2016 Junior Olympic, Prep National & Youth Open Championships

Region 14 of USA Amateur Boxing which includes Los Angeles and Imperial Counties San Diego nad

Region 14 of USA Amateur Boxing, which includes San Diego, Los Angeles and Imperial Counties, did very well in this year’s Junior Olympic and Prep National Championships plus Youth Open Competition. How so? We can thank these young ladies who dominated in their age and weight class.

Day one of the Junior Olympic and Prep National Championships and Youth Open competition was Tuesday, June 28, 2016, with 167 bouts scheduled in four rings (334 competitors) and continued daily through Saturday, July 2, when the final 41 bouts were contested. All told, they had close to 850 participants, 75 officials working the event and the spectator count? Impossible to tabulate. Let’s put it this way. By Friday afternoon, over $50,000 of souvenir boxing merchandise had been sold. Hotel rooms in downtown ranged in price from $99 up to $319 and the going rate for a can of Dr. Pepper at the Convention Center … $3.75. Topics of conversation from the locals: Dallas has the best bass fishing in America, the Dallas Cowboys have a new training facility but no pass rush, guns and the ability to customize an AR-15, the many new, futuristic, shiny, mirrored-glass buildings in downtown, the plethora of museums, Wimbledon, soccer, the WNBA’s star Skylar Diggins and finally a harsh review of Jean Edward Smith’s new book which states in the preface, “Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush.”    

Moving ahead to Saturday’s matches, three junior world champions scored final round victories. Light flyweight Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.) claimed another national championship win with her victory over Amy Salinas (Las Cruces, N.M.). Garcia’s junior world championships teammate Guadalupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.) avenged her loss from the youth national championships earlier this year with a final round victory over San Diego’s Andrea Medina. For most of her bout, Gutierrez’s strategy involved pitter-patter and then grabbing Medina. Despite the many, ineffective warnings, Gutierrez continued this outrageous behavior to earn the split decision victory. Bt16 Medina a600 Bt 16 b come on ref

Despite the anguish she felt after the loss, we see Andrea "The Boss" Medina clapping for the victorious Guadalupe Gutierrez of Sacramento, Calif.

Despite the anguish she felt after the loss, we see Andrea “The Boss” Medina (right) of Chula Vista, Calif. clapping for the victorious Guadalupe Gutierrez of Sacramento, Calif. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Bantamweight Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.) closed out his Youth Open career with a win over Angel Alejandro (Grand Prairie, Texas) to take his second national championship victory of 2016. 

Bantamweight Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.) closed out his Youth Open career with a win over Angel Alejandro (Grand Prairie, Texas) to take his second national championship victory of 2016.

Light flyweight Jesse Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas) ended his week with a victory over Asa Stevens (Waianae, Hawaii) in their opening bout on Saturday.

Light flyweight Jesse Rodriguez (left) of San Antonio, Texas, ended his week with a convincing victory over Asa Stevens (Waianae, Hawaii) in their opening bout on Saturday.

Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nevada) won gold in her youth bantamweight bout versus Ashlee Garcia (Dallas, Texas) and light welterweight Gabriel Flores (Sacramento, Calif.) continued his run by defeating Arveontae Dukes (New York, N.Y.).

Otha Jones (Toledo, Ohio), who moved up to lightweight, scored a victory in one of the most highly anticipated bouts versus World Champion medalist Harley Mederos (Brooklyn, N.Y.). 

Light heavyweight Christian Montano (Houston, Texas) and super heavyweight Richard Torrez (Tulare, Calif.) made quick work of their opponents in the youth division by scoring back to back TKO victories in their division finals.Bt 10 a first knockdown Bt 10 b second knockdown

Youth/201+ lbs: Richard Torrez, Tulare, Calif., stops Devon Young, Aiken, S.C., in round one after two knockdowns.

In the Youth/201+ lbs., it was 17-year-old Richard Torrez, Tulare, Calif. (223 lbs.), shown here with his coach/father, stopping Devon Young, Aiken, S.C., early in round one after the two (make no mistake about it) knockdowns. Photo collages above show the two Torrez knockdowns of Young.

Over 180 weight classes were contested in Dallas with champions named in each. Ten boxers stood above the rest, receiving Outstanding Boxers of the Tournament awards. In the PeeWee division, 70-pounder Teagan Reed (Dyersburg, Tenn.) and 65-pounder Curmel Moton (Las Vegas, Nev.) claimed the award for the youngest age division in the tournament. In the bantam age group, it was 85-pounder Malaysia Antoine (Lafayette, La.) and 90-pounder Daniel Haro (Merced, Calif.) receiving the Outstanding Boxer plaque. Jadalie Medeiros (Dothan, Ala.) and Jyran Sutton (St. Louis, Mo.) won the tournament’s highest honor for their work in the 90-pound and 75-pound divisions respectively. In the junior weight division, bantamweight Avaughnda Ammons (Huntsville, Ala.) and middleweight Lorenzo Simpson (Baltimore, Md.) took the Outstanding Boxer awards. Flyweight Pauline Viesca (Commerce, Calif.) and super heavyweight Richard Torrez (Tulare, Calif.) won the final two awards in the youth division. 

