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Arizona Boxing News: Hernandez Hearing Set

Officially, Hernandez is on "Temporary Suspension" until the hearing is conducted and a final decision is rendered. The Phoenix Native earned a second round TKO victory over Rudy Puga Jr. on November 10 in Las Vegas and that victory could be changed to a no contest verdict if the Testosterone level was altered by the illegal use of Steroids.


In Nevada the allowed level of Testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio is 6-1. Nevada State Athletic commission Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed that the ratio registered by the test administered to Hernandez was somewhere between 10-1 and 20-1. Upon hearing the news, Rudy Puga Sr., the boxer’s father, said he hopes the Commission bans Hernandez for life. Fortunately for Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Puga will not be involved in the decision making process.



A date for the hearing is forthcoming and the 26 year old fighter has the right to appeal the ruling if he disagrees with its’ sentiment. Hernandez, father of two sons, couldn’t be reached for comment. Emily Pandelakis, Hernandez Publicist, issued a statement (Boxing saying there would be no comment on the allegation until her client faced the commission. She went on to say she was shocked upon hearing the news and described Andrew as a good man and one who contributes to his community as a volunteer for humanitarian causes. Several attempts to contact Jerry Cheatham, Hernandez Trainer, via phone, failed.




John Q Public knows very little about steroids and their use. According to medical literature, anabolic androgenic steroids are used to treat some forms of anemia, some breast cancers, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and hereditary angiodema, a rare swelling disorder. However, there is no sanctioned use of steroids for cosmetic purposes or athletic performance. Because of possible negative side effects(Kidney damage, Testicular Atrophy, Heart Disease) and the potential for abuse, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are classified as controlled substances with severe penalties for trafficking, possession or use. Most athletic associations, including the IOC , test athletes for steroids and penalize those in whom steroids are detected. However, some state athletic commissions lack the budget and expertise to fully combat the continuing problem of drug abuse in boxing . And some,unfortunately, really don’t care or so it seems.




Boxing is well aware that it must police itself and a movement to do so has already begun in the amateur ranks. The USOC and AIBA has demanded that USA Boxing make drastic changes or risk becoming an endangered species. To address the issue , a reform committee is being formed and it will include mostly independent, non-boxing individuals. It has been proposed that USA Boxing be represented by an independent non-boxing advocate. The USOC and AIBA may also have a representative and a 20% athlete representation is mandated by the Ted Stevens Olympic and Sports Act. This immediate call for change has been prompted by a number of mitigating factors including poor performances from American Males in recent Olympics. Andre Ward is the last American to win a Gold Medal in Olympic Boxing competition and that was in 2004. Two American women earned medals (Gold & Bronze) at the 2012 London Olympics. It is time for change and hopefully USA Boxing Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski will make it a top priority.




Short Jabs: Topside Gym, 16th Street in Phoenix, plans to take a more active role in amateur boxing in 2013....Light Welterweight Jose Benavidez Jr. is taking December off and will resume training in January. Jose Sr. (father & Trainer) says the rest will make him stronger and better prepared for 2013. His younger brother David is expected to turn pro in the next few months. Young David(16) has scaled down to the middleweight class division.... Boxing entrepreneur Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Media and Entertainment) has expanded her professional involvement in the sport to include conducting interviews over the Internet. Her September interview with Austin Trout received a firestorm of criticism from several over zealous viewers who deemed her questions to Trout as being too soft and irrelevant. In her defense, she isn’t a trained journalist and the 32 year old marketing and media specialist doesn’t pretend to be one.


Michelle promotes Michelle and in doing so draws attention to the sport of boxing and her own special business interests. Ms. Rosado was standing outside the Celebrity Theatre lot (after the Iron Boy 5 Show) drumming up business and passing out leaflets for "Mayhem In Mesa" a boxing show scheduled for Friday, January 18 at the Arizona Event Center. Tickets are available at Food City Stores and 8 fights are promised. Crank It Up Promotions is listed as the promoter. No word on who will appear on the card. For more information; click on or call 480-488-0777.


Super bantamweight boxer Emilio "Milo Time" Garcia attended the Iron Boy 5 show at the Celebrity 11/30 with his dad and apparently the young man has recovered from his ACL injury that forced him to nix his battle with Jensen Ramirez. No visible trace of a limp .... talented featherweight Paul "Ziggy" Romero (1-0-1) turned down a solid money offer to fight a debut boxer in Las Vegas. Fan Base, his promotion company, is furious. According to FanBase, Romero declined because he isn’t "physically ready" to do battle. Fan Base may drop him if he turns down another opportunity to pickup his second victory. He was scheduled to fight in Calgary, Alberta on 1/19/2013,but now all bets are off.


