Javier and Oscar Molina: Born and Bred; Hitz interview, More!
New York, N.Y. - August 8, 2011 - The Downtown Independent and QUAD Cinema is pleased to present the Los Angeles and New York premiere of the powerful new documentary BORN AND BRED (94 minutes), directed by Justin Frimmer.
Article posted on 10.08.2011
Set in the east side of Los Angeles, America's new amateur boxing capital, BORN AND BRED tracks three teenage fighters as they train for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team and for careers in the professional ring.
For ten years, 15 year-old twin brothers Oscar and Javier Molina have followed in the footsteps of their father, a boxer from the gang-war torn district of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Their older brother boxed. Their cousins boxed. It's a family tradition.
Their trainer, Robert Luna, a former Army Ranger who failed in his own boxing career is intensely ambitious for his young prospects. Not only does he believe that the twin brothers have immense natural talent, he believes his years in the sport were a prelude to his own career as one of the great trainers in boxing. Luna knew the Molina brothers were a unique pair the moment they walked into his Commerce Boxing Gym a decade ago. "They were tough, humble, nice kids. But when I started working with them, you could tell right away they had something special."
Down the street, at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Gym, head trainer Rodrigo Mosquera, after failing to raise his own sons to be world class boxers, works with his own young prospect. Mosquera is convinced that twelve year-old Victor Pasillas, undefeated in 70 consecutive bouts, is a future world champion. Victor has a relentless drive and a precocious understanding of the sport defeating opponents with a vicious force no one expects from such a small kid.
While the twins are soft spoken and do what they're told, Victor is pure machismo and does what he wants. "When I get in that ring, I look across it to see if my opponent has any heart," he tells the camera. "If he doesn't, I take him out right away. If he does....I take it away from him. I make sure he has no heart."
Apart from the kids' battles in the ring, BORN AND BREDtells back stories of their parents harrowing journeys across the U.S. border, their hopes for their children, and reveals the boys' deep belief in who they have been taught to become-inside and outside the ring.
"The very first time I went to a local boxing event," relates director Justin Frimmer who shot the film in a fast-paced, cinema veritÚ style, "I knew in my gut that there was something very powerful happening that hadn't really ever been documented on film. There was just an intense vitality in the mixture of the violence in the ring and the innocence of the children. It was raw human drama. Once I started shooting, the stories took over."
Shot over four years, BORN AND BRED includes material of the immigration protests that erupted in 2006 and sets boxing against the backdrop of the immigrant experience.
Boxing has always been an ethnic-centric sport. Over the decades boxers have represented each of the waves of American immigration and a way out of poverty and into power. According to the 2008 census, nearly 40% of residents in Los Angeles County are now foreign born, the highest since the Ellis Island generation of the early 20th century. Like generations of immigrants before them (Germans, Italians, Jews) and other ethnicities entrenched in poverty (African Americans) many of these Latino kids, their parents, and those who stand to benefit from their success, grab at the illusive magic of the boxing ring.
BORN AND BREDhas a special force for two audiences: For those who love boxing it's a celebration of the demands and discipline of the most individual and demanding sport. And those who know nothing about boxing will never again watch an A-List bout on HBO, without knowing the heavy traffic and the high tolls paid on the long road to get there.
BORN AND BRED(94 min.) Not rated. Opens August 19 at LA's Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and NY's QUAD Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011 p: 212-255-2243 f: 212-255-2247
Q&A with Promoter Bobby Hitz
Colorful Chicago boxing promoter Bobby Hitz, former heavyweight boxer and founder of Hitz Boxing, has much to smile about these days.
Hitz and close friend Artie Pellulo of Banner Promotions have teamed up to present an action-packed televised 10-round lightweight bout between Chicago's former WBC Lightweight Champion David Diaz (36-3-1, 17 KOs) and Philadelphia's Henry "Hank" Lundy (20-1-1 10 KOs) on Friday, August 19, in the luxurious "Venue" in the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, Indiana, that will also be televised live on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Also featured that night will be Chicago's former world champion Montell "Ice" Griffin (49-8-1, 30 KOs) who will be looking for his landmark fiftieth professional victory and future light middleweight world champion Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade (13-0, 9 KOs), who will be returning to Chicago for the first time since winning the 2007 amateur world championships at the UIC Pavilion.
With less than two weeks to go, and final preparations well underway, Hits sat down to answer a few questions in his unique old-school style.
Tell me about the event you have coming up in Hammond.