Saturday’s Championship Results 

Bantam/101 lbs: Ashton Sylve, Long Beach, Calif., won by decision over Joseph Almaji, Arlington, Texas.

Intermediate/95 lbs: Fernando Diaz, Jr. , Nevada was masterful in his battle of hand speed over Eron Luna of Mesquite, Texas.

Junior female/101 lbs: Iyana Verduzco, Los Angeles, Calif., gets the decision win over Ariana Pedraza, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Junior/101 lbs: Jorge Carlos, Kansas City, Kansas registered the decision victory over Braden Reed, Dyersburg, Tenn.

Junior/106 lbs: Jesse Rodriguez, San Antonio, Texas won the decision victory over Asa Stevens, Waianae, Hawaii.

Junior female/106 lbs: Heaven Garcia, El Monte, Calif., earned a decision win over Amy Salinas, Las Cruces, N.M.

Junior/110 lbs: Sean Garcia, Victorville, Calif., gets the decision win over Jeremy Adorno, Allentown, Pa.  

Junior/114 lbs: Nes Tiburcio, Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii earned the decision victory over Timothy Melancon, Lafayette, La.

Junior female/11 lbs: Ismary Aquino, San Antonio, Texas won a decision victory over Lilly Keating, Phoenix, Ariz. 

Junior female/119 lbs: Avaughnda Ammons from the Rocket City Gym, Huntsville, Ala., earned a decision win over Alexandra Fernandez, Splendora, Texas.

Junior/119 lbs: Dominique Francis of Opa Locka, Fla., won a decision victory over Joseph Bargeman, Lafayette, La.

Junior/125 lbs: Joricksen Galiza, Waianae, Hawaii earned a decision victory over Nisaheen Williams, Rochester, N.Y.

Junior female/125 lbs: Roxana Ortiz, Calexico, Calif. earned a unanimous decision victory over Alicia Martinez, Phoenix, Arizona. This one was one of the rare “no contest matches.” Round after round, Ortiz, a southpaw, landed her one-two combinations to her opponent’s head. 

It may have been a tussle at first, but after just a few minutes Roxana Ortiz (red) had her opponent, Alicia Martinez pegged and was landing one left hook or one straight left after another to Martinez's head. She also became a great escape artist moving back or side to side avoiding every Martinez punch.

It may have been a tussle at first, but after just a few minutes Roxana Ortiz (red) had her opponent, Alicia Martinez pegged and was landing one left hook or one straight left after another to Martinez’s head. She also became a great escape artist moving back or side to side avoiding every Martinez punch.

Junior female/132 lbs: Romesha Ensley, Toledo, Ohio got the win by decision over Summer Mendoza, Tulare, Calif.

Junior/132 lbs: Otha Jones, Toledo, Ohio won by decision over Harley Mederos, New York, N.Y.

Junior/138 lbs: Gabriel Flores, Stockton, Calif., won by decision over Arveontae Dukes, New York, N.Y.

Junior female/138 lbs: Aidyl Cardenas, Calexico, Calif., won by a unanimous decision over Jordyn Helgert, Allegheny, Pa. 

Junior female/138 lbs: Aidyl Cardenas, Calexico, Calif., won by a unanimous decision over Jordyn Helgert (right), Allegheny, Pa.

is joined by of Calexico, Calif.

After her victory, Aidyl Cardenas (l) was joined by Junior female/125 pound Gold Medal winner Roxana Ortiz of Calexico, Calif.

Junior/145 lbs: Brian Norman, Lithonia, Ga., won by decision over Shyquell Jervey, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Junior/154 lbs: Kashad Elliott, Plainfield, N. J., won by decision over Diego Pacheco, Los Angeles, Calif.600 Bt 21 b collage of 5 photos

Junior female/154 lbs: Citalli Ortiz of Coachella, Calif., won by a unanimous decision over Gloria Zaragoza, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Junior female/154 lbs: Citalli Ortiz of Coachella, Calif., won by a unanimous decision over Gloria Zaragoza, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Junior/165 lbs: Lorenzo Simpson, Baltimore, Md., won by decision over Juan Vasquez of Omaha, Nebraska. 

