October 8, 2015 will mark the Fifth Anniversary of the passing of the extremely popular Felix Castro, an 18 year-old champion boxer. On October 8, 2010 Castro died of accidental causes. His boxing coach, Sergio Melendrez, Castro’s large family and fellow gym members at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, have vowed to keep his memory alive and never forget their compadre.
On Saturday, June 27th, the gym once again hosted a USA Amateur Boxing Show, the fifth in five years, to commemorate his life.
In Bout #1, it was 13 year-old Jesus Castro (154.2 pounds) from the Pete Moreno Boxing Team of the Legacy Boxing Gym, Vista, Calif. going toe to toe with 15 year-old Jesus Castillo (155.7 pounds) from Old School Boxing, San Diego.
With the two boxers taking turns unloading their power shots, you felt one or the other would eventually run out of gas. Neither did and so the judges had a difficult time picking a winner. With Jesus Castro having the same last name as Felix Castro, it could be that he received an assist from above.
In Bout #2, it was 14 year-old Jonathan “Johnny” Mansour (98.2 pounds) of the Marron Boxing Camp, Lakeside, Calif. going up against 13-year-old Adan Anorve (103.2 pounds) from the Golden Hands Boxing Club, Chula Vista, Calif.
In this one, you had Anorve jettisoning in and out to do the majority of the scoring while Mansour was more laid back and patient. He waited to do his scoring off counters. While each boxer showed an amazing grasp of the sport, they also knew many of the shady things you often see in the pro-ranks – for example hitting on the break. This protect yourself at all times match ended with Mansour clobbering Anorve with a rabbit punch after the final bell.
Still, after the match won by Anorve, the committed boxers were seen congratulating one another and it’s almost a certainty we’ll be seeing more of them in the future in an even more celebrated event.
Bout #3 featured 17 year-old Daniel Castellanos (147.4 pounds) from the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. going up against 20 year-old Guillermo Hernandez (143 pounds) of the newly formed Nevarez Boxing Team, Vista, Calif.
In this bout, Castellanos, while favoring his left hook, landed more of the cleaner shots to the head. He’d often avoid Hernandez’ onslaught by taking that one step back before delivering his own punches. Hernandez was more of a brawler than a boxer and kept missing in his attempts to land that one, big overhand right. Winning this bout the way he did, Castellanos should be pumped because it was discovered later that Hernandez had a lot of experience – seven bouts in the U. S. and 11 more in Mexico.
The boxers in Bout #4, 11 year-old Erin Torres (65 pounds) from the host gym, the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. and 10-year-old Jan Carlo “JC” Meza (68.6 pounds) from the Bound Boxing Academy, Chula Vista, Calif. favored their hand speed over any type of power. The fact that Torres had Meza backing up and not keeping up with his punch count, made the judges’ decision rather easy.
Chula Vista, Calif. favored their hand speed over any type of power. The fact that Torres had Meza backing up and not keeping up with his punch count, made the judges’ decision rather easy.
In contrast, Bout #5 featured 20 year-old Anthony Franco (155.2 pounds) of The Arena Gym, Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. going up against 29 year-old Justin Diamond (161.6 pounds) from the ABC Mongoose Gym, San Diego.
This bout had everyone’s attention, especially after they heard the sound effects. It was as if the two were swinging bags of nickels. Whack! Whack!! The gents went straight away to throwing and landing the big bombs.
After Diamond was pinned against the ropes and hit by six straight unanswered blows, all to the head, he was issued an 8-count. From that point on, you had to figure Diamond was thinking, “It only takes one punch in this weight class.” All this while eating jab after jab and the periodic combinations. Still, Diamond remained committed and never gave up hope of landing that one big, elusive KO blow.
In Bout #6 it was 25 year-old Nicholas Furt (138.4 pounds) from The Arena Gym, Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. going up against 22 year-old Abel Guzman (144 pounds) of Bound Boxing, Chula Vista, Calif.
In the first round, the boxers took turns working each other over. By round two, Furt had straighten out his punches and taken charge of the match. By the third round, Abel had been reduced to short, arm punches and his desperate coach kept pleading in vain, “Thirty seconds left, burnout Abel!”
Bout #7 featured two 15 year-olds Jason Meza (124.8 pounds) from The Arena Gym, Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. going up against Martin Ramirez (124.2 pounds) from Bound Boxing, Chula Vista, Calif.
Round one, the feeling out round, was a mixed bag as neither boxer distinguished himself. Round two was very competitive with the edge going to Ramirez. Then, in the make or break third round, Ramirez proved to everyone that he wanted it more.
In Bout #8, it was 16 year-old Brandon Cruz (124.8 pounds) from the Pride of San Diego Gym, Bonita, Calif., going up against 17 year-old Ruben Zavala (121.8 pounds) who is from Temecula Boxing.
In this one, Cruz proved to be the more patient of the two and it always seemed he was in the right position to land the cleaner, harder shots to the head while Zavala was more content to work over the midsection and try to get close enough to land his hooks to the body.
In the third and deciding round, it was Cruz’s trapping ability and then punching accuracy that won the day. Both boxers gave it everything they had right up till the final bell.
Bout #9, another classic righty vs. lefty bout, featured a rematch between 22 year-olds Nico Marchan (124.2 pounds), the righty, and Pedro Bernal (124.4 pounds) from Old School Boxing, the lefty, who fought just last week. In that match, Bernal had a relatively easy time defeating Marchan by using a counter left that rarely, if ever missed the side of Marchan’s head.
In round one, Marchan exhibited more offense, better defense and this time around it was Marchan doing the countering. In round two, either Marchan reverted back to his old ways or Bernal took it up a notch, because Bernal held the upperhand in round two. That left the deciding round and Marchan would not be denied.
In Bout #10, a bout lacking defense, it was 10-year-old Fernando “Chito” Lopez (77 pounds) from the Nevarez Boxing Team getting the best of 9 year-old Sammy Vences (75 pounds) of Max Impact, Oceanside, Calif. Lopez, the busier, more accurate boxer had his way with Vences who kept walking into punches, repeatedly.
Bout #11 featured an excitable first round between 19 year-old David Gates (156.2 pounds) from the Alliance Training Center and the more experienced 22 year-old Ramiro Pineda (166 pounds) from the Nevarez Boxing Team, Vista, Ca.
Not only was Gates 10 pounds lighter and three years younger, he was facing a boxer with more experience. In other words, he had to be at his best and he was with the more accurate punches.
Bout #12 turned out to be “The Bout of the Show.” It featured 19 year-old Tyler Herberger (130 pounds) from Old School Boxing, San Diego going up against 26 year-old Alexander Martinez (138.6 pounds) from the Nevarez Boxing Team, Vista, Ca.
Again, there was this huge discrepancy in weight. According to the coaches of the two gyms, we had a top notch Super Featherweight (126-130 lbs.) fighting a Super Lightweight (135-140 lbs.) who had only been training at the Nevarez gym for six months.
Question: Prior to training at the Nevarez Gym, where did he train? At the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood with Freddie Roach?
Anyway, the bout was sanctioned and the boxers put on quite a performance. Martinez wasted little time as he cut off the ring and at one point had Herberger, figuratively, running for his life. Martinez’s straight line brawler tactics got him the win.
The next show on the docket is scheduled for Saturday, August 1, 2015 at the Encinitas Boxing & Fitness Center, 613 Westlake St., Encinitas, CA 92024. Contact person is their head boxing coach Mike Robinson Tel: (760) 436-8682.