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Cristian Silva Stays On The Grind

Majority Draw for Sanchez vs. Silva

If you watch boxing even as a casual fan, you’ve heard of the names Mayweather, Pacquiao, Canelo, Triple G before.

But on the other end of those superstar names is another side of boxing. There are countless fighters who will never be the main event on a PPV card, may never make the seven-figure checks and live a life of luxury. And yet these journeymen (who sometimes fight on the “B” side of the show) work just as hard to train and prepare each and every time they step into the ring.

It’s not an easy living. These scrappy prospects and/or grizzled veterans of the game eke out a living slugging it out in local fights and club shows, always grinding it out with their tenacity and toughness. Such is the case of Cristian Silva. The majority of boxing fans haven’t seen him fight and perhaps he doesn’t even have a “winning” record. But the reasons why he fights (for his family) and why he began boxing (to get out of the streets) is something all too common in the sweet science.

I’ve gotten to know Team Silva in the past couple of years and have watched this pro fighter and his family continue to stay optimistic through the ups and downs of life in and out of the fight game. Cris has had 13 pro fights (5-6-2, 1 KO) and just fought January 21 on the All Star Promotions’ event at the Quiet Cannon Country Club in Montebello, Calif. These popular live shows (promoted by Ed Holmes and matchmaker Eddie Rodriguez Sr.) always draw a huge lively crowd and Saturday night was no different. Silva was set to face off against a young unbeaten southpaw in Anthony Sanchez, just 19 years old. Cris, 26, and his crew took the fight on short notice after Sanchez’s original opponent fell out. Long Beach’s Sanchez (known as “Huero”) had scored six KOs in his six wins as a pro.

Their super featherweight tilt was scheduled for six rounds of action and neither gladiator backed down. It was an action-packed battle that had the crowd on their feet cheering for mre. Silva stayed busy landing a lot of punches and taking Sanchez’s shots as well. As the minutes ticked by, both warriors gave it their all and when the official scores were announced their war was declared a majority draw. Judges Steve Weisfeld and Sergio Caiz both ruled it 57-57 even while Jerry Cantu scored it 59-55 for Sanchez.

After the decision, Cris held his two-year-old son up in the ring as fans clapped for the underdog. While he may not have won an official victory, this draw was probably a morale victory for the boxer who had not been in the ring since February 2016. He’s a boxer with limited time to train who also puts in time working in remodeling and a family man with a new baby girl due any time now. But he loves boxing. Balancing boxing, family life while holding a full time job. The story of many fighters making their way up. There’s little down time in the career of a fighter.

And now Cristian Silva wants to make up for lost time.

When he came out of the dressing room, Cris was surrounded by well wishers. His gutsy performance also won a lot of new fans in the arena. People love it when fighters go for broke and Sanchez-Silva was a fun fight to watch with both athletes letting their hands go.

Cris’ older brother Angel Silva is also a pro fighter and the two men embraced each other after the bout; each knowing the sacrifice, discipline and hard work that goes into each round. Like I mentioned before, there are so many levels of pro fighters. The rare few reach the star status that Floyd, Manny, Gennady and others have attained. But the courage and self-sacrifice is unmeasured for every professional fighter that ever laces up.

And Team Silva has boxing in their DNA. They both want to continue in the sport and hope to be back in the ring soon. They train with Steve Harpst in the San Fernando Valley; Harpst worked with Cristian in his last two fights with the team getting a majority draw and a majority decision (in 2016). Also in his corner on Saturday night was Cris’ girlfriend Yesenia Basulto, cutman Markey Nieves, and David Lopez. Silva’s brother Angel, their mom Esmeralda, son little Cris, family, friends and the Burbank Boxing Club also voiced their support for their hero.

“Cris really loves the game,” Coach Steve Harpst comments about Silva being a student of the boxing in regards to past and present fighters. “We talk a lot about the great fighters when we get together after training.”

While fighters with 50-50 records aren’t usually the heralded fighters, Harpst is proud of Cris’ progress. “His hard work and passion paid off for him last night,” he says.

Get to know Cristian Silva in our chat below. His grit, gumption and guts will keep getting him matches–and hopefully victories in the future.

Michele Chong: How did you first get into boxing?

Cristian Silva: I got into boxing at the age of 14 when I saw the fight of Corrales-Castillo 2. I loved it and I decided I wanted to do that. So my mom knew about a guy who helped youth get out of the streets by using boxing or other activities so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t take it serious until I was 19 and joined a gym “House of Venom” and I started my career there; three years later I turned pro at the age of 22.

MC: What did you think of your fight last night?
CS: I think that I fought one of the toughest fights I’ve ever done. And I know I have more to offer so with this fight I learned and I feel like I’m capable of doing more. And I’m motivated to keep training harder than I have before and to get better.

MC: Describe your boxing style.
CS: My style is I adapt to every fight I’ve had…

MC: How did you feel about all the fan support?
CS: I’m really thankful for having a strong fan base (family and friends) that always support me and push me to do better and give them more in every fight. I feel good about this fight because it’s my second pro fight with his Coach Steve. Steve is a boxing fan–and boxing mentor–who is building up my confidence to become a world-class fighter. I’m looking forward to future training camps with Steve and more fights that will come in the future too.

I also feel very blessed to have a beautiful girlfriend (Yesenia) working my corner and wrapping my hands everytime I glove up to fight. She makes me feel confortable and positive. I feel like I belong there and that gives me the confidence to go out and do my work.

MC: Your older brother Angel is also a pro fighter. What’s it like having a brother who boxes too?

CS: Having a brother who loves boxing feels good because we always push each other and get inspired by one another. And I know we both have dreams of becoming champions one day and it just pushes me to keep on going with this career to make it happen!

MC: And when you’re not in the gym, you also work in construction?
CS: I work in remodeling houses full time. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and work till at 5 or 6 p.m. sometimes. Sometimes I barely have time to eat or rest because I have to go train at 7 p.m. for my career in boxing. I do all this for my son, my daughter (that I will be having in my arms soon) and, of course, the mother of my kids. They support me all the way! It’s hard having a job because I rarely rest and have time to spend time with my family but it’s what pushes me forward to not stop training and to keep on going in boxing–to give them the best I can!

Fighters like Cristian Silva and many others you see at All Star Boxing shows really give it their all. And local shows like Ed Holmes’ events give the fans a chance to see blood-and-guts combatants who get a few minutes of well-deserved glory. They leave it all in the ring. And the next morning, many fighters have to get up early to get back on the grind. Respect for all fighters in both corners in the ring.

All Star Promotions’ next show is March 11. Don’t miss it!

Photos by Michele Chong

Michele Chong

Michele Chong

Feature Writer at MyBoxingFans
Michele Chong has been involved in the sport of boxing for over a decade. Her “Chatter Box” column covers a variety of subjects in both professional and amateur boxing, and features exclusive one-on-one interviews, recaps of fight events, shows and tournaments, book/film reviews and much more. Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008, she is also a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, Golden State Boxer’s Association and the Burbank Boxing Club. Michele is also involved in many non-profit and charitable organizations.
Michele Chong
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