Paul Mendez And DonYil Livingston Try To Re-Establish Prospect Status In Woodland

Saturday night in Woodland, Calif., dual eight-round main events take place atop a card that will be televised by TeleFutura’s Solo Boxeo. In the main event, two fighters with blemishes on their records go against one another to try and re-establish themselves as prospects to watch with 2012 coming to an end.

Paul Mendez (9-2-1, 3 KOs), of Delano, Calif. last lost a little more than a year ago when San Diego’s James Parison narrowly decisioned him on Solo Boxeo in Salinas last September. Since then, Mendez is 3-0-1 but is without any signature win in that stretch. A signature win is what he would get if he could defeat Tulsa, Oklahoma’s DonYil Livingston (8-1-1, 4 KOs), who is trying to get over his first career loss, a six-round split-decision loss to Elie Augustama in Woodland Hills back in March.

With both middleweights trying to put the memory of their opponent’s hand getting raised further back in the rear view mirror, it should make for an intriguing fight and one which thankfully backs away from what Solo Boxeo has offered for most of 2012. Instead of a guy with a perfect record going in against an overmatched opponent, Mendez and Livingston are well made for each other. Mendez has been winning of late but hasn’t been tested in that stretch;  in his last fight, he fought Loren Myers for the second time but thankfully got him out of there before the final bell.

In the co-feature, Fairfield’s 122 pound prospect Manuel Avila (9-0, 3 KOs) gets his own opportunity to make a statement as he takes on journeyman John Alberto Molina (32-19-3, 20 KOs), originally of Colombia, in an eight round bout. Junior featherweight is a division that is pretty strong in Northern California, with Nonito Donaire fighting Toshiaki Nishioka on Oct. 13 and San Ardo’s Roman Morales getting a big win over unbeaten Jonathan Arrellano on ShoBox last night. For his part, Avila has been in against rather soft opposition so far and hasn’t exactly dazzled in those fights. Molina is a huge jump in experience but has been used in recent years as fodder for 15-0 types.

In a six round swing bout, the always exciting Guy Robb (8-1, 4 KOs) of Sacramento looks to pick up his second win in a row as he takes on battle-tested Jonathan Alcantara (6-8-2, KO) of Novato, Calif. Alcantara is never an easy out, and just went eight rounds with the aforementioned Morales. Robb’s January bout with southern California’s Joel Diaz, Jr. was one of the year’s most exciting, though obviously on a lower level in terms of importance. Robb may never become a world champion, but if used right he could become a draw in the region given his consistency participating in exciting fights.

San Francisco junior welterweight prospect Jonathan Chicas (6-0, 3 KOs) — who is often seen in the Bay Area gym circuit giving good sparring to some of the more experienced guys like Karim Mayfield, Mike Dallas, Jr. and Stan Martyniouk — will fight the more experienced Jose Mendoza (7-6, 3 KOs) of Jalisco, Mexico in Chicas’ first six-round bout. Mendoza has been a loser in all of his last six while Chicas looked as though he may have plateaud at the four-round level and is ready to make a jump.

Rounding out the card is the professional debut of San Jose’s Andy Vences, who fights Carlos Gonzalez (1-1) in a four-round junior lightweight bout. Another standout amateur from the area, Randy Guerrero, made his professional debut on Sept. 8, fighting a war of a four round majority draw against the undersized Juan Urbina. Vences beat out a victory over Guerrero in the amateurs in Sept. 2009 on an Ana Julaton undercard at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. With Guerrero turning pro at 124, a fight down the line between the two could conceivably happen. 

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.