Light Middleweight Gabriel Rosado left Phoenix in style with a open to the public and media workout on Tuesday April 23 at the Central-United Gym in Phoenix. Central was his “Official” training gym, but he did spar some rounds at the Phoenix Boys and Girls Center with Middleweight Isiah McFadden prior to his moving into the Central Gym Facility on Van Buren Street in Phoenix. McFadden and veteran local Roberto Young provided satisfactory sparring partner opposition according to observers.This was the second time the Philly fighter designated Phoenix as his training site. He worked out in the valley of the sun for the Charles Whittaker fight. The climate in Phoenix is very similar to Vegas and the city is more cost effective than other alternatives according to two or three managers I have talked to in the past. Another factor: Arizona media is easier to work with and more apt to show. Readers, not advertisers, are free to decide on the accuracy and integrity of the piece.Remember, to err is human. See and read my correction segment at the end of my column!
Rosado(21-6), scheduled to meet J’Leon Love (15-0) on May 4 as part of the Mayweather/Guerrero show in Vegas is trying to bounce back after a 7th round TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin in his last bout. One of the main concerns about the Philly fighter is whether or not his left eye that was filleted in his last effort is sufficiently healed. It looked okay to me ,but Love has been known to come in with his head bobbing and elbows flying. So the eye will be tested.
The workout event was scheduled for 5-7 p.m,but in reality it was more of a 6-8 p.m affair. Arizona Boxing fans aren’t especially known for allegiance to the clock especially when an event is free. One mother who brought her two kids to the workout was hoping to get Rosado’s autograph on a couple of pictures she had taken at a previous sparring session. I gave her my number and asked her to call me if she secured his John Hancock. She called and he signed. Gabriel has the reputation of being a nice guy and a little good character publicity never hurts T shirt and poster sales. Good luck Gabriel and a special thanks to clever publicist and boxing entrepreneur Michelle Rosado for introducing the event.
Phoenix Strong: Susan Wheeler Hernandez, a proud member of the Arizona boxing community, is battling cancer and despite her weakened condition continue to attend boxing events with her two sons and husband. Susan refuses to let the disease alter her family’s way life. She went under the knife in January and recently new complications have set in. Please keep her in mind and send some good vibes her way. Thank you! Good luck, Susan!
Boxing Noise: Scrappy Phoenix/Gledale fighter Joe Martell (Hammer Gym) was added to the Arreola/Steviverne Ontario California ESPN televised card at the last minute. Jeramiah Wiggins was scratched so Joe (2-7-1) was asked to fight 2012 Mexican Olympian Oscar Molina , 4-0 with 3 knockouts. Oscar’s twin brother (2008 USA Olympian) was also on the card. I talked to Joe hours before he headed to Ontario and he said expect an aggressive style, his usual approach to any fight. In addition to his boxing career, the 35 year old works full time and pushes his clothing line:”Under Dog Fight Gear. Recently, he offered Boxing friend Diamond Baier a full partnership and Baier accepted. As I was banging out the final stitches of my column, word came that Molina knocked out Martell in the first round. Instant analysis of result, don’t take fights on short notice and now he has more time to spend on his clothing line line.Click on to:[email protected] a look at his wears……Two other fighters with Arizona connections fared better. Lightweight Raymundo Beltran, has family in Arizona, scored a 10 round unanimous decision over tough Alejandro Rodriguez in Austin,TX while light heavyweight Trevor Mccumby (11-0-9 knockouts) polished off Jason Smith at 85 seconds of the first round on the same card. McCumby may fight again in May. Another hot Arizona prospect, Luis Oliveras hopes to fight fight out of state in May. Both fighters train at the Busted Knuckle Gym in North Phoenix under head trainer Alan Viers.
Iron Boy 7 Boxing Show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on May 17 features Guy Robb, Juan Garcia, David Benavidez, Chris Lopez and the debut of Pancho CDe Vaca. Tickets are available at the Celebrity Box Office and all Ticket Master Outlets. Promises to be a good show. Ringside seating is available……Amateur Boxer and Air Force Reservist Steve Ayala (Tempe, Arizona) is working out at Central-United Gym. The 28 year old Heavyweight has turning pro on his bucket list.At 6′ 4″ and 245 he has the size and coaches who know him tell me he has the skills. Steve is giving himself until the fall of next year to make his wish happen……Fan Base Promotions Southwest Regional Director of Operations Ralph Velez was at the Rosado Event with his wife Brianna. Fan Baseis working on a couple of things, but nothing ready to announce. Iron Boy Promotions seems to have a stronghold on boxing events in Arizona while Fan Base Promotions is exploiting opportunities other states and Showdown Promotions is in a slowdown mode for now; that could change.
