This past weekend saw Colorado boxers in action beginning with the Colorado Golden Gloves Gym (Coach Bernie Aragon) taking a stellar group of amateur boxers to Hastings, Nebraska, for competition in ‘Battle in the Panhandle II’.
Professional boxers Donovan ‘Slick D’ Estrella and Roosevelt Parker, Jr. (aka ‘Black Rhino’) took time from their busy schedules to make the trip showing support for that show put on by Bill Green (BG Sports Entertainment LLC) and former Colorado pro standout Isaiah Barela.
The USA Boxing National Tournament held in Spokane, Washington, had several competitors representing Colorado in the Senior Elite (no headgear) category with none making it to Finals competition but the experience definitely having those attending buckle down even harder as the fine tuning begins leading towards Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Colorado bantamweight Michael Herrera (2-3, 2 KO’s) traveled to the Buffalo Thunder Casino in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Saturday night him coming up short in a bout against the undefeated Angelo Leo (4-0, 1 KO) but vowing to immediately get back in the gym as he and fiancé Nicole Pasillas look forward to the late March arrival of their first son, Eli Miguel Herrera.
ESPN Radio (1580AM) with co-hosts Fred McHenry and former George Washington High School and former Denver Broncos running back Chris Brewer continuing their pledge to promote Colorado boxing more than just ‘lip service’ when yesterday they had Denver native and former WBC World Lightweight Champion Stevie ‘Lil But Bad’ Johnston (42-6-1, 18 KO’s) as their special guest.
Johnston isn’t appreciated nearly enough for his contribution in placing Denver ‘on the map’ in boxing, him just as skilled and popular as the much larger (now deceased) former heavyweight Ron Lyle, both men proudly acknowledging Denver, Colorado, as their home.
It was especially gratifying to see Stevie out and looking fit, that smile letting everyone know he’s in a comfortable place as the conversation ranged from his football days at Denver’s Manual High School to his WBC World lightweight title fight held here in Denver (back in 2000 at the Pepsi Center) versus Jose Luis Castillo holding everyone’s attention.
Topping off the interview were local WBC Cares representatives Stephen Blea and Raylene Carbone presenting Johnston with a framed award recognizing his achievements in the Denver boxing community.
The award was well received and Stevie Johnston appeared to relish the idea of becoming more involved in the promotion of Colorado amateur and professional boxing, him not being forgotten by those of us who well remember his stellar amateur and professional career.
Thanks to Chris Brewer and Fred McHenry (ESPN Radio 1580AM), Denver Broncos #1 fan the 'Limo Man', Steve Mestas (Airtight Boxing Promotions) and Nicole Ellerman-Romero (Hart’s Corner Restaurant & Bar, 5201 W. Mississippi Ave) for their combined efforts in making Colorado boxing 'the talk of the town'.