Although there aren't too many significant cards this upcoming weekend, there will be a club show hosted by Toscano Boxing Promotions, streaming live on Fight Hype's YouTube Channel. The main event will feature middleweight Quilisto Madera (13-3, 9 KOs) taking on Hector Manuel Zepeda (21-5, 7 KOs) in an eight-round bout from the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium in Stockton, California.
Quilisto Madera is a thirty-year-old middleweight born in Washington State but only has memories of his time in Stockton, CA, where he moved at the young age of seven/eight years old. It wasn't easy growing up in Stockton, as there is crime and violence surrounding you, but even so, he felt his childhood was good and groomed him into the person he is today.
Madera found the sport of boxing at the age of fifteen, but he was no stranger to throwing hands as he was involved in many street fights growing up. A visit to the local Police Athletic League (PAL) gym, which was affordable for Madera, led to him gaining interest in the sport, especially since it only cost him 20 dollars to train there. He was never able to get into any other sports as it was expensive, and his parents, especially his dad, who he described as an “old school Mexican”, wasn't going to pay $300 or so dollars to join any type of sporting league.
After turning pro in 2015, things were moving along but not at the pace he had hoped. At one point, Madera was signed to Top Rank, but that didn't pan out the way he thought it would. So being independent now and this Saturday's fight being his first of this year, what does he do to maintain a living? Madera said, “I never stop boxing because I'm always trying to figure out a way to keep chasing my dreams, no matter what. I think it was harder for me to get to that point (being signed by Top Rank) than it is gonna be for me to get it back. Don't get me wrong; it's still really hard to get it back. Do you know what I mean? It's not an easy sport, even just the connections, and everything. But I look at it like if I was able to make something big happen in the past already, then I'm gonna be in a better situation.”
Madera continued, “I've always been a business person. When I was a kid, I always figured out a way to get money. I was washing cars and mowing lawns. I went through rough patches, even as a teenager, but then, as I got older, I started selling cars. So this past year, I've been focusing on making money through solar panels. Solar is like a big thing right now in California. So that's what I do. That's what's been keeping me afloat,” said Madera.
Staying afloat is something that a good portion of the country can relate to as we are going through an inflation, and things seem expensive everywhere. That said, Madera has a girlfriend and a daughter, with whom he does all these things to provide a solid lifestyle. Madera said, “I look forward to making that happen in the future (marrying his girlfriend). I think she's the one. I have a daughter, and I've been fighting for custody of her for the longest time. Man, it's a fucking struggle because there are two things that you're an entrepreneur in, and both aren't guaranteed. On the kid side, that's just soaking my pockets going in and out of court. I've always had ups and downs, and it's never been easy. That's why the sport of boxing has helped me so much. Whether you're a boxer or not, you have to fight, and life will not be easy. If you sit back and quit, then life's gonna pass you up. You gotta mentally own it no matter how hard it gets.”
Before getting into training camp for this fight, I noticed that he had a sparring session with Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin back in the day. I was curious to hear about the story behind the encounter and what he learned from it. Madera told NYF, “Sparring Triple G was great because, at that time, he was knocking everybody out. I actually got into that GGG camp because I was sparring with (David) Benavidez for his first title shot, and they (Team Benavidez) got me into that GGG camp. I was sparring with Benavidez and GGG the same week I was in both camps. So I got a lot of powerful rounds from two of the best hitters of our era. Right after that, they also got me into Zurdo Ramirez's camp. That month, I got some top-notch badass work. Mentally it's good because you know you're in there with the best of the best, and you're trying to be the best. You learn a lot of things being there. The experience and just seeing how they train and do everything was awesome.”
Shifting the focus back to the present and his opponent Zepeda, training camp was held right there in his hometown of Stockton, and he used some of the local guys there to give him some work regarding sparring. Nothing has changed in his corner as he is trained by Coach Felipe, who has been with him since he was fifteen/sixteen. His strength and conditioning coaches that have helped him prepare for this fight are Tim Brown & Hawk, former football athletes who are friends of Madera from the factory.
Madera is pumped for this fight as he will have many friends and family attending. He has a message for those attending or watching the live stream on FIghtHype. Madera said, “You can expect fireworks. I've never in my life have had a boring fight. Every fight I'm in, I come to bring it. I come prepared mentally, physically, and with all of my heart. This is war!