2015 kicks off with Blackshear vs Suarez rematch, Caballero title defense

The rematch: On January 9, 2015, San Diego's Jolene Blackshear (r) will once again face Maria "Maggie" Suarez who almost shut Blackshear out back on December 6, 2013.

Revenge minded? On Friday evening, January 9th, Jolene Blackshear (r) will once again face Maria Suarez who on December 6, 2013 almost shut her out.

On Friday evening, January 9, 2015, San Diego’s Jolene Blackshear will again face Maria“Maggie” Suarez at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA. The ladies are featured on the undercard of the Darleys Perez (31-1, 20 KOs) versus Jonathan Maicelo (21-1, 12 KOs) show promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and televised live on ESPN2 and on the web at ESPN3.com from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA. A third featured bout has light middleweight Kendal Mena (20-0, 11 KOs) from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic risking his undefeated record against the always tough 5’10” Francisco “Chia” Santana (21-3-1, 10 KOs) from Santa Barbara, CA. If you check out their past opponents, you’ll notice Santana has faced the much tougher competition.  

Getting back to the lady’s contest – the last time Maria Suarez (8-1-1, 0 KOs) and Jolene Blackshear (9-5-0, 4 KOs) met was on Friday, December 6, 2013. That was the night Suarez dominated the scoring, 60-54 twice and 59-55 on the final scorecard. Throughout that contest, Suarez remained at the proper distance to benefit from her height, weight and reach advantage. After the win, Suarez said she felt so good she wanted to remain at the lower weight (jr. flyweight with it’s maximum weight 108 pounds), down from her usual weight of 112 pounds.

This is where an inquisitive reporter might question, ‘Why would she talk about making a lesser weight when she didn’t even reach the catch weight of 108 pounds on December 5, 2013. At that Thursday weigh-in for the fight on Friday, Suarez weighed 111 pounds while Blackshear weighed 108.2 pounds. In the lower weight divisions, a difference of three pounds gives a boxer a substantial edge, especially in regards to one’s punching power.

After beating Blackshear, Suarez stated: “I can take her punches. She hits pretty hard, I give her that. And she buzzed me a little bit, but not too much.” About the weight difference she added: “It’s going to be easy maintaining my weight.” (At what weight? Jr. Flyweight?) “That’s why I’m willing to sacrifice. I always fight at 112. I always weigh in at 111 and that’s eating that morning. It’s easy for me.”

Since her first fight with Blackshear, Suarez put on a dominate performance against Chantel Cordova in Pueblo, Colorado, and then lost a split decision to Sindy Amador at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. Blackshear had success against Amador and knocked her off her feet twice on her way to gaining a split decision win on Amador’s home turf.

The top three jr. Flyweights in the U. S., (clockwise, starting top, left) Maria Suarez, Sindy Amador and Jolene Blackshear.

Top three female jr. Flyweights in the U. S. (clockwise, starting top, left) 32 year-old Maria Suarez (8-1-1) of Santa Maria, CA, 30 year-old Sindy Amador (12-1-1, 1 KO) of Riverside, CA and 44 year-old Jolene Blackshear (9-5-0, 4 KOs) of San Diego, CA.

In preparation for this fight, Blackshear had been working out at The Arena in Point Loma and now that her trainer Jose Cital accepted the position of head boxing coach at the Downtown Undisputed Gym, Jolene will be finishing her preparations at the new location. That’s right, as of January 3, 2015, Jose Cital is the new head boxing coach at the Undisputed Downtown gym at 16th and K streets.

After her recent win over Susan Reno on September 4, 2014, Jolene Blackshear is joined by her support staff which includes from left

After her win over Susan Reno on September 4, 2014, Jolene Blackshear was joined by her support staff to include (r to l) Brandy Augustine, her nutritionist, trainer Jose Cital (c) and fellow coach James Thomas III.

Coach Cital’s thoughts on the Suarez vs. Blackshear matchup: “Last time out we took the fight with Suarez on a week and a half notice. Plain and simple, we were over confidant. We weren’t ready. That was my fault. We’re ready this time. Jolene’s not concerned about the difference in height and weight, she wanted this fight. Her exact words, “I’ll take the fight at any weight.” Myself, as her trainer, advisor, I am concerned about the weight difference. We did get them to agree, reluctantly, to come down in weight to 110.” It will be interesting to see if Suarez meets that requirement.

