Saturday, December 20, 2013
After 24 USA Amateur boxing teams with their 36 boxers, 34 male and two female, competed on Friday evening in Day 1 of the 2013 Boxers for Christ National Championship Tournament, 34 boxers representing 21 boxing clubs (24 males and 10 females) returned Saturday for Day 2 of the competition at the San Diego Combat Academy in Kearny Mesa, San Diego, CA.
Here are our results from Day 2:
In Bout #1, (in the 15 to 16 year-old, 106 pound weight division) it was Daniel Andujo of the Temecula Boxing Club, Temecula, CA coming away with the victory over Jesus Gil of the San Bernardino More Than Conquerors Boxing Club (M. T. C.) of San Bernardino, CA.
Simply put, Andujo, the aggressor throughout, was busier and managed to land the cleaner blows in this all-action bout.
Bout #2, in the 12 to 13 year-old, 114 pound weight class, featured Giovanni Moncada of M.T.C. getting the win over Isaac Wright of the ICIW (I can, I will) Boxing Team.
Even though Moncada was shorter than his opponent, he was able to dominate Wright by maintaining a constant pressure and force Wright to back peddle for the majority of their bout.
Bout #3, in the female, 15 and 16 year-old, 112 pound weight classification, they featured Vivian Flores of the Duarte Youth Boxing Club, Duarte, CA, securing an unanimous decision victory over Azelia Garcia of the National City Community Youth Athletic Center.
Flores strategy was clever. What she did was first clobber Garcia with her big overhand rights and then either tie her up or get herself in so close that Garcia couldn’t respond in kind.
In Bout #4, they had southpaw Jessica Juarez of USIAA, the United States Institute of Amateur Athletics, San Diego, CA going up against the orthodox Stephanie Valdez of the Duarte Youth Boxing Club in the female, 14 to 15 year-old, 106 pound weight division.
The difference in this heated contest was Juarez’s ability to land her straight lefts, almost at will on Valdez’s face. Even though Valdez had success herself, it was Juarez who won this punch stat battle.
Bout #5, in the male, 156 pound Open Division, featured Adrian Gutierrez of the Bound Boxing Academy, Chula Vista, CA taking on Gabriel Hernandez of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center of El Cajon, CA.
The bout was a rematch of an earlier contest in 2011 which was won by the highly lauded Gutierrez. When the bell rang and the leather started to fly, you could see the audience become immediately engrossed in this match-up of the two well schooled boxers, slash power punchers.
In Round #1, you’d have to give Hernandez the edge in power punches delivered while Gutierrez would receive the nod for the accumulation of punches landed. With the judging of Amateur Boxing ever evolving, it’s hard to tell which boxer received the higher point total. The most evenhanded account would have come from the boxers themselves who at the close of each round touched gloves out of respect.
There was no let up in the final round. The only significant difference was the way Hernandez incorporated uppercuts into his mix of power punches. On this day, the more determined and revenge minded Hernandez came through to even their score.
Bout #6, in the female, 10 and 11 years old, 60 pound weight division, featured Connie Gil of M.T.C. going up against Chista Aquino of the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista, CA. By being busier and a touch more accurate, it was Gil coming away with the victory.
In Bout #7, it was Dominic Vega of the Coachella Boxing Club, Coachella, CA getting the best of Jonathan Flores of the Alliance Training Center in the finals of the 9-10 years-old, 70 pound weight division. The much shorter Flores was at a distinct disadvantage as the well schooled Vega kept circling, landing his stiff jab and on occasion landed the one, two combination to wear down his opponent.
Bout #8 featured Ray Diaz of Steele Boxing, Las Vegas, Nevada, in his second match of the 13-14 year old, 106 pound, Open division, semifinals taking on Mario Ramos, a southpaw from the Undisputed Gym in North Park, San Diego, CA who had a bye in Day 1.
Once again, it was Diaz showcasing his defensive skills while working harder to land the majority of punches in their nonstop and heated exchanges.
Bout #9 featured Hector Valdez of the Duarte Youth Boxing Club going up against the shorter Enrique Mendoza of M.T.C. in the 15-16 year-old, 132 pound finals.
