Boxing in the High Desert
BARSTOW • Is the world of boxing ready for Barstow? Trainer and manager Manuel Ramos thinks so.
When it comes to an athlete getting exposure, there’s nothing like attaining sponsorship. That can take years to accomplish, but it’s a goal recently gained by Barstow’s Ramos, and a fighter he’s been training for the past six years.
Earlier this year, Ramos opened up shop locally and began training out of the Barstow Academy of Dance on East Main Street. He has several boxers under his tutelage, one of whom, Drew Angelcor, has been steadily attracting notice.
Angelcor has been getting fights in the Los Angeles area, with one in early June turning out to be the game-changer he’s been looking for. In attendance that night was boxer Shane Mosley, better known as Sugar Shane Mosley, who retired from the sport a few months ago. Mosley now runs Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, which stages boxing-centered events in SoCal and beyond.
Mosley watched him box and liked Angelcor enough to speak with Ramos after the bout was over. It began a relationship that the trainer from Barstow has only fantasized about.
“Things are happening fast now,” Ramos said recently, taking a rare break from what has become a very busy schedule. “That fight Mosley saw, Drew never should have won that fight. He faced a boxer from El Monte that he had no business beating. Mosley liked Drew so much, he asked him to be part of the Shane Mosley Team.”
Mosley became world famous during his successful career, fighting his way to championships at lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight. He retired in June with 46 victories, eight defeats and one draw. He registered 39 KO’s and won World Boxing titles in the IBF, WBC and WBA.
Angelcor is now part of a stable of fighters being promoted by Mosley. It’s a long way from the kid who first crossed paths with Ramos six years ago. At that time, Ramos was running a boxing program out of the Barstow Community Center and Angelcor wandered in one day. By the time the program closed, Ramos was Angelcor’s trainer, and the pair from Barstow set out to make their mark on the world of boxing.
Now retired, Mosley is dedicated to nurturing young boxers and staging events. He says that, “In this point in my career, I’m focused on training (his son) Shane Junior, assisting my father with training at the Mosley Pomona Boxing Club, and promoting professional fights under Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions.”
Toward that end, Angelcor will make his first appearance as part of the Mosley Team on October 5 and 6 at the Finish Line in Pomona. On the first night is the Sugar Shane Mosley Showdown, an amateur fight night, while Saturday is the Fight Night Explosion. It’s a charity event in conjunction with the Diamond’s Love Foundation (in remembrance of Mosley’s late nephew, Diamond Johnson), presenting the KO Cancer Boxing for the Cure. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the LA County Susan G. Komen Foundation. As well as amateur and pro boxing, there will be a raffle and door prizes, a live auction, and an appearance by Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard.
Mosley stages these events on a regular basis in the LA area, but now that the Barstow boys are on board, the Team will be branching out. Ramos has spoken with Mosley and a local event is in the works. The fact that Barstow is a more remote area than Mosley is accustomed to isn’t scaring the Team away; in fact, it’s a selling point.
“They want to bring entertainment to the High Desert, and they like the fact that there’s not much in Barstow,” said Ramos. “This area is entertainment-starved, and they want to bring the program that’s been so successful elsewhere to us.”
The event is still in the planning stages, but Ramos says the Team is committed to bringing the show here, hopefully by year’s end.
“In the LA/Riverside area, there’s just so much boxing, and Mosley sees the potential in Barstow,” he said. “We’re not sure about the location yet, but we’ve spoken to BCC and Fort Irwin. The Sportspark is a possibility, too. That has to be worked out, but Mosley is excited about it.”
For the moment, Ramos is still acclimating himself to his new situation. He is also part of the Mosley Team, which is basically a family operation. They wanted Angelcor to stick with the people who have helped him develop into the boxer he is, and since Ramos is such a big part of that, they wanted him, too.
Ramos has his own methods and philosophies concerning the sweet sciences, and he’s anxious to see Angelcor put them into action.
“My goal is to change the sport of boxing to make it a better sport,” said the Barstow trainer, who thinks the quality of boxing has declined over the years. “It’s not just about the physical, it’s physics. It’s a lot more mental and spiritual than just punching.”