Results from The Arena’s Lucky II Invitational Boxing Show

November 13, 2016 No Comments
One bout after another you would be thinking, this is one of the greatest back and forth

At the Lucky II Memorial Show at The Arena in Point Loma, there seemed to be one great bout after another. The match-up between David Gutierrez (l) and Mario Salas (r), the eventual winner, turned out to be one of those bouts.

On Saturday, November 12, 2016, The Arena in Point Loma hosted a capacity crowd for the Lucky II Memorial Boxing Show. Beholding to a promise made in September of 2014, the owner, general manager, in-house staff and membership of The Arena plan to maintain this tribute to their dearly departed friend Phineas Nhlengethwa, otherwise known as “Lucky” one of the sports’ most beloved boxers/coaches. After Lucky’s untimely passing, the above group spoke in unison, “Believe me, he will not be forgotten.”lucky-collage 

In the words of Rick Norton, one of Lucky’s former students: “There are not enough words to describe what he did for people. At the time I came into the gym, my dad was just getting out of the hospital and Lucky became my personal trainer. The best damn part of my day was coming in here to work out. It was the way he put his hand on your shoulder to show his love. It changed me forever. It’s hard to let his passing just slip away. What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation with Lucky. The times you appreciate are now the times you regret. Regretting that I didn’t have more time with him. Plus, I would be thanking him for being a part of the family.”

Now for the results from one of the best ever, USA Amateur Boxing shows:

In Bout #1, it was 9-year-old Xadrian “X-man” Garza (59.8 lbs.) from the Tiger Smalls Boxing Club in San Diego’s Mission Valley going up against 8-year-old Nico Sanchez (59 lbs.), this year’s Gold Medal winner at the Junior Olympics held in Dallas, Texas. 

In Bout #1, an all action bout, it was eight-year-old Nico Sanchez

To secure the victory over Xadrian “The X-Man” Garza in this all action bout, Nico Sanchez (red trunks) knew he had to go nonstop and keep up the in-your-face pressure on Garza (blue trunks) who like Sanchez was throwing and landing lot of clean shots to the head and body.

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In Bout #2, they had 16-year-old Jorge Chavez (122.6 lbs.) from the National City CYAC taking on 15-year-old Adan Palma (119.4 lbs.) from the host gym, The Arena, Point Loma. Deciding the victor in this match was near impossible. After the referee issued Palma a standing 8-count early in round one, Palma came right back and pinned Chavez against the ropes.  

After the crowd watched Bout #2 between Jorge Chavez (red gloves) and Adan Palma (blue

After the patrons watched this slugfest between Jorge Chavez (red gloves) and Adan Palma (blue) you heard comments like, “the best fight ever!”

With tha amount of punches being thrown it was near impossible to keep track of which boxer was ahead on the punch count and which was behind.

With the amount of punches being thrown, it was near impossible to keep track of which boxer was ahead on the punch count and which boxer was slightly behind. Plus, there were 4 standing 8-counts issued – 2 per boxer.

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After Palma was issued two standing 8-counts, he made certain Chavez would suffer the same fate. With the rapid fire punching and momentum swings, it was near impossible to decide on a winner in this match. On Saturday, that distinction went to Jorge Chavez of the National City CYAC.

After Dr. Uziel Sauceda had done his examination, we had the two them over

After the fight doctor, Dr. Uziel Sauceda, had completed his routine examination, the two champions posed for one last photo. The patrons, coaches, USA Amateur Boxing officials were all in agreement, “We may have seen the greatest Amateur boxing match in the history of the sport. Wow!”

In Bout #3, it was 21-year-old Anthony Franco (152.2 lbs.) from The Arena going up against the courageous, come forward prodder, 19-year-old Luis Tapia (152.6 lbs.), from the Mariscal Boxing Club of Tijuana. The naturally talented Franco kept landing punch after punch but stalwart Tapia refused to take one step back. In the end, the decision was easy, Franco was awarded a unanimous decision.

After the feeling out process, Anthony Franco put his skills

After the routine feeling out process, Anthony Franco (red trunks) from the host gym, The Arena, put his skills in high gear against the steady brawler Luis Tapia (blue trunks) from the Mariscal Boxing Club of Tijuana.

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At the conclusion of their match, the combatants Anthony Franco (c) and the game Luis Tapia pose for one last photo with the celebrated Steve Nelson.

As the saying goes, “We are judged by the company we keep.” At the conclusion of their match, Anthony Franco (c) and the game Luis Tapia (r) pose for one last photo with the celebrated Pro-boxer light heavyweight Steven Nelson. Nelson, who trains at The Arena, is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. Nelson’s credentials? He’s a former Armed Forces Champion, former USA Amateur National Champion, former U.S. Olympic Team alternate and Terence “Hunter” Crawford, the current Super Lightweight World Champion considers Nelson to be his best friend.

