Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tony Hirsch: Oakland Boxer Might Be the Next Local Hard-Hitter

Posted By on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge KRISTIN WALL
  • Kristin Wall

Buoyed by the success of San Leandro fighter Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire, Hayward-born super middleweight champion Andre Ward, and the Fillmore's own junior welterweight title-holder, Karim "Hard Hitta" Mayfield, we've long predicted a Bay Area boxing Renaissance.

And once again those predictions are starting to bear fruit.

The new man to watch out for is Tony Hirsch, an Oakland-based, 29-year-old junior middleweight, erstwhile football player, and sparring partner for Ward. Hirsch hopes to get his major star turn this Saturday after an 8-round main event fight with John Jackson in the Virgin Islands. Hirsch has long been stymied by his lack of a real manager or promotional arm, though boxing writer Mark Ortega reports that he's now being courted by Mayfield's manager, a former sports agent named Marlon Sullivan. In a tweet posted yesterday, Sullivan confirmed that he added Hirsch to his roster in March. Though Hirsch's record is spotty compared to those of his peers -- he was trounced by an unknown fighter in his fourth fight after going pro -- he certainly doesn't suffer for lack of grit or hustle. He began training at the now-legendary King's Gym in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood. Undeterred by a few early beatings from Ward, he developed a fighter's spirit, kept returning to the gym everyday, and began to show promise. If he wins this weekend's event -- which will only be viewable on the webstream GoFightLive ( -- Hirsch might have a shot at a mainstream career. For boxers, "mainstream" boils down to the number of fights they have broadcast on cable television, and the first of those is considered a rite of passage. (TV contracts are, after all, the main currency in professional boxing.) Mayfield got his induction to HBO in a much-anticipated undercard last October, at which he soundly defeated Riverside boxer Mauricio Herrera. The fight turned Mayfield into a known quantity. With a little luck, Hirsch will join the ranks soon.
  • Pin It

About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"