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Third annual West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame sold out

West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame
West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame

By John J. Raspanti

This Sunday at the Garland hotel in North Hollywood, CA, champions, challengers, promoters, writers and legends will gather for the 2017 class of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions.


Oscar Albarado, Paul Banke, Albert Davila, Paul Vaden, Loreto Garza, Andy Kid Heilman, Frankie Crawford, Ernie Lopez, Frankie Duarte, Randy Shields, Mickey Davies, Bobby DePhilippis, Dick Enberg, Pancho Villa, Bill Caplan, and Blanca Gutierrez will be inducted October 15 at the Garland Hotel Event Center in North Hollywood, CA.


Albarado, nicknamed “Shotgun,” was one of the most exciting junior middleweights in the 1970s and ‘80s. His wars with Hedgemon Lewis, Armando Muniz, and Ernie Lopez, all at the Olympic Auditorium, are some of the most memorable matches in the annals of boxing.


Banke, captured the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title by stopping heavily-favored Daniel Zaragoza at Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA. His courage was admired inside and outside the ring for battling both opponents and illness. 


Davila was one of the most exciting fighters to grace the hallowed halls of the Olympic Auditorium. The 5’3” dynamo won the bantamweight world title in 1983.


Vaden captured the International Boxing Federation super middleweight title by upsetting champion Vincent Pettway. He won 29 of 32 bouts in his nine-year career, scoring 16 knockouts.


Garza was one of the hardest-hitting boxers in the junior lightweight division. Offered a shot at a world championship, he traveled to France to defat Juan Martin Coggi in 1990.


Heilman, a middleweight, battled fellow contenders Florentino Fernandez, Jimmy Lester, Nate Collins, Charley Shipes, Andy Kendall, and Hall of Famer Emile Griffith,in the 1960s. Although worthy, he never got a shot at a world title.


Crawford fought everybody and anybody in the 1960’s and ’70’s. His battles with champions Mando Ramos, Vicente Saldivar, Eder Jofre, and Bobby Chacon, are still legendary.


Lopez gave noted welterweight champion Jose Napoles everything he could handle during two brawls at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. He holds victories over Lewis, Albarado, and Raul Soriano.

Durate was one of the most talented boxers to ever lace on the gloves. In 1987, The Ring magazine named him the “Comeback Fighter of the Year” after his thrilling victory over Davila.


Shields, who resembled a Southern California surfer, fought with the ferocity of a bulldog. His resume list names with names that include Ray Lampkin, Wilfredo Benítez, Pipino Cuevas, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Thomas Hearns.


Davies was a matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium in the 1960’s and ’70’s. He was also co-host of “Boxing from the Olympic” one of the highest-rated sports programs on the West coast.  


DePhillppis learned boxing promotion from his fatherRoberto. Father and son backed an unknown San Diego heavyweight named Ken Norton in the 1970’s. Bobby took over for his dad in the 1980’s, promoting fights at the El Cortez hotel in downtown San Diego, CA.


Enberg, barely 30 when he was hired to announce fights at the Olympic, would go on to become a popular sports announcer. He is fondly remembered for his catch phrase, ‘Oh, My!” 


Villa, was one of the greatest Filipino boxers, winning 77 of 81 fights during a career that ended unexpectedly when he died at the age of 23.


Caplan, still going strong at 81, has built lifelong friendships with fighters thanks to his loyalty and integrity, gaining him respect within the boxing world.  


Gutierrez was a successful kickboxer before turning her sights on the fight game. She founded the Baby Face Gym, soon becoming a staunch advocate of womens’ boxing.


The West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame is dedicated in upholding the integrity, accuracy, and memory of the great fighters




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