On Saturday afternoon, October 15, 2016, the latest La Gente Boxing Club show was held at the American Citizens Club Park in Brawley, Calif. It featured local boxers from Imperial Valley and Mexicali, plus some traveling teams from Garden Grove and San Diego, Calif. plus teams from San Luis and Phoenix, Arizona. In all, 16 boxing clubs came to show their support of a boxing club that has been servicing the Brawley community since 1991. Under the leadership of Pablo Cortez of La Gente Boxing, 13 extremely competitive matches took place.
In Bout #1, it was (24-year-old, 122.8 pound) Nico Marchan of the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif. going up against (24-year-old, 127.4 pounds) Alberto Trujillo of the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. With the early rounds being close, it all came down to which of the boxers could be the finisher. Which boxer had the stamina to close out the bout and land the most telling blows in the final three minutes. And that’s just what Marchan did to earn the victory. Not to pump up Trujillo, but for someone who only recently got out of the service, the U. S. Navy, he fought exceptionally well.
In Bout #2 it was 9-year-old David Vera (71.4 pounds) of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Dept. Boxing Program, Phoenix, Arizona going up against 10-year-old Brandon “Canelito” Anguiano (70.6 pounds) of the Baja Boxing Club, Calexico, Calif. In this one, Vera looked fresher and simply outworked Anguiano who prior to the fight mentioned he had just competed and won a boxing match in Mexicali – on Friday.
In Bout #3 it was 13-year-old Julius Ballo of the Bomber Squad Academy, El Cajon, Calif. (97.2 pounds, experience level: 49 wins, 8 losses) going up against 13-year-old Thomas Valerio (96 pounds, also an Open fighter) from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department’s Boxing Program in Phoenix. With his elusive skills, Ballo was able to negate almost every Valero attempt to mount an offense. The axiom of hit but don’t get hit was done to perfection. At the conclusion of Bout #3, we see Julius Ballo (r), a multiple time National Champion having his arm raised in victory after he defeated the game Thomas Valerio (l).
Bout #4 featured a terrific scrap between the much shorter Jacob Valenzuela (15-years-old, 156 lbs.) an unattached, nonstop brawler going up against 13-year-old Pedro Arenas (1-0, six foot tall, 153 pounds) from the United Boxing & Fitness Gym, Chula Vista, Calif. With both boxers throwing heavy blows, Arenas using his reach advantage and Valenzuela constantly on the attack, you always had this feeling something dramatic was about to happen. Then, early in round three, Arenas banged Valenzuela in the arm, just above the elbow. After Dr. Arturo Garcia Iniguez, the show’s doctor, had a look at the injury, he immediately stopped the bout and Arenas was awarded the TKO victory.
In Bout #5 it was 15-year-old Alfredo Martinez (129 pounds, in the Open Category) from the Garden Grove Boxing Club coming away with the victory over 16-year-old Armando Chavez (127 pounds, experience: 50 bouts) from Miller’s Boxing Gym in Phoenix. This was one of those matches where the boxing scribe had the wrong side. What Chavez did was wait for Martinez to throw his softer lead punches, which often missed their mark, and then Chavez would counter. The counter punching was masterful and you would think the judges would appreciate that fact and notice how Chavez was landing more punches than Martinez.
Bout #6 was another thriller. In this one, it was Johnathan Gaspar (17-years-old, 137 pounds) from Garden Grove Boxing out battling Julio Avila (19-years-old, 138 pounds) from the San Luis PAL in San Luis, Arizona. The punches stats were staggering as the two gents never let up hitting each other from every angle imaginable.
In Bout #7 they had 26-year-old Saul Castro, an Unattached boxer, who weighed in at 298 pounds facing 17-year-old Joel “The Bull” Marin (236 lbs) from the Baja Boxing Club, Calexico, Calif. Marin’s experience: 6 bouts, all decisive victories plus one by knockout. His last win was in Tijuana at the recent, 2016 Bi-National Tournament. However, nothing could have prepared the young Mr. Marin for the taller, older, heavier and more experienced Saul Castro. When you see Mr. Castro in action, you too will be of the opinion it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing this tough guy in the professional ranks. Did we mention, he’s big, strong and his punches come at you like a wrecking ball.
Bout #8, the bout between 17-year-old Jose Cordero (132 lbs.) from the San Luis PAL, San Luis, Arizona and 16-year-old Rene Martinez (133 lbs.) from La Familia Boxing, El Centro, Calif. was another match that was almost too close to call. After matching each other’s output in rounds one and two, Cordero pulled out all the stops in round three to secure the victory.
Early on in Bout #9, Martin Mota (135.6 lbs.) from the San Luis PAL Boxing Club, San Luis, Arizona was very much in the contest until things went sour after Alejandro Casarez (132 pounds) from Calexico Boxing Club, Calexico, Calif. got in Mota’s grill and never let up until the referee stopped the bout to issue Mota an 8-count. From that point on, Casarez’s confidence grew and he was in the driver’s seat.
In Bout #10 it was 20-year-old David Gates (155.6 pounds) from the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. going up against 21-year-old Felipe Ruvalcaba of Calexico Boxing, Calexico, Calif. (149 pounds). This was another classic matchup where you had Gates standing tall in the saddle, using his jab and punching straight as an arrow, while the more elusive Ruvalcaba preferred to double up on his left hooks and punch from every angle imaginable. In the end, the close decision went to the more flamboyant Mr. Ruvalcaba.
Bout #11 featured the ladies, 18-year-old Destiny Gutierrez (119 lbs., red gloves) from the host gym La Gente Boxing, Brawley, Calif. going up against the much taller, 20-year-old Paulina Pena (113.8 lbs., blue gloves) from the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, Calif. In just her second bout, Pena was doing very well by landing punch after punch when she maintained the proper distance to benefit from her reach advantage. Once Gutierrez got in close, she’d work over the body and rack up her points. In the end, the judges went with Pena since her punches looked to have more power behind them.
In Bout #12 it was 10-year-old Jesus Bojorquez (69 lbs.) from the San Luis PAL, San Luis, Arizona taking on 8-year-old Esau Valerio from the Maricopa County Sheriff Department’s Boxing Program (71 pounds). In the developing darkness, it was difficult to tell who was landing the more effective punches but with Valerio being the busier of the two and more elusive, the judges awarded him the decision.
In Bout #13 it was 15-year-old Damein Vargas (109 pounds) of Devil Dogs Boxing, Calexico, Calif. coming away with the victory over 15-year-old Ivan Verdin Jauregy from the Guerrero’s Boxing Club, Heber, Calif. (115 pounds). By the time this bout got started the sun had set and the lack of lighting made the bout difficult to score. All you could see were the two boxers slugging it out and going nonstop. Whether every punch landed that could be debated. With Vargas wearing the red gloves, you could argue his gloves were more visible than the dark blue worn by Jauregy. In the end, the judges had Vargas ahead on the scorecards.