Bout #4 featured 14-year-old Mario Salas (122.2 lbs., red trunks) from The Arena taking on 14-year-old David Gutierrez (124.8 lbs., blue trunks) from the Undisputed Downtown Gym, San Diego, Calif.

in-round-one-we-see-david-gutierrez-on-the-attack-against-marion-salas

In round one, we see David Gutierrez from the Undisputed Downtown Gym (blue trunks) on the attack versus Mario Salas (red trunks).

Back comes Salas delivering this damaging overhand right to the side of David Gutierr

Back came Mario Salas (l), first cornering David Gutierrez and then delivering this damaging overhand right to the side of his head.

Just when he thought he had the advantage, back came Gutierrez to land this right cross on Salas' chin.

Just when he thought he was in control, back came Gutierrez (r) to land this right cross on Salas’ chin.

At the conclusion of their hard fought contest we see referee Hondo Fontane lifting the arms of

At the conclusion of their hard fought contest, we see referee Hondo Fontane lifting the arms of both David Gutierrez (l) and Mario Salas (r).

In the end there can be just one winner and that distinction goes to Mario Salas of The Arena.

In the end there can be only one winner and that distinction went to Mario Salas of The Arena.

In Bout #5, they had 20-year-old Tyler Herberger (133 lbs.) from Old School Boxing, San Diego taking on 17-year-old Jason Meza (136.6 lbs.) from The Arena. In this one, both looked sharp especially on their offense which included trading blows off counters. Despite their mutual respect, Herberger often capitalized by forcing his shorter opponent to throw punches off his back foot while backpedaling and when Meza did hold his ground, Herberger would often land these fully leveraged uppercuts.   

In Bout #5, another thriller, it was Tyler Herberger getting the win over Jason Meza.

In Bout #5, another thriller, it was Tyler Herberger (r) from Old School Boxing getting the win over the always tough Jason Meza from The Arena.

In Bout #6, it was 24-year-old Miguel Sanchez (133.6 lbs.) from Gamez Boxing going up against 20-year-old southpaw Philip Villanueva (134 lbs.) from Old School Boxing. After Villanueva had a strong first round, Sanchez took over from there. One 8-count after another and finally the referee stopped the bout for the fight doctor to have a look. Here Villanueva was having some discomfort and bleeding from the braces on his teeth. This would occur each time a blow swiped across his mouth. After the resumption of round two, referee Rick Ley could see Villanueva was still under duress and called for a halt to the match.

At the outset, everything was hunky-dory as the two experienced boxers set out for their duel in the ring.

At the outset, everything was hunky-dory as the two experienced boxers, Miguel Sanchez (r) and Philip Villanueva (l) set out on their boxing duel.

Then, the stoppages occured.

Then came one stoppage after another with the referee, Rick Ley, probing like a detective to discover the reason for Villanueva’s sudden drop off.

In the end, the referee found the cause

In the end, the veteran referee discovered the cause of Villanueva’s discomfort and the bout was immediately stopped. Winner by TKO, Miguel Sanchez.

 

Bout #7 featured 22-year-old Ricardo Mercado (146.8 lbs.) from KO World, San Diego going up against 18-year-old Yonis Muya (147.6 lbs) from Old School Boxing. After the feeling out round, Muya had his confidence and went on the attack. Soon after, Mercado was being issued an 8-count after he lost his footing while backing up. Following that opening round, Muya appeared to be in charge since Mercado lacked the fire power, and never went the route of using his two and three punch combinations.

The issuance of the standing 8-count brought attention to Mercado's real problem, not throwing sufficient punches.

The issuance of the standing 8-count brought attention to Mercado’s real problem, that of not throwing enough punches.

In this photo we see Ricardo Mercado walking right into a left hook from his opponent Yonis Muya.

In this photo we see Ricardo Mercado (left, red gloves) walking right into a left hook from his opponent Yonis Muya.

At the conclusion of Bout #7 we see referee Dana Kaplan raising the arm of the victorious Yonis Muya. All photos: Jim Wyatt

At the conclusion of Bout #7 we see referee Dana Kaplan raising the arm of the victorious Yonis Muya. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #8 featured 17-year-old Francisco Vargas (119.6 lbs.) from Intensity MMA, South San Diego going up against 16-year-old Erik Hernandez (117 lbs.) from Gamez Boxing in Chula Vista, Calif. Vargas did exactly what he set out to do. His coach told him, “Get inside his reach advantage and work over that midsection!” Then, as the first round came to a close, Vargas started to do a little showboating, fighting in spurts and finally he dropped his hands down by his side. In round two, the boxers started throwing these wide looping punches and it was noticeable that both had their chins up. The flaunting of good technique led to Hernandez being caught square and issued an 8-count. In round three, Vargas was back imitating the Jorge “El Maramero” Paez and again both hands dropped down by his side. With Hernandez unable to capitalize on his opponent’s chicanery, Vargas came away with the victory.

