Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Sam Alameda to be Inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Sam Alameda

Sam Alameda inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Sam Alameda, now 74 years of age, is a retired part time plumber and caregiver for his wife, Charlotte, who is battling from Alzheimer’s disease.

Alameda, in his younger days, was well know in local boxing circles as he was pitted against Joe Ayala and Joe Gumpher.

Alameda went on to a great ammeter boxing career fighting local giants such as Aladino Gusman, Dickie Wong, Randy Kim Seu and Choken Maekawa.

During his high school days at Hilo Alameda was a basketball standout in 1955 and ’56 until he caught the boxing bug in the mid-‘60’s.

In 1969 Alameda helped form the Waiakea Boxing Club formed with six Biddy Boxers.  In three years the club grew to 26 members.

Alameda made numerous contributions to Hilo’s boxing community and for his unselfish years of service the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame has inducted him, along with six others.

The BISHF will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame at the Prince Kuhio Mall on August 21 at 10 am.

“We will introduce the seven and display their photos to the wall,” Chairman Derek Shigematsu said.  “We are hoping past inductees and the general public will come out to support the newly inducted honorees.”

Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.

For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.  Seating is limited.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.

The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.



July 27, 2011 Posted by | boxing, Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kohala Boxing Coach, Jesus Solis, Leads by Example

Boxing coach is healthy and fit

Desire, discipline and coach ability are the three most important components that an athlete needs to achieve success according to Jesus Solis.

“Desire is the most important,” Solis said, “as an athlete needs to love the sport and really want to learn to be his or her best.”

Solis also believes that the lack of discipline will limit an athlete from making breakthroughs in their performance.

“I’m not going to give my time and expertise to help train someone unless I know that they will be there and give their all even when they don’t feel like it,” Solis said. 

Solis has coached a variety of sports and is currently an assistant wrestling coach at Kohala High School, but his roots and knowledge comes from hours spent in the boxing ring.

“I went to school in Napa, California and played football, wrestled and ran track from junior high through high school,” he said.

Originally from Michoacan in Central Mexico, Solis and his family moved to the Napa area when he was seven where his father worked for Charles Krug Winery.

“I never got involved in boxing until after high school while a student in college,” Solis said.

“I noticed I was putting on weight and saw an ad in the newspaper that was looking for athletes to train and compete in the upcoming Golden Gloves Tournament,” he said.

The gifted athlete soon found himself in the ring, competing for the local Golden Gloves. 

“I didn’t win the tournament, but the guy that did got injured and was unable to represent Northern California at the Western States Regional Championships, so I went as the alternate,” he said.

In a twist of fate Solis was able to win the 156 pound weight class and was also awarded the Best Boxer and Best Sportsmen trophies in the Regional Championships.

When Solis attended Chico State College he wasn’t allowed to compete on the boxing team because he had boxed in the AAU Golden Gloves, but he was allowed an opportunity to be the assistant coach for the college boxing team.

“Chico State ended up winning the National Championships three years in a row,” Solis said.

Solis continued his coaching while doing graduate work at Sacramento State where he received his teaching certificate and spent the next 3 years in the classroom at his high school alma mater coaching the wrestling team.

Today this 62 year old, active senior citizen continues to work out and stay in shape and to share his wisdom about sports with the children of Kohala and Hawi.

“I usually work out about six days a week as each morning I will take my two South African Mastiffs for a 2 mile jog up the hill near our house,” Solis said.

A couple of times each week Solis will drop the dogs off at home then run an additional 3 to 4 miles with his wife.

Jesus Solis

“My wife recently started training for a triathlon so we’ve added swimming to our training and will swim 3 mornings a week for about 30 to 45 minutes,” he said.

Solis will also lift weight twice a week and on most days he’ll double his workout with a swim and a run or a run and then lift weights.

“I think cross training is important, especially as we age as it helps to avoid repetitive use injuries,” he said.  “I think it also helps to keep our body guessing a bit and using different muscles and resting others, plus it helps to keep the workouts from getting boring.”

Solis will also have a set workout plan which helps him stay focused on what needs to be done and makes it harder for him to make excuses or short change his workout.