Eddie Brooks, in moth balls for awhile, will return to ring action when he takes on highly touted Canadian light welterweight Steve "The Dragon" Claggett on the 1/19/13 Card in Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Claggett has been clamoring to meet American Jose Benavidez Jr. for almost a year. He will have to settle for Eddie Brooks who, if in shape, should give the slick Canadian all he can handle. Brooks was quite the prospect until he took a hiatus from boxing for whatever reason. The 23 year old Claggett will enter the contest with a 15-1-1 record with 10 knockouts while the 27 year old Brooks sports a 9-3 record with 1 knockout. In comparing common opponents, Clagget scored a 4th round TKO victory over previously unbeaten Ricky Duenas (12-1) in October of this year. Duenas decisioned Brooks two years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. Brooks is telling everyone that he will kick some booty when the two meet in Calgary, Alberta on 1/19/2013.Don’t you just love boxing....Silver Gloves Tournament set for 12/8-10 at the Iron Boy Gymn in Phoenix at 4238 South 37th Street. Check their website for more details. ....Phoenix Boys and Girls Center and American Legion Post 2 have teamed up to offer another Amateur Boxing Night in Tempe at 2125 South Industrial Park Drive. Doors open at 2:30 PM. Call 602- 996-9407 for more details.... Phoenix Boxer Jesus Gonzales is expected to attend the "Dreams Protected Tour" concert starring Comedian George Lopez; in Phoenix , Sunday, December 16.




An estimated 1,140 boxing fans traveled to the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, November 30 to watchIron Boy Promotion’s 5th show at the popular venue. It was a good crowd considering the event had to compete with Felko Promotion’s "Bad Boy Boxing" presentation held at Fort McDowell Casino on the same night at the same time. To his credit, Roberto Vargas, CEO of Iron Boy Promotions,has crafted a show format that revolves around a core of young promising local fighters who have a strong base following from their amateur careers. First bell was scheduled for 5:30 pm but an unexplained delay pushed the beginning well past 6 PM and closer to 6:30 PM. The wait gave me time to upgrade my general admission ticket. I was now seating in the A9 section; two rows behind boxer Emilio Garcia and his dad. For the record, fights rarely start on time unless they are televised. Here is a breakdown of all of the fights starting with the three amateur fights followed by seven professional fights. Edgar Brito was scheduled to be on the card but he injured his left hand. Brito, amateur, hopes to be on the March Card at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.





First Bell: Amateur’s Alex Urbina  representing the blue corner and Carlos Flores fighting out of the red corner  kicked off the evening in a 132 lb contest that saw Urbina dominate the action from beginning to end .Domination was a common thread in several of the fights on the  program. Urbina got the nod because he worked harder and his skill set is more polished than Flores who showed a lot of heart.


In the second 132 lb amateur bout, Emanuel Nieves proved too experienced and strong  for Wilbur Lopez who tired in the last round. Nieves is a bit rough around the edges but he has power and ring charisma;so, keep a open eye on him.


In the third and final amateur bout of the evening, Francisco C De Vaca , A core piece in  Iron Boy’s  future boxing plans, dazzled the crowd with his blazing hand speed and nimble footwork as he dismantled Derek Schaefer blow by blow. There are whippings and there are whippings. On Friday night, Shaefer  received an old fashioned whooping from his shorter but more talented foe. The referee stopped the contest towards the end of the second round. De Vaca took up boxing before the age of 8 and the super bantamweight and he one goal and that obvious goal is to win a World Championship. He is trained by former world boxing champion Roger Mayweather and Bobby Ware. After his win, he told the crowd he is turning professional in January and will make his debut at the Celebrity Theatre sometime in March, 2013. A spokesperson for Iron Boy said plans are being made for De Vaca to fight a minimum of 5 fights and a maximum of 10 bouts if he remains healthy. The win over Shaefer upped his career amateur record to 188-13. During their post fight chat, ring announcer Sonny Franco gave the young fighter to thank his followers and that was nice but the suave Franco took time out after each bout to chat with every victorious fighter and after awhile; the predictable  ritual became a little tedious. Otherwise, he did a good job. Announcing is tough task and few boxing fans appreciate the complexity of the job. A salute to all ring announcers.