Junior/176 lbs: David Garcia of Crescent City, Fla., won by decision over Kevin Gaspariano, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Junior/176+ lbs: David Stevens, Reading, Pa., won by decision over Jett Blackwell, Fresno, Calif.

Youth female/106 lbs: Mia Valadez, Los Angeles, Calif., won by decision over Hillary Perez, Arlington, Texas.

Youth/108 lbs: Steven Acosta, Dallas, Texas won by decision over Jordan Aguilar Sanchez, Las Vegas, Nev.

Congratulations to Commerce resident Pauline Viesca, the 2016 USA Boxing Youth Open National Champion.

Congratulations to Commerce, Calif. resident Pauline Viesca, the 2016 USA Boxing Youth Open National Champion.

Youth female/112 lbs: Pauline Viesca, Commerce, Calif., won by a unanimous decision over Candice Carter of Towson, Maryland.

In ring one, Youth/114 pound division: Santos Ortega won a unanimous decision over Fernando Martinez of Phoenix, Ariz. This celebrated multiple National Champion from La Quinta, Calif., who spars regularly with Anthony Reyes, has now won the National PAL tournament four times, the Silver Gloves once, the Desert Showdown four times, the Junior Olympics once and now the Youth National tournament once. All this without loosing a single round.

Youth female/119 lbs: Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev., won by decision over Ashlee Garcia of Dallas, Texas. 

Youth/123 lbs: Marc Castro, Fresno, Calif., looked sensational going against Angel Alejandro, Grand Prairie, Texas. After Castro, a member of the USA National Team, pinned Alejandro against the ropes and started going hard to the body, Alejandro became dead meat. Without being able to run, he was like a rowboat without any oars.   

Youth female/125 lbs: Diana Estrada of Hillsboro, Ore., won a unanimous decision over Elyza Peralta, Los Lunas, N.M.600 Bt 3 Eric Puente collage

At the conclusion of their hard fought contest, we see as if he had beaten Eric Puente, but in reality he fell far short.

At the conclusion of this hard fought contest, we see Adrian Benton (left) going through the motions as if he had just soundly defeated his opponent Eric Puente (right). In this one-sided bout, it was Puente who dominated and had the fleet-footed Mr. Benton on his bicycle throughout the contest.

Bt 3 c arm raised Puente

Puente comes of age

After his impressive victories in this tournament, many people feel it is just a matter of time before Eric Puente, shown here with his father and support group, turns pro. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Of all the boxers representing LBC 44 CAL Border, no one performed more admirably than Eric Puente of Backyard Boxing, Vista, Calif. in the Youth/132 lbs. His win by a unanimous decision over the fleet-footed Adrian Benton of Cincinnati, Ohio, was simply amazing. Throughout the tournament, Puente was masterful and dealt with multiple, challenges. In his contest with Benton, Puente faced a runner ala Mohammad Ali who jettisoned in and out with an impressive attack style. With Benton constantly on the run and Puente chasing, he was able to effectively cut off the ring. Often times Puente needed to take that one hard punch to the face in order to deliver his more powerful combinations.    

In the controversial Youth female/132 pound clash between Guadalupe Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif. and the defending champion Andrea Medina of Chula Vista, Calif., it’s truly perplexing why the head of officials didn’t reprimand the presiding referee for not stopping the continual holding tactics of Gutierrez. With Gutierrez’s tactics being allowed, the five judges must have felt helpless and in the end forced into their controversial split decision. Gutierrez, who had lost twice previously to Medina, somehow got credit for effective grabbing. With everyone looking forward to seeing this matchup, it turned out to be a disappointing groaner. In the pro ranks, referees stop this tactic by issuing point deductions. The referee in this contest allowed the holding for four solid rounds. 

Youth/141 lbs: Branden Pizarro, Philadelphia, Pa., wins by decision over Delante Johnson, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Youth female/152 lbs: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio wins by decision over Annalicia Sustaita of Garland, Texas.

Youth/152 lbs: Joshua Antonio, Palmdale, Calif., defeats Francis Oran of Allentown, Penna. by decision.

Youth female/165 lbs: Sharahaya Moreu, Albuquerque, N.M., wins by decision over Destiny Small of Billings, Montana. 

Youth/165 lbs: Money Powell, Fort Mitchell, Ala., wins by decision over Nikita Ababiy, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Youth/178 lbs: Christian Montano, Houston, Texas defeats Zachary Jones, Waipahu, Hawaii by TKO.

Youth/201 lbs: Jared Anderson, Toledo, Ohio defeats Najee Lopez, Lithonia, Ga. by decision. 

Youth/201+ lbs: Richard Torrez, Tulare, Calif., stops Devon Young, Aiken, S.C., in round one after two knockdowns.

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.