Wait Please: Boxing Manager Cameron Dunkin called to tell me the signing of Arizona Boxer Alexis Zazueta (114 lbs) was voided and he didn’t elaborate which is typical Cameron Dunkin. After a few calls, I got down to the heart of the matter. Alexis backed out of the deal because it meant the 17 year old would have to forgo the National Golden Gloves Tournament in Salt Lake City next month. Cameron and Alexis may revisit the issue of forming a team after the Nationals. Cameron, also asked me if I had inside knowledge about the results of Guillermo Rigondeaux drug test and I said no. Official results should be released from New York, any day. The only thing we can do is wait. And I think Alexis made the right decision in delaying his entry into the pros. Alexis is a slick fighter with good footwork and a sneaky right hand with power. Curious fans can catch a glimpse of his action him on You Tube.
Boxers Unite: In 1995, Yank Barry and longtime friend Muhammad Ali founded Global Village Champions Foundation, a 501 c-3 Non Profit Organization created to address worldwide hunger.Since its’ conception, the organization has sent out more than 950 million people all over the world. Barry, a former member of the legendary band, The Kinsmen (Louie, Louie fame) has been nominated for a 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. Ali was nominated in 2007.TheWinners will be announced in October. This is the third consecutive year, Barry has been nominated for the esteemed prize. He deserves to win!
Ali’s involvement in the fight against world hunger has inspired other great boxing champions to raise their voices in support of the worthy cause. Here is a partial list: Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ernie Shavers. Good job men.
Amateur Tournament: According to South Mountain Boxing Coach Juan Varela, 400 boxing devotees showed up at the Victory Outreach facility in Phoenix on April 20 to watch amateur boxing action sanctioned by USA Boxing Arizona. Juan, an enterprising young man, coordinated the event and billed the show as Arizona Vs. California 2. Former Olympic Coach and current President of the Southern California Amateur Boxing Commission brought 5 of his best boxers combat 5 of Arizona’s best. Southern Cal won the team face off with a 3-2 score. So they left Arizona with something to brag about.
14 year old Cesar Chavez High School student Alfredo Escarcaga Jr. (Phoenix Boxing Academy) helped provide the fight of the night dwith a hard earned victory over Californian Brandon Lee. For his effort, Alfredo won a trophy and belt. Brandon left with a trophy and hope for a return match. In other bouts:Paul Torres (South Mountain) defeated Taloln Caravahlo (Desert Heat), Jose Nava (South Mountain) won a RSC verdict over Juan Martinez of Top Side Gym in Phoenix. Ariel Arizmendez (Sonny’s Gym) and Leslie Hernandez (Central-United) also won trophies for their performances.Alfredo is trained by his father, Alfredo Sr. and the young man works out at the Iron Boy Gym in Phoenix.
It was a good afternoon for amateur boxing. Boxing writer Ron Valderama,Examiner, was on hand for the play by play action which was recorded on DVD for distribution. Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo attended the event, sponsored in part by Arizona Spa Tech.
Special Salute: Congratulations to 106 lb Tucson High School Sophomore Monica Suazo for winning the Silver Medal at the recently concluded US National Championships held in Spokane, Washington. Monica competed in the 17-18 year old age group. Coach Ray Mitchell, Tucson Wolfpack Boxing Team) is very proud Monica’s performance. For more information on the Wolf pack program: [email protected]
Next major USA Boxing Arizona event is the Junior Olympic State Championships on May 4-5 at the Grace Sparkes Recreation Center In Prescott Arizona. Tournament Director and USA Boxing Arizona President Jake Magallanez expects a large turn out there are some members of the Arizona boxing community who question the timing and location for the event. Distance and gas money is a problem for some fans who would like to attend. Phoenix is 101 miles away while Tucson is a distant 215 miles from the city that once boasted of being the Arizona Territorial State Capitol. In fairness, the last two events were held in Phoenix.
I emailed expressed concerns to the President about the alleged toxic environment surrounding amateur boxing in Arizona and his take is an optimistic one and he seems to think that most Arizona Boxing clubs will put aside any differences of opinion and support the May 4-5 tournament. So far, 130 athletes have signed up which s an impressive number. As for the blood feud between the Northern & Southern Boxing Club operators I am not Colombo, I don’t have a clue as to how this melodrama will box out. Long live amateur boxing.For more information on the Jr. Olympics event in Prescott, call 928-848-3417.
Baier Continues: 36 year old boxer Diamond Baier (2-5-1) wants more than an asterisk attached to his name at the end of his career which wasn’t launched until he turned 32, a late age to enter any professional sport especially a physically challenging sport like boxing. Diamond wants a championship and in his first three fights, the southpaw pugilist left the ring with a 2-0-1 record and hopes of making a nae for himself. In fairness to Baier, his challengers entered the ring with a combined record of 37-4. Tom Garcia, his current manager, says his pupil needs to be more consistent and dedicate more time in the gym. After his recent loss in New York (Radio City MusicHall), Diamond went home to Goodyear Arizona, packed a bag and headed for Vegas where he was scheduled to attend a conference related to his work as an insurance salesman.
