La Gente Boxing hosts latest USA Amateur show at the popular Ricochet Rec Center

June 21, 2015 No Comments
Even though it was still an hour before showtime, the seats started filling up for Saturday's evening Boxing Show - Father's day Bash at the Ricochet Recreation Center in Imperial, California.

Saturday, June 20, 2015: Even though it was 90 minutes before showtime, the seats had already begun to fill up for the evening’s Boxing Show “Father’s Day Bash” at the Ricochet Recreation Center in Imperial, California.

With close to 70 boxers showing up for Saturday’s weigh-ins at the Ricochet Rec Center, you had to figure the venue had something to do with the large turnout. With so many boxers vying for a spot on the boxing card, the organizers had the monumental task of whittling that number down to just 24 boxers for the 12 most competitive matches.


 

Willie Kuhn, the Head of Officials, and Pablo Cortez, the coach from La Gente Boxing, the gym hosting the event, were the gentlemen in the hot seat with the task of mulling over the different ages, weights and experience levels to come up with the ideal combinations for this the latest USA Amateur Boxing under the jurisdiction of LBC 44.

Getting back to the venue – the locals have fallen in love with this place. How do you describe the indescribable? The very large Ricochet Rec Center on West Aten Road, Imperial, Calif. defies description. Locals will tell you, “Just go there, look for yourself and be ready to jump off the walls.”

The 63,000 square foot facility, which opened barely a year ago, has been a dream come true for local residents. Not unlike other U. S. cities, Imperial, California has been dealing with the sluggish economy. The difficult times didn’t stop three young ladies, Tori Rollins, Jennifer Salomon and Sheila Kruger who one night were brainstorming to come up with an idea to revitalize their town. The idea surfaced and they never looked back.

 The famous Disney character Tinker Bell made an appearance to remind people to “Fly to your heart.”

(photo, left) A Disney-like Tinker Bell makes her appearance reminding folks to “Fly to your heart.” (right) Moms and Dad appear reluctant to join in – wallflowers dreading the possibility that someone might find their involvement childish.

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You’re looking at a gymnast destined to win Olympic Gold.

(above photo) You’re looking at a youngster destined to win Olympic Gold.

Your typical, all things positive review: “This place is a blast! It’s so much fun. They’ve got everything! Honestly, it’s just what the valley needed! I go there like four times a month and the employees are so nice. We had a great time playing in one of their two dodgeball courts and jumping into the foam pit. The area designated for “little jumpers”, under age four, consists of trampolines and a pit of foam blocks with dedicated staff members not only on alert for a mishap but there to make certain your visit is enjoyable. The food is delicious and very fresh. At their parties, banquets and weddings, they serve beer and drinks out of the Hacienda cafe.”

Now back to our coverage of Saturday’s boxing show, aptly named “The Father’s Day Bash.”

In Bout #1, it was 18 year-old Tyler Herberger of Old School Boxing, San Diego (131.4 pounds) earning the win over 19 year-old Ernesto Verdin of Guerrero’s Boxing (124.8 lbs). This one was difficult to score for the simple reason you had one boxer, Verdin, being slightly busier, while his opponent, Herberger was more accurate and delivering the heavier blows.Bt1 a Tyler Herberger ovErnestoVerdinBt 1 b Tyler Herberger

At the conclusion of Bout #1, referee Will White raises the arm of the victorious Tyler Herberger of Old School Boxing.

At the conclusion of Bout #1, referee Will White (c) raises the arm of the victorious Tyler Herberger (r) of Old School Boxing while his opponent Ernesto Verdin of Guerrero’s Boxing looks none too pleased. Photos: Jim Wyatt

(l to r) Ernesto Verdin, Tyler Herberger.

(l to r) Ernesto Verdin, Tyler Herberger.

Bout #2 featured two, 22 year-olds in a classic righty, Nico Marchan of the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif. (123 lbs) going up against a southpaw Pedro Bernal (122.6 pounds) from Old School Boxing. This time out, it was Bernal the southpaw dominating, as he kept clubbing Marchan with the left hook.Bt2a Pedro Bernal ov Nico Marchan

Nico Marchan (l) ducks under the looping left hook thrown by Pedro Bernal (r).

Nico Marchan (l) ducks under the looping left hook of Pedro Bernal (r).

At the conclusion of Bout #2, referee Will White raises up the arm of the victorious Pedro Bernal.

At the conclusion of Bout #2, referee Will White (c) raises up the arm of the victorious Pedro Bernal (l).

After leaving the ring, the two boxers (l to r) Pedro Bernal and Nico Marchan pose for a photo together. All photos: Jim Wyatt

After leaving the ring, the boxers (l to r) Pedro Bernal and Nico Marchan pose for one last photo. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3, featuring two 16 year-old females, had Nataly Jimenez of La Familia Boxing Club, El Centro, Calif. (128 pounds) going up against Sharon Duran of Old School Boxing (123.6 pounds).

