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Boxer “The Beast” Visits Oakdale Before Fight
Blake “The Beast” McKernan puts his title on the line in Stockton on Friday night, Nov. 2. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Saturday afternoon, Blake “The Beast” McKernan paid a visit to the local Boxing Development Center. McKernan, who is the World Boxing Union (WBU) Cruiserweight Champion, was in Oakdale to help promote his upcoming fight on Nov. 2 at the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium.

McKernan holds a 10-0 record and is coming off a unanimous decision over Alfredo Contreras on Oct. 6. In his 10 wins McKernan has six knockouts. The 31-year-old Sacramento native is a veteran of the United States Army.

“I’m very proud of my time in the military,” said McKernan, who served three years and spent some time overseas.

His upcoming fight against Jorge Escalante will be a part of the Friday Night Fights II: Dia De Los Muertos and is in the main event.

“For me, even though my belt is on the line, I’m looking at this as any other fight,” said McKernan. “I come in well prepared and focused. I step into the ring with the mindset that I’m not the champ and every fight is a title fight. Come November 2, I am stepping out of the Memorial Civic Auditorium 11-0.”

The confident champion was excited to take on the fight under short notice.

“I’m in great fighting shape and just fought a few weeks ago. I was excited to prepare for this upcoming bout.”

Growing up in Sacramento, McKernan came from a broken home and indicated that he did not have much parental guidance in his life.

“Growing up I was dirt poor and did not have any parents present. I was 10 years old when I walked into a boxing gym and was hooked from that day on,” he said. “I grew up in the ‘90s and every time you turned on boxing you would see Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Tommy Morrison and I was hooked. That’s all it took for me.”

When he left the military McKernan went back to Sacramento to pursue boxing.

“I turned down government jobs to focus on boxing, my craft. In 2015 I won Golden Gloves State Champion. One of the biggest challenges I faced was I was training like a pro, but I am an amateur,” he explained. “A lot of guys wanted to step away from fighting me. So in 2016 I turned pro, so after two-and-a-half years I’m ranked in the top 20 in the country and I’m not going to stop until my name is on top of the list. Like I said I will be 11-0 after this fight.”

Friday Night Fights II: Dia De Los Muertos is a Toscano Boxing Promotion. Tickets are on sale now by calling (209) 321-0899. Gates open at 6 p.m. and bell time is at 7 p.m.