Carlos Olmeda (2-0, 2KO) is ready for his fight on October 19th versus New York’s Vinnie Denierio (2-2, 1KO) at Durham Armory. He has put in the miles of roadwork, the hours training and sparring in the gym, and has eaten his lean protein and vegetables. Preparing for a fight is nothing new for the 27 year old featherweight. This fight, however, holds a special significance. A sensational win could save Olmeda from being deported from the country that has been his home since childhood.
Olmeda was fifteen when his mother brought him and his brother to live in the United States. The fourteen day trip from Mexico City, Mexico, and across the desert was fraught with danger, and would test both mother and sons. At one point, Olmeda recalls tearfully, his mother asked her boys to leave her in the desert. She couldn’t go on. Olemda cries as he remembers encouraging her to go just a little bit further. He wasn’t going to leave her alone to die in the desert. The men who his mother had paid to get them to the states scared them, threatening their lives should they leave the safe house that housed them. Eventually the trio would make it to North Carolina, where his older brother was established and awaiting their arrival.
During high school, Olmeda would step into a boxing gym for the first time. It was housed in a reformatory program meant to keep troubled teens off the street. It was at Safehouse, Second Round where he’d meet the coaches that would change his life, and teach him about life and the sweet science. Coach Santos and Coach D became his adopted family, and to this day remain his coaches and father figures.
Olmeda was the first in his family to graduate high school in the United States. It took a bit longer, because he was held back so he’d be able to learn English, but at 20 years old, he walked across the stage, and made his mother the happiest woman in North Carolina. It was a pivotal moment for Olmeda, who had a grueling schedule as a high school senior, working a full time graveyard shift at Dunkin Donuts, while attending school to help his family. All the struggles he’d experienced during his formative years culminated in that moment of pride for him and his mother.
Following high school, Olmeda would win three Golden Gloves titles, and a Gold at the Junior Olympics. He qualified and applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which allowed him to remain in the United States legally. Eventually his DACA status expired, and, facing the death of his mother from cancer, and unable to afford his DACA renewal, his status lapsed. No longer able to apply for DACA, Olmeda and his lawyer began to seek out other avenues for legal residency.
His fight on October 19th weighs heavily on him when he trains, when he attends church, which he does regularly, when he works, and when he can’t sleep. The visa for which he wants to apply requires him to be making a productive life for himself in the states. He must demonstrate that the path he’s taking will lead to success. Boxing coaches, promoters and fans agree – Carlos Olmeda is world champion material, and on October 19th, he must show everyone watching that he will indeed eventually wear a championship bet.
It isn’t an easy fight. Denierio has faced other fighters in Durham, and Olmeda is acutely aware of the outcome of those very competitive fights. “My plan is to knock him out. He fought Marko [Bailey, the main event fighter on October 19th], and they went the distance twice. Marko is now fighting for a championship title. I have to do better than that. If I can knock him out, that sends a message to the other fighters, to the other promoters. I want to show that I’m better than the other fighters who fought Deneirio.”
Olmeda faces the immigration judge on November 16th, but in his mind, his first battle in his fight to stay in the United States is October 19th at the Durham Armory, where a win isn’t just a win. A win is an opportunity for Carlos Olmeda to remain the country he loves – the country calls home.
Carlos Olmeda’s fight is part of Thursday Night Fights – a ten-bout card featuring talent from Raleigh-Durham, and throughout North Carolina. The card is topped by Durham fighter Marko Bailey versus Charlotte’s Stevie Massey for the North Carolina Lightweight Championship Title. Tickets for Thursday Night Fights are priced at $30, 50 and 75, and are available online at ragingbabe.com, by phone at 919-584-4849 or by visiting Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Doors to the Durham Armory, located at 220 Foster Street in Downtown Durham, open at 6:00 p.m. First bell is at 7:00.
PHILADELPHIA - Streaking junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, 25-4-1, 5 KOs, will go home with two awards at Sunday's 10th Annual Briscoe Awards on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The annual event will be held at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.
Farmer, currently riding an 18-bout winning streak, is looking toward a December crack at the vacant IBF 130-pound world title. However, before that milestone comes, he will stop by the Briscoe Awards on Sunday, to receive recognition for the "2016 Performance of the Year" and as the "2016 Prospect of the Year".
Farmer was brilliant in his fight with Ivan Redkach last year, and his virtuoso performance will be honored as the best among all other Philly fighters for 2016. This is the second straight year that Farmer has won the award.
Overall, Farmer posted four victories in 2016, pushing himself up the rankings and in position for his upcoming title opportunity. That four-fight run earned him the nod as Philly's best prospect. If he can wrest the title in December, he'll surely be in the running for the "2017 Philly Fighter of the Year Award".
ABOUT THE BRISCOE AWARDS ON OCTOBER 15 FROM 1-4 PM
The Briscoe Awards are named in honor of legendary Philly middleweight Bennie Briscoe and the trophies given away - the Briscoe Statue and the Briscoe Medal - all bear the deceased icon's likeness. The event brings together the local boxing community, including the award winners, their families, past and present boxers, fight fans, other boxing people, and general sports fans.
This is the tenth year for the Briscoe Awards, which are presented by Philly Boxing History Inc., a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, dedicated to preserving and celebrating Philadelphia's great boxing legacy. Past winners at the Briscoe Awards include Bernard Hopkins, Danny Garcia, Steve Cunningham, and many others.
The event returns to Xfinity Live! Philadelphia, the central hub of Philly's sports stadiums, located at 1100 Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia. Admission is $5, and tickets can be purchased at BriscoeAwards.com or by calling 609-377-6413. Everyone is welcome.
Crowd-pleasing welterweight of the 1950s, Gil Turner will become the sixth recipient of a gravestone by the Philly Boxing History Gravestone Program. A fundraising campaign to pay for the Turner monument will be launched as part of the 10th Annual Briscoe Awards event, on Sunday, October 15, 2017, at Xfinity Live! Philadelphia, beginning at 1:00 PM. Turner's children and other family members will attend the event on Sunday.
Philly Boxing History Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the great legacy of Philadelphia boxing. Five area boxers have been previously honored by the program, including Matthew Saad Muhammad, Gypsy Joe Harris, Tyrone Everett, Garnet "Sugar" Hart, and Eddie Cool.
Turner became a sensation in the early 1950s, when he reeled off 31 straight wins (25 by KO) to start his career. The streak stretched until July 7, 1952, when Turner faced off against welterweight champion Kid Gavilan, at Municipal Stadium in South Philly. Turner fought on even terms with the champ until round eleven, when the "Cuban Hawk" swooped in and retained his crown by TKO. Turner fought for another six years, but never again vied for a world title. He retired in 1958 with an overall record of 56-19-2, with 35 knockouts. Turner was a popular TV fighter throughout the 1950s and fought numerous big names such as Joey Giardello, Johnny Saxton, Ike Williams, Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basilio, Beau Jack, and many others.
He died in 1996, and currently rests in an unmarked grave in North Philadelphia. Once the necessary funds are raised, the monument is expected to be placed in 2018. Tax deductible donations to the effort can be made at the event or by calling John DiSanto at 609-377-6413.