Introducing super middleweight “El Gallo Negro” Paul Mendez
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 12, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Paul Mendez
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: On March 3 in Woodland, California super middleweight Paul Mendez (6-2, 2 KOs) faces the biggest test of his young career. The humble and engaging Mendez is set to tangle with undefeated Dmitry Chudinov who hails from Serpukhov, Russia. Chudinov has won all six of his bouts, scoring three of those wins by knockout. Mendez has witnessed Chudinov fight.

“I saw the last two rounds of when he fought my friend Tony Hirsh,”said Mendez. “I’ve spoken with Tony about him. I know he brings pressure, but all I care about is being in the best shape of my life. I pretty much have a set game plan. If he wants to get in there and get me on the ropes, and bang me to the body, good luck.”

His father, who also was a fighter, introduced Mendez to boxing.

"My father brought me into boxing when I was ten. He was a boxer. He brought me to the gym, and I stuck with it. Boxing’s my love.”

Mendez had his hand raised in 73 of his 83 amateur contests. His professional career got off to a good start with a TKO victory over Justin Wines in 2009. He followed that victory with a fourth round KO over Victor Manuel Medina. He blames himself for his two losses, both by split decision.

“I didn’t do enough,”he said honestly. “I should have been more aggressive. That won’t happen again.” In his last fight, a more aggressive Mendez dominated Loren Myers.

The young fighter feels he gained valuable experience when he sparred with champions Antonio Margerito and Brandon Rios.

“When I was training in Oxnard, with Margerito and Brandon Rios, I don’t even know why they have ropes,” he said. “We stay in the middle of the ring and rumble.”

Mendez is a boxer-puncher but likes to take charge in his fights.

“My Mexican grandparents raised me,” said Mendez. “My grandfather didn’t like it if you backed up in a fight. If I did, oh man, I would never hear the end of it.”

Last year Mendez worked with trainer of the year Virgil Hunter. His sparring secessions with WBC and WBA champion Andre Ward were crash courses in boxing technique. Mendez shakes his head and grins as he remembers his encounters with Ward.

“He’s so good. I learned a lot of tricks. He gave me some great advice,” said Mendez. “Andre is the nicest guy outside the ring, but the meanest guy inside it. You give him a low blow, and he’s going to give you two back.”

Boxing can be a brutal sport, but Mendez lives to compete.

“I love the competition, and the constant struggle one puts on their bodies, to try and be better than the other man,” he said.

Also featured on March 3 is the professional boxing debut of Payton Boyea. The 24-year-old light heavyweight faces Harry Gopaul of Sacremento in what promises to be an action packed four rounder. Boyea is handled by former three-time world champion Tony "The Tiger" Lopez.

The card in Woodland (including four other fights) is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in conjunction with Don Chargin Productions, Paco Presents, Jorge Maron and Lets Get it On Boxing.

To purchase tickets, please call Paco's Restaurant (530) 669-7946 or F@FMultiprint at (530) 666-3102.


Ticket prices are as follows: VIP $70, Floor $50, and bleachers $40.

Recent work from Raspanti:
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