Meet Katarina De La Cruz & Olé Arias
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In boxing there have been many father/son combos like Julio Cesar Chavez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
., Floyd Mayweather Sr
. and Floyd Mayweather Jr., Hector “Macho” Camacho and Hector Camacho Jr., among many others. There are several siblings that have been involved in the sport like Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Ricky and Matthew Hatton, Joel, Julio and Antonio Diaz, Jerry, Mike and Bobby Quarry, the list of boxing brothers goes on and on. And there are also father-daughter duos like Muhammad Ali and Laila Ali and Joe Frazier and Jackie Frazier, just to name a couple.
But what about a mother and son who fight for a living?
Meet pro boxer Katarina De La Cruz and her son and amateur fighter Olé Arias (5-1), just 17 years old.
Not only does this Southern California pair lace up, they also train together, spar with each other and share the same trainers. The two will be fighting in a historic two-day event hosted by Shane Mosley’s new promotional company.
On Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 there will be back to back fight events at the Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona. The amateurs will be featured on Friday; the pro fighters showcased on Saturday. I encourage you all to lend support to this weekend bash as it is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Diamond’s Love Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation and American Cancer Society.
The newly-formed Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions will be hosting their very first pro fight on Saturday. Called K.O. Cancer “Boxing for the Cure,” the main event will be Kaliesha West vs. Christina Ruiz and on the undercard will be Katarina De La Cruz vs. Blanca Raymundo.
De La Cruz says she’s been training harder than ever. Kat is a gym rat who loves the discipline, structure and conditioning she gains from boxing. Her passion for the sport has never waned even if her professional record of two wins, eight losses and one draw does not reflect her dedication and loyalty to the sweet science.
Hoping to add a W to her ledger, De La Cruz will face Blanca Raymundo (0-7) on Saturday night.
This is a time of rebuilding for Katarina. She and her family (she has four kids including toddler Rafaella) have relocated to the City of Pomona to train with Jack Mosley (father/trainer of Shane Mosley and Shane Mosley Jr.) and Coach Mike Kidd at the Mosley Pomona Boxing Club. Both Kat and Olé are looking forward to their fights.
I chatted with this mother and son set of boxers today as their fights quickly near. I had previously visited with them at a couple of Open Gym Workouts held recently in North Hollywood and Pomona and watched the two shadowbox and hit the mitts. Being part of the Mosley Boxing Team has been beneficial to the teen and his mom.
Olé (who fights at 132 pounds) says he loves to box and has been having a great time training for his October 5 bout. Team Mosley also went to Big Bear to put the finishing touches in their training camp.
I asked him if it’s easy to separate the mother/son relationship and if he thinks of Kat as his parent or just a fellow fighter?
“When we’re training I don’t think of her as my mom at all,” he laughs. “It’s good; it’s just ‘boxer versus boxer.’ And even though I didn’t start boxing till I was 14, I knew at eight years old that I wanted to be a fighter like her.”
The teenage puncher looks like his mama with his coloring, square jaw and thin but muscular frame. Also in his DNA is a pure devotion for boxing. Kat is very proud of her son and speaks of the bond they have through training together. “There are some great things coming up for Olé,” she tells me. “And we are getting to a place where we really are becoming stablemates more than mom and son. We’re watching each other really transform through boxing!”
As a parent, Katarina wants her son to achieve even more than she was afforded in life. De La Cruz has battled gangs, prison and being a single mom to survive in boxing and beyond. Her teenage son has proven to be an inspiration to this fierce chica. “I had a rocky road in life,” she tells me in our phone chat today. “But Olé really inspires me. He is always ready with his mind, spirit and training. I am really excited to see him fight!”
Will she be nervous at all to see him square off?
“No, I never get nervous for him because I know he’s ready,” is Kat’s reply. “He’s doing great and I am more nervous for his opponent! Olé’s shots to the body are devastating.”
Spoken like a proud mom.
If you’d like to catch Olé Arias and Katarina De La Cruz in the ring, be there Friday and Saturday as Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions hosts back-to-back days of fistic action.
See you at the fights!
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