Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Deontay The One Trick Pony;
Fury Exposes More Than Wilder’s Lack Of Talent

Monday, October 11th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Al Applerose

As defined by
One Trick Pony: one that is skilled in only one area: one that has success only once

I’m pretty sure that anyone with even the slightest bit of boxing acumen knew Deontay Wilder was a “One Trick Pony” long before Tyson Fury put the finishing touches on the near three fight beatdown he delivered to “The Bronze Bomber”.

Outside of that long powerful right hand, some called “The Eraser”, there was little or no evidence that Wilder, who was spoon fed a string of second-rate bums over most of his lone title reign, had any real Champion caliber talent at all.

After the second Fury fight it was apparent Wilder’s skills were subpar at best. Casting a ton of blame on everyone and everything but himself, Wilder fired his trainer Mark Breland and brought in Malik Scott to smooth out the rough edges. As you saw Saturday night Wilder’s skills didn’t look any better at all, in fact they looked worse. Let’s face it, at 35 years old it was highly unlikely Malik was going to teach an old dog any new tricks.

You saw the result. In a crowd-pleasing battle that saw both men go down multiple times, Wilder who showed moments of his own resilience, finally succumbed to a pretty good beating. It was over in eleven.

After exposing the limitations of Wilders skills Fury unknowingly was about to expose another trait of Deontay that had been questioned in the past. After going to his fallen foes corner in a show of respect Fury emphatically stated, “I beat him three times and I’m a sportsman and wanted to give him some love and respect…he didn’t want to give it back. That’s his problem….”

It’s a huge problem.

This is the same guy who before the fight accused Fury of cheating in the last fight. This is the same guy who told Fury at the pre-fight press conference that Tyson did not possess Knockout power. This is the same guy who runs with a posse that has no problem running, “You gonna get yo’ ass kicked White Boy” smack anytime they crossed paths with team Fury during fight week.

Make no mistake about it, had Fury’s team run some of that racist smack back at “The Bomb Squad” there would have been Hell to pay in this bass-ackwards society we live in. Like it or not, you know that fact to be true.

So, after a fight that was a third in a Trilogy, a fight that saw these two leave a part of themselves permanently in the ring, you are telling me Wilder didn’t have the dignity or humility to show Fury some respect?

No, he did not.

As Fury would later say, “That is the true heart of a cowardly man.”

One of the things that I love so much about the sport of boxing is the fact that after brutal wars and epic trilogies fighters have the respect for their foes with handshake, hugs and sometimes even deep friendships. Think Gatti-Ward, Pacquiao-Marquez and the like.

Instead, Wilder chooses to swallow a jagged and bitter pill while spouting excuses for his losses and blames everyone but himself. And in case you haven’t heard, the excuse train for this last fight with Fury is already gaining steam and should be heading your way soon. A busted finger, busted knuckle, broken hand, and a busted lip are all loaded up on the locomotive and getting ready for delivery. Consider yourselves warned!

Prior to the fight Wilder was already hinting at retirement. In a perfect world he does just that, it’s time for him to go away.

No one likes a sore (three time) loser….NO ONE!

And that includes yours truly.

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Canelo vs. Plant: The Heat Is On

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

By William Trillo

If you have seen the movie Beverly Hills Cop you know things aren’t always Bentley’s and Diamonds in the 90210. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon as the press conference to announce the Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant title unifier quickly erupted into a donnybrook when the fighters’ exchanged blows during the face off.

Really, the November 6th fight in Las Vegas didn’t need much in the way of hype. Canelo, who is the biggest star in boxing right now is a 168-pound division Champion. Actually, he owns all the belts…except for one, and that is the belt that Plant has around his waist. There has never been a true undisputed champ at 168, but when the night comes to an end on that November date in Sin City, one man will reign supreme.

There is already an inordinate amount of interest in this fight, but what the heck, if you want to sell a few more tickets and PPV’s then go ahead, let the fists fly. Even better…let’s see some blood!

