Saturday, the San Diego Combat Academy hosted the latest LBC 44 USA Amateur Boxing show. Attendees were treated to five exciting bouts, great food and of course there were several big name boxers, ex-boxers in house – Danny “Dynamite” Perez, who coaches at Art of Eight, Priest “Tiger” Smalls from the host gym and Emanuel “The Renegade” Robles who was on hand to coach a boxer from Old School Boxing. Also, Jeff Dotseth (the jester half of the Dave & Jeff radio duo) sat ringside.
During intermission, Dotseth mentioned how he’s been thinking about getting back into shape. Asked if he had ever run up Cowles Mountain, he said: “Oh yeah, at first it was a challenge with my 40 lb. kettlebells.” And what about the rumors of snakes on the path. “It only makes it more of a challenge. Sometimes I just swat them with the kettlebells. Seriously, I get all the exercise I need just bending down to pick up those blank subscription cards that fall out of the magazines.”
Like ring announcer Benny Ricardo, Dotseth has this gift of making people laugh.
Bout #1 featured 13 year-old Emilio Roybal (89.8 lbs.) of the United Boxing and Fitness Gym, Chula Vista going up against 12 year-old Jaime Galindo (88.2 lbs.) of the House of Boxing in San Diego.
In Round #1, Galindo took full advantage of his height to jump out to an early lead by using his stiff jab and occasionally landing a one-two combination. Before the round ended, Roybal managed to get in close and finished strong.
By the end of Round #2, Roybal became adept at blocking Galindo’s punches and started to counter with looping hooks and right crosses.
The two went nonstop in the final round with Galindo edging Roybal out in the punch-stat category.
Bout #2 had 26 year-old Mulapi Estani (126.6 lbs.) of the host gym San Diego Combat Academy, San Diego going up against 24 year-old Hai Tran (126.2 lbs.) of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in San Diego’s downtown.
From the outset, Estani, known for his persistence and amazing energy level, landed the cleaner, harder shots. As a result, Tran was relegated to throwing counters while back peddling. Whenever Estani got careless though, Tran, who was willing to take a punch, made him pay. Even though both boxers were in superb shape, it was simply amazing to see the two of them going at such a frantic pace.
Estani started to dominate in the final frame and after landing three unanswered, lunging blows, referee Will White stepped in to issue Tran an 8-count. With the momentum and being spurred on by his corner, Estani went even harder. Again referee White stopped the contest to issue an 8-count to Tran.
Right up until the final bell, the two tough guys pounded each other. Being the busier of the two and bolstered by the two 8-counts, Estani was the judges’ choice.
After the bout, it was discovered that Tran had only recently started to train. All told, Tran had been training for only eight months.
Bout #3 had 30 year-old George Cunanan (142 lbs.) of the Art of Eight Training & Fitness Center, San Diego going up against 19 year-old Ricardo Valdovinos (150.8 lbs.) of the National City Community Youth Athletic Center.
Unlike the first two bouts, this one proceeded at a slightly slower pace and you heard more coaching from the corners. While Valdovinos was encouraged to get off first and press the action, Cunanan’s strategy involved waiting for his opponent to throw first, then counter. After most misses, Cunanan was right there to make him pay. It wasn’t until later, that it was discovered how close the final scores were in favor of Cunanan.
Bout #4 was your typical righty versus lefty, 19 year-old Ivan Beltran (159.8 lbs.) of the United Boxing and Fitness Gym, Chula Vista, the righty, going up against 24 year-old Kyle Olson (159.2 lbs.) of City Boxing in San Diego’s downtown, a southpaw.
Round #1 would have to go in the Olson ledger. He had more success even with Beltran finishing strong.
When they came out for Round #2, it was clear Beltran had figured out the righty, lefty puzzle, and his punches were now crisper and flat lining towards their target. The only high point for Olson was a late round beauty of an uppercut.
The hands were flying in Round #3, and there were several momentum swings. Overall, you’d have to give Beltran two of the three rounds for landing the majority of the cleaner, power shots.
Bout #5 had 18 year-old Joshua Rivera (162.8 lbs.) of the host gym, the San Diego Combat Academy, San Diego going up against 17 year-old Hussein Fakhreddine (162.8 lbs.) of Old School Boxing, San Diego.
Once again, the boxers were so evenly matched when it comes to weight, age, experience and ability. They too began to bang from the opening bell with the slightly stronger Rivera using brawler tactics while the shorter Fakhreddine needed to use the subtleties of a boxer, technician.
After being outboxed early on, Rivera abandoned any thoughts of making adjustments and went full bore for the knockout. If one of his big haymakers had landed, then we may have had a different outcome.
Hard to believe the next LBC 44 USA Amateur show won’t be until July 27th at the National City Community Youth Athletic Center.