On Friday evening, October 21, 2016, USA Amateur Boxing was back at the Bound Boxing Academy in Chula Vista for another installment of their “Friday Night Fights.” As is the case with most athletic events, the organizer faced several, last minute calamities. First up, three of the scheduled boxers were having trouble making it to the weigh-ins because of a wildfire in Temecula. Their appearance would have to be canceled. A fourth bout was canceled after it was discovered a boxer weighed 10 pounds over the agreed upon catchweight. So, getting closer and closer to show time, the matchmaker had suddenly gone from 11 solid matches to just seven. As luck would have it, those 14 boxers performed admirably.
In Bout #1, it was Mario Salas (14-years-old, 121 lbs.) from The Arena, Point Loma, Calif. going up against Alejandro Mendoza (1-2, 14-years-old, 122 lbs.) from the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif. Round one was a bit of a free-for-all with both boxers taking turns pummeling each other. In round two, Salas landed more of the cleaner shots, especially with his solid left hooks to the side of Mendoza’s head. In the final round, Salas’ victory became more apparent after Mendoza had been issued a standing 8-count.
Bout #2 was filled with even more momentum swings. Alejandro Bastidas (11-years-old, 83 lbs.) from the Bound Boxing Academy, Chula Vista, Calif. started quickly and had Alejandro Ulloa (1-0, 12-years-old, 85 lbs.) from the National City CYAC backing up. Bastidas was slightly busier and his solid punches had Ulloa backing up. Just when you thought Bastidas was in charge, that’s when Ulloa came right back and had Bastidas backpedaling. The last round was a free for all as both boxers went nonstop right up until the final bell. In the end, it was Alejandro Ulloa (2-0) earning his second straight victory.
Bout #3 featured two brawlers, a righty by the name of Sam Felter (0-1, 23-years-old, 173 lbs.) from the Undisputed Downtown Gym, San Diego, Calif. going up against a 19-year-old southpaw Marcos De La Torre (170 lbs.) from the San Diego Fight Club, El Cajon, Calif. To the amazement of the crowd, these light heavyweights went nonstop unloading their lethal punches. Right up until the final bell, both boxers were teeing off on each other. It appeared De La Torre was ahead in round one until Felter got accustomed to his opponent’s left hand. By round two, Felter had settled in and was landing his straight rights, one of which had De La Torre’s nose bleeding. In that second round, De La Torre was issued not one, but two standing 8-counts and the fight doctor had been summoned. After a third 8-count in the final round, it was clear Felter was ahead and getting the best of his opponent.
In Bout #4, they had 21-year-old Josh Rivera (157 pounds) of the Tiger Smalls Boxing Gym, Mission Valley going up against 19-year-old Luis Tapia (2-11, 152 pounds) from Mariscal Boxing, Tijuana. Tapia’s losing record might discourage a great many, but not Luis Tapia. Tapia is one of those up and coming boxers who has never shied away from fighting the best available opponent even if that opponent was older or had a ton of experience. Tapia believes he’s getting better and better by battling the best. On Friday night, local boxing fans caught a glympse of the benefits of having such a strategy. All of his hard work in the gym and in competition is finally paying dividends. On Friday night, he simply outworked Josh Rivera. When the two young men were face to face, toe to toe, in the center of the ring, Rivera was the first to slow down and start grabbing Tapia to tie him up. He held so much, that the referee finally decided to penalize him a point.
Bout #5 featured 17-year-old Christian Martinez (0-1, 136 lbs.) from the Pacific Training Center, La Jolla, Calif. taking on 16-year-old Santiago Galvez (142 lbs.) from the San Diego Fight Club, El Cajon, Calif. In round one, with his height and reach advantage, Galvez maintained the proper distance, scored well and looked impressive. Then, in rounds two and three, Martinez was able to eliminate that reach advantage and took control inside. No longer did he hang on the outside to become an easy target.
In Bout #6, it was 24-year-old Ali Ahmed of One Training Center, Spring Valley (red gloves, 165 lbs.) going up against 18-year-old Joshua Harris from the Arena, Point Loma (blue gloves, 167 lbs.). What can we say about Ahmed’s unorthodox style? Aside from saying it is unique, he certainly uses up a ton of energy. His constant movement reminds you of the energy exerted by a hummingbird. Unlike the hummingbird, Ahmed eventually runs out of gas as he did approaching the third round. His excitable approach and super strength had him winning rounds one and two, but it was that third round that made him look vulnerable. His opponent on Friday night, Joshua Harris, could not break the code.
Bout #7 featured 22-year-old Jesus Corral-Zamorano from Victory MMA & Fitness, Point Loma going up against 28-year-old Matthew Knight from the host gym, the Bound Boxing Academy. In this one, Corral gave an exciting performance and went nonstop with the more experienced, more accurate Knight who proved to be the winner. Knight excelled in defense where he exhibited excellent head movement.
The next USA Amateur Boxing Show will be on November 5, 2016, at the House of Boxing on Reo Drive in the Paradise Hills neighborhood of San Diego. To begin their show, they’re planning to stage several of the elimination bouts for this year’s LBC 44 Silver Gloves District Competition.