Fans got all that and more.

To quote the Glenn Frey song that opened that Beverly Hills Cop movie;
You can make a break, you can win or lose,
That’s a chance you take, when the heat’s on you,…The Heat Is On!

“You can say whatever to me, but not to my mom,” said and irate Canelo. “I’m going to fight anyone who says something about my mom. And he swung first. I just pushed him. He swung first, and I do what I do. He crossed the line.”

In a subdued response Plant said, “We just had some normal back-and-forth banter up there and then whatever happened, happened. It’s none of my concern though. I’m focused and locked in on November 6.”

Whatever the case may be, both men where bleeding after the skirmish. Let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

If you are asking Canelo, he plans on cashing in those Las Vegas chips early, “It will be over in eight rounds or less. I’m going to knock out this guy. Easy.”

On the other hand, Plant is looking to beat all the odds, “I know that people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m winning on November 6…. Those people who doubt me are the very reason that I’m here.”

Now we got a fight!

Oh sure, Canelo is sure to be the odds on favorite, but after this “Dust Up” in Beverly Hills even the most casual boxing fan is going to want to see what goes down when these two step into the ring in November.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased at The event is promoted by Canelo Promotions and TGB Promotions and sponsored by Hennessy and Value.

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Oscar & Oscar –
I’m Going To The Window Again!

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

By William Trillo

Over the past week a couple of Oscar’s, Valdez and De La Hoya respectively, have made some pretty loud noise in the boxing world and the news wasn’t necessarily pretty. Try as I might to stuff it and pretend the problems didn’t exist, I made every effort to keep my big mouth shut. But…in lieu of either having a complete nervous breakdown or suffering from a duodenal ulcer I thought it best to let off some steam.

Big surprise, huh?

Let’s start with Valdez, as we all know the undefeated WBC Super Featherweight Champ tested dirty for a banned performance enhancing substance. Both his A and B samples turned up tainted prior to his title defense that is set to take place this weekend.

The obvious question is why is he still fighting this weekend to defend his title? In fact, why is he still fighting at all? How is it that other fighters caught in the same situation were banned from boxing for a determined amount of time, but Valdez is seemingly walking away with nary a slap on the wrist?

At the very least Valdez should have been stripped of his title, fined and MAYBE allowed to fight but unable to regain his title with a victory. Should he lose, the title should have been given to his opponent Robson Conceicao. Along with that, Valdez should have not been ranked anywhere in the Top 10 in his weight and forced to fight his way back in.

But that is not the case.

The WBC in their “infinite wisdom” are allowing the title fight to take place as scheduled and said they will keep an eye on Valdez over the coming year to make sure he doesn’t violate the PED rules again.

Horse Hockey!

The WBC has long been suspected of some less than underhanded shenanigans when conducting their so-called business. With this decision in the Valdez situation, we no longer have to “suspect” anything. President Sulaiman and his entire organization are guilty as charged.

Furthermore, if you don’t think this taints the Valdez victory over Miguel Berchelt then you might want to be remember that Sulaiman likes fabric Softener when you are rinsing his Chonies.

No one on the planet thought Valdez had a real chance against the beast Berchelt. Let’s be real here, two fights ago Valdez was sent to the deck by last minute substitute Adam Lopez, who isn’t considered a KO artist at all. How could Valdez now summon up the power to steamroll a destroyer like Berchelt?

I will let you answer that one for yourself.

And now the other Oscar, De La Hoya.

Look, I may not have the College Degree that many of my peers have but when it comes to dysfunctional behavior and the issues that cause it, I have a Masters Degree. I am not proud to reveal that but with my experiences, which have included some 20 years as a counselor, I am pretty good at picking up the warning signs of someone heading down a pretty rocky path.

Let’s be honest, the atmosphere surrounding this “Most Anticipated” comeback appeared more like a circus than it did a professional prize fight. Something just seemed askew from the get-go.

