After the Legacy Training Center in Vista, CA announced they were having a USA Amateur Boxing Show on February 4th, requests to participate came in from all over. Over thirty gyms responded and an unheard of 18 gyms finally registered to compete. In the end, many of the boxers had to be turned away.
Not only has the popularity of the sport grown; so has the influence of USA Amateur Boxing in partnership with the many boxing families throughout San Diego County. Back in the ’60s, you could count the number of boxing gyms in the San Diego using the fingers of one hand. Today, the number gyms in San Diego County area dedicated to boxing has grown to almost sixty.
This is about the time when you hear a show’s emcee ask the audience, “Stand up and give yourselves a hand.” You won’t find that sort of pandering in boxing.
In Bout #1, 12 year-old Giovani Contreras of Barrio Station went up against 11 year-old Jesus Osuna of Indio Boxing. Not to fault either boxer, but in Round one through three, there was little if any defensive posturing or head movement which is of major importance in boxing.
In the end, the judges gave the razor thin victory to Contreras who like Osuna showcased his amazing endurance.
In Bout #2, we saw two lightweights go at it; 16 year-old Miguel Morales of Indio Boxing facing 15 year-old Roberto Mesa of Temecula Boxing who outweighed Morales by two and a half pounds. Taking a cue from the first bout, the boxers came out swinging for the fences. Morales catching Mesa with a hard left and Mesa using his head snapping jabs to good use were the highlights of round one.
In round two, the boxers went right back at it and soon an eight count was issued to Mesa after he got caught with several unanswered blows.
Mesa, who turned the tide in Round #3, forced the referee to issue Morales an eight count and then without a doubt finished stronger in this slugfest.
At the end of this seesaw battle, it was Morales getting the nod.
Bout #3 featured17 year olds Cesar Lopez of Real Deal Boxing of Hemet, CA going up against Carlos Geraldo of David Barragan’s House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, San Diego, CA.
This was the third hotly contested bout in a row. When the matches are this close, you have to give a lot of credit to the matchmaker. Not to take anything away from the show’s matchmaker but I was told he had a ton of people to select from and quite a few had to be turned away.
In Bout #3, the judges gave the decision to Lopez who did his best work countering off of Geraldo’s jab. For the majority of the bout, especially at the end of round #2, you saw Geraldo backing Lopez up which gave you the impression he was winning, but in the end, the judges gave more credence to Lopez’s brilliant counters.
Bout #4 featured15 year-olds Eric Moreno (115 lbs.) of Indio Boxing going up against Christian Camacho (118.2 lbs.) of Ocean’s Boxing Club. Early on, Camacho showed better form and used his jab to set up the combinations. Despite Moreno’s awkward boxing style, he was relentless as he darted in and out with his attacking style. The way he was chasing after Camacho proved to everyone that he was the better condition fighter. This relentless pursuit, soon had Camacho gasping for air.
By the third round, Camacho had started to run out of gas and since he had already received two warnings about not biting down on his mouthpiece, the referee stepped in to issue a third warning which meant two points would be added to Moreno’s score.
So, despite being ahead on the scorecards, that all changed when the referee sited the infraction which then put Moreno ahead by the slimmest of margins.
Bout #5 featured 27 year-old Joseph Hernandez of Dojo Americano in Oceanside, CA going up against 19 year-old Scott Torres of Poway. In this one there was a difference in their skill levels. Torres tried his best to overcome that disparity by doing some roughhousing and it cost him two points when he sent Hernandez flying backwards against the ropes.
In the end, that maneuver made the judges’ decision easier as they awarded Hernandez an unanimous decision.
Bout #6 featured 10 year-olds Jabin Chollet (69.4 lbs.) of Barrio Station going up against Joseph Landeros (72.6 lbs.) of the Rubidoux Youth Boxing Club.
Chollet managed the bout well by landing his stiff jab and circling to the right to keep the shorter Landeros at bay. It wasn’t long before Landeros had a bloody nose from these hard shots to the face.
Then just before the end of the third round, Landeros made one last push to pull out the victory. Catching Chollet with three unanswered blows, Landeros sent his foe flying back against the ropes for another too little, too late scenario.
Bout #7 featured16 years-old Javier Padilla (108.4 lbs.) of Indio going up against southpaw David Gonzalez (105.6 lbs.) of Temecula Boxing.
In Round one, the momentum went back and forth; it was like watching a tennis match. Gonzalez would land his left and Padilla had the same success with his right. Since Padilla employed his leverage, the power behind his punches starting to have an effect on Gonzalez whose nose began to bleed. It’s rare to see Gonzalez so frustrated and on the losing end of a bout, but believe me it happened.
Bout #8 featured12 year-old Joseph Odonnell (106.2 lbs.) of City Boxing going up against 13 year-old Arnulfo Ramirez (102.6 lbs.) of Rhino’s Boxing in Vista.
In this match, Odonnell, the aggressor throughout, proved to be the more effective boxer and in the end landed more punches.
Bout #9 featured 11 year-old Alvaro Maldonado (69.8 lbs.) of Penache Boxing going up against 12 year-old Jesus “Chapparo” Canizales (64.8 lbs.) of Durango.
I know it’s an overused cliche but this bout was one of those “nonstop” thrillers that could only be decided by the judges’ clickers. In the end, the judges gave the decision to Maldonado who most likely benefitted from the size difference.
Bout #10 featured13 year-old Roberto Flores (93.4 lbs.) of the Rubidoux Youth Boxing Club going up against 12 year-old Eric Puente (90.8 lbs) of the host gym, Legacy Boxing in Vista.
In Round #1, Flores, with his tremendous reach advantage, landed far more punches and went unscathed.
When returning to his corner, Peter Moreno, Puente’s coach, read him the riot act, “You’ve got to get inside his defenses.”
That’s just what Puente started to do, of course at the urging of his coach who kept yelling, “Move forward, move forward!”
Then, as if by a remote control device, Puente’s shoe laces came undone, not one shoe, but both shoes. This gave Puente’s coach, perhaps the second coming of Angelo Dundee, more time to give his boxer instruction.
Despite all the urging, all the entreating, Flores came out on top to win an unanimous decision.
Intermission – Part 2 – featuring the Heavyweights will follow