Well, it’s a given, Juan Medina Jr., the owner of The Bound Boxing Academy in Chula Vista, Calif. is unflappable. With so much on his plate, not to mention his extended trips to Los Angeles to be in boxer Amaris Quintana’s corner as she prepared, then fought in the most important fight of her career, Medina has remained calm and cool. As Stuart Scott, the long-time anchor of ESPN used to say, “He’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.” Cool enough to host another top notch “Friday Night Fights” show at his new and much larger location at 675 Palomar Street in Chula Vista. This time around he even added a well-received Mariachi, Jesus Moreno, to sing during Intermission.
Friday evening’s lineup included boxers from near and far:
In Bout #1, it was 11-year-old Diego Luna (84.4 lbs., 11-years-old) of the host gym, the Bound Boxing Academy, going up against Jonathan Recio (84 lbs., 12-years-old) of the Ponce De Leon gym of Montebello, Calif. Aside from the many actors eg. Michael Trevino and actresses like Deborah Foreman who were born in Montebello, it may be a little-known fact that Oscar De La Hoya was also born there. Montebello is a city in Los Angeles County located in the southwest corner of the San Gabriel Valley, eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles. As it turns out, not one of his celebrity friends made the trip. It’s a good thing that they didn’t because Recio, a southpaw, who had 60 bouts and only six losses, was caught off guard by Luna, a righty who knows that his quicker, straight right hands will defeat a lefty. That being said, the first two rounds were almost dead even. Luna did his best work in the final round to get the win.In Bout #2, they had 10-year-old Alejandro Bastidas (red trunks, 2-0, 82.2 lbs.) from the Bound Boxing taking on 9-year-old Antonio Padilla (white trunks, 0-3, 83.4 lbs.) from the Legacy Training Center, Vista, Calif. The shorter of the two, Padilla, 0-2 versus Bastidas, ran right smack into the same problem. At this juncture, it appears Bastidas’ height and reach advantage is too much for Mr. Padilla to overcome.
Bout #3 featured 16-year-old, righty Jason Meza (129.8 lbs.) from The Arena, Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. going up against a 17-year-old, lefty by the name of Abraham Lopez (7-5, 126 lbs.) from the Jackie Nava Academy in Tijuana, B. C., Mexico. With the boxers having so much experience, both throwing punches from every angle, this turned out to be a tremendous duel. After Meza closed out round one with a thunderous right followed by a beautiful uppercut, it’s for certain he had won the round. With round two featuring more strategy and better defense, it was difficult to score. To close out the bout, both boxers were back to matching each other’s output and letting the hands fly. In the end, all three judges had Meza ahead in the very competitive bout.
Bout #4 featured 14-year-old Jose Salas (90.4 lbs.) from the Jackie Nava Academy of Tijuana taking on 13-year-old Julian Esteban “The Mexican” Rojas (92.2 lbs.) from the Bound Boxing Academy. Even though this was another great match-up, it was clear Salas was more adept at slipping punches and then countering. By landing the harder punches and more of them, the decision was never in doubt.
In Bout #5, we returned to the lefty versus righty theme, as 20-year-old, righty, Alejandro Herrada (169.8 lbs., unattached from Santee, Calif. and making his debut) faced southpaw Cesar Loeza from the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. (also weighing in at 169.8 lbs.). With both styles being very different, the difference maker was Loeza’s powerful left hooks which found their target with regularity. With both men throwing bombs at each other, it was just a matter of time before we’d see a stoppage. In this one, it was Herrada on the receiving end of back-to-back 8-counts which in due course led to an early stoppage. Even with his nose bleeding, Herrada and his corner had no intention of throwing in the towel and were a bit upset at the early stoppage. As in the Monty Python movie, The Return of the Holy Grail, some people, namely the Black Knight, will always fight on, no matter what the circumstances. You never tell the Black Knight he’s finished, even after severing every limb. Even at that stage, it’s questionable whether he’d settle for a draw.
In Bout #6, they had 16-year-old Citlalli Ortiz (155 lbs., an inside brawler with success) from the Lee Espinoza Coachella Boxing Club of Coachella, Calif. going up against the much taller, 15-year-old Jewelia “Ju-ju” Montijo (155.8 lbs.) from North County MMA of Escondido, Calif. Even though Ortiz had more experience in the ring, we can’t discount the fact that Montijo had fought twice in the cage and been successful in both contests. On Friday night, Ortiz did what she had to, she stayed in close and banged away at Montijo’s midsection. The final round went to Montijo who more than once found her range and landed some solid shots at Ortiz’s head.
Bout #7 featured 11-year-oldd Jan Carlo Meza (3-2, 77.6 lbs.) of the Bound Boxing Academy going up against Mario Garcia (88.2 lbs) from Intensity MMA in South San Diego. This was another great matchup with its constant momentum swings. You’d have to give the edge to Meza in round one but from there on out it was close. Plus, there is no doubt Garcia was the dominant slugger in round three.
Bout #8 featured 17-year-old Luis Ramirez (3-1, 164.2 lbs.) from the Mascal Boxing Club, Tijuana going up against 25-year-old Thomas Watson (3-2, 166.6 lbs.) from The Arena. Watson, an undefeated CAMO Welterweight champ, made the transition over to boxing look easy. Even before the first minute ended, he was throwing and landing these monstrous blows to Ramirez to earn the easy win.
Bout #9, the “Bout of the Night” was a slugfest between two bangers, 17-year-old Ulises “Gallo” Bastida (143.6 lbs.) from The Arena in Point Loma, taking on 28-year-old Matthew “Good night now” Knight (3-0, 2 KOs, 145.2 lbs.) from The Bound Boxing Academy. Not only was Bastida willing to go toe to toe with an older, taller boxer, Knight had those credentials of two knockouts, plus he was one of the instructors at Bound Boxing.