After their all out war in Round #1, it was a question of which boxer had anything left for the remainder of the bout. By the close of Round #2, Valdez had answered that question by landing three straight, unanswered, left hooks. He went on to dominate Mendoza by landing the cleaner shots to the head in Round #3.
In Bout #10, it was Carlon Johnson of the UFC Gym, San Marcos, CA taking on Steve Hernandez of the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club in the semifinals of the 123 pound Novice division.
The shorter Hernandez, who spent the majority of his time working over Johnson’s midsection, had no answer for the tall in the saddle Johnson with his steady, hard jab and occasional two and three punch combinations.
Bout #11 was another of the highly anticipated match-ups. It featured Fabian Zarco of the Barrio Station boxing team, San Diego, CA going up against Miguel Sanchez of the United Boxing & Training Center, Chula Vista, CA in the semi-finals of the 132 pound Novice division.
Like he so often does, Zarco bull-rushed his opponent, pinned him in a neutral corner and then unloaded with straight shots to the head until the referee finally stopped the bout to issue an 8-count.
The relentless Mr. Zarco followed the same strategy in Rounds two and three and as a consequence Sanchez was issued additional standing 8-counts which insured Zarco would be moving along in the competition.
In Bout #12, they had Rene Flores of the Coachella Boxing Club going up against Ahmad Noori of the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road, San Diego, CA in the 132 pound, Novice division, semifinals.
This bout was over in a hurry after the more accurate Flores landed repeated hard shots to Noori’s head which prompted referee Rick Ley to stop the bout after issuing three straight standing 8-counts.
For Bout #13, featuring Armando Tovar from the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, S. D., CA going up against Torryan Benjamin from the Alliance Training Center in the semifinals of the 141 pound, Novice division, it was announced that Tovar had failed to make the required weight. The disqualification allowed Benjamin to move on unopposed to compete in the finals on Sunday.
Bout #14 featured two heavy-hitters Ali Fakhreddine of Old School Boxing, San Diego going up against Raul “Rolly” Meza of the UFC Gym in San Marcos, CA in the other semifinal match of that 141 pound Novice division.
The way Round #1 started, you had to figure someone was about to go the hospital. The punches being thrown were of the wind-up variety. Ali was the first to get clocked. Rolly’s second direct hit had the tweety birds circling Fakhreddine’s head. How he was able to remain on his feet and convince the referee, Hondo Fontan, that he was able to continue on in this contest is simply amazing.
Ali’s toughness demonstrated how truly durable the Fakhreddine clan is. He’s just one of five Fakhreddine boxers/mixed martial artists in the family who have trained at Old School Boxing and all have been truly outstanding.
Returning to our contest - after surviving that first round bombardment and receiving some coaching from his corner, Ali settled in and faired much better to close out Round #2. For the remainder of this contest, the two warriors took turns dishing out punishment. In the end, they both knew what it’s like to be in an all out war. With his early success in Round #1, Meza had done more than enough to garner the victory.
Bout #15 featured the big boys, 201 pounds plus, Chuck Landy of the World Boxing Gym going up against Luis Mayorga of Old School Boxing.
Mayorga’s strategy involved taking away Landy’s reach and power advantage by using these smothering tactics and hanging close. It worked most of the time but not when Landy got himself free to take that initial step back to unload a power shot to either the head or midsection. In the end, it was Landy earning the well deserved victory.
Bout #16 became a walkover after Gabriela Romero of the Undisputed Gym was unable to compete against Jessica Corral of the National City CYAC in the 132 pound Novice division.
Bout #17, the final bout of Day 2, was another of the more anticipated match-ups. In the semifinals of the female, 132 pound Novice division, they had Jessie Ramirez of the House of Boxing going up against Renata Ramirez of the Duarte Youth Boxing Club.
You can turn a blind eye to that “Novice” classification, both of these gals have plenty of experience. From the git-go, Jessie, a Battle of the Badges veteran, hoped to get in close and work over Renata's midsection. When she did, her brawling tactics gave her an advantage.
Her adversary, Renata, no relation to Jessie, only needed to take a few steps back to land her more damaging, fully extended punches to Jessie’s head. It was your classic boxer versus brawler matchup which Renata won handily.
Results from Day 3 of the Boxers for Christ National Championship will follow.