Crossroads Boxing aims to make an impact in the sport
- Updated: March 15, 2016
At times in the boxing game, as a fighter is on the rise opportunities come up that are appealing as an offer may come to sub in as a late opponent on a fight card with little time to prepare yet a check with a zero or two on the end of it for your efforts.
A boxing promotional company at times may call upon a rook’ fist thrower with promises of that fast money on short notice to step in as a late opponent for their own fighters benefit.
While these scenarios are short term lucrative, (hey, we all got bills right, fighters not excluded!) in the long term, taking an L in the squared circle hurts the fighters brand and could also begin the stages of being branded a B-side from there on out.
More often than not, fighters not of the same ilk of John Molina or Gabriel Rosado, fighters who win even in losing due to their strong showings in defeat, can fall off the competitor radar and ultimately land in the much dreaded ‘journeyman land’.
Gym owner/manager Bernie Valenzuela of Crossroads Boxing has a mindset to change the way of things for the benefit of the fighter, and the Southern California resident has thus far put his money where his mouth is, starting with his own stable of rising contenders.
“Managers think that they need to take all the fights offered for their fighter. They (managers) need to know there are options. You don’t always have to take every fight that’s offered. I would recommend taking your time (with a fighter)… Money will come later down the line.”
Boxing is filled with stories of fighters hard on their luck, as well as fighters turning to the sport at a young age, and more often than not, both of those characteristics apply and Valenzuela is no stranger to helping the youth.
His gym has regularly hosted Junior Olympic Championship fight cards, with the next scheduled event to take place in April. Valenzuela has also hosted silver, blue and gold glove tournaments.
Valenzuela, who himself grew up on the rough streets of South Central and sports a martial arts background prior to entering the boxing game, represents several pro fighters at present, with his most prominent fist thrower at this point being welterweight Joshua Conley.
The 23-year old fighter with 13 wins against just one loss at one time was represented by the notoriously reclusive boxing figure Al Haymon. ‘Young Gun’ began punching for pay in 2011 and had amassed eight wins with one draw by the time he signed on for Haymon representation.
Three wins later Conley found himself matched against fellow Haymon-ee Daquan Arnett in August last year. The fight was set in Arnett’s hometown of Winter Park Florida and the split decision went in the east coast fighter’s favor.
Conley then decided to make a change following his first career loss and met Valenzuela through a mutual friend. After a few meetings, Conley made the move to have Valenzuela represent him.
Two fights into his career with Valenzuela at the helm have led to two wins and a more personal rapport with the person elected to Valenzuela his best interests in the fight game.
“I feel like I have a relationship with Bernie…” said the San Bernardino, California native who has sparred with the likes of veteran fighters Julio Diaz and Josesito Lopez. “I feel very much supported. I feel that I could trust him.”
Through Valenzuela, Conley almost got a gig to enter the training camp of Canelo Alvarez and serve as a sparring partner for Alvarez’s upcoming middleweight bout against England’s Amir Khan, and is now looking at a possible title shot in the works for late March.
Another boxer in Valenzuela’s stable is lightweight prospect John ‘Bang Bang’ Delperdang, a lightweight who sports a 4-0 record who was developed at the Crossroads Boxing gym who was a former product of the streets prior to stepping into the gym in November 2014 and meeting Valenzuela.
“I had a friend that got killed. I sat at the funeral and told my friend that I did not want to live like this anymore. I asked him to tell God that I wanted a better life, and in a few days I met Bernie,” said Delperdang, who turned pro with the guidance of Valenzuela.
Delperdang turned pro in July 2015 and notched three more bouts to end the year, and has thus far logged a win in 2016, a January 30 TKO, and the determined 23 year old is looking forward to being featured on his managers fight cards set in the coming months.
Also recently signed to the ever growing stable is 9-0 lightweight Jaime Ocegueda, heavyweight Paulus Ritter, welterweight prospect Stewart Quincy Flores and #1 ranked amateur female Karina Saravia, who made it to the USA Boxing Olympic squad.
Valenzuela hosted a fight card in Chino, California last year and is now taking his show on the road in 2016, staging fight cards South of the Border in Aguas Calientes, Mexico on a near monthly basis, with dates set for March 5, April 16/30, June 4, August 20, October 1 and November 27.
There will also be a pro fight card put on my Valenzuela in the States, slated for September 2016 in Southern California.
Knowing fight dates are set can bring assurance to a boxer that he will remain active throughout his career, and Valenzuela is careful to pit his stable against challenging opponents in order to advance their rankings and provide ample experience.
Along with partner Ernesto Torres and a slew of investors and sponsors, which also includes Zendejas Restaurant owner Eddie Zendejas, Valenzuela is looking to make an important and positive impact on the sport of boxing.
“When you sign with Crossroads Boxing it’s a management TEAM, not just a manager,” said Valenzuela.
Crossroads Boxing Gym is located at 1335 E 4th St, Ontario, CA 91764.
Valenzuela can be reached at (909) 851-3765 and Bernie@thevrg.com