“I’m trying to bring boxing back to Philadelphia”, said Chuck Diesel. He now operates www.dieselfitboxing.com website and Gym in North Philly’s Kensington section. An area you don’t want to be in “after dark”. It’s the former Danny Garcia gym that is over the Harrowgate Boxing Club Gym.
Diesel recently brought his latest “find” Timur “Here Comes Trouble” Shailezov, 17-7-1 (4) from Kyrgzstan now living in Philly. He is the former WBA European Int’l Sup Fly champ, NABA Super Fly and bantam champ and Russian bantam champ. At the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, April 24th he took on Philly’s Miguel Cartagena who was 12-0 and had a very accomplished amateur background before that. The latter took the fight on 3days notice and may have looked at Shailezov’s losing his last 5 fights as this writer did having never seen him fight. Greg Hackett trains him.
I thought I was looking at a European Manny Pacquaio in Shailezov. After both fighters fell to the ground with Shailezov on top he dealt a beating to the then unbeaten Miguel Cartagena who didn’t seem to recover from the fall. The corner wisely tossed in the towel as referee Eddie Claudio waved it off in the 3rd round.
In July of 2013 former WBA lightweight champion Miguel “Aguacerito” Acosta, 29-7-2 (23), of VZ was sitting on Diesel’s gyms steps waiting for the gym to open. He had never met Diesel but was in for a pleasant surprise. Acosta is now at 147 and looking to resume his career that looked over in his last fight 1 year ago. I’ve met him several times at the gym.
Another one of Diesel’s latest boxers is Pedro “ Blazing Bull” Martinez, 7-7 (3) from Philly who in his first fight under Diesel’s guidance defeated fellow Philly fighter Anthony “Boom Boom” Ferrante, 12-5 in March at Harrah’s Philadelphia, in Chester, PA. This set up the stage for the main event with Anthony Caputo Smith, 15-2 (10) for the vacant USA Pennsylvania State heavyweight title at Harrah’s Casino on May 9th. Caputo’s promoter pulled him out “thinking” Martinez would be too heavy without waiting for the weigh-in.
At the weigh-in Boxing Director Greg Sirb would not allow Martinez to weigh-in claiming he was off the card. Diesel had Martinez under the 215# that co-promoter David Feldman told Smith he would have to weigh but never told Martinez. At a press conference the week before the scheduled fight it was never mentioned about a set weight. I felt in order to save this main event Feldman or Sirb should have come to the gym and had Martinez put on a scale and he would have seen Martinez was under the 215 mark.
“I started boxing at the then John Hennlley Boy’ Club (now Front St. Gym) in 1971 under Mickey Grandinetti’s (recently passed away living in upstate PA) guidance. It was the same year Harrowgate Boxing Club opened,” said Diesel.
Diesel would join the Marines at 17 and continue his boxing career. “I grew up at K&A (Kensington and Allegheny section of Philly) and moved to Bensalem to get away from the environment there,” said Diesel. It was and still is a tough area of the city and trouble looms there all the time.
“My uncle was the Teamsters President of Local 500. In 1977 I joined Local 30 Roofers Union but broke my back in 1983. I would move to FL from 1985-87 before coming back to Philly in 1987,” said Diesel. He stayed on the sidelines watching boxing’s deterioration in the city. He would live for several years in CA working with “get Outa Town Travel”. Diesel and his 80 year-old mother Jerry Maguire run the travel agency now off Grant Avenue in North Philly.
“While in CA I became good friends with Pepper Roach (Freddy’s brother and former boxer) in 2010 and saw things run like they should have in boxing”, said Diesel.
Diesel hooked up with former PA Commissioner Ron Greenley and signed Philly’s Victor Vasquez, now 16-9-1 (7) to a contract. He also had the grandson of former world heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott named Luis “Young Jersey Joe Walcott” Cream who won 3 fights from 2011-2012 and stopped boxing. He also had female boxer Jacquline Davis from Jamaica who was 4-0. Currently Indiana state and NABC junior middleweight champ Eric Draper, 8-6-1 (3) is also under contract to Diesel. He also had Sunday Kinghammer (Iyere), 13-4 (13), Nigerian middleweight champ and female boxer Rachel “The Joker” Clark, 6-6-1 (3).
“Boxing is my mistress,” said Diesel. Though Terry is his lady and for 28 years has worked with the commission for the blind and sight impaired having 2 daughters from a previous marriage. But whose picture does he pull out of his wallet? None other than his dog a chocolate lab named “Rocky”.
“God has put me on the path to help kids. We are USA Boxing certified,” said Diesel. Though he didn’t think the gym was busy that day I did and along with boxers and trainers there were several small kids whom Diesel pointed to and remarked “that’s what it’s all about keeping them off the streets”.
Also in the gym was Latif Mundy. His losses in his last 7 fights were to a combined record of 112-11-3 besides in camp with current world champions Gennady Golovkin and Bernard Hopkins. Diesel hopes that a once promising prospect at 10-2 can be “rescued” and given a second chance. Another was John Mercurio a 6-0 (4) heavyweight.
Diesel has former top lightweight Ivan “Mighty Mouse” Robinson along with his dad James, Greg Hackett and will be getting help from Billy Briscoe supplying the training.
Diesel splits his time between Philly and NJ, and is a “ball of energy” at all times! You can’t figure any of his now fit boxers (Diesel does 2-finger pull-ups) can be judged on their past records for his favorite quote is “WE AIN’T IN THE PROTECTION BUSINESS!”
KEN HISSNER: Who was the first boxer you signed?
CHUCK DIESEL: Victor Vasquez, now 16-9-1, from Philadelphia.
KEN HISSNER: I understand you were dedicating the fight that your fighter Pedro Martinez was to be on the other week to the late Ron Greenley.
CHUCK DIESEL: He was a boxing judge and commissioner and judged the first professional fight in China in 2000. He was a great guy.
KEN HISSNER: You just signed Timur “Here Comes Trouble” Shailezov, 17-7-1 (4), from Kyrgzstan now living in Philly.
CHUCK DIESEL: He got that big win recently and is now working on getting a visa for his family and bringing them over here. I had him with me Las Vegas where we were able to catch the National Golden Gloves tournament.
KEN HISSNER: You had several fighters in the Gloves this year didn’t you?
CHUCK DIESEL: Paul Kroll is in my gym and he lost in the second round to the guy who ended up winning his division. We have amateurs Dillon Kasprzak who is in the open class and 2 cousins Jonathan and Paul Acevado who were in the novice division.
KEN HISSNER: How did you meet Ivan Robinson who trains some of your boxers?
CHUCK DIESEL: I was always a fan of his. If he had more power he would have been the best fighter ever out of Philly. Chris Williams told me in DE where I had an office about him and thru him I met Ivan.
KEN HISSNER: How long have you been in the fitness business?
CHUCK DIESEL: Just about all my life. I used to really be big until I started working behind a desk.
KEN HISSNER: Didn’t you have female boxer?
CHUCK DIESEL: Yes I had Jacqueline Davis who Ivan trained. She was from Jamaica and an outstanding USA amateur who was 4-0 as a pro when she decided she had enough. She was in her 30’s when she turned pro and was too old at that stage.
KEN HISSNER: You really fixed up this gym. Danny Garcia trained here before getting a new gym. You have a mixture of young kids and active amateurs and pro’s.
CHUCK DIESEL: You have to box when you come here. None of that I don’t feel good today or my toe hurts. I am a Christian and a proud American Remember we ain’t in the protection business!