Juan Funez of Reseda is what we call a prospect. The super featherweight is 3-0 with one knockout, he is talented and he is a southpaw. He’s trained by his uncle, Ricky Funez, with an assist from world-class trainer Joe Goossen out of Goossen’s gym in Van Nuys.
Funez and his team have gone up to Big Bear to finish training for Funez’s fight Jan. 24 against Marcello Gallardo (3-0) at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. on the undercard of the light heavyweight main event between Thomas Williams and Cornelius White (on ESPN2).
It seems Team Funez wanted to get its young fighter some time with some world-class fighters. Since the training in Big Bear is being done at Abel Sanchez’s gym, that means Funez is spending time with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and heavyweight contender Mike Perez, both of whom are trained by West Covina’s Sanchez.
“It has given me a whole different perspective of what training is really like when you’re a world champion,” Juan Funez said. “My uncle and Joe talk to me all of the time of what it takes to be a world champion and how you have to live boxing every minute of every day. But to see it with Gennady and Mike up here in the mountains just pumped me up that much more.”
Among other things, Funez has been running the mountains with Golovkin and Perez.
“I believe Juan has the tools to become an exciting world-class fighter and Joe and I are prepared to do everything to make sure he reaches his goals,” Ricky Funez said.
Maurice Lee of Van Nuys won a four-round unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Sanchez of Mexico City in a lightweight bout Saturday at Fantasy Springs Casino.
Lee (3-0) won by three scores of 40-36. He is trained by Joe Goossen of Van Nuys.
Sanchez is 1-2.
The fight was on the undercard of the Chris Arreola-Seth Mitchell heavyweight fight.
John Molina of Covina began his career 25-1. But he’s lost two of his past three fights, meaning he really needs a victory Friday night against Mickey Bey if he is to remain a contender for a lightweight world title. Molina and Bey, of Cleveland, will square off in the main event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas (on Showtime). Their fight figures to start around 9 p.m.
Molina (25-3, 20 KOs), a Charter Oak High graduate, challenged Antonio DeMarco for his lightweight title this past September in Oakland. Molina was stopped in the first round. Molina rebounded with a fourth-round knockout of Dannie Williams, but on June 7 he was out-boxed by Andrey Klimov of Russia, Klimov winning a majority decision.
Molina is still just 30, but another loss could make it difficult for him to get another title shot. He seems to know he needs a victory over Bey (18-0-1, 9 KOs).
“Perception-wise, this is a very important fight for me and it’s certainly in my best interests to get a victory,” Molina said. “I know what’s ahead of me with a win. A win puts me right back in the thick of things. Mickey Bey is a hell of a fighter and a hell of a boxer. Our styles will make for an explosive fight.”
Molina has changed trainers many times during his career. Recently, he went back to Joe Goossen after having been with Robert Garcia.