On Saturday, the Bound Boxing Academy on Palomar Street in Chula Vista, Calif. hosted Day 1 of USA Amateur Boxing’s Junior Olympic Regional Competition which had LBC 44 CAL Border, the Nevada LBC 49 and Southern California’s LBC 33 all vying for the open slots to represent our region in the National Finals which will be held in Dallas, Texas, from June 26 through July 2, 2016.
Below we show the age groups, the various weight classes and the results from Day one. Where you see just one boxer that means they have qualified by virtue of being the only boxer in that age and weight category. Of course, when these individuals reach the National Tournament in Dallas, they’ll have plenty of boxers competing in their same weight and age division.
After Day 1 of USA Amateur Boxing’s Junior Olympics Regional competition, 22 boxers were eliminated and those who had a bye on Day 1 will now face the winners from Saturday’s contests on Sunday beginning at 11:00 a.m. The tournament began featuring the 11 and 12 year-olds, 65-pound weight class, with Rodrigo Mosquera III (17-7) from Team Mosquera of Las Vegas, Nevada winning a disputable split decision victory over Kevin Gudino who was the Southern California LBC 33 representative.
In Bout #2, it was Steven Navarro of Team Garcia Boxing, South Central Los Angeles getting the best of Andres Garcia from the Baja Boxing Club, Calexico, Calif. in the 70 lbs. 11/12 bracket. Navarro held the upper hand from round one through round three to win a unanimous decision.
Bout #3 featured Akeem Cheatham (53-11) of the KO Kings & Queens Boxing Club, Las Vegas going up against fellow tough guy Justin Viloria of East LA. After Cheatham looked so impressive in round one, back came Viloria in round two. In the third and final round, Cheatham made certain to land more of his rapid-fire punches to ensure the victory.
In Bout #4, it was Samuel “Sammy” Contreras of the Indio Boys & Girls Club, Indio, Calif. earning the split decision victory over Jayson Gallegos (10-8) of the Las Vegas Fight Club, Las Vegas. Plain and simple, Contreras, stood tall in the saddle, used his reach advantage and stayed busy throughout their contest. By round three, Gallegos had made some headway and certainly made the final round interesting.
Bout #5 featured Diego “Zorro” Luna (19 bouts) of the host gym, the Bound Boxing Academy, Chula Vista, Calif. going up against Art Barrera of Longbeach, Calif. representing LBC 33 SoCal in the 85 pound, 11/12 age group. On this day, Barrera was definitely the stronger of the two as Luna failed to keep up with the volume and quality of punches thrown by Barrera.
Bout #6, the second of three contests where there was some disagreement as far as the outcome, involved Isaiah Torres (6-4) of Brawley, Calif. and representing the Westmoreland B.A.D. Boxing Team of Imperial Valley, going up against Brandon Viloria of East Los Angeles who was representing Southern California’s LBC 33 in the 70 pound, 13/14-year-old grouping. In this match, it was clear Torres landed more punches and the most significant punches. His blows often had Viloria either backtracking or on the run. Viloria kept busy but his punches didn’t have the same impact and were more like arm punches. In the end, the judges’ scorecards had Viloria as their winner by a split decision.
Bout #7, in the 13/14 age group, 80 pounders, had Jordan Cervantes (blue trunks) of the East LA Assasins going up against Jovanny Aguilar (44 bouts, red trunks) of the Center Ring Boxing Club of Las Vegas, Nevada. While Cervantes stood tall and often used the wait to counter strategy against the quicker-moving and always aggressive Aguilar, it was his accuracy on the two and three punch combinations that had him ahead on the scorecards. Each time Aguilar missed with a punch, Cervantes was right there to make him pay. In the end, the decision was easy as the taller Cervantes dominated with the straighter and more powerful blows.
In Bout #8 it was Ethan Mariscal of the Mity Mites Boxing Club, Reno, Nevada facing Amed Medina of the Azteca Boxing Club, Bell Gardens, Calif. in the 85 pound, 13/14 age group. Smothered by the nonstop punching of Medina, Mariscal was issued two 8-counts in round one. In round two and three, Mariscal performed much better, but still lost every round to the power keg Medina who would not let up on his way to winning a unanimous decision. Medina is not the only boxer in the family. Amed’s sister Lupita Medina (4-1) is also headed to the Junior Olympics, representing the western region in the female, 70 lbs., 11/12 age group.
In Bout #9, it was Blane Serna of the Indio Boys & Girls Club, Indio, Calif. going up against Julius Ballo of the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy, El Cajon, Calif. in the 13/14-year-old, 90-pound category. As usual, Ballo got off to a fast start and before you knew it, he had Serna in trouble after landing a two-punch combination, a left hook followed by a hard right that landed flush. As a result, referee Gerald Cheatham felt obliged to stop the bout and issue Serna an 8-count. Relentless and elusive, Ballo kept up the pressure and most assuredly took round two. In the final round, both boxers poured it on and the boxing fans became the beneficiary of an action-packed finish.
