthony Sands, Melanie Ley, Ray Chavez, Greg Fajardo, Lisa Sanchez Fajardo are just a few from USAB, who kept on their toes in keeping the bouts running smoothly.
Besides Shane Mosley, a mulitple world champ, there were several other notables in the crowd taking in the sights at the outdoor show.
WBC Super Bantam Champ Paul Banke, 2008 Olympian Javier Molina, Carlos Molina, female pro fighter Katarina De La Cruz, Sal Casillas, trainers Jack Mosley, Clemente Medina (Abner Mares), Pomona’s Mike Kidd, Bernard Roberts and Ray Garcia, boxing coach/sculptor Steve Harpst, “Laced Up” and Camarillo Boxing’s Mike Bradburn and new pro fighter St. Louis’ Derrick Murray, who was with colorful boxing manager “Repo Rick” were some of the familiar faces at the fundraising show.
“I’m very proud of Shane and what he’s done for the community too,” Ricky Steve (better known as “Repo Rick”) told me. He has known the family since the ’70s when they were growing up in Pomona and has watched Mosley reach the heights of success.
Now it’s the next generation of pugs on the come up.
I met one of the youngest pugilists, little Jesika Guerra, an 8-year-old cutie fighting out of Rialto’s Elite Boxing. Nowadays, there are a slew of females who want to box. They may wear pink and have their hair up in ponytails, but the desire to fight is just as strong as their rugged male counterparts. Guerra, who already earned a championship belt, is one example of the new generation to come.
I chatted with many second-generation talents, including Shane Mosley Jr., 21 years old. “Sugar” Shane’s son is trained by his grandfather, Jack Mosley, and fought that day in a rousing bout. Shane Jr. said he was enjoying the historic three-day event. “Shane Jr.’s fight was great!” professional prizefighter Katarina De La Cruz commented, “and my son won his bout and did great too.”
Mexican warrior Hector “Torero” Lopez’s two sons Hector Lopez Jr. and Adam Lopez were also in attendance. Lopez Sr. passed away last year but his kids are carrying on in his name and carving out their own victories in the ring. Paul Banke’s nephew, also named Paul Banke, is an amateur fighter as is Katarina De La Cruz’s 16-year-old son. And the boxing brothers, Carlos Molina and Javier Molina, were there to cheer on their young cousin, Danny Ramirez (training out of Hawaiian Gardens), who got the show off with a bang in a great Bout #1 between Ramirez and Durango’s Kevin Watts.
There were also some “championship” proud parents at the fights too. Officials Henry Garcia (father of amateur stars Ryan and Sean Garcia), Delilah Rico (mother of top amateurs Denise Rico and Damien Rico) and Ray Chavez (father of former amateur standout Michael Chavez) are a dedicated trio who love the sport.
The amateur circuit is thriving, as evidence by the huge popularity and standing-room only turnout of local shows such as these.
In these exclusive snapshots, check out what went down at the first-ever “Pomona Pride” boxing show!
Photos by Michele Chong