USA Amateur Boxing Show at Victory Outreach Church

July 7, 2010 No Comments

Two of the young ladies competing in this year's USA National Tournament in Colorado Springs include: Adrian Harding of San Diego (right), and Vanesa Guzman of Chula Vista (left). Both now train at the Alliance Training Center on 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista.

Saturday, July 10, 2010, another USA Amateur Boxing Show is planned and once again the organizers are hoping to showcase a full slate of thrilling matches. This week’s host is the Boxing Club of the Victory Outreach Ministry. They’ll begin their weigh-ins at 9 a.m. and the first bout is slated to start at 1 p.m. in the church’s back parking lot at 4235 National Avenue, San Diego. For directions or more information, call: (619)-288-3872.

Just as event organizers did last week, Coach Arnulfo “June Bug” Mendivil, this week’s tournament director, has invited many boxers from out of the San Diego area, the majority of whom will be arriving from his old stomping grounds of Moreno Valley and the city of San Bernardino, the locales where he ran two successful boxing programs for troubled youth.

In his youth, Mendivil led one of those scary lives where you’re always looking over your shoulder; a storyline often repeated by Hollywood. The area in which he grew up, Mount Vernon at the west end of San Bernardino, averaged two murders a month of children under 13. Gangs were so prevalent, so well entrenched, that no amount of money or city redevelopment could stem the tide. At eight years old Mendivil was arrested for grand theft auto. By age 13 he was a full-fledged gang member and drug user.

One evening, the police were chasing after Mendivil, and he ran into a gym run by Robert Coons, the current Executive Director of the USIAA, the United States Institute of Amateur Athletics, a non-profit juvenile youth diversion program that’s gives troubled youth a way out, a second chance.  Here in San Diego, his program is responsible for running the annual Boxers for Christ boxing tournament. As it turns out Coons was instrumental in turning Mendivil’s life around.

Note well, featured at this week’s show are four boxers that are using Saturday’s matches as a tune-up for their pro debuts. One name in particular is well known to San Diego boxing fans – Manuel Robles of Old School Boxing. Robles had been scheduled to make his pro debut on June 11th of this year on the Chris Martin Boxing Card at the Four Points by Sheraton but at the last minute the promoter held him back.

From July 12 – 17th, five local boxers will be competing in the 2010 USA National Boxing Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They include: David Barragan (165 lbs.) from the National City CYAC, plus four young ladies, Adri Harding (106 lbs.) of San Diego, Vanesa Guzman of Chula Vista (112 lbs.), Lisa Porter of San Diego (132 lbs.), and Cheryl Houlihan of Santee (112 lbs.). Victor Pasillas of Los Angeles, the reigning National Pal Champion at 123 lbs., will also be competing.

Nearly 300 of the United States’ top amateur boxers in both the men’s and women’s open divisions will be present. The competitors represent 14 geographical regions, the four military groups, a squad from the United States Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University, the returning champions, the reigning National Pal Champions as well as a group of boxers who were awarded an independent slot.  The USA Boxing National Championships have been held annually since 1888, making it the longest running amateur boxing tournament in the United States. Former champions include Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Mohammad Ali.

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