The next couple weeks and months should be great time if you’re a boxing fan of local Peninsula and Bay Area talent as a number of fights are on the horizon.
The biggest fight will be hard to get to, unless you’re willing to travel to Mexico. That’s where “Mighty” Melissa McMorrow, out of San Mateo’s B Street Boxing, will face Mariana “Barbie” Juarez for Juarez’s WBC International Flyweight title in Puebla, Mexico Saturday night in a scheduled 10-round bout.
McMorrow, 32, the current Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF) flyweight champion, should consider changing her nickname to “Road Warrior” as this will be the fourth time in five fights she has fought outside the United States. McMorrow sports a 9-3-3 record with one knockout, but her high-pressure style makes her a favorite of boxing fans.
Despite going up a fighter with the nickname “Barbie,” don’t be fooled. Juarez has three times as many fights as McMorrow and is the reigning WBC champion with a 38-7-3 record with 16 KOs.
This will be McMorrow’s first fight in almost a year as she has struggled getting bouts through her German-based promoter. In March 2013, she won a split decision in Germany over Nadia Raoui to take the WIBF crown.
Closer to home, the Fox Theatre, in association with Don Chargin Presents Productions and Paco Presents, will host Friday Night Fights in Redwood City Feb. 28. The card will be loaded with a number of familiar names. The main event features Bruno “The Aloha Kid” Escalante, out of Undisputed Gym in San Carlos, in a non-title, 10-round fight against Lorenzo Trejo of Sonora, Mexico.
Escalante is the reigning International Boxing Association’s (IBA) super flyweight champion and was recently named the Northern California Fighter of the Year for 2013 after going 5-0 last year. Overall, Escalante is 11-1-1 with five knockouts.
Escalante is coming off a majority decision win over Michael Ruiz Jr. in December.
Trejo brings a ton of experience, with 62 fights under his belt. He has a record of 33-28-1 with 20 KOs.
The undercard features a number of Bay Area boxers, including San Francisco’s Ricardo Pinell, who rebounded from his first career loss — a knockout by Eric Medez last September. Pinell came back in December with an impressive knockout of Arthur Brambila. That win improved Pinell’s record to 6-1-1. Other Bay Area boxers on the card include Redwood City’s Jesus Sandoval (3-1-3), Tony Johnson (7-0) of San Jose, and San Leandro boxers Mauricio Zalaveta (1-0) and Andrew Tinae, who will be making his debut.
In April, San Bruno native and Capuchino High School graduate Joe “The Punisher” Gumina, a cruiserweight and another fan favorite because of his spectacular knockouts, will be back in the ring at Redwood City’s Sports House as part of OPP Presents Boxing’s “Battle on the Bay.”
Gumina (5-1, 3 KOs) will be one of the featured fighters when he takes on Larry “Psycho” Ward, a corrections officer out of Sacramento.
Like McMorrow, Gumina hasn’t fought in more than a year, since a first-round knockout of Lee Hollman last March.
Also featured on the card is Hayward middleweight Aaron “Heavy Metal” Coley, an undefeated fighter (8-0, 5 KOs) out of Hayward. It will be his Bay Area debut. San Francisco heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (3-0, 3 KOs) will go for his fourth straight first-round knockout.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.