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Boxing Chatter

BY David A. Avila ON July 12, 2006
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The Return of Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez

Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez returns to the ring with his California pals on Friday when he meets Sean Plessis at Charro Ranch in San Antonio.

Hernandez and his Los Angeles-based friends Urbano Antillon, Nestor Rocha and Cleotis Pendarvis will see if Texas can match California in this pseudo team challenge.

Hernandez (41-6-1, 24 KOs) hasn’t fought since two Las Vegas judges apparently were checking out the ring girls because they didn’t see Famoso lose a couple of rounds early then proceed to dominate Bobby Pacquiao last October.

Now the former junior lightweight world champion faces a young hungry fighter in Canada’s Plessis.

Plessis (17-2, 4 KOs) is trained by Jesse Reid. What that means is the Canadian has one of the best trainers in the business. He’s improved since losing in six rounds against Freddie Barrera several years ago. But has he improved enough to beat Hernandez? That’s a big question.

Antillon (17-0) is undefeated and continues to win though his last several fights have been nail-biters. His last win came against tough Fernando Trejo last December. The Maywood resident does whatever it takes to win.

Pendarvis (5-0) is a boxing dandy whose speed and technique remind many of a left-handed Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though he’s defensive minded, “Mookie” as he is known has an abundance of talent. This is a big test for him.

For tickets or information call (210) 661-3892.

Toney Erupts at L.A. Press Conference


After spending more than a decade in the streets of Los Angeles, James Toney will finally unravel the “Lights Out” Show at the Staples Center on Sept. 2 against rugged Samuel Peter.

Toney trains in L.A., runs in L.A. and has a family that lives in the City of Angels but the former Detroit pugilist hasn’t fought in the city limits in five years.

Now he faces the “Nigerian Nightmare” Peter who dumped 22 opponents out of the 27 that stepped into the ring with him.

You would think Toney would be happy about the whole situation.

Nope.

Tempers flared and a glass of water was tossed across the dais at the ritzy Palm restaurant in downtown L.A. when someone called Toney dumb.

That immediately set off the former Eastern Michigan football player. Even on a good day Toney combusts like a vial of nitroglycerine placed accidentally near a furnace. But calling the future Hall of Famer dumb was dumb. Or smart.

Dino Duva, whose Duva Promotions back Peter and are co-sponsoring the event, placidly lectured on the attributes of Toney including his willingness to engage the African bomber. And just when you thought it was over, he called Toney “dumb for taking the fight.”

After Duva and Toney exchanged a few x-rated exchanges that left those people not accustomed to street talk feeling uncomfortable, the heat of the room tripled in temperature.

Then Peter’s manager Ivalyo Gotzev grabbed a microphone and declared the gloves were off and that “a young man (Peter) is going to take his first masterpiece” when they fight in September. He also said Toney would definitely lose.

Toney exploded from his chair and was blocked by members of the Goossen Tutor team and tossed a glass of water at Gotzev. Some landed on Peter and Duva who were seated closer to Toney.

“You ain’t fighting,” shouted Toney to Peter’s manager and promoter.

Before tempers flared Toney gave Peter props for his performance against Wladimir Klitschko that saw the African lose by decision despite knocking down the WBO heavyweight titleholder three times in 12 rounds.

“I felt he (Peter) won the fight,” said Toney, who holds the IBA heavyweight title. “The winner of this fight is the number one heavyweight in the world.”

Peter said he was not fazed by the unruly behavior by Toney.

“Toney is Toney,” said Peter, still amazed at the anger and viciousness of his next foe’s words and actions. “I can’t do my fighting in a press conference. I don’t want nobody to sue me. When I kill somebody it’s going to be in the ring.”

Before leaving the press conference Toney had commented on his foe’s willingness to accept a fight.

“I thought I won against Rahman,” Toney said. “I thought Peter won his fight against Klitschko…so this is the heavyweight championship right here.”

Toney looked squarely into Peter’s eyes when the pair did a face-to-face for photographers. Both fighters refused to blink.

“I want to thank Peter for stepping up to the plate and taking the fight against me. He is a tough guy, but he is no James Toney,” said Toney who is ranked number one by the WBC and fights the winner of Rahman and Oleg Maskaev. But only if he beats Peter. “I have to stay busy. I am no joke. I am not someone to mess with. I take the sport of boxing very seriously.”

Peter surveyed the wreckage of the press conference slowly. His suit was still slightly damp from the errant glass of water.

“Toney is a great champion, a Hall of Famer. When he is in shape, he can make anybody look bad,” Peter said slowly. Then he paused, and his face began to show a streak of meanness. “I will get rid of him in five rounds. I will make Toney regret that he took this fight.”

Outside the members of Toney’s team caravanned to the set of cars in a parking lot across the street from the Palm restaurant, and about 300 feet from the Staples Center where the two prizefighters will collide in what could be the biggest fight of the year for Los Angeles.

“I am like John Elway or Joe Montana. I feel no pressure. I am always ready to fight the best, any place, any time,” said Toney no longer fuming. “I like to beat people up and I have fun doing it. It is going to be a short fight.”

Floyd Mayweather news

Al Haymon, who advises Toney, Vernon Forrest, Librado Andrade, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., was at the Toney-Peter press conference on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He said that next week Pretty Boy Floyd will announce who his next opponent will be.

“It won’t be just an opponent or an easy fight,” said Haymon. “It’s going to surprise a lot of people. He’s fighting somebody very good.”

Mayweather has said he does not want a long spell of inactivity. Though a profitable bout against Oscar De La Hoya awaits him on May 5, 2007, the possibility that the East Los Angeles fighter may retire leaves Mayweather in limbo. He prefers to fight at least once or twice before next May.

Salcido sidelined with injury

Rialto’s Dominic Salcido was scheduled to headline a fight card at the LA Athletic Club in Los Angeles on July 20, but he re-injured his arm while sparring. The speedy lightweight is running into some bad luck the past year. Now fighting in his place will be Mexico’s Romero Roducindo, a former 2004 Mexican Olympian. Also on the fight card will be Odi Rivera in a rematch against Tomas Barragan.

West Wins in Monterey

Kaliesha West was victorious in Monterey, California last weekend. The Moreno Valley fighter won by unanimous decision over Maria Contreras 60-54 twice and 59-55. She remains undefeated and will fight once more this year before shutting it down. Her father and trainer Juan West wants her to prepare for bigger tests next year.

Tony Rivera

At the UFC 61 held in Las Vegas, I ran into Tony Rivera, one of the top cutmen in boxing. He was called into action by the Ultimate Fighting Championship to attend to a number of its fighters. Rivera formerly worked for the great Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran and Marco Antonio Barrera. Currently, he’s a corner man for junior lightweight contender Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic.

WBO champ Barrios

Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaeffer said WBO junior lightweight titleholder Jorge Barrios will meet quicksilver boxer Joan Guzman on Sept. 16, in Las Vegas. Schaeffer also said Israel Vazquez would be meeting Jhonny Gonzalez, but Vazquez’s manager Frank Espinoza said that fight will not happen this September.

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