Heavy hitters working on creating the perfect Boxing Gym

September 8, 2017 No Comments

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, boxing promoter Guillermo “Memo” Mayen hosted the Grand Opening of his brand new Mayen Boxing Gym in Downtown Tijuana. Sensing this would be a momentous affair, the Tijuana and San Diego boxing communities plus the local neighborhood was all abuzz wondering which of the many Mayen connections (eg. boxing greats) would be in attendance. Someone said it was like a Hollywood Premiere only without the searchlights.

For many years, the well-known and respected boxing promoter ran a combination furniture store plus boxing supplies and apparel outlet located in the front of this massive building with it’s extremely high ceilings. If a boxer or manager needed gear or apparel, or something stitched up or monogrammed, that was the place to go. It was always Memo’s dream to add a gym for the many boxers he helps to promote and often co-manage and now he has fulfilled that dream with an impressive gym which likely has more memorabilia than any gym anywhere.

Two days later, a friend of Mr. Mayen, the founder of the SIMNSA Health Plan, Frank Carrillo, also a boxing enthusiast and former boxing promoter, also opened a new boxing facility across the border in a section of Chula Vista called East Lake. Despite having the same goal, the two masterminds came up with strikingly different concepts for the decor of their ideal gym. As mentioned, Mayen, who prefers to stay old school in hopes of impressing the traditionalists, maintains that the vintage look is a winner, while his chum in Chula Vista left the gym designing up to his daughter Christina Carrillo, the CEO of his Medical Insurance plan, SIMNSA, plus she’s an in-season Professional Football player/coach/owner of the San Diego Surge Women’s Football Team. Christina preferred to go ultra modern with bright colors so she could attract gym members who are looking for the latest and greatest, state of the art boxing equipment and training methods.

Will both enterprises succeed by filling that emotional, psychological and environmental need of their neighborhoods? Only time will tell.

Back to our Grand Opening in Tijuana

On Tuesday, as the many onlookers, fact-checking Press, members of the Tijuana Tourist Bureau and officials of the Tijuana Boxing Commission, walked about the large, cavernous building, they couldn’t help but feel they were stepping back in time. From the moment a visitor steps inside Mayen’s gym, they are surrounded by over a 1,000 fight posters that go back 75 years. Mayen has plans to make his building a cultural landmark in Tijuana, a city many believe is the current boxing capital of the world. For the last two years, more boxing matches and shows have taken place in Tijuana than any other city in the world. And, with his connections in Boxing, the greatest boxers in the world will be stopping by his gym just as they now do when they are in Las Vegas and drop in at the Mayweather Gym, or when they are near Oxnard Calif. and stop in to train at the Robert Garcia Academy or when they are in Los Angeles and have to stop by Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. Mayen wants his gym to be among the very best.

Just days after beginning his new enterprise, Mayen received the designation he desired from the World Boxing Council, that of being recognized as the first Boxing School of its kind. The news exposed one of Mayen’s plans. In addition to holding training classes for the youth and having the professionals train at his gym, he is now in the planning stages of holding regular classes for trainers, referees, and judges to improve their skills on the same scale you would expect from a prestigious university of advanced learning where on completion of your studies, you would receive a degree.

Back to the ribbon cutting at The Jab Boxing Club: participants in The Jab Boxing Club ribbon cutting ceremony (l to r) former USBA Super featherweight champ Ruben Castillo, head boxing coach Dale Soliven, gym owner Frank Carrillo, former World Featherweight Champ Danny “Little Red” Lopez, the gym’s GM Christina Carrillo, former World Super Welterweight champ Paul Vaden, 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist heavyweight Henry Tillman.

The Jab Boxing Club’s Grand Opening was a catered affair and in attendance was San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez from District 8, former pro boxers, Ruben Castillo, Danny “Little Red” Lopez, Henry Tillman and Paul Vaden. The tales about these phenomenal boxers would take hours to relate.

