The year 2014 had Colorado clearly established as a hot bed of boxing talent with some familiar names transitioning from Olympic Style Boxing (formerly known as ‘amateurs’) to the professional ranks and already making a name for themselves.
Colorado promoters Steve Mestas (House of Pain Boxing), Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith (Poor Boys Boxing), Brandon Ortega (Sundown Entertainment, Colorado Springs), Rick Lopez, Sr. (New Generation Fight Promotions) and Sherry Cordova (Cordova Productions, Pueblo) provided fight fans from around the State the opportunity to enjoy young, upcoming Colorado talent.
Pueblo boasts Chantel ‘Gorgeous Babe’ Cordova (13-6-2, 3 KO’s) as the NABF (female) super flyweight champion, her winning that title in front of her hometown fans on October 24th.
Colorado Springs rising middleweight star, Maurice ‘Mo’ Louishomme (8-0-1, 4 KO’s), survived what easily ranks as the dirtiest fight in 2014. Arturo Crespin was the disgusting culprit who landed illegal blows, head-butted and threw rabbit punches until the fight finally halted after what was ruled an ‘accidental head butt’ sent the bout to the scorecards in round 7 where fortunately Louishomme got the decision.
Denver native (now fighting out of Las Vegas) Damien ‘Sugar’ Vazquez (6-0, 3 KO’s) at just 17 years of age became the youngest professional champion in the country, winning the NABF (North American Boxing Federation) Junior flyweight title in Pueblo on October 24th.
Denver’s Manuel ‘Manos’ Perez (21-11-1, 4 KO’s) added the UBF (Universal Boxing Federation) International welterweight title to his collection back on November 1st when on that same ‘New Generation Promotions’ card, Ricky Lopez, Jr. (13-3, 5 KO’s) won the UBF All-America featherweight title.
Bantamweight (female) Liza ‘Too Slick Too Quick’ Amaya (5-0, 1 KO), light heavyweight ‘Dynamite’ Donald Cobb (4-0, 3 KO’s), super featherweight Ricky Rodriguez (3-0), lightweight Donovan ‘Slick D’ Estrella (7-0, 3 KO’s), David Escamilla (5-0, 3 KO’s) and featherweight Chris Galvadon (4-0, 1 KO) lead the way in Colorado undefeated fighters with welterweight Manuel Damairias Lopez (7-1, 5 KOs’) arguably the best ‘One to Watch’ from our State, him clearly destined for stardom.
Welterweight Raul ‘El Chino’ Carrillo (14-1, 7 KO’s), light middleweight Giovanni Merceron (5-1, 2 KO’s), (female) bantamweight Kirstie Simmons (6-1, 1 KO), the heavy-handed KO artist super middleweight Izaac Cardona (10-2, 10 KO’s) and light welterweight Antonio Diaz (4-1, 2 KO’s) are just a few names you can bet will be mentioned frequently in the year 2015.
Veterans Rob ‘Red Hot’ Frankel (33-15-1, 6 KO’s), Cesar Holguin (10-5-2, 3 KO’s), Daniel Calzada (10-12-2, 2 KO’s), Alfred ‘Tornado’ Romero (7-4, 6 KO’s) and Juan ‘Chago’ Santiago (14-12-2, 8 KO’s), can never be taken lightly.
Below are my personal picks for 2014 and whether or not you agree, ENJOY!
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR (male): Donovan ‘Slick D’ Estrella: Went 5-0 with 3 KO’s in 2014 but must decide which weight division to settle down and campaign in.
FIGHTER OF THE YEAR (female): Chantel ‘Gorgeous Babe’ Cordova: Colorado’s only female champion says it all.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR: ‘Dynamite’ Donald Cobb: Was in a tough bout with Jordan Smith before Cobb delivered a picture perfect right hand check-hook for the one punch round 3 KO.
PROSPECT OF THE YEAR: David Escamilla: Has power in both hands, can box and is durable. This kid is something special.
DESTINED TO BECOME WORLD CHAMPION: Damien ‘Sugar’ Vasquez: Already has an NABF title under his belt, his 2015 focus on a World Championship bout.
COMEBACK FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: Ricky Lopez, Jr.: After finally getting his management situation corrected, Lopez, Jr. returned in 2014 with a vengeance, impressively winning all 3 fights here in Colorado.
ROAD WARRIOR OF THE YEAR: Daniel Calzada: Unafraid to ‘take his show on the road’, Calzada traveled to Las Vegas in August taking on veteran Ashley Theopane (37-6-1, 11 KO’s) and Omaha, Nebraska, in November tangling with undefeated highly regarded prospect Alex Saucedo (16-0, 11 KO’s) with a total of 4 fights in 2014.
MOST RECOGNIZED: Mike ‘303’ Alvarado (34-3, 23 KO’s): Alvarado had only 1 fight in 2014 that against future Hall-Of-Famer, Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KO’s). Alvarado is considered one of the top P4P fighters in the world and is an all-time Colorado fan favorite. His next fight is on January 24, 2015, here in Broomfield, Colorado, against Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (32-2-1, 23 KO’s).
FIGHT OF THE YEAR: ‘Manos’ Perez (Denver) vs Cesar Holguin (Grand Junction): Back on November 1st these two Colorado light welterweights went toe-to-toe for 10 solid rounds, Perez coming away with the unanimous decision. The scores had Perez in a lopsided win but for those viewing the fight there was not a more entertaining battle in 2014. The rumors of Perez maybe being finished were squashed with the help of a determined and focused Holguin coming to fight. That win allowed Perez a shot at welterweight Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23 KO’s) who was just too big for the light welterweight (or less) Perez.
HUMANITARIAN: WBC Cares Colorado (Stephen Blea and Raylene Carbone): In conjunction with the CGGC (Colorado Golden Gloves Charities) continued their mission of ‘Big champions helping little champions’ with Gabriel Santistevan and Deidre Vickers-Strauch a 2014 focus.
Gabriel is just 10 years-old and suffers from a rare brain cancer while soon to turn 34 years-old Deidre is a mother of two suffering from rectal cancer.
These two personify everything associated with the word ‘FIGHT’ and along with the WBC Cares Colorado and CGGC, we salute their courage in facing what is truly the fight of/for their lives.
**The New Years Eve Dinner/Dance held by the CGGC has made it more affordable with dinner/dance tickets reduced to $30 per person/$50 per couple. Dinner starts at 6PM with dancing at 8PM. Those already purchasing tickets will be refunded the difference AT THE DOOR, tonight. More information, call Jess Mora 303-880-5515.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!