Main Event: On paper,the scheduled for 6 round super bantamweight contest between Mayweather Gym protege Alexis Santiago (Phoenix) and Jensen Ramirez (Tucson) looked like a mismatch based on their respective records. Santiago came in at 11-3-1 while the upset minded Ramirez entered the ring with an undistinguished 2-1-2 mark. Fights aren’t fought on paper. Ramirez was the aggressor from the get go and was backing Santiago up until Santiago stepped in and  caught him with a combination that sent Ramirez down in the first round. Ramirez got up quickly and smiled as if to say: you didn’t hurt me. He still received an 8 count. Still in the first round, Ramirez scored what looked like knockdown but it was ruled a slip. The next five round was just as entertaining as the first one.

At the end, I called it a draw;but, the officials disagreed and awarded a unanimous decision verdict to Santiago. It could have been a hometown decision or officials might have thought Santaigo landed more punches....water under the bridge.


Co-Main Event: Victor Castro, now fighting out of Lake Arrowhead California, brought a perfect record of 7-0 to his encounter with under rated Diamond Baier (2-3-1) in a 4 round light welterweight contest. Despite his suspect record, Baieris a well schooled fighter who didn’t take up the sport professionally until he was past 30. In his last bout, the 35 year old Filipino lost to highly touted prospect Chris Lopez;but, the decision was controversial and  brought a loud and sustained chorus of boos. Castro is a regular on Iron Boy shows but his recent move to California suggests he  is no longer a core piece of Iron Boy’s future plans. . 300 boxing club guru Peter Carabatso has taken over the management of the 20 year old Castro and he promised a new and improved fighter going into the bout with Baier. Castro performed very well. His conditioning was much improved and his confidence level soared through out the contest. In previous fights, Castro would seem to lose focus and get tagged with punches that could have been defended. After Baier went down in the first round (for the first time in his career) Castro controlled the fight and all three judges scored it 40-35 in favor of Castro who upped his record to 8-0 while the popular Baier slipped to 2-4-1. In a post fight interview, Castro said he was very happy with his new management  team and he may be on the March card at the Celebrity.  It would be wise for him to advance to a 6 rounder next time.


Rest of the action:  25 year old Jeremiah Wiggins,fighting out of Las Vegas, made his debut a successful one with a unanimous (40-36) decision over a game Joe Martell of Glendale, Arizona in a four round 149 lb contest. reminder, this isn’t the Jeremiah Wigggins who fights out of Virginia. The other Wiggins is a middleweight. Martell, trained by former California Boxing Champion George Garcia)  deserves a salute every time he steps in the ring. Mr. Martell took up boxing at the age of 33 after he temporarily  lost his bout with alcohol and wound up in prison. At 35, he is a new man and the Glendale resident credits boxing with saving his life. He couldn’t have a better man in his corner than George Garcia. It was an entertaining bout with Wiggins landing a few more punches... 20 year old .Antonio Moreno was as tenacious as a Pit Bull during his manhandling of a outmatched Joe Luna who was making his debut. Moreno, known for his volunteer work in the Phoenix community, scored a TKO victory in the second round and hopefully his strong showing will earn him a rematch with fellow welterweight Saul Benitez.


Carlos Castro, a core piece of the Iron Boy boxing ensemble, won his third bout without defeat in his first round knockout over Eric McNoriss who was making his pro debut. McNorris was pummeled from opening bell until the end. After the fight, McNoriss sat in his dressing room wondering about his future. Castro, trained by,Andrew Soto, appears to have a bright future;but, he hasn’tfaced a worthy opponent, yet;maybe in March!....Popular Abel Ramos (6-0), Casa Grande, Arizona, returned to the ring action after taking time off from a hand injury and the result was a unanimous  decision over veteran Jeremiah Torres. In the first round he seemed to favor  his injured hand (left) but has the bout went on he threw it more freely and scored at will with left and right hand combinations. It was a surprise the fight went the distance;but, Ramos isn’t known for a big punch. He might return on the  March card. With the loss, Torres record fell to 7 20... Light Heavyweights Lanell Bellows  and Caleb Caldwell battled for two rounds until  Referee Richard Soto called a halt. The TKO victory pushed Bellows record to 3-0 while Caldwell’s slate now stands at 2-7-1. The taller Caldwell was never able to use his reach and height advantage over his shorter and victorious opponent


December 4, 2012 

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