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Attorney Recalls Her Days As Boxing Champ

Reed

Rosetta Reed is a petite, professional attorney and a natural conversationalist. In her list of accolades lies an unexpected title, boxing champion.

Reed was born in Tehachapi and grew up in Mojave. A resident of Bakersfield since she was 16, Reed worked for a local newspaper called the Rosedale Roadrunner and eventually married Tony Reed, the publication’s owner.

Reed’s boxing career began when she and some friends decided to watch amateur matches in 1976. Reveling in the fight, Reed was hooked.

Kern County boxer Rosetta Reed faced off against No. 1 contender Bonnie Prestwood in Bakersfield in 1980.

Two weeks later, Reed was at the Munoz boxing gym on East California Avenue, and her husband became her manager.

“I liked boxing because I liked the exercise, and it kept me tone. And I was really competitive,” said Reed, who started boxing at age 26.

Women’s boxing was tough, not just in the ring, but as an up-and-coming sport. Society preferred the bouts between men rather than women. Reed was a pioneer of the sport but not before some intense training.

Working with Paul Munoz for a couple of years, Reed switched trainers to Chuck Wiggins in 1979. For Reed, the gym work was easy, but the running was the toughest part of becoming a champion. She often ran from Hart Park to Bakersfield and even along the California coast in the sinking sand.

“I hated it every step of the way,” Reed said.

Finding fights was like pulling teeth. Not only were there few women fighters, but Reed’s flyweight division (108 lbs – 112 lbs) had hardly anyone at all. But her big moment came at last in 1978 when she fought Nancy Thompson and knocked her out in just two rounds. [click to continue…]

taishan

In boxing, it’s not often that the first fight of the night gets a lot of attention. But at Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco last month, the fans, the announcers, even the viewers watching the broadcast on FOX Sports One were all captivated by the boxer in the blue corner.

“Tonight he makes his professional debut and joins us from Beijing, China,” chimed the announcer. “Here is The Great Wall: Taishan!”

Taishan Dong is a mountain of a man in every sense of the word. His name comes from Mount Taishan, one of China’s five sacred mountains. At 6 feet 11 and 285 pounds, the 26-year-old Chinese boxer towers over his opponents in the ring.

Announcers call him the Great Wall. His promoters call him the soon-to-be Yao Ming of American boxing. But JianJun Dong — his real name — just prefers Taishan, because someday he hopes to tower over the sport of heavyweight boxing like Mount Taishan over China’s Shandong province.

Dong says he hiked to the top of Mount Taishan six years ago and liked the feeling he got looking down.

“I want to feel that way with boxing,” he said through an interpreter.

Heavyweight Boxing’s Next Big Thing?

The stage is set for a new challenger in the sport’s marquee division.

There’s an old adage in boxing: “As goes the heavyweight division, so goes the boxing business.” Lately — here, in the U.S. — the going has been slow.

For the better part of the past decade, the world heavyweight scene had been dominated by two Ukrainian brothers, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko. Vitali has retired and is now the mayor of Kiev. Wladimir, 38, is said to be nearing retirement. Below him, there are no clear successors.

That’s got every promoter in the sport looking for the next big thing. Physically, Dong certainly qualifies. He has signed with Golden Boy Promotions, one of the largest promoters in the sport.

At Longshoreman’s Hall, Dong went to work on his opponent, the 6-foot-3 Alex Rozman. In the second round, a jab to the top of Rozman’s head knocked the former bodybuilder to the mat and out of the fight.

“[His punch] is a battering ram,” says John Bray, Dong’s trainer. [click to continue…]

Former WBA Champion James Page is Headed Back to Prison

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A smiling James Page looked into the camera and — with the bravado that comes with being a professional boxer and world champion — proclaimed he was back.

It was 2012, and Page was fresh out of prison after a 11-year stint for bank robbery. He was, he said, “a young 39″ and he insisted his troubles with the law were over.

Page answered the interviewer’s question without a flinch: “Do you think you can get back to the promised land?”

“I can guarantee you I can,” Page said in a video now posted on YouTube.

Then he resumed robbing banks.

Page is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for a series of East Bay bank heists that could keep him in prison for up to 20 years.

Page declined to comment for this story, as did prosecutors and his defense attorney, but his family, former managers and local boxing trainers tell a tale of a polite young man whose left hook propelled him to the top of the boxing world before his career was derailed by an inexplicable plunge into a life of crime.

“He had so much talent,” said Linda Hudson, who began working with Page when he was just a child and was his manager when he turned pro. “I hate to see somebody like that throw it all away.”

Page’s professional fights took him to Las Vegas, France and Puerto Rico, but he got his start in the blue-collar, east Contra Costa suburb of Pittsburg and its surrounding towns.

Hudson remembers when an 8-year-old Page first walked into her gym, Concord’s Little C, now called the Concord Youth Center. The young Page was polite, she said, and immediately became a fixture, showing up at the gym daily with a work ethic and a left hook that set him apart from other local boxers. He even sparred with Muhammad Ali when the boxing great stopped by the gym for a fundraiser. Boxing was his ticket off the streets of Pittsburg. [click to continue…]