Book Looks at History of Mexican American Boxers In L.A.

By EGP Staff Report

A new book featuring more than 200 vintage photographs of Mexican American boxers from the Los Angeles area is the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series, books that for the most part take a snap shot look at historical topics ranging from baseball to artists to politicians in specific regions across the country.

Included in the series are a number of books that focus on the Mexican American experience and influence in the greater Los Angeles area. “Mexican American Boxers in Los Angeles,” written by Gene Aguilera of East Los Angeles, chronicles the history of Mexican American boxers from the early 1900s to the 1990s, from the “Mexican” Joe Rivers to L.A.’s very own “Golden Boy,” Oscar de la Hoya.

Mexican American Boxers in Los Angeles

Mexican American Boxers in Los Angeles

More than 200 photos — some from the private collections of boxers featured in his book — add life to Aguilera’s retelling of the headlines from L.A.’s Golden Age of boxing. According to the book’s press notes, Aguilera researched and collected quotes from different media sources and personally interviewed several of the boxers featured in the book. He shines a light on some of L.A.’s most exciting boxing moments, from title fights to famed venues like the Olympic Auditorium and the Main Street Gym where much of the action took place either behind the scenes or in the ring.

Photos in the book have a nostalgic feel, utilizing the usual sepia tones that are the hallmark of the Images series. It is an easy, yet interesting read that “captures the sociological culture of knockouts, neighborhood rivalries, Mexican idols, posters and promoters” that made their mark during the book’s 90-year look back. Some of the tales are outrageous; there are heartfelt confessions that will appeal to boxing and non-boxing fans alike.

Aguilera says he’s lived and breathed boxing since he was 10 years old. In his book “The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists,” iconic boxing writer Bert Sugar calls Aguilera “a historian and trusted advisor to many Latino fighters.”

The Montebello Library will hold a talk and book signing with author Gene Aguilera June 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. The library is located at 1550 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, 90640.

For more information, call (323) 722-6551. Mexican American Boxing in Los Angeles is available for $21.99 at local retailers, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing by or by dialing (888) 313-2665.

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June 12, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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