Addendum: At the weigh-ins held Thursday, January 8, 2015, Maria Suarez weighed in at 109 pounds while Blackshear weighed 110 pounds.

Further clarification on the Cital appointment

On December 30th, Joe Vargas, the Undisputed Downtown head boxing coach, formally announced his departure as of Friday, January 2, 2015 to take on the head boxing coach position at The Arena in Point Loma. Here’s the official announcement: “Today is a very sad and yet happy day for me,” said Vargas. “Sad because my time at Undisputed Downtown is coming to an end. This is my last week. And I’m sad to leave friends like Herman Terrado, Nestor Flores, Nick “Phoenix” Barnes, Ben Khoshaba and Rocco Joel and most of all my students, too many to name. But, I will be joining more friends at The Arena gym like my childhood boxing teammate Ernesto Martinez, Good friends like Baret Yoshida and Milan Gallese B. Plus, I’m excited about getting to work alongside Charles Martinez who has a great reputation and also has a great MMA team. I’m coming over to make this new 2015 start and I’ll be working for Michael Loyalty Liera. Here we go family and friends. You know where to find me.”

Joe Vargas (sitting) is accompanied by younger brother Adrian and “El Majestro” del South Bay Barbershop, his cousin George Vargas. Joe Vargas: “Big thanks to my cousin for the great hair cut. I want to start the year hard at The Arena gym.” Arlette Scott: “My last workout of 2014 and one of my last workouts with Coach Joe. I've had too many coaches to even count. But coach joe will always be my 1 and only boxing coach! I'm going to miss you. You've helped transform me mentally and physically and for that I can never thank you enough.” Arlette Scott: “Coach, manager, promoter, trainer, husband, chef, and now... Physical therapist!” Milan Gallese B: “He’s a one stop shop.”

(top, right) Joe Vargas (sitting) poses for a photo with brother Adrian (l) and master barber cousin George Vargas at the South Bay Barbershop. “Big thanks to my cousin for the great hair cut,” said Joe. “I want to start the year hard at The Arena gym.”
(bottom, right) Arlette Scott: “My last workout of 2014 and my last workout with Coach Joe. I’ve had too many coaches to even count. But Coach Joe will always be my one and only boxing coach! I’m going to miss you. You’ve helped transform me mentally and physically and for that I can never thank you enough. (left) “Coach, manager, promoter, trainer, husband, chef, and now…physical therapist!” continued Scott. “Joe’s a one stop shop,” added Milan Gallese B.

Randy Caballero returns home to defend his title

After piling up 12 wins in 12 fights at Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in Indio, CA, hometown hero Randy “El Matador” Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs) of Coachella, CA went on the road in search of a world title. On October 25, 2014, it was mission accomplished when Caballero defeated England’s Stuart Hall in a “terrific” battle at Salle Des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

showplace in Monaco

The Monte-Carlo Sporting Complex located on the 5.5 acres of land reclaimed from the Mediterranean sea is located on the peninsula of Larvotto. It’s an unforgettable showplace housing the “Hall of Stars” equipped with retractable roof and fountains, the Palm Room Casino, La Trattoria Restaurant, The Fuji Restaurant and Jimmy’s Disco, the most prestigious night club on the French Riviera. Adjoining the Complex is the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.

After watching the video of their fight on October 25, you’ll notice neither of the lean boxers had trouble making the agreed upon weight.

On Friday, February 27, 2015, Coachella’s conquering hero returns to Fantasy Springs to defend his IBF Bantamweight title for the first time against Alberto “Metro” Guevara (18-2, 6 KOs) from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico in a 12-round bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions.640 Feb 27 Randy Caberllo poster

With just six KOs to his credit, Guevara is not known for being a big puncher. That being said, his only losses were to Shinsuke Yamanaka and Leo Santa Cruz, two of the best ever. It’s also important to note Guevara was knocked down four times in his last two contests. Even though both boxers are 5’6” tall, Caballero will benefit from having an inch longer reach. Being familiar with the participants, this fight promises to be a classic. 

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.