Archive for August, 2020

Jose Ramirez & The Armchair Cornermen

Monday, August 31st, 2020

By William Trillo

Most of us have heard the term “Armchair Quarterback” before. Basically, it’s a term meant for someone who doesn’t participate in an action but still makes judgments about it. That is what I was thinking about as I sat in on the Zoom post fight press conference Saturday night. I was thinking it even more as I read a few Ramirez vs. Postol fight reports on Sunday morning.

Call me crazy but I think what Ramirez did on Saturday night was pretty darn impressive. Am I saying it was a hall of fame performance? Absolutely not! Am I saying that Ramirez did what champions do and that is to find a way to win no matter the circumstances? Heck yeah! That is exactly what I am saying.

I am normally not one to direct anyone to my reports, but go ahead and take a peek at my Ramirez vs. Postol fight report that I wrote prior to the post fight press conference. You won’t find me second guessing what Ramirez was or wasn’t doing and you surely won’t see me already speculating that coming off this performance he cannot beat Josh Taylor.

Look, Viktor Postol is about a difficult opponent as there is out there. Trying to look impressive against him, even in victory, is next to impossible to do.

Don’t believe me? Go ask Josh Taylor or Terrance Crawford about that. If that’s not enough talk to Lucas Matthysse. The Postol fight was the beginning of the end for “La Maquina”.

But given the task at hand and taking into consideration the multitude of setbacks this fight had to overcome before becoming a reality, I give both men a lot of credit for performing as well as they did. Asking questions to an exhausted Champion Ramirez like, “Why couldn’t you this…” or “Why didn’t you that…”, seemed extremely shortsighted at best. Questioning whether or not he can beat Josh Tylor now is pretty much a slap in the face to Ramirez. We have all seen him when he is on his game. Of course he can beat Taylor.

Bob Arum himself stated after the fight, “It was a good fight, but both men were impacted by going through three training camps and the whole situation with COVID 19.”

With no fans in the house to cheer him on, a staple for Ramirez cards, the champion found a way to retain his titles even though the circumstances where far from ideal. I personally think that is the story here. It’s not about what he didn’t do, what he couldn’t do or what he won’t be able to do in the future.

It’s about what he did. And that was retain his title and set up an opportunity for himself to become the first Mexican fighter to become undisputed champion of the world.

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The Comeback Of The Golden Boy;
I Am Surprised It Took So Long

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

By William Trillo
Photo: Bret Newton

The last time we saw Oscar De La Hoya “gloved up” in the ring he was staring hopelessly across the “Squared Circle” as the decision was made that he could not go out for another round against Manny Pacquiao. After taking a pretty good beating it was the right decision to make. Officially the record book will tell you Oscar lost when he retired after round eight. Unofficially, when most boxing fans discuss that fight they will use one of the cruelest terms in boxing, “He quit on his stool.”

Truthfully, De La Hoya’s accomplishments in the ring are legendary. There is no way that ill-advised fight and how it concluded will be what we remember of The Golden Boy. His Olympic Gold Medal and those 11 World titles will trump that final awful moment in the ring vs. Pacquiao, and rightfully so.

That being said, there isn’t a fighter on the planet from World Champion to Ham-n-Egger who doesn’t want to go out with their hand raised in victory. Oscar is no different. Even after all his accolades there is no way he can live with himself leaving the game the way he did. That is why I am surprised this comeback took so long. I figured Oscar would have made his comeback years ago.

But so be it, he has made his decision to fight again, and you know what? I am all for it.

My reasons for being on board with De La Hoya’s return are pretty much the same as his. In the news breaker posted on ESPN and penned by Steve Kim, De La Hoya said, “All these fighters are not of the level that was 15, 20 years [ago], all these fighters are demanding so much money, all these fighters are demanding the moon…These guys are in it just for the money — that’ll be the big difference. I will fight for the glory, and these guys only fight for the money. And guess what? The glory will always win.”

Can’t imagine whom The Golden Boy chief might be referring to here…can you? In this day and age of Instagram Superstars I am pretty sure I know exactly the motivation.

As to whom Oscar steps back into the ring with, that’s anyone’s guess, But if you are asking me what would be a mega fight all on it’s own, no titles or made up belts needed…drum roll please… about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.


