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Sandpoint’s Medina looks to draw attention in title bout

Mon., Feb. 23, 2009

“Fabulous” Favio Medina is ready to change his name.

The Sandpoint boxer is fighting for the International Boxing Association junior middleweight championship Thursday night at the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

“It’s a world title,” Medina, 28, said. “It’s when people start calling you a world champion.”

That is the dream he has had since discovering boxing as a 9-year-old in Southern California.

“I always wanted this,” he said. “I don’t want to be a fighter that said he was just a fighter. I want to put my stamp on boxing.”

Standing in his way is 27-year-old Mexican Orlando “Olimpico” Lora, 22-0 with 16 knockouts.

Medina, 20-1-2 with eight knockouts, and Lora, who is ranked No. 12 in Mexico and No. 112 in the world, square off in the 12-round main event on the six-bout card at the House of Fury.

“I can’t say I’m too confident,” said Medina, who is ranked 37 in the U.S. and 179 in the world. “I know this guy is tough. He’s going to want it as bad as I do.”

Clint Anderson, who trains Medina on his Newman Lake property, home base of his AAA Boxing Club, like’s Medina’s chances.

“I’ve seen Lora fight. It’s going to be (difficult) but if Favio does what he’s supposed to he’ll beat him,” Anderson said. “But when you put a belt in front of (some boxers), they can buckle under the pressure.”

However, he doesn’t expect Medina, who has avenged his loss and both draws, to crack.

“He’s got a bigger heart than anybody out there,” Anderson said. “That’s what makes Favio Favio. Every round he gets tougher and tougher. He’s like a little machine. He doesn’t leave anything on the table.

“That’s why I spend time with him, he gives me everything he’s got. If he goes down he’s going to come back with a vengeance.”

Medina has the same faith in Anderson, who has been in his corner for 20 fights.

“I don’t know a lot about Lora,” Medina said. “I depend on my corner. Clint is my wing man, my co-pilot. I’m in shape, I’ve got to get in and fight my fight. You have to trust your corner. If you go out there and don’t do what you want to do, you might as well not even go out.”

Anderson believes the fight is about more than a title.

“It’s the biggest fight of his career (because) it’s a major stepping stone to getting recognized,” he said. “West Coast fighters don’t get recognized like East Coast fighters, you don’t have the promoters. Every once in a while you’ll get one. In boxing it’s who you know.

“You have to have that before the big guys even notice you. He fought an ex-world champion (recently) so he’s fought guys that caliber. It would boost his rankings quite a bit.”

Medina, who got his start in Tough Man competitions, admits to some frustration with the way match making plays out.

“Watching all those young guys coming out of the Olympics, it really gets to me, they get the good shots a lot faster than I do,” he said. “It’s a ladder you have to keep climbing, you have to start some place. I trust Clint knowing (to know) who I’m going against. I don’t want to be thrown in against some guy way more experienced than me.”

With a fighter of Lora’s caliber, Medina should get more notice, win or lose, and there should be time to capitalize.

“In his weight class, when you’re 34, 35, you have to maybe think about a different career,” Anderson said. “With his background, he didn’t have any amateur fights, he may last a little longer. … He can be a champion of the world – if they give him the chance.”

Medina pointed to “Sugar” Shane Mosley, who just won another title fight at age 36.

“I’ve got four years if everything goes well, I can stretch it a little longer,” he said, even as the daily drive for his workout build up.

“Sometimes it gets to me, but how many people do you see walking around doing what they want to do, their dream job?” he said. “Not very many. I love it, every day.”

The other main draw is an eight-round heavyweight fight between Anderson’s son Skyler, who is 11-1-1 with seven knockouts, and Chris Koval of Youngstown, Ohio, who is 24-4 with 18 knockouts.

Manny Medina, Favio’s younger brother, makes his pro debut in the first fight, a 147-pound matchup with Jonathon Senquiz of Cleveland (1-1), scheduled for four rounds.

The fights begin at 7 p.m.

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