Jimenez’s height and weight advantage proved too much for Duran who spent the majority of rounds one and two back peddling. Jimenez was relentless as she delivered these in-your-face straight rights which soon led to combinations. For Duran, things didn’t start to settle down until the third round and by that time, Jimenez had more than enough points to secure the win.

(top, left) Early in round one, referee Rick Ley is shown issuing Sahron Duran an 8-count. Nataly Jimenez ruled the roost by backing her opponent up and pinning her against the ropes.

(top, left) In round one, we see referee Hondo Fontan issuing Sharon Duran an 8-count. (bottom, left) Nataly Jimenez ruled the roost by backing her opponent up and pinning her against the ropes. Photos: Jim Wyatt

(bottom, right) Referee Hondo Fontan raises the arm of the victorious Nataly Jimenez (l).

(bottom, right) At the conclusion of their bout, referee Hondo Fontan raises the arm of the victorious Nataly Jimenez (l).

Mom and coach join the boxers at the conclusion of their exciting match.

Mom and coach join the young ladies at the conclusion of their exciting match.

In Bout #4, it was 15 year-old Santiago Renteria from the San Luis PAL Boxing Club (133.6 pounds) securing the victory over 13 year-old Jacob “El Tiburon” Valenzuela from Devil Dog’s Boxing (137 pounds).

Renteria dominated the first two stanzas by throwing the better leveraged punches. By the final round you would have thought Renteria would be resting on his laurels, but he never slowed down. In the third round, he mixed things up with combinations coming from every angle.

Santiago Renteria from the San Luis PAL Boxing Club (133.6 pounds) securing the victory over 13 year-old Jacob “El Tiburon” Valenzuela

(bottom, right) Santiago Renteria (r) has his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontan after securing the victory over Jacob “El Tiburon” Valenzuela.

Santiago Renteria from the San Luis PAL Boxing Club (133.6 pounds) securing the victory over 13 year-old Jacob “El Tiburon” Valenzuela

(l to r) the victorious Santiago Renteria, Jacob “El Tiburon” Valenzuela

In Bout #5, it was 13 year-old Gabriela Fundora (104.8 pounds) from the Lee Espinosa Coachella Boxing Gym earning her second straight victory over the always tough 14 year-old Roxana Ortiz (106.4 pounds) from the Calexico Boxing Club.

In the early rounds, there was no clear cut winner with Fundora maintaining her supremacy from the outside while Ortiz did her best work in close. By the third round, Fundora was still banging away with the straighter shots to the head, while Ortiz’s looping punches were not finding their target.

Bt5aGabriela Fundora ov Roxana Ortiz

At first, Gabriela Fundora appeared frustrated by the in-fighting of Roxana Ortiz (l).

After maintaining the proper distance and using her stiff jab to keep the sharter Roxana Ortiz at bay, Gabriela Fundora took over the contest.

After maintaining the proper distance and using her stiff jab to keep the shorter Roxana Ortiz at bay, Gabriela Fundora took over and dominated the closing round.

Bout #6, featuring two 15 year-old males, saw Jimmy Reyes of the Baja Boxing Club (128 pounds) come away with a close victory over Jose Cordero of San Luis PAL (128.4 pounds).

As they say, the different styles make for the really great fights. In round #1 of this slugfest, Reyes’ plan involved waiting for Cordero to throw the first punch and then counter. With Cordero throwing combinations, Reyes’ plan wasn’t working and soon he was on the wrong side of an 8-count.

On the break between rounds one and two, the Reyes’ corner must have imparted some great advice because from that point on, Reyes was a different boxer. He did much better in their exchanges and eventually came away with the razor thin victory.

Jimmy Reyes ov Jose Cordero

(bottom) During the break between round one and two, both Jimmy Reyes (l) and Jose Cordero (r) listened intently to the advice of their coaches.

Bt 6c Jimmy Reyes ov Jose Cordero

At the conclusion of bout #6, it was Jimmy Reyes winning over the judges.

At the conclusion of Bout #6, it was Jimmy Reyes (r) getting the nod from the judges.

In Bout #7, it was 8 year-old Jahir “El Venenito” Romo from Romo’s Boxing Club (60 pounds) earning the victory over 8 year-old Richie “El Suavesito” Quijada of the Devil Dog’s Boxing Gym (64 pounds).

After Romo’s victory, several parents were wondering about the youngster’s diet. Romo went nonstop every second of the way. If there ever is a Superboy TV series or Movie, this youngster should wear the costume.

JohirRomo ov RichieGuijada

In Bout #7, Jahir Romo (red head gear) is seen unloading punch after punch to the head of his opponent Richie Quijada. All photos: Jim Wyatt

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The proud fathers pose for photos with their sons. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Proud fathers pose for photos with their sons (l to r) Jahir and Richie.