Photos circulating of Oscar working the mitts at his open workout were less than flattering. Video interviews with The Golden Boy were uncomfortable to watch.

Honestly, it came as no surprise to me that Oscar pulled out of the fight a week before it was scheduled. I expected that all along. The video he posted on social media announcing he had Covid was odd. Amongst my peers it garnered skepticism. In fact, the next person that says they believe Oscar has Covid will be the first.

24 hours later Oscar revealed he was raped when he was 13 years old. The timing of this revelation is troubling at best.

Listen, I am not saying Oscar does not have Covid. I am not saying he wasn’t sexually molested as a pre-teen. What I am saying is all these things being announced at the same time by one person sends up a lot of red flags.

Mix in that abysmal appearance on that Triller card a while back when he was obviously intoxicated and what we have here is all the signs of a powder keg that is ready to blow.

Now, I could be completely wrong about my suspicions and totally out of line here, but if I was someone close to him, I would express deep concern and do whatever it takes to help stop this apparent downward spiral.

He is The Golden Boy for “Chrissakes.” If even a smidgen of what I believe is taking place, then someone needs to step in and save him from himself before something very bad happens….

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On His Fight With Kavaliauskas
Vergil Ortiz Makes It Clear;
“This Is The Fight Everyone Must Watch!”

Monday, August 9th, 2021

By William Trillo

Having been ringside to watch Vergil Ortiz (17-0, 17 KO’s) live nine times in his career, I feel as qualified as anyone to speak to the young fighters World Class skills. From being there when he made his pro debut in Indio, California and all the way up to his dismantling of Mauricio Herrera in Las Vegas, Nevada, I have witnessed all the impressive tools Ortiz has in his arsenal. I have become a firm believer that Ortiz is one of the top young fighters in the world. I will take that a step further when I say without hesitation that Vergil Ortiz is the best fighter in The Golden Boy stable. Again, I say that without hesitation.

This Saturday August 14th in Frisco, Texas Ortiz will take on a huge challenge when he puts his newly acquired WBO International 147-pound belt on the line against the battle tested Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KO’s). This fight, broadcast by DAZN, has all the makings of a Fight Of The Year type war.

I had a chance to speak with Ortiz at the end of his final week of sparring. From his last fight with Maurice Hooker and his thoughts on his upcoming battle, Ortiz was gracious to give us his insight. Check out the interview:

Pound4Pound: Thank you so much for giving me a moment of your time Vergil, I know you’re at the end of your big week of training and I appreciate your time.

Vergil Ortiz: No, thank you. And thanks for having me.

P4P: Good, good…Hey, you’re fighting next week in Frisco, Texas. Again, basically in your hometown. That’s got to be great to go back to back in your home state.

VO: Oh yeah, definitely. It feels great fighting back at home. Back-to-back! I love fighting at home. I’ve got a loving atmosphere.

P4P: Frisco’s pretty close to your home, isn’t it about 30 to 40 minutes away? So, you’re probably going to have a lot of people there and rooting you on.

VO: Oh yeah, of course. I’m looking forward to it.

P4P: I consider myself fortunate in that you’ve had a lot of fights down here in my Los Angeles area and also Las Vegas. I’ve been able to see you very often and I’ve come to appreciate your skills so much. My personal feeling is you are the cream of the crop with the Golden Boy stable. It must be nice to be getting that publicity and getting the Main Even fights on DAZN. I believe you are right on the verge of hitting the big stage very soon.

VO: I definitely feel the love from Golden Boy. I’m grateful to be with them. I said it from the beginning, I love being with them. They’re awesome. I’m not just trying to be a suck up or anything. They’re actually really good to me.

P4P: That’s great. In your last fight, I kind of want to call it your “breakout” fight, everybody was really looking forward to how you would do with Hooker. I think you made a big statement there stopping him in seven, you were ahead on all the cards at the time. I don’t think there’s anybody that should question what you did and what you proved that night.

