Saturday, the owner of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel on Aero Drive in San Diego, Mr. Ralph Burni, provided at no charge his Grand Ballroom so that area boxing teams could host their latest USA Amateur Boxing event.
In these days of hard economic times, that was a noble gesture to help a program designed to help our local youth. As a result, the twelve competitors in Saturday’s Boxing Show must have felt a bit intimidated by their surroundings, after all, the same ballroom has been used to host some of the top Pro Boxing, Muay Thai/Kickboxing, and MMA shows. Also, the ring was provided at no charge by Bobby DePhilippis of Bobby D Presents and Jorge Marron Productions in association with Gabriel Barron Promotions.
Bout #1 featured 9 year-old Carlos Sanchez of City Boxing going up against 10 year-old Jose Landeros of the Riverside Boxing Club. According to the coaches, Sanchez had two bouts under his belt while Landeros was making his debut after training for just two and a half months.
For their limited experience, these guys were quite accurate and went non-stop. With the amount of leather being thrown, the only way to score the first two rounds was with a clicker.
By the third round, Sanchez had settled in and did a better job of countering on the inside as Landeros continued to throw the more looping punches and on occasion walked right into a punch. Since neither boxer showed any sign of slowing down, the judges’ decision was tough.
After the bout, one of the judges made the comment, “I didn’t know until the very end. It was that close.” I’m certain the nod went to Sanchez after he performed so well in round #3.
Bout #2 featured 26-year-old Edgar Luna, unattached, going up against 21 year-old southpaw Johnny Rivera of the San Diego Combat Academy. Experience wise they were about the same. Rivera was taller, but lighter by three pounds.
Rivera took command early by landing his left and often caught his opponent off balance. Not to offer an excuse, but Luna was constantly fidgeting with his head gear that seemed to be cumbersome.
After losing the prior two rounds, Luna came on like gangbusters in the third. Rivera weathered the early onslaught and then answered with some beautiful right crosses to back Luna up against the ropes. After Luna landed a quick burst back came Rivera with a two or three punch combination. In this action packed round, Rivera made certain his opponent received equal payback. The winner of this slugfest – Rivera, who proved he’s the more accomplished boxer.
Bout #3 featured 8 year-old David Gutierrez of Golden Hands Boxing going up against 9 year-old Jonathan Rodriguez of Ocean’s Boxing Club in Chula Vista.
Despite their age, you could tell both youngsters were well schooled. What made Gutierrez shine was his use of this in-and-out strategy on offense. He’d attack with a quick combination and then pull back out of Rodriguez’s range, like a youngster slapping at a beehive and then running. With his above average footwork and quick hands, this attack and then pull back style worked to perfection. More importantly, the back and forth movement gave him momentum each time he threw a punch.
With an assist from his corner, Rodriguez discovered a way to counter Gutierrez’s strategy and from that point the battle raged. With the boxers giving it all they had, the crowd was soon on their feet cheering.
Bout #4 featured two veteran super middleweights, 18 year-old Carlos Adams of the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista and 24 year-old Jesus Lopez of Tanos Boxing.
The heavy punchers began posthaste to throw their cannon shots and neither utilized their jab despite the continual pleas from their corners. After things got sloppy each got into these clinches to slow the aggressor down.
Despite their long hours in the gym, these gentlemen need to revisit some of the fundamentals or they’re not going to progress in the sport. This time the nod went to Adams who pulled out the first and third rounds, while Lopez took the second. Adams was clearly more elusive on defense and more accurate on offense.
Bout #5 featured middleweights 24 year-old Luis Valentin of the U.S. Marine Corps Boxing Team from Camp Pendleton in Oceanside and 25 year-old Aaron Blanco of Ocean’s Boxing Team in Chula Vista.
In Round #1, Valentin’s strategy involved being more aggressive and having his opponent box while backing up. With Valentin in his grill, Blanco did back up and soon became the victim of the short punches inside. Despite all the pressure from Valentin, there was a lot of two-way action.
In Round #2, the tactics got a little dirty as holding and hitting became the norm. At their frantic pace, you had to figure somebody was going to tire.
Then in Round #3, Valentin hit his opponent with a straight right that opened a small cut on the cheek under Blanco’s left eye. When noticing the cut, referee Rick Ley immediately called for an early stoppage.
Bout #6 featured 20 year-old Francisco Valdoninos of the Gil Boxing Team in Vista going up against 19 year-old Miguel Sanchez of Ocean’s Boxing in Chula Vista.
Since they were both accomplished boxers and had similar styles, it all came down to who wanted it more, who would be craftier, who could slip more punches and who was going to be busier. Valdoninos was the answer to each of those questions. He landed the cleaner shots and was definitely the busier boxer.
The next USA Amateur Boxing Show, “Boxing at Castle Park” will be hosted by the Golden Hands Boxing Club. It’s now scheduled for October 1st. Location: Castle Park High School, 1395 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista, CA. Madison Square Garden was unavailable. Weigh-ins will start at 9:00 a.m., with the First Bout scheduled to go at 2:00 p.m. For more information or to be matched up, contact Bobby Lopez at 619-253-8432
If you’re ever in doubt about the next show, its location or time, you can always check with us by using our convenient pull down under Amateur Boxing. Whenever there’s a change in the USA Amateur Boxing schedule, you can be assured we’ll be providing that update.