By Ryan Maquiñana
Saturday’s TeleFutura Solo Boxeo Tecate card in Vacaville, Calif., features several fighters from the Northern California region. BoxingScene.com spoke to some of the principals before Friday’s 5 p.m. public weigh-in at the Courtyard by Marriott in nearby Fairfield.
MANUEL “TINO” AVILA (10-0, 3 KOs) ON HIS JR. FEATHERWEIGHT MAIN EVENT AGAINST RICKY LOPEZ (9-1, 4 KOs):
“We’ve been trying to bring one of my fights to Vacaville for awhile now, and I’m excited to be able to fight at my home gym.”
“Everyone talks about the [left] hooks, but I have a good right hand now, too. Over the past year, I’ve been getting used to the pros. I can see the punches coming a lot better, and I’ve constantly been working on becoming a two-handed fighter.”
“I got my nickname because my trainer [Al LaGardo] said I looked like [80s local slugger Tino Huggins], and that we’re both punchers. I only have three knockouts, but I’ve shown before I can hurt you if I have to. This fight will prove that I’m not some kid who’s all hype. I’m no joke.”
ALAN SANCHEZ (11-2-1, 5 KOs) ON HIS WELTERWEIGHT CO-FEATURE VERSUS MIGUEL ANGEL MUNGUIA (26-25-1, 22 KOs):
“I’ve been training hard for the past three months just waiting to get back in there,” Sanchez said. “I really feel like my speed has improved. I sparred a couple days with [MMA star] Nate Diaz in Lodi because he has a fight coming up, and I feel stronger, too.”
“[My last fight] was a little hard because I didn’t get too much left-handed sparring. [Manuel] Leyva gave me some good body shots, but I recovered. He got tired eventually and I was able to knock him out.”
“I want to tell everybody to come out and support me. Hopefully the fans come out and show us some love, and I’ll give them a good win to close out the year.”
BRIAN SCHWARTZ, TRAINER OF BANTAMWEIGHT BRUNO ESCALANTE (5-1-1, 3 KOs), ON FIGHTING PABLO CUPUL (6-9, 4 KOs):
“Bruno’s been through a lot, but he’s been back in the gym. He’s got a new manager in Herb Stone, and he’s ready for Saturday.”
WELTERWEIGHT PRESTON FREEMAN (1-0) ON HIS BOUT AGAINST EDUARDO HERNANDEZ (0-4-1):
“We’ve been working hard. We’ve been running a lot. The contract is for 145 [pounds], but I plan to come in lower than that. I feel quicker at that weight. I feel like my quickness can be an asset for me.”
“It’s a whole different ballgame in the pros. You can take your time more and sit on stuff. Everything counts.”
Tickets, priced at $35, $45, and $60, can be purchased at either pacopresentsboxing.com or at the Georgie Duke Center in Vacaville, which is Saturday’s fight venue.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.