Category Archives: California Boxing

How I Discovered Boxing

by Desiree D’AlessandroDesiree How I Discovered Boxing

The following video documents how I discovered boxing, who were (and still are!) my influences and mentors, and where I plan to take it. Amongst the influential mentors mentioned in the work, I am especially glad it highlights some of the collaborations between me and David Martinez and Henry Calles of Santa Barbara, California. Boxing is art and women’s boxing debuting in the 2012 Olympics is truly inspirational. I am delighted to share here on

Artistic Performance, Amateur Boxing, and “A People to Come”
by Desiree D’Alessandro, Contemporary Artist, Amateur Boxer

Digital (De-)(Re-) Territorializations
Hosted by Bowling Green State University
and BGSU’s Association for Textual and Literary Analysis Students


Los Angeles Boxing Legends: Frank Baltazar, Sr.

rickFrank Los Angeles Boxing Legends: Frank Baltazar, Sr.

Rick and Frank (September 22, 2007)

By Rick Farris
a former professional boxer and boxing historian )


By the end of WWII, a new era in Los Angeles boxing had taken life. In the eyes of California boxing historians, such as Gabriel “Hap” Navarro, former promoter and matchmaker at the legendary Hollywood Legion Stadium, the post war years thru the 1950’s, are considered the “Golden Era” of Los Angeles boxing.

At the time, L.A. headliners such as Enrique Bolanos, Manuel Ortiz, Art Aragon and dozens more, set box office records at the Olympic Auditorium, Hollywood Legion Stadium and Wrigley Field. In addition, the “City of Angeles” had a number of smaller clubs putting on regular shows, such as Ocean Park in Santa Monica, South Gate Arena and San Bernardino, to name a few.

A couple years after the war, a skinny 12-year-old would get his first taste of boxing from inside the ropes. This would be the birth of a life long journey for young Frank Baltazar, and it would take it’s first breath at the beginning of Los Angeles boxing’s toughest, most competitive era.

Today, six decades later, the skinny kid isn’t quite as skinny, and the thick black hair not quite as dark, as when we first met, however, Frank Baltazar Sr. looks pretty much the same. Frank’s handsome latino features contradict his seventy-plus years.

The first time I saw Frank was in the mid-1960’s, shortly after he’d hung up the gloves, after a sixteen year amateur career. Frank’s education in prizrfighting took place during the sports most glorious period in California, lessons learned in countless gyms, arenas and clubs thruout the Southland. His teachers were hardened “old school” veterans, and he practiced his skills in the ring, trading blows with some of the greats of the era
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Ray White-crop

Ray “Windmill” White / California Boxing Hall of Fame

Ray White crop Ray Windmill White / California Boxing Hall of Fame  By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

Last year in a conversation with Don Fraser, President of the California Boxing Hall of Fame, I mentioned to him, “Why isn’t Ray White in your select group of inductees?” Don’s reply was simple, “I have thought of that, but I have no idea how to reach him.” My reply to that was simple, “Don, because of my involvement with USA Amateur Boxing, I see and talk with Ray at various southern California shows and I will gladly take care of this for you.”

So late last year at a boxing show, I made that connection for Mr. Fraser, and now the rest of the story will take place later this month when Ray White will officially be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.

My memories of Ray White are fun ones, as I watched him box several times at Southland venues. He was a colorful light heavyweight in the 60’s and early 70’s.

A carpenter by trade, White took up boxing in 1958. His flamboyant clowning style included his unique “rooster” with others being the behind the back punch and the back hand bolo punch. Those antics gave him the nickname of “Windmill.” He was also referred to as the “Clown Prince of Boxing.”
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RING TRIVIA for April 2011

RING TRIVIA crop RING TRIVIA for April 2011  ( a monthly feature from )

1) On July 4, 1912 in Vernon, California, Joe Rivers lost his bid for the lightweight title vs. Ad Wolgast when the bout ended in one of the most controversial finishes in boxing history … the outcome was ?

a) double low blow

b) knockout after the bell

c) double knockout

d) knockout before the bell


2) When Larry Holmes won the WBC heavyweight championship (vs. Ken Norton) on June 9, 1978 … his manager and trainer was ?

