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|A Day Up North|
|Written by Steve Kim|
(This is an excerpt)
MON JUN 21 2010 -- As most of you know, I attended my first "Super Six" fight this weekend, which was held at The Oracle in Oakland, between hometown favorite Andre Ward and Allan Green- who was called out of the bullpen for Jermain Taylor. Like I have in the past, I flew in the day of the event and then headed back home in the early morning.
Here’s what took place this past weekend...
2:21 PM: I land in San Jose (another city with a better airport than Los Angeles) and I’m picked up by Darryl- AKA one of the guys who is the all-time Juan Manuel Marquez fan- and we start making our way. I hadn’t seen Darryl or his running mate, Kirk, since the Marquez-Mayweather fight in September. Kirk, unfortunately, would not be joining us, as he is back home in Arizona.
3:08 PM: Before we get up to Oakland, we hit the "Undisputed Boxing Gym," which is on the way in San Carlos. I’m there to meet up with "The Filipino Flash," Nonito Donaire, who faces Hernan "Tyson" Marquez on July 10th on Showtime and Victor Conte, whose SNAC offices are right down the street. Conte greets us outside. For all the times we’ve talked on the phone, I had never met him in person. Outside the gym is a van that advertises the gym and Donaire in bright, gaudy colors. You couldn’t miss it if you tried.
This "Undisputed Boxing Gym" is one of the best facilities I have ever seen. It’s a large, expansive building with rooms for MMA, martial arts and, of course, boxing. This is now Donaire’s home gym. As I walk in, I see a group of fighters doing abdominal work. This crew includes Donaire, Steven Luevano and their trainer, Robert Garcia. Nearest them is Donaire’s wife, Rachel, who is taking care of their puppy- I guess you can consider this their first child.
She gives me a tour of the place. It turns out that she and Ana Julaton trained up here as teenagers as they were training for their black belts. Rachel shows me a picture of the two of them from years back as kids. I’m told this place is filled with clients during the weekdays, after school hours.
Meanwhile, I see Donaire has headgear on as he’s doing his ab work, which I find strange. But it’s actually weighted head-gear (never seen that before) and it’s a way for him to challenge himself even further during his workouts. Conte is working with Donaire now on a full-time basis. They explain to me how they just happened to run into each other at a local bank and that’s how they struck up their relationship.
After leaving "Undisputed," Victor takes us over to his offices, where he runs his nutritional supplement business (all clean and legal, I might add) and you see the walls are festooned with all the various athletes he has worked with throughout the years, going back to his days at BALCO. And, yes, Barry Bonds is one of them. He explains to Darryl and I just how the Hypoxic training works and what its intended use is. Before we leave, I interview Conte about his newest client and his thoughts on his own public rehabilitation.
4:20 PM: Victor, Darryl and I end up getting some Chinese food at this little place called "The New Canton." I’m starving and I had more than my share of orange chicken, broccoli beef, and fried rice. Hey, it’s an off-day for me; I can indulge. Besides, since my back healed up, I’ve gotten back to working out. Conte tells us some off-the-record stuff on what he knows about the Olympics and it’s pretty mind-blowing. This guy knows where the bones are buried; let’s just put it that way.
Victor has to rush back home as he will be going to the fight later with the Donaires. Darryl and I head up to Oak-Town.