Now wait a minute, before you say I don’t know what the heck I am talking about please hear me out. And yes, I know they are not currently walking around anywhere near the same weight, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone came up with a creative catchweight bout. If they wanted to, they could get it done.

I am here to tell you that if they could put this together and bill at as the son seeking to exact revenge for his Father, whom De La Hoya beat twice, the intrigue would be off the charts. They would fill The Coliseum, if fans were allowed in attendance, and PPV would be huge. Trust me on this. If those two untalented Youtube stars, (I couldn’t tell you their names if you threatened me with bodily harm), can pack the Staple Center, Oscar vs. Jr. is a sure-fire blockbuster hit.

Maybe a tune up bout to make sure The Golden Boy is firing on at least seven of his eight cylinders and then a Cinco De Mayo battle in 2021.

Whad’Ya think?

Either that or Oscar can fight Ryan Garcia and give him the beating you know De La Hoya desperately wants to apply on the young Prima Donna.

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La Habra Boxing Club Closing It’s Doors

Monday, August 17th, 2020

By William Trillo

It’s with a heavy heart that I am writing this article to inform the boxing community that The La Habra Boxing Clubs Founder, Trainer and Cut Man David Martinez has made the difficult decision to permanently close the doors after nearly 40 years of service to the young boys and men who stepped into his gymnasium.

As cliché as it might sound by now; 2020 has reared its ugly head again. Like all the other gyms across the country the boxing club was forced to shut down in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of the following months Martinez was informed there would be new rules to follow to open back up and that would be a costly task. After thinking long and hard about the situation, and as difficult as it was for him to do, Martinez made the decision it was time to move on.

It was back in 1981 that the Vietnam War Veteran and Hero Martinez along with his cousin Ray Molina opened the doors at The Old Lady of Guadalupe Church in La Habra to give troubled youths in the area a chance to get out of the gang life. Before that Martinez was helping those kids out in his garage gym, but when the city council in La Habra gave Martinez the keys to the abandoned church that was built in 1947, it opened a door to world I am sure Martinez himself could have never imagined.

When the club began it was a place for the neighborhood kids to come into a safe environment, play some foosball, shoot some pool and if they dared, lace up the gloves and step into the squared circle. It’s a tough neighborhood and many of them did. It wasn’t long before some of those kids in the neighborhood showed some promise and began their boxing careers. Most notably would be the late Julio Gonzalez who went on to become the first Mexican Light Heavyweight Champion of the world. And of course, the very popular brothers Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas, who both fought for world titles numerous times. The talented brothers called the La Habra Boxing Club their home. With the help of Martinez those three fighters helped put the La Habra Boxing club firmly on the map.

As the years ensued, Martinez gained notoriety as a trainer and cut man and it wasn’t long before world class fighters were coming to the La Habra Club to get in some good old fashioned and no-nonsense work and sparring. The list is seemingly endless; Shane Mosley, Mike Weaver, Jorge Paez, Carlos Palomino, Tyrell Biggs, Danny Green, Mikkel Kessler, Cobrita Gonzalez, Edwin Valero, Alfonso Gomez, Sergio Mora, not too mention so many other professional fighters who walked through the doors of that humble church building.

From reaching out and helping so many at risk youths to being the springboard for world champions The La Habra Boxing Club along with Martinez have been a staple in the community. They will be sorely missed.

It was last week that Librado Andrade gave me a call and told me that he and his brother Nestor would be at the club on Saturday to break down the ring and move it to a new location. He told me his other brother Enrique Ornelas would also be there along with David Martinez. Librado invited me to come to the club to join them and I jumped at that offer.

By the time I got there the ring was already broken down, there were no heavy bags to punch, no mirrors to shadow box in front of, just the scattered remnants of a once thriving gym. Having been a member of that club for quite a long time and having left my share of blood, sweat and tears inside that building it was not easy to face the reality in front of me.

Over the next few hours we reminisced about everything that took place inside those walls over the years. We laughed and shook our heads over what a great time we all truly had. No one cried but every once in a while after someone told a story there would be a silence and we would all just kind of stare off into the distance visualizing those days gone by.

Those were the good ol’ days. Days I will never forget.

It was a special time for all of us and nothing will ever be able to take those moments away.

Thank you David Martinez for your support and friendship, you are the best!

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