You can’t miss The Jab Boxing Club gym on Boswell Road in Chula Vista. Not with that huge flag announcing top to bottom: The Jab Boxing Club, Maxim Training Facility and the Spellman Performance Program.

(l to r) Head boxing coach Dale Soliven, former Super Welterweight Champ Paul Vaden, boxer Ruben Castillo, gym owner Frank Carrillo, World Champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman.

(l to r) Promoter/manager Jorge Marron, new gym owner Frank Carrillo and boxing co-promoter Lou Messina of the Borizteca Boxing Management Group.

Protecting the ladies from any possible harm, or is that the other way around? Gym owner Frank Carrillo (l) and San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez (r) clench their fist while posing for a photo with the ladies.

Local law enforcement officers presented Frank Carrillo with a plaque of sincere appreciation for his support of their efforts in working with local youth.

Gym members and coaches pose for a photo after one of their workouts.

The Jab Boxing Club also has their share of cherished mementos.

Some of San Diego’s finest: In their day, the local boxers in this collage were icons in the sport. Their photos will now hang on The Jab Boxing Club wall.

With so many of the San Diego Surge Women’s Pro football team members working out at The Jab Boxing Club, you know they’ll be getting a lot of support from the gym as they once again make their push for the 2018 title.

Of all the items sold in their clothing line, nothing sells faster than the popular Canelo Alvarez caps (or should we say “lids”).

It was great seeing both Paul Vaden, San Diego’s only born and raised world champion and Henry Tillman, a member of that 1984 U. S. Olympic Boxing Team who along with Evander Holyfield and Paul Gonzales won 9 out of the possible 11 gold medals. Tillman won his gold in the heavyweight division. Here’s another of those: “Did you know questions”: Tillman finished his pro career with a record of 25-6-0 with 16 knockouts and holds the distinction of being the only boxer who ever beat Mike Tyson twice. That fete occurred during the 1984 Olympic Box-Offs. Four years ago, Carson, Calif. dignitaries, boxing celebrities, and other pro athletes joined Tillman for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of his Henry Tillman Championship Boxing Club.

The Two-Time National Champion San Diego Surge Women’s Professional Football Team had several representatives at this affair. Of course, they did. Christina Carillo has been a player/coach for years, plus star quarterback Melissa Gallegos has been the driving force in the team’s four Playoff runs and two National Championships. The Jab also introduced attendees to several young, up and coming boxers who are said to have great potential. Boxing promoters Jorge Marron from Marron Boxing Promotions and Lou Messina from the Borizteca Boxing Management Group were present but kept a low profile.

As mentioned, everything in The Jab Boxing Club is first class and still has that fresh as a daisy smell. Their head boxing coach Dale Soliven got his schooling first at the National City CYAC and then the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills. He honed his technique and developmental training methods by first teaching the youth, moved on to the ladies and finally began to help the NFL football players with their offseason workouts. Gents like Pro Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert who played for the Chargers, Carolina and now the Buffalo Bills, was one of his responsibilities. Les Spellman, ex-military, is to be his assistant. Every coach has experience/credentials and with the JAB Boxing Club being on the Maxim Training Campus, you can find every fitness machine imaginable under the same roof. So, if you train here, you’re liable to be seeing all sorts of athletes, not just boxers. They have people training with Kettlebells, the lifelong functional fitness types, and youth sports development.

So who did attend that Grand Opening function on Tuesday in Tijuana? Senor Mayen and his lovely daughter, who herself runs a gym in Tijuana, which is strictly for women, were busy from early morning to late at night shaking hands with the tons of local dignitaries, from the present day champions like Brenda Flores and Sandra Robles to the former boxing greats, judges, referees, ring announcer Pablo Flores, Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, the leadership of the Tijuana Boxing Commission plus the many executives from the Tijuana Tourist Bureau, members of the Press and even a few tourists.

Crack members of the Tijuana Press Corps join Guillermo Mayen (c) for a photo.

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