Flashy is good as long as you don't take it too far.

Flashy is good and entertaining as long as you don’t take it too far.

In the end, the decision was his. It will be interesting to see if he can take this chicanery to the next level.

In the end, the decision was his. It will be interesting to see if Francisco “Chipis” Vargas can take his tomfoolery to the next level.

No doubt, Francisco Vargas is a popular guy at the Intensity MMA Gym.

Francisco Vargas, shown here with his coaches, fellow boxers to include Pro-Boxer Cristian “Ruso” Olivas appears to be a mighty popular guy at his gym.

 

Bout #9 featured 13-year-old Gael Soler (98.8 lbs.) from the United Boxing & Fitness Gym, Chula Vista, taking on 13-year-old Rio Hays (103.3 lbs.) from Old School Boxing, San Diego in another crowd pleaser. Late in round one, it happened. Soler got caught right on the button and the blood came streaming out of his nose. Being a gamer, Soler had his coach wipe away the blood and the bout continued. In the following round, the boxers literally had their foreheads almost touching as they went nonstop. Round three was more of the same. The way the fists were flying, it reminded you of the clothes tumbling in one of those giant dryers at your neighborhood laundromat. Not one punch was a repeat. Their punches came at you from every angle.

At the conclusion of Bout #9, we see referee Hondo Fontane raing the arm of the victorious Rio Hays from Old School Boxing.

At the conclusion of Bout #9, we see referee Hondo Fontane raising the arm of the victorious Rio Hays from Old School Boxing.

Bout #10 featured 18-year-old Ulises Bastida (138.8 lbs.) from The Arena taking on 19-year-old Kyle Erwin (141.8 lbs.) from the Nevarez Boxing & Training Center, Vista, Calif. Early on things looked dire for Erwin, especially after Bastida landed one square on Erwin’s chin. Erwin’s legs buckled and he started to go down. Then, miraculously, Erwin regained his balance. Irregardless, the referee issued him an 8-count. Disregarding the traumatic blow, Erwin went right back hoping to salvage the round. Following round one, Erwin was on his game and likely won both rounds two and three. At the close of the bout, his backers could be heard crying out, “Amazing! Kyle has pulled it out!”img_0466 img_0468img_0470

After his recovery from the blow, it was Kyle Erwin (black trunks) going the limit to score his own knockdown.

After his recovery from the earlier blow, it was Kyle Erwin (left, black trunks) going all out to score his own knockdown.

Here we see Erwin landing a big overhand right to the head of Ulises Bastida.

Here we see Kyle Erwin about to land a big overhand right to the head of Ulises Bastida.

Showing his delight in their performance, referee Hondo Fontane, raises the arms of both combatants, Kyle Erwin (l) and Ulises Bastida (r).

Showing his delight in their performance, referee Hondo Fontane, raises the arms of both combatants, Kyle Erwin (l) and Ulises Bastida (r).

Joining the boxers for the medal presentation are local heavyweight Keishan Hill (left) and Mario Heredia (right).

Winner by decision, Kyle Erwin. Joining the boxers for the medal presentation are 26-year-old heavyweight Keishaun Hill (left, 4-0, 4 KOs) and 23-year-old heavyweight Mario Heredia (13-3, 11 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico (right) who currently train at The Arena.

In Bout #11, it was 15-year-old Aldrin Lucero (119.2 lbs.) from the National City CYAC going up against 16-year-old southpaw Brian Aguilar (119.6 lbs.) from Intensity MMA in South San Diego. As if there weren’t enough close, exciting bouts, the final bout of the show was another doozie. Lucero, a lefty, starts things off in round one by landing these bombs and his final flurry nets him an 8-count. After his showing in round two, it appeared Aguilar had evened things up. In the midst of these furious exchanges going right up until the final bell, Aldrin landed this one punch that landed square on the kisser and that one punch, along with the fifty or so others likely impressed the judges enough to award him the victory.

Next up on the docket:

San Diego Fight Night at the Carlsbad Boxing Club 5751 Palmer Way, Carlsbad, Calif. on December 2  

The Boxers for Christ National Championships will be held at the Bound Boxing Academy in Chula Vista, Calif. 12/16/16 thru 12/18/16 (Fri – Sun)

The cross streets for the Bound Boxing Academy, Broadway and Palomar Rd., Chula Vista, Calif.

 

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