With Tokyo, Japan being in a different Time Zone (Japan Standard Time) than San Diego and Tijuana, family and friends of boxer Carlos “Memin” Carlson should know it is best to set your watch ahead 17 hours in order to know when it’s possible to get the earliest news out of Japan in regards to who was victorious in the Carlson versus Shinsuke Yamanaka clash on Thursday evening March 2, 2017.
On Thursday evening, at approximately 9:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Carlson (22-1, 13 KOs) will be stepping into the ring to face the toughest opponent of his career. On that night, the 26-year-old orthodox boxer out of Tijuana is hoping to defeat the 34-year-old, southpaw and take home his WBC Bantamweight belt. When you’re one of boxing’s longest tenured title-holders, Yamanaka and his team will get to call all the shots and as in the past, this challenge will be met on Yamanaka’s home turf in front of his loyal supporters. When Yamanaka lands a punch the crowd will cheer wildly and you’ll hear the “oohs and aahs” and in contrast when Carlson does well, you will hear mostly silence.
Since Carlson is a compadre and from our sister city Tijuana, it is only fitting we should acquaint all San Diegans of this young man’s exploits. In the mini-documentary, titled “Memin: Portrait of a Boxer,” you will learn of his early struggles, an arrest in 2008 for vandalism and his subsequent time served for rehabilitation. Only 18 at the time, Carlson lucked out and soon discovered the sweet science which took him off the streets and catapulted him into this most challenging sport. It’s one thing to have the guts to fight another man one on one in the ring and another to face the responsibilities of being the head of household. Now married for five years, Carlson has a wife and three-year-old daughter of whom he adores. Signed with promoter Ken Thompson, this hard worker is managed by Roberto Sandoval and trained by the more than capable Sergio Perez and Oscar Diaz. Having a loving family plus solid coaching staff, Carlson’s dedication to the sport has driven him to this pinnacle, a golden opportunity to become a World Champion.
Now, the negative vibes. On Thursday evening, this 12-round championship fight, promoted by Teiken Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions, will take place at the Ryogoku Sumo Arena in Tokyo, Japan, a venue that is 9,025 kilometers or 5,608 miles from Carlson’s home. It’s a certainty Carlson will not have any fan support. The former WBC Latino and NABF Bantamweight champion and No. 6 ranked challenger, said it doesn’t matter. Yamanaka is an inch taller and an extremely skilled southpaw. Unlike Carlson, he has fought the best and has to his credit 11 straight title defenses. When you’ve been in a lot of high-profile fights, you flourish in that environment. As Yamanaka’s able opponent, Carlson can do a little bit of everything. He can box. He can brawl. He has excellent power in both hands. Carlson will need every tool to beat this man. For Carlson, a visitor from far off Mexico, his body clock will have him fighting this fight at 4 a.m. Pacific Coast Time. That 17 hour time difference can really throw you off. The same way other athletes are affected when they travel from the West Coast to the East Coast or compete in Denver or Mexico City with its high altitude.
When a reporter asked Carlson: “You’re fighting in Yamanaka’s hometown. Do you have any concerns regarding the scoring and decision?” Carlson replied: “I can’t let that bother me. The only thing I can control is how I perform inside the ring. I have to be the better fighter in every round. That doesn’t mean I have to win every round. It means I have to stick with the game plan, stay focused, and adjust when necessary. A knockout win would be wonderful, but I never approach a fight thinking knockout. It has to present itself, and if it does, I’ll certainly go for it.”
Can Carlson pull off the upset? We won’t know until around 6 a.m. on Thursday morning (Pacific Coast time). As local fans, all we can do is wish Carlos “The Best of luck!” as he attempts to climb this almost insurmountable mountain.
“Memín: Portrait of a Boxer” tells us a little more about the then 23-year-old professional boxer from Tijuana, who believes the key to his success has been the hard work done in preparation for each fight and how having that indomitable spirit of a champion is key. Once a juvenile delinquent and now a devoted athlete and father, Carlson narrates how hard his fight has been in both the boxing ring and in life.
Click here: “https://player.vimeo.com/video/124520703“