November 16, 2013
The latest USA Amateur Boxing event, the Silver Gloves regionals took place Saturday, November 16, inside the former Bank of America building located at 4976 Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. This year’s show was hosted by the folks of the World Boxing Gym who reside at 5032 Niagara Avenue, just a block away.
Anytime you have a chance to meander through the streets of “OB”, the ever popular beach town, you have to go inside some of the shops with the many curiosities that soon have you reminiscing about the flower children of the ‘60s. Ask anyone who’s been there, it’s truly a delight.
The results of Saturday’s contests are as follows:
In Bout #1, it was 10 year-old Xavion Douglas of Rhino’s Boxing, (75 pounds), taking on the current National Champion 10 year-old Julius Ballo of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in El Cajon (also 75 pounds).
You talk about cojones. The mere fact that Douglas was willing to step inside the ring against the more seasoned, and taller champion, took a ton of nerve. For a while there, the determined boxers exchanged punches as if they were fan blades clashing in opposite directions. By the end of Round #1, Ballo’s straighter punches started to take their toll. It became clear that Douglas was overmatched by Round #2 after he was issued his first 8-count. A second 8-count followed in Round #3 which sealed the deal.
Finding someone in Ballo’s weight and age group who can stand up to his punching prowess may just be impossible.
In Bout #2, it was 15 year-old Noel Diaz of Pinzon Boxing (132 pounds) being awarded the decision victory over 15 year-old Adrian Hernandez of North County Boxing (132 pounds).
This was an interesting bout because it involved so much strategy. After Hernandez would throw one of his looping lefts, Diaz, the southpaw, would hook that arm with his right, get position inside and then pound away at Hernandez with the short left hooks and straight lefts to the head. As long as he maintained that inside position, he was in complete control. While the right crosses and left hooks were plentiful, a jab from either boxer was almost nonexistent.
What had Diaz’s coach so pumped was the fact that his boxer, in only his seventh bout, could control Hernandez, a veteran of 40 some bouts, and come away with the definitive victory.
In Bout #3, there were two more gents at the same age and same weight, 13 year-old Juan Padilla of the Legacy Training Center in Vista (80 pounds) and 13 year-old Jabin Chollet of Barrio Station, San Diego (80 pounds).
Once again, contrasting styles made this bout interesting to watch. While Chollet’s plan involved being the busier boxer and getting in close to box, Padilla countered with the strategy of taking one step back and then countering with the more potent knockout blow, the punches that when they land, can really hurt. At the end of this close match, the judges gave more credence to Padilla’s harder shots to the head.
In Bout #4, it was 26 year-old Elvis Ramirez, an Independent from Escondido (127.4 pounds) taking on 29 year-old Torryan Benjamin (134.2 pounds) from the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Both boxers were making their USA Amateur debuts.
Now comes the question of who held the upper hand? Not only did Benjamin outweigh Ramirez by seven pounds, he also had the build of an Olympian and was much taller.
Regarding their time spent in the gym to learn the sport? Both camps were quite secretive but both must have had prior experience to demonstrate the above average technique and footwork.
In Round #1, it wasn’t even a contest as Benjamin stalked his prey to first land the head snapping jab and follow with the quick, punishing right.
By Round #2, Ramirez had gained enough confidence to get himself involved in several exchanges. However, these momentum swings were short lived and soon negated by Benjamin’s reach advantage of 5 to 6 inches.
With Benjamin in command throughout, the outcome was never in doubt.
Bout #5 featured the big boys; the guys you regularly see each Sunday on your TV while watching the NFL games. They had 30 year-old Chuck Landy (209 pounds and Unattached) going up against 27 year-old Devin Cooper (191.6 pounds) of Rhino’s Boxing in Vista, CA.
Unlike some of the heavyweights you see on TV, these two gents came out firing. Landy, the busier of the two, soon had Cooper backing up. Whenever Landy started to relax, Cooper would make him pay with a hard uppercut.