VO: Honestly, I’ve seen a lot of people say that, “Oh, Vergil got touched up” or whatever. I’ve always been the type to get marks on my face. If people were really watching the fight, I was blocking most of those shots. I got hit maybe with two or three clean shots, those shots aren’t going to leave the marks like I had. The gloves were rubbing on my face or whatever, but it’s all good. I felt like I was in control the entire time.

P4P: As to your opponent, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, I’ve been watching him as well. Not as much as I’ve watched you, but quite frankly, I did watch his last fight with Zewski . And Kavaliauskas had some trouble in there. Had he had not knocked Zewski out he was actually behind on the scorecards. Do you look at things like that when you go into your fight? Where that fight was at that time, even though he did stop Zewski, there was a little bit of a problem for him. Did you see it like that?

VO: I don’t know. I did see the fight. I saw the whole fight. I think that he was doing okay. He was doing enough to not make the other guy look really good. At the same time, he wasn’t doing too much himself, but at the same time sometimes styles make fights. You just never know, but for this upcoming fight we got two fighters that love to fight, that love to be in those exciting fights. So I don’t think this fight is going to be like that.

P4P: So, you prepare yourselves accordingly then. It could end up being a good hard fight. I’m feeling this fight’s going to go about the same as the other two, seventh or eighth round knockout. And you’re going to be on top and then going on your merry way to bigger and better things.

VO: I mean, that’s the plan. Hopefully that’s the way it goes.

P4P: Okay, good. Just quickly….Everything’s going well, as far as camp, weight, nobody’s got any COVID or whatever else at all?

VO: Nope, no, no, not this time. No we’re good. We’re healthy over here. And I’m grateful for that. I feel great for this camp.

P4P: Any last words for fans and people getting ready to watch next week?

VO: Just make sure you tune in, this is going to be a fight. If you ever had to watch one fight, including my future ones, I would say this is the fight that everyone would love to watch. It’s going to be an exciting fight. I can’t wait to watch the fight after I fight.

P4P: Vergil, it’s been a real pleasure watching you fight. I’ve been so fortunate to see so many of your fights up close and I’m really thrilled that Cecilia at Golden Boy gave me this opportunity to speak to you. Good luck next week.

VO: Thank you. Thank you.

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Popoca Jr. Earning His Stripes

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

By William Trillo

Lost somewhere in the current hustle bustle and rhetoric of fighters not being able to come to terms with some 50 million dollars on the table there are young fighters who just want to climb into the ring and prove themselves as true pugilistic warriors. There is nothing these young men want more than to look across the ring at their foe as they wait for the bell to ring so he can earn his stripes by proving he is the better man.

Such is the case for young fighter Frank Popoca Jr. who will be stepping into the ring this week for the second time. The fight in South Carolina is far from the national spotlight, but for Popoca it does not matter. He just wants to step into the squared circle and prove he has everything it takes to rightfully be called a “Prizefighter”.

Check out our interview with Popoca Jr.:

Pound4Pound: Your career started off with a Majority decision victory, how do you feel going into your second pro fight?

Popoca Jr.: I’ve had time to look back at the film to study my mistakes and learn from them. I definitely feel more confident coming into this next fight.

P4P: Your opponent has 25 pro fights under his belt, that’s a big step up. Your team must be very confident in your skills?

PJ: Although I’m stepping into the ring with someone of much more experience one thing that can’t be questioned is the work that was put in leading up to this fight. My team’s confidence in me and the training is what made us take the fight.

P4P: Speaking of your team, you have James Toney working with you. How were you able to hook up with James?

PJ: James Toney was first introduced to me by Tony Burgess. Burgess is my manager and has played a huge part in my whole professional career.

P4P: Your fight is in South Carolina, what is the connection there? How did you connect with a promoter on the other side of the country?

PJ: That also is thanks to Burgess. His connection with SouthPaw promotions is what was able to help me get the fight.

P4P: Do you have any last words for your friends, family and fans before the fight?

