Meet & Greet with Evander Holyfield!

Champs Gear Up for SDHS Golf Classic

Boxing legend Evander Holyfield made a Southern California visit this past weekend as the San Dimas High School (SDHS) Booster Club kicked off their first-ever Golf Classic benefiting student athletes at SDHS.

Here is my special report and snapshots from the March 18 event held at Hacienda Baltierra in the San Gabriel Valley.

The boxer known as “The Real Deal” was part of a Meet & Greet at this private gathering for golf participants, sponsors and VIP guests. It was a warm SoCal day and the perfect setting for this fiesta. Host Ernie Baltierra provided an outstanding outdoor setting complete with a delicious Mexican buffet from Tacos Omañas in Covina, a breeze from the backyard pool and a scenic view of the Via Verde Country Club (where Monday’s golf tournament was held).

Joining Holyfield was a knockout group of city officials, prizefighters and even a Super Bowl champ. Meeting the partygoers were featherweight titlist Ruben Castillo, Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman, WBC Super Bantamweight champion Paul Banke, Duarte Boxing Club’s Louie Valenzuela, and Super Bowl champ Efren Herrera (Dallas Cowboys). City Council Member John Solis (former Mayor of La Puente), former City Council Member Mike Touhey (Rockview Dairy #29) and Alma Rodriguez (New York Life) were all there showing support. The SDHS Saints’ Booster Club were also represented with Vice President Baltierra, Booster Club President Jerold Johnson, Board Member Michele Earle, Club Member/Parent Volunteer Fran Johnson and more.

The Booster Club was reformed in April 2016 and is a nonprofit that assists that teen athletes and programs at this local school. The guests at Sunday’s function told me they had a great time getting to know the boxing champs. They were all looking forward to the inaugural Golf Classic the morning after this Meet and Greet.

And the heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield had a blast at this intimate outdoor meetup. The Atlanta slugger had just spent time in New York for the big Gennady Golovkin vs. Danny Jacobs fight and flew into Los Angeles on Sunday morning to take part in this first-ever golf tourney with the SDHS Booster Club. The boxing superstar scored 44 victories with 29 knockouts during his pro career and continues to be a fan favorite around the world. The U.S. Olympian will also be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June.

The golfers and sponsors were excited to meet Holyfield and all of the champs in attendance at Sunday’s soirée. They got to experience once-in-a-lifetime moments as the boxers chatted with the guests, sharing anecdotes, taking photos and even shadowboxing for the crowd. And the fighters themselves enjoyed a relaxing and fun Sunday together. Many of the pro boxers have known each other for decades. Henry Tillman mentioned to me all the Olympic memories he shared with teammate Evander Holyfield and Ruben Castillo and Paul Banke also talked about their years in the boxing circles here. Ernie Baltierra was a generous host who thought of everything to make this a memorable Meet and Greet the day before this brand new SDHS Booster Club Golf Classic.

Check out what the day was like in my exclusive pics from Sunday’s Meet and Greet. And stay tuned for my next story and photo gallery from Monday’s golf tournament!

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
Michele Chong

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  1. Jerold Johnson


    Thank you so much for being at our SD Saint Boosters Club Golf Classic to talk to our guests and celebrity players. Everyone I’ve talked to was blown away with the Meet & Greet and the Golf tournament & dinner. I’d love to share additional pictures taken by the Booster board parents.

    Many Blessings,
    Jerold Johnson
    President, SD Saint Boosters Club
    San Dimas High School