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17 NOVEMBER 2018


Santiago Returns In Phoenix

By Ron Valderrama: Boxing returns to The Madison Events Center in Phoenix July 22nd as FACE II FACE EVENTS in association with Sonoran Capital Group host ’Friday Night Fights 2".

The night of boxing will feature as the main event Alexis "Beaver" Santiago (8-0-1, 2 KO’s) who won the crowd over after losing to Randy Caballero at Fantasy Springs Casino earlier this month.

Santiago has been training hard and has put the loss behind him and is looking forward to fighting again before the hometown crowd. The co-main event will showcase valley favorite Emilio "Milo-Time" Colon-Garcia (2-0-1, 1KO), who is now trained by longtime valley trainer Andy Soto after parting ways with former trainer Jose Benavidez Sr

This reporter asked Milo Time about the split and he said it was a business decision and the two remain close friends. Milo Time started out with Soto so he won’t miss a beat and I have seen the proof myself after watching Milo Time train at the Knockout Gym, an active little gym tucked away in the industrial section of South Phoenix.

The undercard will stage a stable of valley fighters highlighted with the very poised 19 year old junior-middleweight Juanito Gonzales (2-0, 1 KO), lightweight banger Arlo "Fist Full of Aces" Argueta (3-0, 1 KO), light welterweight power puncher Javier "El Gallo Negro" Loya (5-0, 4 KOs), super-bantamweight thriller Fernando "Massive Attack" Samaniego Jr. (2-0, 1 KO), light welterweight showman Victor "El NiƱo" Castro (1-0, 1 KO), and the hot Chicago prospect middleweight Ramon Valenzuela Jr (4-0, 1KO). Valenzuela is managed by the legendary Jackie Kallen, dubbed the first lady of boxing.

Female Jackie Kallen will also be a special guest at the event. I had a chance to ask her a few questions, so all you Jackie Kallen fans (this writer included) here we go:

Q and A with Jackie Kallen

Q: Looking back on your career so far, are you amazed that you could break down the barrier of a male dominated sport?

A: Yes. Especially at the beginning. It was the late ’70s and there were very few females in the sports field. I had to earn my acceptance and I had to put up with a lot of adversity. But it made it all so much sweeter when I did gain my stronghold in the business.

Q: You have inspired so many people, not just women, did you ever feel like giving up?

A: No. Never. I love my life and I want to continue in boxing as long as I can. I still love it as much as I did three decades ago.

Q: I watch Michelle Rosado (FACE II FACE, President) and how hard she works, and the impact you have had on her. Did you ever think your career would have such an impact like this?

A: It makes me very happy to see another female making it in this field. Several have tried and quit over the years. Hopefully she will stick with it and make a name for herself. I am here for her 100% and proud to be her mentor.

Q: I see you as humble person and a fighter for what you believe in, are you pleased with the number of females involved in boxing today?

A: As I said, I wish there were more of us in the sport, but hopefully there will be more in the years to come. For some reasons, most women feel intimidated. But there are more now than there were ten years ago, so that’s a good thing. Rachel Charles, Sara Fina, Michele Chong, Amy Green.

Q: I know you are involved in many charities, what are some of your favorites and why?

A: I do work with the homeless as well as battered and abused women. Those two causes have always been close to my heart. I also do work with cancer research, the American Heart Association, and Beit T’ SHuvah--a center for substance abuse. I believe in giving back to the community as much as possible. No matter how busy I am, I always make time for my charity projects.

This writer would like to thank the many fans of Boxing News who have come up to me at the fights after an interview and thanked me for covering the Arizona boxing scene, I had no idea this state had such a thirst for boxing news not only on a local level but worldwide as well. Stay tuned for pre-fight interviews and more with the Jackie Kallen, and I would also like to thank my assistant and good friend, Kevin Nelson who is leaving Phoenix for the cooler weather of Denver, he will be missed.

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