Warriors Combat Academy a Big Hit!
Southland amateurs laced up this past weekend at the USA Boxing hosted by the Warzone Boxing Club in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The 11-bout card took place at the Warriors Combat Academy (WCA Gym) and featured amateur hopefuls ranging in age from 8 to 25.
This was the second show of a special back-to-back schedule of weekend events presented by Warzone. The first show was co-promoted by Ventura KO Boxing Club; this second installment was put on by Team Franco and Warzone BC.
During a break in the action, I caught up with gym owners, trainer Al Franco and his son, pro fighter Michael “Lil Warrior” Franco. Mike and his younger brother, Daniel “Twitch” Franco, are both professional boxers and also trainers with the amateur kids.
Many clubs from the area came out to get a match including young pugilists from Warzone, II Feathers, Villegas Park, Highlanders, Capital Punishment, Riverside Lincoln, Grampa’s and more. There were many close bouts and standing-eight counts involved in battle.
Also in attendance at Saturday’s show were professional prizefighters Jonathan Arellano and Richard Contreras and California Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Willy Silva. Amateur standout Anthony Garcia also came out to the gym to cheer on his Villegas Park buddies. Fighting in the 10-11 age category and 55 pound weight division, Garcia just won the prestigious 2012 National Silver Gloves Tournament in Kansas City. Garcia and his trainer Jack Hernandez were there to catch Ruben Meza, Andrew Tinajerd and Noel Leon in action.
This show was well organized due in part to the hard-working team of volunteers at the gym.
Team Franco member Bubba Lara told me the parents and amateurs all pitch in to volunteer their time to make sure the events run efficiently. The cornerman had his 13-year-old daughter, Adrianne, also there in support and giving her time at the Warzone show.
Lara also took time to give a shout out to two integral members of the club and gym.
“Without Al Franco this would not be happening. Both he and Mike put in their time and money with this,” Lara says. “That’s true dedication–and it’s all for the kids!”
Al’s wife Teresa and their daughter Vanessa were another pair of helping hands at the weekend competition.
And Team Franco also had a good day with all of their sluggers winning their contests.
We’re three for three,” Coach Al says with a smile. “We had three fighting today and they all won their bouts.” Yuri Marquez, Dominic Cordova and Darren Bender were the trio of victors representing Warzone.
Congrats to all the combatants and check out some snapshots from the day!
Photos by Michele Chong
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