While most are eagerly awaiting the main event, the local Bay Area crowd will have their eyes on another fight. One that isn’t even on the pay-per-view card.
That fight pits undefeated Amari ‘The Reaper' Jones of Oakland, California (10-0, 9 KOs) against Quilisto ‘Kilo the Kid’ Madera of Stockton, California (14-4, 9 KOS). The two have sparred, though I have never seen it.
The middleweight bout will see two fighters with a huge regional fanbase in Northern California doing battle as part of Matchroom Boxing's ‘Before the Bell’ live stream on its YouTube channel, starting at 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 pm. PT. From my viewpoint, I believe it could steal the show.
The pair made their feelings clear about each other at Friday's weigh-in at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Amari weighed in at 159.2 pounds; Madera weighed in at 160 pounds.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) December 8, 2023
Jones vs Madera: The Backstory
Jones is a decorated amateur though he didn’t have a ton of fights. He defeated Vito Mielnicki of New Jersey in the amateurs. He defeated one of the historically great amateur boxers in recent memory, Kasir ‘Mazzi’ Goldston. The win over Goldston made Jones a capital G guy in the amateurs.
Jones would then turn pro, and train with Devin Haney. Jones is the top prospect under the Haney Promotions banner. Jones has fought on all the marquee Haney cards. He recently stopped Pachino Hill, a solid pro, which showed that he is stepping up as a pro.
Now he will be moving up another tier as he fights Madera.
Madera was a fighter who was matched tough early. He was signed to Top Rank Boxing when Jose Ramirez was doing two shows a year in Fresno, California. Manager Rick Mirigian did a lot of heavy lifting for regional talents to be featured in these types of events.
Madera would be in a local super-fight against Joe Louie Lopez listed as one of the best fights of 2016 on Mexico's ‘Solo Boxeo’ broadcast series. It appeared Madera shared traits of Fernando Vargas in terms of personality, just not pedigree in terms of amateur experience.
Then came the adversity.
He lost his first fight in 2017 to Evan Torres Saucedo. At the time Torres Saucedo had a record of 6-5, and the bout was nearly scrapped before the show. This was Madera’s last fight with Top Rank as the loss came in November of that year. By January, he was seeking new promotional opportunities.
Madera would get three wins in Mexico before aligning with upstart regional Stockton promoter Toscano Boxing Promotions. At a fight held at the Stockton Fairgrounds, Madera was stopped by Jerhed Fenderson, a fighter with a deceiving record of 2-6. Fenderson trained in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had good power.
Madera also missed weight coming in at 165 pounds for a middleweight fight. In typical Madera fashion, he didn’t care. He wanted to fight for the fans.
Madera was dropped and referee Michael Margado halted the bout despite Madera making it to his feet. An unpopular decision to the local crowd, who went home with the local favorite having lost.
The past few years have seen a trend of Madera rebuilding and then taking a step-up fight. Madera would face Jose Armando Resendiz and fight him to a closely contested split decision. Many thought Madera won, but the judges didn’t and that is who matters the most.
In his last fight on August 5 on the Amanda Serrano vs. Heather Hardy undercard in Dallas, Madera moved up in weight to face Kevin Newman II. Madera lost but gave a valiant effort.
Jones and Madera Beef Over Blow-Off
Now Madera is at a crossroads and seems to be a bit offended someone from his region would take a fight with him. At age 31, Madera is ten years older than Jones at 21. Madera has confided it is ‘on-site’ when he sees Jones and his reasoning for blowing off the Thursday press conference.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 7, 2023
“Honestly, to not come out of your room for the press conference, that sounds like a pussy to me,” said Jones. “Honestly, I feel Kilo is just bitter [about] my career, and to see me moving up. He just wishes he could be in my spot. I’m going to show him on Saturday night why I’m moving the way I am, and why he’s taking these losses the way he’s taking these losses.”
This is not one to miss, and for those on a budget you don’t have to fork out extra money as well.