Latino Boxing In Southern California By Gene Aguilera
Latino Boxing In Southern California is a journey back in time to an incredibly exciting era for boxing aficionados.
In terms of size, this book weighs in at bantamweight but it delivers a heavyweight punch. It’s presented in a concise timeline fashion highlighting some of the key events of each particular decade. It’s a must have for anyone who follows the sweet science.
Boxing history in the United States is extensive and well documented. There exists a long list of books covering the sport, some specific to weight classes while others show a regional appeal. This book offers both.
It’s meticulously supported with photos of fighters, fight cards and accurate descriptions of the events. Author, boxing historian and Hall Of Fame inductee Gene Aguilera spent countless days and nights working at the epicenter of the boxing world. He informs his readers with highly detailed information.
Understanding the position that Aguilera held during this period of boxing here in Los Angeles reveals a personality that was uniquely positioned to tell us this story. Boxing aficionados will be thrilled by the events covered. Colorful images bring key events held at such venues like the Olympic Auditorium, The Forum and LA Sports Arena back to life. Who can forget Bobby Chacon Vs. Ruben Olivares at the Forum? That was August of 1977. It covers intense rivalries like “Schoolboy” Chacon and Rafael “Bazooka” Limon – they met four times, twice in Los Angeles. And there are many more fighters covered here; Alexis Arguello, Carlos Zarate, the legendary Ruben Olivares, Julio Cesar Chavez, Mantequilla Napoles, Finito Lopez to name but a few….it was a golden era for boxing in Los Angeles, and its well documented here.
Also covered are wars of the early 21st century. One of the most memorable rivalries was Israel Vasquez vs. Rafael Marquez. They met four times as well, splitting the difference in what boxing pundits consider one of the hottest rivalries of all time. Two of those brawls were in Los Angeles, where the city and its champs established the benchmark for world class boxing.
Reading a book about boxing in Southern California that covers so much ground was deeply satisfying for many reasons. My childhood evolved in very close proximity to the same gyms, events and personalities mentioned here. Indeed, this book stirs up memories of the gym, weigh-ins, title fights, and post fight interviews and Jimmy Lennon’s voice.
From a retrospective standpoint, this little book is a ticking time bomb! It’ll send your senses running with memories of yesterday’s title fights, those pay-per-view get-togethers and perhaps some road trip you took on a whim, just to see your favorite ‘lightweight’ slug it out.
Latino Boxing In Southern California was written by Gene Aguilera and presented by Arcadia Publishing.
The wind-up and the pitch: It’s gift season and every boxing aficionado should have a copy of this book.
Copyright 2019 by James del Campo, Boxing Correspondent Heavy Bag Boxing.