In Bout #10, it was Anthony Perales (12-4) of the Azteca Boxing Club, Bell Gardens, Calif. going up against the more experienced Fernando Diaz (46-4) of the Richard Steele Boxing Club, Las Vegas, Nevada in the 13/14-year-old, 95-pound grouping. This was an easy one to score as the ambidextrous Diaz had Perales backing up all the way and as they say, it’s extremely difficult to fight anyone when you’re continually throwing punches off your back foot. Diaz won by a unanimous decision.
In Bout #11, it was Jalen Walker (60-20) of Medal Chasers, Carson, Calif. representing Southern California’s LBC 33 earning the unanimous decision victory over Christian Proulx of the Center Ring Boxing Gym, Las Vegas, Nevada, a veteran of 10 bouts in the 13/14-year-old, 101 lbs. weight class. Walker isn’t a big guy, but he sure punches like one. After a short time, his straight lefts were putting a hurt on the taller Proulx.
Bout #12 featured Demler “DJJ” Zamora III of Henderson, Nevada earning the decision victory over Francisco Rodriguez (10-4) of the Indio Boys & Girls Club, Indio, Calif. in the 101 pound, 13/14-year-old age group. For this match, Rodriguez was in excellent form. The only problem, Rodriguez ran into an even better, slicker boxer, Zamora, a southpaw, who had even quicker hands.
Back in 2011, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was asked for his opinion about this 7-year-old who was working out in his gym. Mayweather looked across the gym at the youngster working the mitts with his uncle Roger Mayweather and said, “Oh, you mean Blackapino, he’s a phenom. He’s going to be a champion someday.” At that time, Zamora had been boxing for less than a year. Then, his father received an offer he couldn’t refuse. Roger Mayweather approached him and offered to train his son. We fast forward to Saturday, May 21, 2016, as they say, “You should see him now!!”
One of the most dominant performances of the day came in Bout #13 from Gabriela Fundora (now 16-1) from the Lee Espinoza Coachella Valley Boxing Club, Coachella, Calif. who was facing Sara Segura (5-6) from the Baja Boxing Club of Calexico, Calif. In round two, the courageous Segura was getting hit so often that the referee had to stop the bout twice to issue standing 8-counts. In the third and final round, you couldn’t help but notice that Fundora’s blows to the head had Segura’s head snapping back.
Bout #14 was won by Carlos Sanchez (39-8) of the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy, El Cajon, Calif., over Andrew Sandoval of the Chino Boxing Club, Chino, Calif., representing Southern California’s LBC 33. Did you know that Chino, known for it’s Correctional Facility, is also the hometown of the alternative pop group Echosmith. For most of this bout, you saw Sanchez loading up to deliver these big, overhand rights, knockout blows which irked his corner. According to them, he was telegraphing his punches. If Sandoval was privy to that conversation, he would have told them, ‘Well, it’s certainly working, because I’m just trying to survive.’
In Bout #15, it was Joseley DiAna of the Feroz Fight Factory, Las Vegas, Nevada getting the TKO win over Alex Mendoza (now 1-2) from the House of Boxing Training Center, Paradise Hills, Calif. who was representing LBC 44 Cal Border.
In Bout #16, it was Alfred Vargas (blue trunks, 27 bouts) from the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy, El Cajon, Calif. getting the win over Raymond Otanez (red trunks, 70 bouts) who was from the East LA Assasins and representing LBC 33 So Cal in the 15/16 age group, 101-pound weight class.
Bout #17, in the 15/16-year-old, 106-pound weight class, had Eduardo Sanchez (14-6, black trunks) representing LBC 49 Nevada, going up against Jonathan Mansour (2-2) from the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy, El Cajon, who was representing the local LBC 44 CAL Border.
After both boxers, Amado Vargas of Reno, Nevada (red trunks) and Heyner Diaz of Sant Maria, Calif. (blue trunks) had given everything they had in Bout #19, it appears neither was convinced of an outright victory. You would have thought Diaz had more confidence especially since he had Vargas in trouble twice and on one occasion Vargas was issued an 8-count.
Bout #20 featured Rafael Delgado (blue trunks) from Team Murillo, Pacoima, Calif. going up against Diego DeMara (red trunks) from the Baja Boxing Club, Calexico, Calif. in the 119 pound, 15-16 age group. Top photos show the two 8-counts and the eventual stoppage by referee Gerald Cheatham.
Rafael Delgado (l) of Team Murillo was deadly accurate with his power shots to the head. So much so, that referee Gerald Cheatham was repeatedly stepping in to stop his bout with the often battered Diego DeMara (r) from the Baja Boxing Club.
In Bout #21 it was David Ortiz (r) of 3rd Street Boxing, Riverside, Calif. coming away with the victory over the always tough Isael Quirarte of the La Gente Boxing Club, Brawley, Calif.
In Bout #22 it was Adrian Corona (r) earning the victory over the durable Rene Martinez (l) of La Familia Boxing Club. Plain and simple, this bout was a slugfest with both of these gents throwing caution to the wind and likely going all out to score the knockout.
This regional tournament will conclude tomorrow, Sunday, May 22 with six additional bouts. Then, the winners will all be headed to Dallas, Texas to compete in the Nationals. Their reporting/registration date for that tournament is June 26, 2016.