By: Simon Ruvalcaba
Blake ‘The Beast’ McKernan is a self-made fighter. Despite his detractors that claim he hasn’t fought anybody while rising to a 13 and 0 Cruiserweight record. As his career has risen, there has been much criticism from fellow fighters, even in his hometown of Sacramento who felt he should be taking risk and willing to fight anybody, anytime, anyplace. However, deep down, just about every young fighter turning pro feels that they are going to be given some softballs early on to build their career, for various reasons, Commission approvals, along with Promoters and Managers only usually reserve such a luxury to the elite or Olympic level amateur fighters that turn pro. Blake, gambled on himself to build his record and now, in a few hours he will be in the biggest test of his career on the undercard of the Tyson vs. Jones exhibition bout at the Stapl;es Center in Los Angeles.
Without a crowd, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran will once again be in a battle, except this battle tonight will not see the former Army Gunner dodging mortar and assault rifle ammo, he will be dodging and countering the punches of former World Champion Badou Jack ‘The Ripper’ along with all the silent voices of those that doubted that he would ever make it to such a high-Level bout.
Historically, fighters who have taken the route of McKernan build up for such a big moment as a way for their Management to cash out from the build up. McKernan, however, see’s a Badou Jack who is taking him lightly while Blake has put his all in the training camp. It could turn out to be one of those ‘Rocky’ style fights where Blake comes out strong and like Apallo Creed,. Jack’s trainers have to give a “He doesn’t know this is a show, he thinks this is a damn fight” type of corner speech that makes Jack wake up? If McKernan can withstand that storm, we may be seeing the arrival of a new face in boxing? However it goes, Blake rolled the dice and made it to where his visions saw him ending up, and that in itself is already a victory.
It’s funny how dreams go and when coming to fruition, how much of a connection they can be. Blake named his Son ‘Tyson’ and now, beyond his wildest dreams, will be on a Mike Tyson undercard. In a few hours we will find out if those dice that he rolled are going to come up golden or is it craps?
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and was UFC star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Son Gabriel! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!