Bottom line, you can’t get better unless you put yourself out there and compete against your peers. With so many of our local athletes competing in Albuquerque, New Mexico from March 20 thru March 26 in the USA Amateur Boxing Western Regional Tournament, it had to be tough finding enough competitors to take part in Saturday’s show at the One Training Center in Spring Valley. All told they had six bouts scheduled.
In Bout #1 it was Paula Cordona (14-years-old, 118.2 lbs.) from Mariscal Boxing in Tijuana, B. C., Mexico taking on Danna Vega Balanzar (13-years-old, 120.2 lbs.) from the host gym One Training Center on the Tiger Smalls Boxing Team. Round one got off to the slowest start ever. Balanzar spent the entire first round measuring distance (only 2 punches actually landed), while her opponent, Cordona, tripled that output with 7 punches landed. You had to figure the gals would receive a tongue lashing from their coaches and things would improve in round two. The output in round two, Cordona landed 11 punches while Balanzar landed four. As is usually the case, the output in the final round was much better and despite her lack of production throughout the contest, the three judges awarded Balanzar the victory.
In Bout #2, they had 21-year-old Ryan Polk (145.2 lbs., Unattached), going up against 17-year-old Hunter Williams (146.2 lbs.) from Encinitas Boxing & Fitness, Encinitas, Calif., both of whom were relative newcomers to the sport. In round one, a slugfest ensued and both boxers landed some big shots mostly to the head. In rounds two and three, Williams took over and landed some fierce shots resulting in the puffy mouse under Polk’s right eye.
Bout #3, featuring super welterweights, it was the 27-year-old Kyle Olson (154 lbs.) from City Boxing, Downtown San Diego facing 18-year-old Eric Villanueva (151.6 lbs.) from Old School Boxing in the SDSU College area. This was another non-stop bout featuring quite a few solid left hooks and void of the more preferred jab. With this bout being so intense, the crowd became more boisterous and no doubt would not have objected if it were to go a full 15 rounds.
Bout #4 between 25-year-old Jaime Suazo (127.2 lbs.) from North County Boxing and 17-year-old Aron Avila (122.6 lbs.) from Intensity MMA in South San Diego had to be cancelled after Avila was a no-show. Suazo was declared the Walk-Over winner. Considering their age and weight difference plus Suazo’s skill level this was no doubt a wise choice.
Bout #5 featured two highly-skilled and cunning pugilists, 13-year-old Gael Soler (108.6 lbs.) from United Boxing & Fitness of Chula Vista, Calif. and 15-year-old Cesar Hernandez (108.8 lbs.) from North County Boxing. In terms of being evenly matched and oh-so competitive, this has to be considered “the Bout of the Show.” Throughout their bout, both of these well coached boxers used solid technique, trickery and payback in an attempt to gain the upper hand. In the end, the judges had Soler ahead figuring he had landed more of the cleaner shots, especially to the head.
Bout #6, featuring middleweights, had 22-year-old Joshua Rivera (158.4 lbs.) going up against 19-year-old Luis Martinez (157 lbs.) from Mariscal Boxing, two veterans with almost identical styles, that of being a middle of the ring, toe-to-toe brawler. The one big difference was stamina and Martinez outlasted Rivera who’s output slowed considerably in rounds two and three.
The next USA Amateur LBC 44 boxing show is scheduled for April 21, 2017 – see you there.