PJ: To everyone supporting, I thank you! I appreciate it very much. I’m going to do my best to put on a show for you guys. Big thank you to my coach Salvador Gonzalez and lastly thank you Pops for making this fight happen. Thank you Xio Sandoval for setting this up.

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“Full Nelson” Applied To Charlo vs. Castaño

Monday, July 19th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Amanda Wescott – SHOWTIME

As defined by Full Nelson
… a bad situation from which it is impossible to escape.

Anyone who saw this Saturday nights battle between WBA, WBC and IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo and WBO Champ Brian Castaño knows very well that this was a nip and tuck war that was razor close. Everyone except Judge Nelson Vazquez that is. He somehow scored this fight 117-111 in favor of Charlo.

Considering the other two scorecards read 114-113 for Castaño and the other scored it a straight up 114-114 draw it’s safe to say good ol’ Nelsons scorecard borders on absurdity.

What is not so safe to say or suggest is that Nelson may have had his scorecard already written before the opening bell rang, as if he was inspired to have a preconceived notion, so to speak. (I did not say that).

Whatever the case may be, it’s a shame that boxing is slapped in the face with yet another inept scorecard that will forever take away from a darn good, if not Fight of the Year type battle.

Castaño started out like gangbusters and Charlo proved his mettle by coming on strong in the latter rounds to make this fight a tough one to call, unless of course you are Nelson who somehow saw Castaño only winning three rounds?

Three rounds?

To rub salt into the wound, this fight was for an undisputed Championship, which as we know is exceedingly rare these days. Someone was supposed to walk out of the ring Saturday night with all the 154-pound belts strapped around his waist. Both the winner and his promoter would have a lock on the Super Welter division, and they would be calling all the shots.

Are you doing the math here?

Because of Nelson’s questionable score…well as the above definition states;
it’s a bad situation from which it is impossible to escape.

Do with that information as you will.

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Friday Night Fights In
Los Angeles Final Thoughts

Monday, July 12th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Marlene Marquez

I must admit it was great to be back outdoors in L.A. covering the Golden Boy Promoted fights on a perfect Southern California evening. Everyone in attendance from fans to media to the participants seemed to be having a great time. I know I did. I do have just a few random thoughts on the evening that I felt like sharing.

To be honest, up until this weekend I referred to Light Heavyweight Gilberto Ramirez as “Zzzzurdo”, as in watching him fight normally put me to sleep (zzz). But after watching his performance on Friday night I am going to retract that moniker. Ramirez made quick work of Sullivan Barrera in the Main Event and the multiple knockdowns leading to the KO were impressive. After the fight he stated he was looking for Dmitry Bivol. Coming off this performance it is certainly a fight I would like to see now.

JoJo Diaz overcame a rough patch in the fight and went on to take a well-deserved unanimous decision victory over Javier Fortuna. My first question is why did Ryan Garcia go out of his way to duck Fortuna? If he doesn’t think he can beat this guy what makes him think he has any chance against the bigger names at 135 pounds? You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines of Diaz’s post fight comments to know he feels the way.

I didn’t know much about lightweight William Zepeda coming into the fight other than the fact that his 22-0 record with 20 KO’s looked great on paper. Hector Tanajara found out the hard way that Zepeda is as good as his record reflects. After getting beaten from pillar to post Tanajara’s corner did the right thing by stopping the fight after six grueling rounds. Put Zepeda on your radar, this guy is the real thing.

Those girls from Japan can here with bad intentions.

Since when did a girl clanging her drums along with the already too loud D.J. become a thing? I know Sheila E. was pretty cool back in the day, but c’mon, this display was not tolerable in the least.

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It’s Full Circle For McCullough and Quigley

Monday, June 7th, 2021

By William Trillo
Photo: Cheryl McCullough

As I was covering the fights on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas I was taken by surprise when I saw Wayne McCullough working the corner of Jason Quigley who was getting ready to square off in what turned out to be a very entertaining and close fight against Shane Mosley Jr.

