Sherman Oaks (Jan. 15) - Southern California's undefeated super featherweight prospect Juan Funez (3-0, 1 KO) who takes on Auburn, Washington's local favorite Marcelo Gallardo (3-0) on January 24th at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington is working with the big boys in anticipation of his bout. Trained by his uncle Ricky Funez and assisted in the corner by Joe Goossen at the world famous Ten Goose Gym, Juan took this training camp to a very familiar location in preparation for his upcoming bout, Big Bear Lake.
It all started in 1989 when Larry Goossen, brother of Joe and Dan Goossen, was looking for a place where world-class fighters could have a secluded and high-altitude (6,744-feet) camp in preparation for their upcoming bouts --- Big Bear Lake turned out to be the answer. It instantly became a second home to Joe Goossen trained fighters, and a young Ricky Funez.
Oscar De La Hoya enjoyed Big Bear as an up-and-coming pro, along with other world champions Rafael and Gabriel Ruelas, Michael Nunn, Greg Haugen, Shane Mosley, Reggie Johnson and Michael Moorer were all some of the first fighters to choose to train in the seclusion of Big Bear.
Twenty-four years later, Abel Sanchez's Big Bear Summit Gym in the San Bernardino Mountains continues the tradition having a major training site for a who's who of professional boxers, including his red-hot World Middleweight Champion, Gennady Golovkin.
For the young Funez, he had heard all the great stories and successes training in Big Bear, but living it has been another thing.
"It has given me a whole different perspective of what training is really like when you're a world champion," said Juan. "My uncle and Joe talk to me all of the time of what it takes to be a world champion and how you have to live boxing every minute of every day, but to see it with Gennady and Mike (Perez, heavyweight contender) up here in the mountains just pumped me up that much more."
Funez has been sparring with world-contenders Jayson Valez (21-0, 15 KOs), Alexander Miskirtchian (24-2, 9 KOs) and Miguel Cotto's cousin, Abner Cotto (17-1, 8 KOs), while running the mountains with Golovkin and Perez in preparation for his upcoming fight. Giving as good as he gets, Funez was happy to see Miskirtchian go to Belgian this past week and claim the IBF Featherweight Elimination Title bout over France's Sofiane Takoucht.
"I believe Juan has the tools to become an exciting world-class fighter and Joe and I are prepared to do everything to make sure he reaches his goals," said Ricky Funez, who had a limited fight career, but spent many years in the gym learning the ropes as a trainer under the guidance of Joe.
The "Little Creek Brawl IV" main event, broadcast on ESPN Friday Night Fights and presented by Corona Extra™ will feature an NABO Light Heavyweight Title clash between top undefeated prospect Thomas Williams Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) of Fort Washington, Maryland and Houston based contender Cornelius White (21-2, 16 KOs), with former World Champion Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 KOs) taking on upset-minded Jonathan Arellano (14-2-2, 3 KOs) in a 10-round semi-main Featherweight Bout.
Advance tickets priced at $40 can be purchased by calling (800) 667-7711 or online at www.Little-Creek.com. Doors will open on the night of the event at 4:30 p.m. with the first bell at 5:00 p.m.
For more information and directions to the Little Creek Casino Resort, please visit their website at www.Little-Creek.com
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