Future uncertain for mural of El Paso boxers

A 30-by-60 foot mural by Jesus Pano Mendoza on the DeSoto Hotel Downtown depicts some of El Paso’s greatest boxers.

Jesus Pano Mendoza, one of El Paso’s greatest artists, is heartbroken.

He thinks the DeSoto Hotel Downtown on which he painted a giant mural (30-by-60 feet) of El Paso’s greatest boxing figures is in danger of being demolished.

He’s asking for the help of the El Paso community to save the hotel and his mural.

He writes, in part:

“THE MURAL has survived 16 years in the very hot sun (in El Paso) … It’s an important piece of art for this community. This mural is an icon that our city needs. The hotel needs renovation, but probably will be demolished by the new owner. This is not fair for the El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame members and Downtown outlook.

“I was inducted into the El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame as a muralist in 2003, and I’m still very active as an artist.

“I FEEL THAT we have to create the need to relocate or renovate this giant art piece. The cost of the mural was about $10,000 and Mike Andrade Jr. and members of the El Paso Boxing Hall of Fame contributed a portion of the original cost.

“We have to reach out for Downtown investors like Mr. (Paul) Foster to keep (the mural) or to help us, the art community and sports followers. I hope it will be possible to help us. Anyone is free to call me. My cell number is 915-305-8791.”

TRIVIA QUESTION:  What pitcher holds the record for most complete games in a Major League baseball career? Answer at end of column.

I THOUGHT I was getting old, but did you notice that at the NCAA Final Four there was a sports columnist who was 99 years old and still writing a sports column?

I hope I can make it that far.

TWO MORE teams have been added to the list of “best high school teams” in the county that will be honored at the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame induction banquet May 8 at El Paso Community College.

They are the Bel Air High School boys soccer team, coached by Sergio Delgado, which won the state championship (University Interscholastic League – Boys 5A) and San Elizario High School boys soccer team coached by Max Sappenfield, which also won the state championship (UIL Boys 4A).

NEWS TRAVELS far and wide. Recently, I wrote about the 1921 El Paso High School state championship basketball team being honored at this year’s state tournament. One of the players was Lewis Stringer. The article was forwarded to his daughter, who says she will forward it to her brother and other family members in the Southwest.

THE POWERS that be recently asked all bowls, including the Sun Bowl, to pick an all-decade team, both on offense and defense, for each of the decades the bowl has existed. I thought it was going to be a big task – but no problem.

Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas and his staff invited veteran sportscasters Fred Albers and Steve Kaplowitz, plus veteran sportswriters Bill Knight and yours truly, to help, and provided with us with media guides and past programs. It was relatively easy to pick the outstanding players.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Cy Young pitched 749 complete games over the course of his 22-year career. Only three pitchers have even started that many games: Young, Don Sutton and Nolan Ryan.


Veteran sports journalist, historian and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column.  Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by email at rayf358@yahoo.com or online at raysanchezbooks.com.

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