After cleaning house at last week’s USA Amateur Boxing’s Junior Olympic Tournament in Charleston, West Virginia from June 8th through the 13th, our locals heroes arrived back in San Diego late Sunday.
With the five San Diego representatives doing so well in the competition, one of their backers (admirers) suggested they be labeled “the FAB Five.”
The branding or should we say designer label stuck. Henceforth, “the Fab Five” includes Jabin Chollet, Alfred Vargas, Jessica Juarez, Andrea Medina and Jasmine Hernandez – all forces to be reckoned with.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s finals word came from Hondo Fontan, the current President of the San Diego and Imperial County USA Amateur Boxing LBC 44 chapter that Andrea Medina of the Bound Boxing Academy in Chula Vista and Jessica Juarez, unattached, from San Diego both brought home the gold. Juarez won her second straight Junior Olympic Gold Medal after scoring a second round TKO while Medina beat the defending world champion at 132 pounds, Lupe Gutierrez. Also, Jabin Chollet of the National City CYAC received the Silver Medal while his teammate Jasmine Hernandez received the Bronze.
“The five Cal Border boxers made our entire LBC 44 proud,” said Fontan. “And with the four medals, they helped Region 14 obtain the men’s and ladies’ best team plaques. We are so proud of you!!! Just wait till next year!! When we have a full team!! With help from Imperial Valley and the North County, we should really shake things up!”
Andrea Medina: “Today, I beat the world champion at 132 pounds, Lupe Gutierrez. Now I’m #1 and I couldn’t be more proud of myself and all my hard work. I wanna say thank you to all the people who have supported me and contributed to my fundraiser. Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. But the most thanks, I wanna give is to my father for being such a great coach and motivator and for all the sacrifices he has made. Region 14!!”
Another of the phenoms being talked about is 15-year-old Santos Ortega who also returned home with a Gold Medal. Ortega took every round from four separate opponents. His journey to get to the Nationals began in Ontario, California at the District Championships, where he defeated three opponents, again all three of his matches were won by scoring a shutout. Then, at the Regionals in Reno, Nevada on May 16, he stepped it up and won his bout by scoring a TKO. Santos now has his sights set on competing for the U. S. in the 2020 USA Olympics and later becoming a World Champion.
“We’re Super Proud of our athletes,” said Dominic Serna Sr., the Lead Coach for Region 14. “Words can not express how proud I am of this team. I’m not going to lie, we came in here with a short team and not bringing all the weight classes. So in reality to get the team trophy like last year was probably asking a little too much. But with so much team effort and team work, we pulled it off. Not only did we pull it off, we did better than last year. This year we had a total of just 31 boxers. Out of the 31 boxers, 25 of them all earned medals. Today (Saturday) in the finals, we had 10 bouts in ring #2 and eight of them were from our region. In ring #2 we had 11 bouts and six of them were also from our region. All in all, Region 14 comes away with 11 GOLD Medals, 7 SILVER Medals and 7 BRONZE Medals. As well as the 1st place Team Trophy for both the male and females. REGION 14 ROCKS!!”
Joseph Landeros: “Thank you God, my family, my coach, fans, and friends! Today, I came up short on a 2/1 decision, but growing up I can tell you that my parents showed me to take a loss before taking a win. I simply just walked away with my chin up accepting 2nd place out of the nation to earn the Silver Medal. For me the biggest win of this week was the beautiful experience and the knowledge I’m taking home. The insight of how many people from all over the country are supporting me for the future. These are all baby steps that I need to experience in order to succeed. I say this because my dream is to be one of the greatest world champions of my time, and to become that, I need to learn the sport with it’s ups and downs. Hopefully, someday I will reach that pinnacle of success and every single hour, every sweat that dropped along the long journey will have meant something. God bless everyone and please keep in mind that I appreciate you all. Thank you for everything. “TeamLanderos”
Also on Saturday, the former Super Welterweight Champion of the World Paul Vaden was on hand for the Grand Opening of the USIAA’s new San Diego Athletic Academy facility at 4680 Market St. B-10, San Diego, CA 92102. Along with the USIAA National Director Robert Coons and Vaden, they had Monte Jackson, a two time All-Pro Cornerback and member of the 1981 Super Bowl Champion Oakland Raiders, plus several other notables from the sports of baseball and boxing.