Bout #8 featured 15 year-old Jose Ortega (112.6 lbs.) of the Guerrero Boxing Club going up against 16 year-old Ivan Guardado (117.4 pounds) from Guardado’s Gym, Ensenada, B. C., Mexico.

The difference in their skill level, age, height and weight (Guardado was five pounds heavier) proved too much for the gutsy Mr. Ortega who never backed down and never stopped throwing these big, all or nothing overhand rights. When he missed, Guardado was right there like a sharpshooter making him pay.

As they say, the nail in the coffin came in Round #3, when Ortega suffered not only an 8-count but a flash knockdown. On an Ortega miss, Guardado brushed against Ortega’s shoulder which forced the off-balance Ortega to use his glove to prevent a fall. When the glove touched the canvass, the referee justly ruled a knockdown.

(bottom, left) At first, Ivan Guardados needed time to get use to Jose Ortega's awkward style.

(bottom, left) At first, Ivan Guardado, shown here getting clobbered by a right cross, needed time to adjust to Jose Ortega’s awkward style.

At the conclusion of the show, Pablo Cortez announce the Boxer of the Show

At the conclusion of the show, Pablo Cortez, the organizer of the event, made the announcement that Ivan Guardado had been selected “Best Boxer of the Show.”

In Bout #9, it was 11 year-old Angel Castro (115.6 pounds) of La Gente Boxing facing a late replacement Jonathan Lau of Baja Boxing. This was almost a repeat of the preceding bout between Ortega and Guardado where the experience level was too much to overcome. Castro may not have won but he sure made it a struggle for Lau to win.

The Jonathan Lau versus Angel Castro was a classic battle

The Jonathan Lau versus Angel Castro was a hard fought battle.

Referee Hondo Fontan raises the arm of the victorious Jonathan Lau.

Referee Hondo Fontan raises the arm of the victorious Jonathan Lau.

The two combatants, Angel Castro (l) and Jonathan Lau pose for one last photo.

Angel Castro (l) and Jonathan Lau (r) pose for one last photo.

In Bout #10 it was 14 year-old Jesus Gonzalez (175 lbs.) of the Guardados Gym, Ensenada, B. C., Mexico defeating 14 year-old Adrian Zarate (171.6 pounds) from Yuma, Arizona. Not much you can say. The heavier and more experienced visitor from Mexico dominated from the opening bell.

The smathering tactics of Jesus Gonzalez finally led to a standing 8-count.

The smothering tactics of Jesus Gonzalez (red head gear) finally led to Adrian Zarate being issued a standing 8-count.

At the conclusion of their bout it was Jesus Gonzalez having his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontan.

(photo, top) At the conclusion of their bout, it was Jesus Gonzalez (r) having his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontan.

In Bout #11, it was 15 year-old Citlalli Ortiz (160 lbs.) of the Coachella Boxing Club coming away with the easy victory over the less experienced 16 year-old Rebekah Sanchez (151 lbs.) of La Familia Boxing Club, CA.

Ortiz wasted little time as she went straightaway to the body and pounded away as if she were working a heavy bag in her gym. Before long, Sanchez’s hands dropped which gave Ortiz a golden opportunity to go at Sanchez from all angles and secure the second round stoppage.

In Bout #11, Citlalli Ortiz went straight to the midsection

(bottom, left) In Bout #11, Citlalli Ortiz (red head gear) wasted little time and went straight to working over Rebekah Sanchez’s midsection. Halfway through Round #2, Sanchez’s hands began to drop and the onslaught continued from every direction until referee Rick Ley finally called for the stoppage.

(top) At the conclusion of their bout, the victorious Citlalli Ortiz had her arm raised in victory by refereee Rick Ley.

(top) At the conclusion of their bout, the victorious Citlalli Ortiz (r) had her arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley.

In Bout #12, the final bout of the evening, it was 8 year-old Ricardo Aguirre (65 lbs.) from the Baja Boxing Club going up against 8 year-old Isaiah Torres (61.4 lbs) of Romo’s Boxing Training Center, El Centro, CA. In this hard fought battle, Torres landed the most punishing blows against the game Mr. Aguirre.

(top) Isaiah TorresRicardo Aguirre with

(top) Isaiah Torres (l) is shown landing a big overhand right to the side of Ricardo Aguirre’s head. On and on these two battled showing no mercy.

At the conclusion of their bout, it was Isaiah Torres (l) having his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley.

At the conclusion of their bout, it was Isaiah Torres (l) having his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley.

640Bt12b Isaiah TorresRicardo Aguirre with

At the conclusion of his bout, Ricardo Aguirre poses for a photo with his proud parents. All photos: Jim Wyatt

At the conclusion of his bout, Ricardo Aguirre posed for a photo with his proud parents. All photos: Jim Wyatt

The next USA Amateur Boxing show is scheduled to take place at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. on Friday, June 26th.

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