a) Eddie Futch

b) Emanuel Steward

c) Richie Giachetti

d) Teddy Atlas


3) What former heavyweight champion was the referee for the lightweight title fight between Joe Gans vs. George Memsic on September 27, 1907 ?

a) John L. Sullivan

b) James J. Corbett

c) Bob Fitzsimmons

d) James J. Jeffries


answers will be available for viewing in about three weeks




An exhibition by Desiree D’Alessandro in collaboration with Raymond Douglas


April 18th through April 22nd, 2011

Closing Reception and Exhibition Bout Friday April 22nd, 2011 from 5-7pm

in Old Gym Gallery 479 on UCSB campus

Artists Desiree D’Alessandro and Raymond Douglas take a unique look at the local student body of Isla Vista, focusing specifically on recreational and competition boxers.


The exhibition will not only depict student boxers utilizing traditional artistic approaches, but also allows the physical bodies engaged in athleticism first-hand be the medium on exhibit in an art context. This innovative and intriguing displacement facilitates dialogue across the boundaries of art and athleticism in a generative and productive new arena.


The venue that hosts the culmination of these efforts is a site of particular interest. UC Santa Barbara’s Gallery 479 is a site imbued with athletic history that still features rustic floors dating from when the space was a recreation center prior to 1949.The interplay of activating the current gallery and historical use of the space is invigorating for the context of holding an athletic-themed art exhibition, complete with alternative hours where the gallery is utilized as a training facility and a closing reception exhibition bout.

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Sweating. Breathing. Punching. Training.

desiree1 Sweating. Breathing. Punching. Training.By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

On Feb 5th 2011, I was on hand to sponsor Desiree D’Alessandro, an artist who turned her studio into a modest boxing training facility as part of the UCSB Art Department’s MFA Open Studios at Harder Stadium. There, she engaged in a public endurance session that lasted 4 hours, training incessantly for 2-minute rounds with 1-minute intervals. Patrons were surprised and intimidated by the noise that invariably contaminated the entire building: the rapid pound of a speed bag being worked and the grunts and slams of power combinations against the heavy bag. Many wondered just what exactly D’Alessandro was doing and how it related to an art context. In order to investigate this concern, we must review her artistic record, similar to how one would investigate a fighter.

D’Alessandro is a 25-year-old artist from Tampa, FL. She received her BFA degree in 2008 from the University of South Florida with a major in Electronic Media and minor in Art History/Critical Theory. D’Alessandro is currently pursuing a MFA degree from UCSB with an emphasis in New Genres. Simply stated, New Genres is a contemporary realm, arguably more complex and convoluted than the discernible or traditional art practices of the past. It is this realm where D’Alessandro hopes to develop her voice and actively contribute to discourses that are generative, relevant, and even unexpected.

With her latest work, Art in Athleticism: The Form and Physicality of Boxing, one could say that this subject matter aptly fits the description.

I met D’Alessandro in August 2010 while co-coaching boxing with Henry Calles, owner of Duke’s Boxing and Fitness Gym, Isla Vista, California. On that first day at the gym, she signed up and has since been training and exploring boxing as art. She has lost forty pounds and incorporates rigorous training to coincide with her graduate studies. D’Alessandro explains, “I want to explore the boundary where art meets athleticism and invite spectators from different arenas to converge and converse. I am interested in interaction, reception, and the questions and challenges the pursuit of boxing in an art context raises.”
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Joey Orbillo -crop


Joey Orbillo crop JOEY ORBILLOBy Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

During the 60′s and the early 1970′s the state of California produced several world class heavyweights. Talented and capable boxers like Eddie Machen, Jerry Quarry, Henry Clark, Thad Spencer, Bill McMurray, Mac Foster and Kenny Norton.

The city of Wilmington was represented by a rough and tough custumer by the name of Joey Orbillo. Joey did not have a lot of fights in a career that lasted less then a decade. He did have a lot of memorable wars. He was a game and brawling crowd pleaser. If it was blood and guts you wanted, Joey gave it to you.

He began his career in the mid-1960′s and was soon swapping leather with the likes of Henry Clark, Johnny Featherman and future world title challenger Manuel Ramos. Joey scored a big victory in March of 1966 outscoring the highly regarded Tony Doyle.