For 2011 Solis has set a goal of getting his weight down and losing an additional five pounds through regular exercise and a healthy diet.

“I continue to be active and feel energetic and sometimes I set my expectations for myself really high and I tend to compare my performance to what I did at 30,” he said.  “My wife reminds me that I’m not 30 anymore so I need to be more aware of how my body is feeling and cut it a little slack now and then.”

Since moving to the Big Island the former Golden Glove champ started a boxing club in Kapaau and has worked with 42 club members while putting two different boxing events.  He also substitute teaches and helps with the Kohala wrestling team.

“Sports are really important to me both as a kid and now as an adult,” he said.  “When I was young it enabled me to compete on the playing field and it made me aware that I could also compete in the classroom.”

“I realized that I didn’t want to work in the fields like my dad and brothers and I was just as capable as my classmates that went onto college.”

Solis had to work hard to get into college and he attributes his success in sports that provided the confidence he needed to pursue his academic dreams.

“Sports are important for kids because it brings the camaraderie of a team and encourages them to feel like they are part of the school community,” Solis said.  “Far too many kids don’t get enough physical exercise.

“I’m just hoping I can inspire some kids to lead a more active lifestyle and have fun with sports,” Solis concluded.

January 11, 2011 Posted by | boxing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Island Boxing Club to host “Fighting for Iokepa” in Kapa’au

9 year old, Iokepa James-Fainga

It takes heart and a lot of courage to be a boxer and it takes a lot more to battle with a life threatening disease such as leukemia.

Such is the case for 9 year old, North Kohala boxer, Iokepa James-Fainga who was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year and is currently undergoing treatment on Oahu.

“Iokepa was complaining of some aches and pains and of felling tired,” Big Island Boxing Club coach Jesus Solis said.  “It was during a family vacation to Oahu that he took a turn for the worse and developed a fever that he was taken to Kapiolani Medical Center and they came up with the diagnoses.”

Solis and the Big Island Boxing Club will be hosting a 20 bout card on Saturday, September 11, that will include amateur boxers from throughout the state with proceeds from the event going to the James-Fainga family.

“Part of the family have moved to Oahu to be near Iokepa and the cost for treatment and travel continue to skyrocket, so our boxing event is a way to help the family with some of their expenses,” Solis said.

Liesl Rietkerk
Renee Wulzen

North Kohala boxers Lindo Matsu IV, Orion Stevens, Jordan Kaneshiro, Jason Tanaka and Tupu Toafili will be featured on the card along with two 25 year old ladies Liesl Rietkerk and Renee Wulzen at 125 pounds. The event takes place at the Hisaoka Gymnasium at the King Kamehameha Park in Kapaau.

“We’re dedicating the boxing event to one of our youngest participants, Iokepa James-Fainga who was recently diagnosed with leukemia,” Solis said.

 “We’re calling our boxing show ‘Fighting for Iokepa’, Solis said.  “This event is sanctioned by Amateur Boxing of Hawaii and we’re hoping that the community will come out and support us and the James-Fainga family.”

Solis was the Western States Regional Golden Gloves champion in 1969 and went on to become a boxing coach at Chico State University in the early 70’s.  In 1992 he founded Al Amanecer Boxing Club in Napa California which he ran for 10 years.

 “We had one of the best boxing clubs in Northern California and in 1997 we were chosen best club in the North West,” Solis said.  “We worked with the community to provide young people with an outlet for their frustration and had over 150 people participating in the club.”

Solis moved to the Big Island in October 2009 from Washington State where he helped organize a boxing club as a means of keeping young people out of trouble.  “I really believe that boxing can build confidence and develop character,” Solis said.  “Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve seen firsthand the benefits this sport has to offer.”

Since coming to the Big Island Solis has slowly grown his boxing club to 42 members with 30 young adults and 12 keiki.

“Our youngest is 8 years old and our oldest members are in their mid 30’s,” he said.  “This will be our second time hosting a boxing event as we held one this past June.”

Currently the BIBC trains out of a business facility called Kar Tow Kohala in Hawi as they meet on a regular bases.

“The Kohala community was concerned with giving our young people something to do and a place where they could get their frustrations out,” Solis said.  “To be a good boxer you need to be dedicated to the sport, work hard and have heart.”

