Candelo returns to Colorado


Candelo returns to Colorado

Candelo’s last bout was a loss to his old stablemate Verno Phillips, a grudge match with plenty of ‘real beef’ before the bout. 


In a nut shell the story goes something like this:  Candelo borrowed some money from Phillips while in jail in Georgia.  The repayment was agreed to take place after Candelo’s next fight.  The fight came and so did the IRS, who took nearly all of his purse.  He made a half payment to Phillips and promised the rest.  Soon thereafter Candelo moved to Houston, Texas and ‘forgot’ about the loan.  Phillips didn’t and he went to take some collateral, namely Candelo’s expensive English Bulldog.  Candelo’s now ex-wife gave the dog up but says that Phillips made a pass at her.  Candelo took offense and thus the dramatics that led up to the ESPN main event.  Both men bashed the other in the media with interviews filled with trash talk and put downs. 


When asked about the fight and situation, Wittman had this to say:


“Things were very uncomfortable for me having my fighter, Phillips, face off against an old team member in Candelo. It is funny that Art Pellulo, (Banner Promotions) knowing these two guys had it out for each other, put them on the same floor of the hotel.  We were bumping into each other all of the time. Next came the weigh-ins and press conference where the two of them threw low blow after low blow at each other.  Afterwards Candelo tried to come up and talk to me while I was standing with my current team.  He was trying to crowd Phillips’ space but I think Verno enjoyed the confrontation and was able to get under Candelo’s skin. I told him he could talk to me after  the fight because until the fight was over, I have Team Phillips on my jacket, which seemed to offend him. It was nothing personal I was just there to do business and win the fight. Once the fight was over I think there was a weight lifted from all of our shoulders.” 


The men fought, Phillips won and now it’s history. 


Candelo training with Wittman is a move that we at Gladiator Sports feel will right his ship, right back into title contention. 


When Candelo was with Wittman the first go round, things went very well. 


“Candelo and I had a very good relation ship in and out side the gym. He was so talented as a fighter when he would get into his rhythm he was unbeatable. I think we were a good team and I started to learn what works for Candelo and what doesn’t work. I remember being so sore after our mitt work outs because of his thunderous right hand.  When he hit me from the right distance it would almost take my arm off.”


In the two plus years the two worked together Candelo was batting .500 against the likes of Winky Wright and Kassim Ouma.  Far cries from the loss suffered to virtual unknown Eduardo Sanchez. 


Candelo avenged an earlier loss to Angel Hernandez and won the NABF light middleweight belt before giving pound for pound king Winky Wright a very tough fight. 


JC next stopped the runaway train that was Julio Garcia, handing him only the second loss of his pro career and the first by knockout.  Garcia came in on a 6 fight winning streak with 4 knockouts of his own.


Candelo next ran into the ‘Nightmare’ Kassim Ouma who would stop Candelo for the first time as a pro.


He moved to Houston found a new trainer and hasn’t won since, going 0-4-1 including the recent loss to Phillips. 


During their stretch together Candelo was named Ring Magazine’s Most Improved Fighter in 2002 and that was due in no small part to the tutelage of Trevor Wittman.


Candelo knows this and one might suppose that Candelo decided ‘Hey, if I can’t beat them, I can certainly re-join them’.


“He called me Wednesday the 7th of June asking if we could continue our journey to a World Title. I had talked with both Verno and J.C. and they have no hard feelings toward each other.  Phillips said he is willing to let bygones  be bygones.”


We will have Candelo’s thoughts on it early next week. 


We welcome Candelo home with open arms and in Wittman’s case he welcomes him back with some extra padding in the hand pads and body shield.


All media inquires can be directed to Chris Morris at or by calling 720-231-7724.



About Gladiator Sports Management & Marketing:


GSM&M is a fighter management company that was recently created by manager/publicist Chris Morris and manager/trainer Trevor Wittman.  We currently have 8 fighters under contract including boxers as well as MMA fighters.  For more information please go to