Baier’s story is inspirational and unique. It is a miracle the affable southpaw is alive and able to pursue his American dream of becoming a champion. Born in Baguio City located in the Benguet Province of the Philippines ,Diamond Gut-Omen is the third eldest of four children. Mrs Gut=Omen was carrying the familys’ fifth child when she perished in a two story house fire along with her younger sister. Diamond and his three siblings managed to survive the blaze with the heroic efforts of his father, Telesfo Gut-Omen who grabbed his children an tossed them to relatives stationed on the ground. Dad then jumped to safety. After a brief mourning period, the family moved to Sabangan MT. Province where they were raised collectively by grandparents and other relatives.
Papa was having difficulty in being a full time parent and an adequate bread winner. His working commute time was an unbelievable 6 hours. Uncle Popoy, Aunt Chary and her husband were keenly aware of the dilemma and the concerned trio put their heads together to resolve the issue. What they devised was ingenious but it required sacrifice. The proposal asked the birth father togive up legal guardianship and allow Aunt Chary and Bill Baier to become adoptive parents. Mr. Gut-Omen cried and prayed over the issue and finally consented. Uncle Popoy started on the paperwork and the new parents signed don the dotted line. It was a complicated process. The children moved to Chicago Illinois in 1987 where they would reside in the home of Mr. & Mrs. William Baier. In a few weeks, they would become American citizens.
Soon the new Americans were enrolled in the Chicago school system and English language comprehension was their biggest hurdle. Diamond struggled with his grades, but by the time he picked up his diploma from high school the teenager was starting to wax poetic with his second language. During the summer months of his junior and senior high school years,young Baier worked at the Chicago Board of Trade which helped him enter college at Winona State College in Minnesota on a full scholarship in 1995.. Remarkable achievement for a young man who could have perished in a fire at age two. He was happy and confident and ready to study finance and eventually help his family in Chicago and the Philippines. In hindsight, he was putting too much pressure on himself.
He started off hitting the books hard and earning high marks , but the lure of college social life distracted him and he quickly developed into a party animal easily swayed by his out of control class mates. He admits to making fake ID Cards and skipping classes. It was only a matter of time until he lost his scholarship and dropped out of school Embarrassed and understandably ashamed, Diamond joined the Army National Guard and parlayed his earned educational credits into another shot at college. Once again, he wasn’t mature enough to handle the responsibility of buckling down and doing the work required to be a successful student.
Instead of going back to Chicago, Diamond went to Ohio and other parts of the country dabbling in door to door sales, property management, painting and other diverse endeavors. Eventually, he would return to Chicago where he went to the Windy City Gym and took up boxing and fell in love with the sport.
He was 26 and after 3 amateur fights. he won a Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament. Boxing was becoming a part of who he was. Head Coach Sam Colonna said heremembered Bair as a shy an deeply religious boxier who possessed good hand speed and the uncanny ability to jab with either hand and do it with aneffortless grace. Sam said Diamond lacked consistency, but he still thought his one time pupil had potential and under the right management could have anice professional. career When I told him his one time protege had lost 5 straight, Sam, simply replied ,what do you expect, he fights nothing but higher echelon prospects.
The idealist moved to Goodyear, Arizona in 2008 with his wife who is now living inChicago where she is studying to be a physical therapist. Diamond once worked as a physical trainer. In Arizona he continued his boxing at the Central Gym in Phoenix. Diamond competed in the Gene Lewis Boxing Tournament and won. Buoyed by that experience, Baier traveled to Freddie Roach’s Gym and sparred. Freddie was impressed with Diamond and offered Baier a chance to spar with Jerry Pennalosa who was preparing to meet Juan Manuel Lopez for a belt. He did well and it should be pointed out that Baier has undeniable Talent.
I tried to contact the Born Again Christain about his future;however, he didn’t respond to my email.. Trainer Tom Garcia told me his fighter will continue his ring career. Diamond is headed for the Philippines to consult with his family in hopes of making their future brighter. I wish him the best as he searches forbalance and harmony in his life. Diamond Baier is a good guy.
Heads Up: Boxers and MMA fighters, with at least 1 professional bout, may be eligible for a neurological study program conducted conducted by the Cleveland Clinic out of Las Vegas Nevada. It is a free study and accepted clients will be given annual MRI Exams for four years. For more information, call Michelle Sholar at 702-483-6026 or Issac Santana at 702-685-7071. Ask about travel expense and possible compensation. Good luck. As discussed previously, most states don’t require MRI testing. Think about it then make he call, It’s your health.
Friend In Need: Popular boxing coach Chris Alvarado (Maricopa County Sheriff Boxing) is mourning the recent sudden and tragic death of Aniya Zamora, his 31/2 year old granddaughter. The family needs help with burial expense. Boxing fans fan can contribute by making a contribution to Account# 8143267329/Aniya Zamora Memorial Fund. You can drop the contribution off at any Wells Fargo Bank. Until Next Time!
Susan Wheeler Hernandez