Category Archives: boxing

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The Legend of Cleto Reyes boxing gloves

Almost a year ago I wrote a blog on the Cleto Reyes (https://nicholasspyer.com/2011/03/30/hecho-en-mexico-the-story-of-cleto-reyes-boxing-gloves/). As part of the excellent HBO 24/7 series this video shows the gloves being made.

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Blood, guts and champion once again, introducing Mexican boxer Jorge ‘Travieso’ Arce

Jorge 'Travieso' Arce

Jorge 'Travieso' Arce

What exemplifies a Mexican ring warrior? Fighting heart, grit, determination, the will to win, a come forward and not a backwards step taken aggressive fighter. Blood and guts you might say.

In 65 fights Jorge ‘Travieso’ Arce [won 57 (KO 44) + lost 6 (KO 3) + drawn 2] has won the hearts and minds of many a boxing aficionado bringing the Mexican fighter spirit to the ring each time he fights. A star in his native Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico – where he has made appearances on several Mexican reality TV shoes, extending his appeal outside of the ropes. The pint-sized fighter (5′ 4½″ / 164cm) has an effervescent personality – Arce’s trademark ring entrance features him wearing a black cowboy hat (thus earning him the nickname “The Mexican Cowboy”) and sucking a cherry lollipop.

His professional achievements include WBO World Light Flyweight, WBC World Light Flyweight, Interim WBC World Flyweight, Interim WBA World Super Flyweight, WBO World Super Flyweight, and just added to the list is the WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion. Arce can fight. His style isnt from the Floyd Mayweather Jnr school though, he toughs it out, comes straight at you, gloves pressed together under his chin and unloads. This is pressure fighting at its Mexican best. Not always pretty, not always defensive minded, but very effective and very fan friendly. This is what has made Arce so popular, you don’t watch his fights expecting to see a flashy showman, what you know you will get everytime is a bloody, vicious war in the ring. Win or lose.

Take his most recent fight – facing Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr (son of the Puerto Rican legend of the same name) at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Lets be clear, Arce was not expected to win this one. He was brought in as a seasoned but probably past his best pro, and to provide the young, slick Vazquez a stiff test. Youth and flash skills would prevail all agreed in the run up. Arce thought different. He took the war to Vasquez, pulled himself off the canvas after a knockdown early on and did whats he’s done time and time – toughed it out and brutalised the younger, fresher and faster man to take the WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion – making Arce a world champion in 3 weight classes. A feat that puts him up there with the Mexican ring royalty of Barrera, Morales and Chavez. It was a great fight and what boxing is all about.

Jorge 'Travieso' Arce

A blood and guts fighter - Jorge 'Travieso' Arce

As the new world champion Arce has reopened doors to fights in a red hot division. Old rivalries with fellow veterans Vic Darchinyan can now be ignited once again. Exciting times beckon. My advice is enjoy Jorge Arce while he’s still fighting as they don’t make them like him often!

The golden life of Oscar De La Hoya

A fabulous insight into the life and trials of Oscar De La Hoya courtesy of Sky Sports’ excellent Ringside magazine show. Oscar is an inspiration in the sport and its fascinating to hear how he views his career and what kept him on the right path during his reign as boxing’s “Golden Boy”.

Hecho en Mexico, the story of Cleto Reyes boxing gloves

Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton both wearing Cleto Reyes in their fight at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Cleto Reyes are the gloves of choice for punchers, Mexican boxing legends and pound for pound best fighter in the world Manny Pacquaio. What makes Cleto Reyes so special though and how did the brand that’s delivered knockout blows to thousands become the weapon of choice for fistic legends the world over?

The story starts on April 26th 1920 in Mexico City, where Cleto Reyes Castro was born. Facing extreme poverty the young Cleto started working at the age of 12 in a saddlery that manufactured baseball goods.

In 1936, while he was going to elementary school in premises across from the famed “Peralvillo Cozumel” ring, his love for boxing was born. In 1938, Cleto Reyes took part in his first amateur fight, however his performance was
so poor that the crowd rained down coins on him and he decided from that moment on that his future lay outside of the ring. He chose instead to mend the gloves he had used during the fight and this started his career in glove manufacture.

cleto reyes

Subsequently his gloves obtained the approval of the local boxing commission (COMBOX DF), and in 1945 the Cleto Reyes gloves were used in a world championship fight for first time and “La Condesa Arena” was the setting of the fight between the second Mexican Champion Juan Zurita and Ike Williams.

In 1965, he had his first salesman in Los Angeles who began distributing his products in the most important cities of the United States and some other countries, the message spread from there.

In 1970, by which time Don Cleto’s health was ailing, his son Alberto Reyes joined the family company and with his entrepreneurial vision, decided to register the trademark Cleto Reyes in 1975 and to found Industria Reyes S.A. de C.V. in 1979.

What makes a Cleto Reyes glove special? Well that is something hard to define, the brand conjurs up imagines of Mexican warriors of the past – Julio Cesar Chavevz and Erik Morales. Some say they “hit harder” with a Cleto. Prince Naseem Hamed went as far as ordering a custom made pair in goat skin for his fight with Marco Antonio Barrera and having his brother fly on a private jet to collect them! Cleto Reyes boxing gloves seem to say “I am here to fight” and perhaps thats why boxers choose them to this very day.

Manny Pacquiao on MTV Cribs

Congressman and pound for pound best boxer on the planet Manny Pacquiao now has his own YouTube channel.

Check out his LA mansion MTV Cribs:

Guts and the world of Bernard Hopkins

A rare glimpse into the world of one of the most intriguing legends of modern boxing – Bernard Hopkins. In this interview Hopkins shares some insight into whats made him and how he continues to defy the odds and father time:

All rise for the new middleweight king Sergio Martinez

Sergio Martinez

In most respected 2010 boxing reviews the fighter that came out of top was the Argentinean Sergio Martinez, all this from a fighter that never laced a glove on until the age of 20 (ancient in boxing terms).

Martinez accomplished his rise to the top of the middleweight pile with a crushing KO of Paul “the punisher” Williams – see the video below.

It was the kind of finish that requires no explanation, no scorecards or judges. With it Martinez added to a trio of fights inside a calendar year that propelled him into the boxing elite. This started with a debatable loss to the same Paul Williams he would crush at the end of the same year and the pumling of Kelly Pavlik to take the WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.

Martinez has the world at his feet as 2011 starts. He begins with a fight for the WBC Diamond Belt against Sergiy Dzinziruk. He is expected to win this conclusively and judging by recent training footage (see videos on this post) he looks in tip top shape to do just that.

To update this post with the outcome of the Martinez vs Dzinziruk fight, check this HBO highlight video out to see just how amazing Martinez was on the night: