LOS ANGELES-Driving 70 miles through heavy traffic to get to West L.A. is a severe pain. But when a show arrives that features so much young and veteran talent, it’s worth the drive.
Junior welterweight contender Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera was the main attraction for the media day coordinated by Golden Boy Promotions. Other fighters in the West L.A. Boxing gym on Wednesday were Jojo Diaz, Jason Quigley, Nick Arce, Michael Perez, and Angel Bojado.
All will be appearing on a sizzling fight card at the L.A. Sports Arena on July 11. Herrera versus Hank Lundy is the main event. Golden Boy Promotions promises a fiesta atmosphere with ticket prices starting at an amazingly low $10.
East L.A.’s Bojado is the younger brother of Panchito Bojado, and just like his older brother, he can fight. Whether it’s inside or outside, whether a slugfest or scientific matchup, the Bojado brothers can just plain fight. It’s a natural born genetic kind of thing that you can teach, but it takes years to learn.
Bojado tried following in his older brother’s footsteps.
“I wanted to be like Panchito and fight professionally at 17,” said Bojado. “But some things aren’t meant to be.”
Unlike his brother Panchito, who accumulated many amateur boxing matches and was a member of the 2000 Mexican Olympic team, Angel traveled from gym to gym like a boxing gypsy until he found a perfect fit.
“No more talking, just doing,” Bojado said is his creed.
Two months ago Bojado was introduced to a boxing crowd at the Belasco Theater venue. At the time he looked to weigh about 180 pounds. On this Wednesday afternoon Bojado looked like he trimmed a good 30 pounds off.
“Most of the weight is gone,” said Bojado.
For 15 years I’ve seen Angel Bojado in boxing gyms or at fights. Inside the boxing ring he’s shown an innate ability to box with anyone.
“It’s a lot different than amateurs,” said Bojado, who I saw spar with Sergio Mora and Alfredo Angulo in the recent past. “It’s a lot different from going only four rounds. Sergio showed me that and took me into deep waters.”
Mora often used Bojado as a sparring partner when he needed a speedy boxer with good technical abilities. Though Mora rates as one of the quickest middleweights in the business, he often found it difficult to hit Bojado.
Now, finally, Bojado gets an opportunity to show the world what he can do.
Many consider the summer heat in Southern California to be one of the best qualities of the golden state.
But what if you’re born and raised in the green hills of Ireland?
“It’s taken a little getting adjusted to the weather,” said Quigley (above, in Al Applerose photo), who hails from Ballybofey, Ireland and fights as a super middleweight. “In Ireland it either rains or its cold. It’s why everything is so green.”
So far Quigley has knocked out every opponent he’s faced as a professional. But as an amateur things were quite different.
“I don’t remember ever knocking out anyone as an amateur,” Quigley said. “Maybe by stoppage.”
The difference, says Quigley, has been sitting down on his punches.
“I’m sitting down on my punches and not picking a point like in the amateurs,” said Quigley.
The Irish middleweight has boxing in his blood. His father also boxed and passed on his knowledge to his son. But unlike so many other fathers, he wisely decided to let another show him through the professional ranks.
It was a family decision four months in the making to decide to sign with Golden Boy Promotions and move to the United States to train and fight.
“It was a big step, a big cultural move,” said Quigley.
The Irish middleweight with crackling power lives in the hot San Fernando Valley and trains in the cooler city of Carson. Though he’s adjusted to Southern California lifestyle, he dreams of fighting in front of his countrymen one day.
“It would be absolutely amazing,” he said.
Tickets are priced at $10, $25, $50 and $100, plus applicable taxes and service charges, and are available for purchase at www.lacoliseum.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations and by calling 800-745-3000.