I was curious to find out about McCullough working in Quigley’s corner, so I reached out to “The Pocket Rocket” to get the inside scoop. As always, Wayne was gracious to speak with me about that night.

Pound4Pound: When did you find out that trainer Andy Lee was not going to be available and you would be working in Jason’s corner, how did that all go down?

Wayne McCullough: I first found out ten days before the fight. Jason was coming over on Sunday, the week of the fight. So, they called and told me the situation and asked if I would work the corner. Of course, I told them I would be honored to!

I have known Jason since he fought in the World Series of Boxing with the L.A. Matadors. That is where I first saw him and I said to him if he ever thought about going pro and coming over here, (to The States), I would love to be a part of your team. Jason went on to win the Silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships and then signed with Golden Boy and started working with Manny Robles. After he left Manny, he came to me to train and he loved it but, he was homesick.
So Jason went back home and started training with Ingles. That didn’t work out too well and they ended up with Andy Lee. When they called and asked if I could help for this fight I said, “Yes, no problem at all”.

P4P: So, it sounds like this was a good fit for everyone in this circumstance.

WM: It was a good fit because we knew each other. We hung around together in California, so it wasn’t like we were strangers. I said to Jason the other day, “You know it’s funny how things come around full circle.” With that, We were all on the same page. We talked often before the fight and we talked after the fight.

P4P: Regarding the fight itself, it was a good fight, I thought Jason won it. Seeing one of the judges had it a draw surprised me just a bit.

WM: Well Bill, the truth is, and Jason even said it there in the ring afterwards, it was a close fight. It could have been a draw, it’s just the way one looks at the rounds. I had it 96-94 and one judge had it even, it’s possible it could have gone that way. In the last rounds I told Jason, “You got to go in there and win these rounds, you can’t step backwards and run around, you got to step forward”. He did that and on the judges’ cards he won those rounds.

P4P: I have been fortunate enough to see Jason when he started his pro career. I was also there to see his loss to Tureano Johnson. I am glad to see him get this victory here and wonder what you think it’s going to take to get him back up to the top.

WM: That loss to Johnson was a tough loss, your first loss is always your hardest. But Jason knows, the preparation for that fight wasn’t the greatest. The weight factor too was a big an issue for him then. The week of the fight cutting ten pounds doesn’t do your body any good. But for the fight with Mosley he was fantastic, he didn’t have to cut any weight, he was perfect.

P4P: I have said it before, in my opinion one loss is not a career ender and a loss can actually be a learning experience to make a fighter better. For Jason, it appears he did learn from that loss. Hopefully, this victory puts him back in the mix.

WM: Yes, this should put him back up there in the Top Ten at least. Jaime Munguia is with Golden Boy so there is a possibility of a fight happening there. Jason has mentioned Demitrius Andrade as well, he is with DAZN too, so that is a possibility as well. Munguia is a tough fighter, but I think that would be a good one for Jason. And if I was involved in it that would be great too because Erik Morales is in the other corner (laughs). Golden Boy will do the right thing of course, whatever they do I would love to be involved.

P4P: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask if The McCullough Gym is still up and running. Are you still in the business of training fighters?

WM: Yes it is, and yes I am! I was in California for a few years but I am back now and still have the gym open that you know I had Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas training at. I am still up and running looking for the next world champion.

P4P: That’s great to hear. If I know anyone looking for a trainer I will certainly let them know about you.

WM: Thanks Bill, you brought me fighters back in 2006 and I will always be grateful for that. I hope we can do it again sometime!

P4P: Me too!

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Is This The Last Hurrah For Arreola?
Maybe Not!

Saturday, May 1st, 2021

By William Trillo

The last time I recall Chris Arreola tipping the scale at the 229 mark was back in 2006 when he faced his crosstown rival Damian “Bolo” Wills. This was a long-awaited matchup of the two hottest prospects to come out of Southern California. It was a toss up who was going to win the fight in the eyes of many, but I always held firm that Arreola was going to bludgeon Wills. History will tell you I hit the proverbial nail on the head. Arreola beat Wills to a pulp and the fight came to an end after seven brutal rounds.