Featured on the boxing card will be fighters from Kauai PAL, Shalom Boxing Academy, along with boxing clubs representing River of Life, Kailua-Kona, Yeshua Outreach Center, Bulls Eye and Ocean View.

Boxers ranging in weight from 69 pounds up to 227 pounds and from ages 9 through 27  will be competing according to Solis.

“We’re still hoping that some other clubs will join us and help make this event a success,” Solis said. 

Entry fees for the Sept 11 event are $10 for adults, $5 for keiki 8 through 17 and free for those under the age of eight as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Those who are unable to attend the boxing show and wish to donate to the James-Fainaga family can contact event organizers Jesus or Megan Solis at 884-5986.

The Big Island Boxing Club operates under the sponsorship of the North Community Resource Center.  Donations to the club are accepted and tax-deductible, according to Solis.

Checks should be made out to NKCRC and earmarked for the Big Island Boxing Club.  For more information about the boxing club or its Sept 11 show contact Solis via telephone or email at boxingcoach@hawaii.rr.com.

September 9, 2010 Posted by | boxing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Olympic-Style Boxing Show coming June 12 to Kapa’ua

   Olympic-style boxing show in Kapa’au Big Island Boxing Club is showcasing four of its boxers at their premiere amateur boxing show to be held June 12 at Hisaoka Gymnasium at King Kamehameha Park in Kapa’au, North Kohala. Boxing clubs from throughout the Big Island as well as two clubs from O’ahu and a team from Kaua’i will be competing at the Olympic-style boxing show and show organizer Jesús Solís anticipates hosting 15-20 bouts.

   The event is a fundraiser for the boxing club, which opened last January. The show starts at 4:00 p.m.; doors open at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $10/adults; $5/keiki ages 8-17 years. Children under 8 are admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult. Sponsors for the show are Kar Tow Kohala of Hāwī, ToFindHealth.com, and 808 Hui clothing company. Big Island Boxing Club is a registered amateur boxing club with USA Boxing, Inc. and Amateur Boxing of Hawai’i with boxers training weeknights at Kar Tow Kohala in Hāwī.

   The club is open to males and females ages 8 to adult with an interest in physical conditioning, learning boxing fundamentals and strategy, and boxing as a safe sport. Those who demonstrate not only ability but commitment and self-discipline may be eligible to compete in on- and off-island boxing events, as well as regional boxing competitions such as Junior Olympics and Golden Gloves. Monthly fees for club membership are $30 for adults, with a suggested donation of $20 per month for keiki 8-17 years; however, no child will be turned away for an inability to pay fees. Training hours are Monday through Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. for high school age and adults; and Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for keiki 8 years through middle school. Big Island Boxing Club operates under the fiscal sponsorship of North Kohala Community Resource Center, a non-profit organization. Show proceeds, membership fees, and other donations will be used to purchase equipment and uniforms, cover travel expenses to boxing shows both on- and off-island, and other operating expenses. Coach Jesús Solís, a USA Boxing-certified coach, ran a boxing club in Northern California for more than 10 years that produced state, regional, national and international champion boxers. He also ran a boxing club in Washington state for two years before moving to North Kohala. For questions about the show or the boxing club, contact Coach Solís at 884-5986 or e-mail boxingcoach@hawaii.rr.com.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | boxing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hilo’s Junior Olympic Boxing Champions Headed to North Carolina

Nikolai Wassman, left, and Kieran Rosas

   Nikolai Wassman and Kiernan Rosas recently claimed state Junior Olympic boxing championhip titles on Oahu.  Wassman won the 13 and under division and Rosas won an older age division and also won a regional titlle which earned him a spot in the national junior Olympic tournament, according to coach Anthony Pagan.

   The National tournament will be held in North Carolina from June 11-20.  Rosas will compete on the stae team that will represent Hawaii in the nationals.  Pagan, who coaches both boys, is also the coach for the state team that will represent Hawaii in the nationals.

   Pagan is seeking sponsors to help defray the travel costs.  For more information contact Pagan at 937-6469.

May 18, 2010 Posted by | boxing | , , , , | Leave a comment