Amateurs & Pros Featured in 2-Day Event
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It was another sweltering day in L.A. but the tough team of pro fighters and amateur boxers didn’t let the harsh rays of the afternoon sun get in their way. A talented group of pugilists all showcased their skills at the kickoff for Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions’ two-day bash scheduled for October 5 and 6 at the Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona, California.
I caught up with the hearty crew at the weekend’s outdoor workout held at the Luna Mexican Restaurant in North Hollywood. Check out my exclusive report from the day with snapshots of this fresh bunch of young boxers!
Saturday was the promotional tour kickoff for their back to back October 5 amateur night and October 6 pro boxing show. These upcoming events are presented by Shane Mosley Promotions and Diamond’s Love Foundation–and it’s all for a great cause. I encourage all of you to come out and join the team at the fights, which will benefit Susan G. Konen and the American Cancer Society, while honoring families who have lost loved ones.
Like everyone else, I have lost many friends and family to this deadly disease. Reaching to help others, the Mosley Boxing Team is choosing to fight back in this “KO Cancer: Boxing For a Cure” next month (October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month).
All the athletes and trainers I spoke to at the open workout were anticipating this exciting ground-breaking event. October 6 will be the first-ever live fight promotion for champion Shane Mosley’s boxing company. While “Sugar” Shane was in Oakland for the Ward-Dawson bout, representing Team Mosley was the champ’s father/trainer Jack Mosley, Shane’s sister Cerena Mosley-Prude, Saray Pena Lafaurie, Shante Hall, Katarina De La Cruz, Tracey Mabe and Omega Mabe. This is one hard working–and multi-tasking–team, involved with both the boxing promotional outfit as well as the Diamond’s Love Foundation.
Up in the ring, the fighters were announced to the crowd as they hit the mitts. There was a meet and greet and prize raffle to round out the day.
All of the prizefighters were extremely proud to take part in the event.
Female fighter Katarina De La Cruz is especially looking forward to the October fights; her teenage son Ole Arias will also be fighting on the amateur card. De La Cruz faced off with her opponent Blanca Raymundo, in attendance along with pro fighters Holly Lawson, Xavier Montelongo Jr., and Michael “El Unico” Ruiz Jr.
Fresno’s Ruiz Jr. is training in Los Angeles now with former champ Israel Vazquez at the El Magnifico Gym in South Gate. He had a chance to reconnect with fighters he knew from the amateurs including Montelongo Jr. Ruiz Jr. looked strong and ready at the workout, campaigning at 115 in his next bout.
And both former amateur star Xavier Montelongo Jr. and Holly “Lil Bear” Lawson have a very busy schedule on tap. Xavier has two fights lined up on September 22 (Oxnard) and October 6 (Pomona) as does the Shadeed Suluki-trained Lawson, lacing up on September 20 (Florentine Gardens in Hollywood) and October 6 (Pomona). Both boxers wanted to participate in the Mosley fundraising show, battling for a good cause. The main event of this pro show will be a clash between Kaliesha West and Christina Ruiz.
There will also be additional Mosley promo tour events later this month in Moreno Valley, Pomona and Los Angeles where fans can meet the amateurs and pros.
During Saturday’s celebration, I had the chance to visit with the pros and over a dozen amateur fighters and their trainers including coaches Jack Mosley, Mike Kidd, Adam Thompson, Manny Ramos, Ralph Romero and young boxers Ole Arias, Dustin Lara, Andrew Angelcor, Christian Aguilar, Ray Garcia, Francisco Cortez, Shawn Watson, Martin Urias, and Andrew Estrada. Andrew is the brother of 2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada) making his pro debut in the heavyweight ranks.
Andrew told me he can’t wait for his pro debut. He and his brother Patrick Estrada told me all they Estrada boys fought each other growing up and it’s exciting for Andrew to now be joining the professional ranks along with older bro, Shawn.
Amateurs Michael Norato and Dustin Lara are also looking forward to the October 5 fisticuffs. Both train with Joe Zanders and Adam Thompson (“Coach Adams”) at Long Beach’s Sportscene gym. The LB team had a large group of supporters coming out to cheer on their favorite young champs.
Check out the scene at the sizzling workout for Shane Mosley Promotions as they get ready to help knockout cancer!
Photos by Michele Chong
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