The world was seemingly Arreola’s oyster at that point and anything short of becoming the next heavyweight champ of the world would be a huge, if not surprising disappointment. Arreola was a beast. There didn’t seem to be anyone that would get in his way.

As it turned out someone did get in his way, it was Arreola himself.

It’s all been well chronicled by now. Lets call it the Three B’s;
Burrito’s, Beer and Bad Training habits derailed a very promising career. To put it simply, it’s a very sad story.

Now…It’s no secret that I have been as hard on Chris as anyone, just ask any of my three readers, they will confirm that fact. It never sat well with me that Arreola became his own “Nightmare”.

That being said, I have a newsflash for you. I believe Arreola is going to KO Andy Ruiz tonight in Carson tonight. I will take it further than that by saying I truly hope he does and will be pulling for him to do what most say he cannot.

In his last bout, which he lost by the way, Arreola actually looked better than he had in years. I was hopeful Joe Goossen would get another fight or two as Arreola’s trainer to sharpen his skills and get him one more crack at a title. He now has Chris in the best shape he has been in since 2006. I believe the fact that Chris knows that a loss here effectively ends his career will motivate him to be the best he can. If my hunch is correct, Ruiz ends up on his back when the fight is over.

Yes, I know Ruiz has got himself in pretty good shape as well and looked decent as he hit the scales at 256 on Friday. Do with this information as you will, but Wills also weighed 256 pounds when Arreola dismantled him on that Las Vegas night oh so long ago.

Go get ‘em Chris. I will be rooting for you tonight!

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Valdez’s Manager Frank Espinoza Reveals His Talent Finding Secret

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

By William Trillo

His ledger speaks for itself. Martin Castillo, Enrique Sanchez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Israel Vasquez, Abner Mares and now Oscar Valdez. The chances are whenever you see the next up and coming lighter weight Mexican hitting the spotlight there is a good chance you are going to see Espinoza in their corner.

I was fortunate enough to speak to Espinoza a few days after his latest protégé Oscar Valdez shocked the boxing world with the devastating defeat of the now dethroned Champion Miguel Berchelt. After congratulating the manager for having another World Title holder under his wing I had a few questions I hoped he would answer.

The first question was if was if he didn’t mind revealing his secret? How is it that it’s not uncommon to see him in the corner of the next Mexican breakout champion? What does he know that helps him find the fighters that will rise to the top?

Espinoza chuckled and said, “Thanks for the compliment Will. You know the main thing is the fact that I like to do my own scouting in the amateur ranks. I like to see them for myself. Of course, I love my Mexican fighters. When I am watching I look for fighters who already have that pro style. I like the amateurs that will fight and have that certain toughness about them. Those are the young men I target.”

Fancy that! Espinoza’s secret is simply good old-fashioned nose to the grindstone hard work. In a world full of boxing managers who are busy cutting records or worrying about their Social Media presence it is refreshing to see a guy who does his work the old-fashioned way. (Insert Smith/Barney commercial here).

Of course, I had to inquire about the Valdez/Berchelt fight. I noted that it’s doubtful anyone is going to worry about Oscar the next time he gets into the ring against a perceived bigger and stronger fighter.

“I am glad you mentioned that,” shared Espinoza. “You know, after the Quigg fight I knew it was time for a change. Oscar was just getting hit too much that night and as far as I was concerned. We had to go a different direction. A lot of people were extremely critical of me when we left Manny Robles, but it had to be done. You saw the difference Eddie Reynoso has made. Oscar did not get hit flush very much on Saturday night. Bringing in Reynoso made all the difference in the world.”

In other words, Critics be damned.

From being second guessed for replacing trainers to having his fighter being given no chance to defeat Berchelt, Espinoza has shown once again that it’s best not to second guess him or his hard work.

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