Before long, you could see Landy was dominating the punch stat numbers and more and more often Cooper found himself backed up against the ropes with his arms up trying to block an onslaught of punches. Cooper survived Round one and an 8-count there in, but not Round two, as the surrender towel was soon waved.
In Bout #6, it was 21 year-old Nicholas Cortez (143 pounds) gaining an unanimous decision victory over 21 year-old Joseph Torres of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center (145.2 pounds).
In this one, Torres remained the aggressor throughout but as the aggressor he kept getting the worst of each exchange. Each time he led off with a wild punch, Cortez was right there to respond with a two and sometimes a three punch combination.
Bout #7 was a revenge match between 23 year-old Armando Tovar of the House of Boxing (145.6 pounds) who narrowly defeated 23 year-old Johnny Ballesteros of Intensity MMA in South San Diego (147.4 pounds) only a week ago at the House of Boxing.
In Saturday’s contest, Tovar came out even stronger and was almost flawless in the first frame. Everything he did, from the stronger jabs, the crisper, straighter combos with the white of the glove and his working over of the midsection, was done to perfection. It appeared he had made the necessary adjustments.
In contrast, Ballesteros was still banging away with the same heavy artillery that failed to get him the win a week ago. Plain and simple, he didn’t make the adjustments.
Tovar’s coach, Carlos Barragan Jr., made the following assessment after receiving high praise for Tovar’s improvement. “He’s a lot smarter boxer and like a chess player he now understands the importance of distance.”
Bout #8 featured two 16 year-olds, Kyle Erwin of Rhino’s Boxing, Vista (129.6 lbs.) getting the close decision victory over Ernesto Martinez of the World Boxing Gym in Ocean Beach (124.8 pounds).
From the outset, Martinez, the more accomplished boxer, remained on the perimeter and from time to time would jettison in and out to deliver his combinations. His strategy had him way ahead at the close of Round one.
Then, in Round #2, Erwin twice caught his opponent in “slow mo” which gave him an opportunity to attack and corner Martinez. Erwin then pummeled him with eight to ten unanswered blows to secure the round.
Round #3 was almost a repeat of Round #2 as Martinez allowed Erwin to corner him and land the unanswered punches. As an added twist, Martinez caught Erwin with a short right that sent Erwin on one knee to the canvas. In USA Amateur rules a knockdown only counts as one point. How the judges arrived at Erwin as the winner confounded even Erwin who seemed quite astonished when they announced he had won the match.
The match kind of reminds you of the Joe Frazier versus Muhammad Ali battles, where at times the judges would give more credence to Frazier work on the inside and in other matches they would give more credit to Ali for his bombardment from the outside.
Bout #9, the Main Event, featured the young ladies, 14 year-old Jasmine Hernandez (2-2) of the National City CYAC (132 pounds), going up against 13 year-old Jasmine Mosqueda (132.4 pounds) of the Legacy Training Center, Vista, CA who was making her USA Amateur debut.
At the outset, it appeared the taller Hernandez would only have to put this match on cruise control. Since she was taller, her stiff jab would surely keep the smaller Mosqueda at bay. But that’s why they have the experienced judges to keep track of what develops in these matches.
In our photos below, you can see how the shorter Mosqueda began to duck under or slip Hernandez’s punches to then land her own in your face counters. As Mosqueda got more and more comfortable with this strategy, it started to pay dividends as far as how the judges awarded her the necessary points to secure the win.
The next USA Amateur Boxing show will be held Saturday, December 14th at the Legacy Training Center 1304 N. Santa Fe Ave. Vista, CA 92083, Your contact is: Cesar Ortigoza (760) 685-6659
Weigh-ins: 9 AM sharp, First Bout: 1 PM
Then it’s the 2013 Boxers for Christ National Championships
at the San Diego Combat Academy on December 20, 21, 22 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Go to: www.USIAA.org or Call (619) 208-9158 for more information about registration and the brackets for this tournament.