By Don Smith: Good Heavyweight boxers are a rare commodity in Arizona. Mike Tyson stayed, trained and played in the Grand Canyon state; but his glory days were over when he moved to Phoenix in 1998 and his residency status was transient at best. Zora Foley, Chandler, Arizona, was a successful "Big" but knockout losses to Liston and Ali stopped him from ever becoming an A list fighter...always a contender; never a champion. 18 year old Dante Stone, Mesa Arizona, is determined to rewrite boxing history and become the first fighter from Arizona to win a World Heavyweight Boxing Title. He was actually born in Omaha, Nebraska but was only there long enough to have his diaper changed a few times...Arizona is home.
Dante stands 6’ 3’ and weighs 265. According to Damien Stone,( father, manager and trainer) his son has approximately 90 amateur bouts under his belt with 85% of them in the win column and about 3/4 of his winning battles were decided before the final bell. Some of Dante Stone’s fights can be seen on You Tube. His boxing plan is to qualify for and win Gold in the 2016. Olympics. Dante knows that winning Gold will be a strong bargain chip when he tuns pro. And he will need that golden advantage; so, he can keep his solemn promise to help his father take care of his 16 year old brother (Andreas) who battles Autism every day of his life. Autism is a complex neurodevelopment disorder characterized by social impairments, communication difficulty and abnormal patterns of behaviour. Experts estimate that 3-6 children out of every 1,000 will have ASD and these same experts expect the numbers to continue to grow. . Males are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than females.
This Fall, Dante will attend Mesa Community College on a full athletic scholarship. He is expected to compete for a starting position on the MCC varsity football team...size does matter. In the meantime he is preparing for his next boxing exam on Saturday July 14 in Chandler, Arizona where he is 1/2 of the main event. Dante and his unnamed boxing counterpart make up one of 20 bouts to be held at the Stonehard gym in Chandler. The venue seats around 400 and festival seating is available for a very affordable $10.00 per head. Damien Stone, manager and proprietor of the boxing and fitness center, plans 4 more boxing shows before the end of 2012.
Damien boxed while serving in the United States Air Force and eventually he opened his gym and fitness center in Chandler.Stone, a bright guy with a master’s degree in Medical Technology, doesn’t worry about skeptics who warn that he should give up the managing reins, over his son, to a more indecent and experienced professional trainer. Damien sees their bond as a strength and a key ingredient to their winning Olympic Gold and a world championship.....time will tell! Dante is considered a top three tier under 19 amateur heavyweight. 19 Stonehard Boxing Gym is located at 2775 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler Arizona 85225. For more information on the July 14 boxing show...firstname.lastname@example.org or call Damien or Sean at 480-503-2381. www.stonehardboxing.com Support amateur boxing.
Former IBF/NABF Super Middleweight Champion Jesus "El Matillo" Gonzales is in Las Vegas training for his July 21 Connecticut fight withElvin Ayala. Gonzales will shed a few pounds and fight as a middleweight. His trainer for the Ayala encounter is none other than Jeff Mayweather. Jesus, a Phoenix, Arizona Native, drove to Las Vegas last week and immediately started getting serious about the business at hand. Mayweather reports his new pupil is better than advertised and his hook and defense will be much improved on July 21. Since his arrival in Vegas, the 27 year old has slowed his tweets and face book activity which could signal a new maturity level Mayweather once told a boxing reporter that the best thing he can do for a fighter is to teach him or her how to protect their physical being. If he is able to teach Gonzales defense and add a big punch to his arsenal...watch out. Gonzales vs. Ayala will not be televised.
2012 Olympics begin on July 27 and women boxers will finally get an opportunity to compete for the first time in Olympic history. . Representing America will be Flyweight Marien Esparza, Lightweight "Queen" Underwood and middleweight Claressa Shields. Underwoodhas a legitimate shot to medal and perhaps Shields. The lineup for the American male boxing team includes: Flyweight Rausheed Muhumad,Bantamweight Joseph Pedroza Diaz, Lightweight John Carlos Ramirez, Light Welterweight Jamel William Henry, Welterweight Errol Lee Spence, Middleweight Terrell Maurice Gausha, Light Heavyweight Marcus Browne, Heavyweight Michael Shenter 11 and Super Heavyweight Dominic Angelo Breazeale. 3 best shots at meddling are (fingers crossed) Diaz, Browne and Breazeale. Olympic scoring system makes it harder for Americans to win. Middleweight Andre Ward, 2004, was the last Yank to win gold.
Lightweight Raymund Beltran ,Manny Pacquaio’s # 1 sparring partner, takes on tough once beaten Hank Lundy (22-1-1) in a 10 round Espn televised NABF Lightweight title contest on July 27 at the Resorts Hotel in Atlantic City.The popular Beltran (25-6-2) lost his last fight to unbeaten Luis Ramos jr.(20-0) in a unanimous decision that was greeted with more than a few boos. Raymund became very popular with Phoenix boxing fans when he trained at Central Boxing Gym. Emily Pandelakis, his hard working publicist, calls the Beltran/Lundy match up a make or break fight for Beltran. She may be right. Phoenix will be rooting for Beltran to pound Lundy into a Philly Cheese Steak.
Parting Shouts: AZ Golden Gloves CEO Kelly Fenn reports that the recently concluded Junior Golden Gloves Tournament (June 29-30) was a huge success. Special thanks to the Victory Outreach Church for providing a facility and two winks to the "Streets Don’t Love You Back" non profit organization for sponsoring the event. Results are posted on the official Arizona Golden Gloves website and the Gloves Face Book link up. Winners advance to the July 18-22 Nationals in Mesquite, Nevada...sounds like a road trip for Arizona boxing fans. The Phoenix Boxing Academy, on behalf of their qualifiers, held a car wash in Phoenix on July 7. Boxers Jose Benavidez jr., Andrew "Hurricane" Hernandez & Gambino Saenz were expected to attend. All three boxers are slated to fight in Vegas on August 4...details forthcoming. Undefeated Javier Loya, 7-0-6 knockouts, is now working out at Busted Knuckle Gym in North phoenix,,,,fight announcement expected soon....until next time.
July 8, 2012