Still In The Ring: Jesse James Leija
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Still In The Ring: Jesse James Leija
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (May 17, 2013)

Jesse James “The Texas Tornado” Leija
(Jesse James “The Texas Tornado” Leija)
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There was a time in boxing not long ago when if you simply uttered the name of San Antonio’s own Jesse James “The Texas Tornado” Leija (47-7-2/19 KOs) you knew that at that very moment you had a real fight on your hands. The legendary boxer who has since turned successful boxing promoter faced anyone, anywhere, and anytime as a professional prizefighter and reigned as the WBC Super Featherweight Champion back in 1994. Leija’s resume reads like a who’s who of boxing lineage and he serves as a prime example of a boxer who never ducked any fighter during his era and took on all comers regardless of the risk involved. Leija faced legendary Ghana boxer Azumah “The Professor” Nelson (39-6-2/28 KOs) twice, once in 1993 and again in 1994, both times for the WBC Super Featherweight strap. He defeated “Jazzy” Jeff Mayweather (32-10-5/10 KOs), of the renowned Mayweather family in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 2, 1995. During his illustrious and notable career Leija also battled against the likes of “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-8-1/39 KOs), “Mighty” Ivan Robinson (32-12-2/12 KOs), “Irish” Micky Ward (38-13/27 KOs), Kostya “Thunder From Down Under” Tszyu (31-2/25 KOs), and (R.I.P.) Arturo “Thunder” Gatti (40-9/31 KOs).

Jesse schooled a hyped-up and protected young undefeated boxer by the name of Hector “Machito” Camacho, Jr. (56-5-1/31 KOs), son of (R.I.P.) Hector “Macho” Camacho, Sr. (79-6-3/38 KOs), in 2001 at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn, New York and initially got cheated by the judges when the bout was ruled in favor for Camacho, Jr. Junior literally quit in the 5th round after he received a minor cut from an accidental head butt, yet still got the green light from the judges when it was obvious he had lost the fight to Leija. The New York State Athletic Commission declared the 5th round stoppage a NC after great debate by the Leija camp; although Camacho’s undefeated record at the time still got saved in the process. Throughout his professional run as a boxer Jesse James Leija thrilled and excited fans, as well as the boxing media, with his honest dedication to a craft that he truly lived everyday and loved with all his heart during his accomplished career. Today, over 8 years removed from his last pro fight under the hot lights and world stage, Leija has taken his genuine dedication to a discipline that he once threw punches in and has applied that same passion and determination towards a different aspect of his career, and that is as a promoter and ambassador of boxing.

Heading up Leija-Battah Promotions, Jesse has brought boxing back to the forefront in a colossal way with every appearance and show that he takes part in. Putting on sensational back-to-back bouts recently while keeping fans eager and that much more enthusiastic about a sport that is far from dead, Leija has given boxing and its fan base a major transfusion straight into its veins when it has needed it most. The “Alamo City” has long been heralded for being a boxing town with fans that are just as loyal if not more so than their counterparts to the east in New York and the west in California. Jesse and his promotional team have taken that adoration for boxing that San Antonio, Texas has displayed for several years and combined it with the need for competitive and appealing fights that need to happen and filled the void by arranging compelling and lucrative match-ups that keep fans wanting more. On an even larger scale, Leija has also bridged the gap successfully with Golden Boy Promotions, something that Top Rank has never managed to do, and created a fighter-owned and focused winning lineup and association that will only continue to thrive in the years to come.

Jesse James Leija once made his livelihood by stepping through the ropes and into the center of the ring as he faced his opponents with stern fervor and fortitude. With every punch delivered, he became a master of his adversary as well as himself. Leija revealed to us all what he was made of and how much he would be willing to take to impose his will on another fighter and prove to the world his greatness when he fought. Jesse was a great fighter and ducked no one. He challenged whoever was willing to step into the arena and his undertakings inside of the ropes were almost a catalyst to the ones that he now deals with on a daily basis outside of them. He has remained completely loyal to the art form that got him started from day one and is now striving to bring up the best-of-the-best that the future generation of young boxers has to offer. Any old school fans of boxing or even new school ones need to look no further than Leija-Battah Promotions for their boxing fix in modern times. The judges have tallied the scorecards and Jesse James Leija dominates his latest boxing resurgence performance by UD. Here’s to the next chapter of the Leija legacy and what’s in store for fans in 2013 and beyond from the legendary boxer/promoter.


Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at: boxingwarrior@hotmail.com

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