The win over Doyle set the stage for Joey to invade the top layer of the heavyweight division. He was matched with Eddie Machen. The veteran was among the best in the world.On June 23, 1966 he proved to be a little too much for Joey winning a hotly contested ten round split decision.

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She caught my eye… Maggie Suarez

Maggie header She caught my eye... Maggie Suarez

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

I have followed boxing now for about half a century and I truly consider myself blessed meeting so many wonderful people in that tenure. The past twenty-five years I have also been blessed being involved in working with amateur fighters in local boxing gyms in which I have met many kids that have delighted in my teaching and expertise.

In August of this year, I, along with Henry Calles, a former amateur fighter and owner of Duke’s Boxing in Isla Vista, California, took one of our young fighters to a show in Lompoc, California. These shows are a showcase for all amateur boxers, male and female, and are simply a treat for boxing fans to come out and support their fighters.

Once at the Lompoc arena, we were preparing our male fighter for his fight. Off in the distance, I couldn’t help but notice a young girl warming up with her trainer prior to her fight. I must admit that I was distracted because of the excellent shadow boxing and mitt work that I observed. I knew right then and there that this girl was special, and so I anxiously waited to see her fight in the ring.

When her bout came, I sat close to ringside and I was very impressed to see this young female boxer do her work in such an amazing style; a beautifully executed left jab and complete focus in the ring. After winning a three round bout by decision, I knew that I wanted to do a feature story for my website to showcase her and what she represents in female amateur boxing. Her sportsmanship and ring generalship is what really impressed me the most.

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FIGHT CALENDAR for October 2010

Vitali Klitschko FIGHT CALENDAR for October 2010

Be sure to stay posted to every month for your complete boxing schedule

FRIDAY – October 1, 2010 (SHOWTIME)
from: Santa Ynez, California

Tim Coleman vs. Patrick Lopez (Junior Welterweights)
Archie Ray Marquez vs. Juan Santiago (Lightweights)

FRIDAY – October 1, 2010 (Telefutura)
from: Corrientes, Argentina

Jorge Barrios vs. Humberto Martinez (Lightweights)
Hector Saldivia vs. Weison Alves de Oliveira (Welterweights)

SATURDAY – October 2, 2010
from: Panama City, Panama

Luis Concepcion vs. Denkaosan Kaowichit (WBA “interim” Flyweight Championship)
Guillermo Jones vs. Valery Brudov (WBA Cruiserweight Championship)

SATURDAY – October 2, 2010
from: Guadalajara, Mexico

Juan Jose Montes vs. Sylvester Lopez (WBC Junior Bantamweight Championship)

THURSDAY – October 7, 2010
from: Pensacola, Florida

Roy Jones, Jr vs. Danny Santiago (Cruiserweights)
Ismayl Sillakh vs. Daniel Sackey (Light Heavyweights)
Derrick Gainer vs. Walter Estrada (Lightweights)
James McGirt, Jr vs. George Armenta (Super Middleweights)
Fres Oquendo vs. Gabe Brown (Heavyweights) Continue reading


Mayweather vs. Mosley FIGHT CALENDAR for May 2010

be sure to stay posted to every month for your complete boxing schedule

Friday, May 1, 2010 (HBO / PPV)
from: Las Vegas, NV

Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley (WBA Welterweight Championship)

Thursday, May 6, 2010
from: Paris, France

Jean Marc Mormeck vs. Fres Oquendo (Heavyweights)

Friday, May 7, 2010 (ESPN2)
from: El Paso, TX

Antonio Escalante vs. Carlos Ricardo Rodriguez (Featherweights)
Seth Mitchell vs. Ashanti Jordan (Heavyweights)

Saturday, May 8, 2010 (HBO)
from: Carson, CA

Paul Williams vs. Kermit Cintron (Junior Middleweights)

Saturday, May 8, 2010 (PPV)
from: Aguascalientes, Mexico

Antonio Margarito vs. Roberto Garcia (Junior Middleweights)
Jorge Solis vs. Mario Santiago (Junior Lightweights)

Saturday, May 8, 2010
from: Tokyo, Japan

Nobuo Nashiro vs. Hugo Cazares (WBA Junior Bantamweight Championship)
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