We have a super exciting ESPN2 fight coming up August 19, featuring a local kid and one of my favorites, David Diaz. He was born and raised in town. He was an Olympian and I've know the kid for most of his boxing life. I was fortunate to be able to promote him when he first came out of the Olympics. He went off and did his thing and now he's back full circle. He's in a great fight with Hank Lundy, it's a definite pick-em fight and Don't Miss TV.
Have you done Friday Night Fights telecasts before?
The last one we did was John Duddy and Pat Coleman and the late Agapito Sanchez. We've taken a little hiatus, but we had a good run with guys like Ben Tacky, Reggie Johnson and O'Neil Bell.
David Diaz seems to be in tough, is he ready?
David is the type of fighter who is always ready. I don't expect anything but 110% out of him. And Lundy is also a tremendous fighter. You got the tough smart-talking, brash Lundy who wants to make his way up and the always eloquent and classy champion who is taking one last shot at the brass ring.
You've single-handedly brought this boxing program in Hammond to life, what were the biggest challenges in making it successful?
Getting the network to say 'yes.' Trying to line up a good show and pick dates that make sense for everyone. In Chicago there is so much going on entertainment-wise, so we have to strap ourselves in and pick the best dates and the best possible fights. There's never a perfect scenario. I'd rather be promoting in Idaho sometimes, but we've been successful in this huge market.
Tell me about your relationship with your partners on this show, Banner Promotions.
I've had a long working relationship with Banner and Artie Pelullo is one of my closest friends in boxing. He's like a mentor and all the shows we've done together have been successful. It's an old-school deal where your handshake means something. I had the date and the show and had been talking with the network and, in one of my weekly conversations with Artie, he said he had a guy, so I said I have this date I'm trying to do, let's do it together. So I brought him in with me and, besides, it gives us a chance to hang out in downtown Chicago, drink martinis, smoke cigars and eat good steaks.
Tell me about the best show you ever put on.
I think every show I do is pretty good. The best show... it could be Lenny LaPaglia vs. Toney LaRosa, two Italian guys, West side vs. South side of Chicago. That was pretty good. Angel Hernandez vs. JosÚ Rivera was great. Acelino Freitas vs. Rancho Ramirez on SHOWTIME.
What's on the horizon for Hitz Boxing?
We'll just keep working hard and doing what we're doing. Hard work and good shows give our customer base something to sink their teeth into. We're working hard and staying out of the daily boxing silliness.
Tickets for Diaz vs. Lundy are available at www.fanfueled.comor www.thevenue-chicago.com and are priced at $90 ringside, $40 Orchestra (main level), $30 Mezzanine (balcony). The Horseshoe Casino is located at 777 Casino Center Drive in Hammond, Indiana.
On fight night, doors open at 6pm and action starts at 7pm. The undercard for this event will be announced shortly.
The high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings the Horseshoe has to offer make their boxing shows a Las Vegas-style night of boxing that Chicago-area fans don't have to get on a plane to enjoy.
The Horseshoe Casino has an intimate, comfortable venue with luxurious seats, a spectacular gaming area, free parking, exquisite food and all the amenities -- and is just 20 minutes from Downtown Chicago.
For updates and more information, visit www.hitzboxing.com.
JAMES COUNTRYMAN SIGNS WITH GRIND 2 DEF ENTERTAINMENT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - (August 9, 2011) Grind 2 Def Entertainment proudly announces the signing of an exclusive worldwide boxing advisor agreement with Detroit, Michigan based middleweight boxer James "The Crowd Pleaser" Countryman, 14-1 with 8 KOs.
James Countryman is one of the most underated & talented boxers in the middleweight division. James Countryman is a crowd pleaser ready to give boxing fans what they want an exciting all action fighter.
Macke Roberts said "James Countryman has trained and sparred with a who's who list of world class boxers. James is a talented fighter but unfortunately he has been having problems getting fights. Alot of fighters in the middleweight division have been ducking James Countryman. Grind 2 Def Entertainment believes in the talent of James Countryman, we are behind him 100 percent and together we are going to climb to the top of the mountain in the middleweight division."
James Countryman said "The crowd pleaser is back and I'm looking forward to doing big things with Grind 2 Def Entertainment. I want to tell all the top rated fighters in the middleweight division we can get it on in the ring."
Macke Roberts said "The long layoff has given James Countryman more focus and extra motivation to show boxing fans & the entire middleweight division he is a fighter to be reckoned with. We have a solid game plan for James Countryman, his future will be filled with exciting fights and championship belts."
James Countryman said "I want to thank my family, friends and my fans for their continued support. I see some exciting fights out there for me at 160lbs. My plans are to get a few tune up fights to knock off the ring rust then I want to position myself for a run at a world title."
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