In 1968 Chicano inmates of California State prisons separated in two rival outfits, Nortenos (Northerners) and Surenos (Southerners). According to prison records the longest running gang war has exploded over a pair of stolen shoes. Animosity between Nortenos affiliated with Nuestra Familia and Surenos, members of La Eme or Mexican Mafia rage on until today.
On Friday night, Northern California junior lightweight Eloy Perez (18-0-2,5KO) will face Southern California Dominic Salcido (18-2,9KO) for the NABO belt. Televised live by Solo Boxeo Tecate from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California, this battle will have little resemblance to gang wars, even though a healthy rivalry between Northern and Southern California athletes does exist. Both guys are very quick fisted fighters with a lot of skills and a lot of talent.
Twenty three year old Perez is putting his NABO belt on the line to face Salcido. The more accomplished of the two and still undefeated Perez has been looking like a complete fighter as of late. Earlier this year he dominated very tough Southern California prospect David Rodela in Las Vegas and then went on to win NABO crown in Nevada when he bested a rugged Mexican veteran, Gilberto Sanchez Leon. This August in Pico Rivera, Southern California, Perez stopped durable Derrick Campos within five rounds. Eloy “ The prince” Perez did his training for this fight in Southern California at the Roberto Garcia’s Oxnard Boxing Academy where he sparred with the likes of Brandon Rios.
Only two years ago Dominic Salcido was considered one of the hottest young prospects in Southern California. Ricky Hatton employed him as a sparring partner to imitate the speed of Manny Pacquiao. Dominic’s big chance came two years ago when he moved up to lightweight division to face another rising prospect Vicente Escobedo. The irony is that Escobedo is from Northern California as well. Seemingly winning on the scorecards, Salcido lost focus, dropped his hands and got knocked out in the fifth stanza of a very thrilling bout. Another knock out loss last year at the hands of journeyman veteran Julio has put a once promising career in jeopardy. Long time trainer and confidant Joel Diaz broke ties with Dominic as well. Diaz said that he could not work with the guy who wanted to do his own thing and would not follow his directions. “Loosing made me a stronger person, “said Salcido, 26:” I learned that the hard way.”
Just like life sweet science affords second chances. With the new trainer Armando Huerta, father of featherweight, Charles Huerta who is also featured on the card, Dominic has a second chance to prove his skills and dedication. Crazy hairdo speedster does have the tools to beat and aggressive and undefeated Perez. Will he be able to stay focused?
Tune in October 15th for telecast of Tecate Solo Boxeo or take a short drive to Fantasy Springs resort and Casino. I hear the swimming pool in that place is fantastic.