Last year at this time, Bobby Lopez and the members of his Golden Hands Boxing Gym were preparing for their show at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. This year it was the fine people of The House of Boxing offering their facility to Golden Hands Boxing so they could stage their second annual event.
Just as they did last year, this show featured the same packed house, same great food, memorable bouts and several special guests which included Hall of Fame inductee Floyd Mayweather Sr., who at one time was a top 10 welterweight with a record of (28-6-1, 18 KOs) before turning into (his exact words) “the world’s best trainer.”
I reckon he can claim such a distinction after training such notables as his son Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Joan Guzman, Chad Dawson, Ricky Hatton, Vernon Paris and Chris Eubank Jr.
Bout #1 on Saturday featured two up and comers Anthony Munoz (119 pounds) of the Undisputed Fitness and Training Center in North Park going up against Daniel Ruiz (112.2 pounds) of the Legacy Training Center in Vista.
Just last week, Munoz defeated Steven Cazares from the same gym at the Alliance Training Center Show. In this one, he had his way by utilizing his left hook. A friend joked, “I guess he won’t be happy until he’s defeated everyone from Vista.”
Bout #2 featured Christian Jimenez (163 pounds) from The Arena MMA in Point Loma, San Diego CA going up against Joshua Rivera of the San Diego Combat Academy who weighed in at 158.6 pounds.
The more experienced Rivera, who formerly trained at Rhino’s Boxing in Vista, landed the majority of the telling blows and remained busier throughout, especially in the third round after Jimenez began to tire.
Bout #3 had Carlos Reyes (168 pounds) of The Arena MMA, Point Loma going up against Emilio Lopez (165.6 pounds) of the new Boxer for Christ Gym in San Jacinto, CA.
The opening round went to the busier Lopez, as Reyes had a difficult time getting into a rhythm. By Round #2, Reyes had been reduced to just the weaker arm punches while Lopez was finishing strong.
Twice, once in Round #2 and again in Round #3, the referee had the judges penalize Reyes a point for not biting down on his mouthpiece. The combination of factors made the judges’ decision easy.
Bout #4 featured Darius Winfrey (69.2 pounds) of Boxer for Christ, San Jacinto, CA going up the more experienced David Gutierrez (67.6 pounds) of Golden Hands Boxing, Chula Vista, CA.
Round #1, the feeling out round, saw Gutierrez land more of the cleaner shots to take an early, but slim lead. With his confidence growing, Gutierrez pressed the action in Round #2. After a big overhand right caught Winfrey square on the chin, he fell back into the ropes and the first of two eight counts was issued.
The second eight count came in the third round after Gutierrez landed seven unanswered blows to the head. The decision was never in doubt.
Bout #5 had Tyler Herberger (113.6 pounds) of Old School Boxing of San Diego going up against Bryce Fraser (113.4 pounds) of the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 15-16 year-old Senior Division.
This was one of the most anticipated bouts of the show for several reasons. Why would Mr. Fraser have one of the greatest boxers/trainers of all time in his corner, if he wasn’t a special talent? And why would they travel all the way from Las Vegas to box on this boxing card against Herberger, considering it’s a 671 mile round trip?
Plus, Herberger’s coach, Ernie Johnson is no slouch. He has a reputation for producing top talent himself. Together with his son, Ernest “Too Slick” Johnson and Kalina Fernandez, they’ve never failed to wipe the floor with the competition. So, Mr. Herberger would have three above average trainers working his corner. Entonces, we had ourselves a real barn burner with reputations on the line.
With the punches coming fast and furious in Round #1, all eyes were glued to this match. By a consensus of the people around me, Herberger took Round #1 by landing more of the cleaner shots.
Halfway through Round #2, one of the treasured moments in the career of a boxer occurred. After becoming the victim of a flash knockdown, Herberger rose to his feet in an instant. Flustered by his gaffe, you could see an urgency on his face.
Even though a knockdown only cost you a point in USA Amateur scoring, Herberger sorely needed to erase this faux pas from his mind. He waited patiently as the referee issued his mandatory eight count.
As soon as the ref finished his count, Herberger went after Fraser as if he had just stolen his grandmother’s purse. Instead of a flash knockdown, Fraser went down from a thud to the side of his head. He did get up, but it was clear he was visibly shaken and in no position to continue. At this point, the referee called an end to the bout.
Bout #6 featured James Kiniston (151 pounds) of the Gladiator School of Boxing going up against Christian Vazquez (149.2 pounds) of Ocean’s Boxing.
In Round #1, Vazquez was busier and landed the cleaner shots. It was more of the same in Round #2, and soon the referee felt it was necessary to issue Kiniston an eight count.
Vazquez continued his domination in Round #3 and another eight count was issued. After a while, the referee felt Kiniston had had enough and called for a halt to the bout.
Bout #7 was a rematch of a bout stopped prematurely last Saturday at the Alliance Fitness and Training Center. In that match Andres Adams clearly landed a blow well below the Mason Dixon Line on his opponent Juan Negrette of the National City CYAC.
Since both boxers felt there was no malice intended and it was just one of those things that happens, they agreed to have an immediate re-match.
In Round #1, there was absolutely no defense as both boxers dished out plenty of punishment. Overall, you’d have to agree Adams was on the losing side.
Round #2 was more of the same and at times it appeared the boxers were taking turns trying to land the knockout blow. With his face red and nose bleeding, Adams was issued an eight count. Negrette’s superior hand speed had his punches arriving first.
By Round #3, Negrette had begun to tire and Adams made a last ditch effort to win the match. Even though Adams clearly took Round #3, Negrette had built up too much of a lead in the first two rounds.
Bout #8 featured Miguel Sanchez (131.8 pounds) of Ocean’s Boxing going up against Zabir Noori (131 pounds) of the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road, San Diego.
The disparity here was not in weight, size or age, it was in experience. Noori had only been training for three months while Sanchez had trained for a full year.
In Round #1, both boxers started teeing off on each other and before long Sanchez landed a solid right to send Noori to the canvas and a second knockdown soon followed.
In Round #2, after getting pummeled by a straight left, Noori was issued an eight count. The referee stopped the bout after the third knockdown to issue the infamous Referee Stops the Bout.
Bout #9 featured two tough welterweights, Alexander Robinson (145.2 pounds) of the Gladiator School of Boxing going up against Scott Torres (141.6) of the Boxing Club in Poway, CA.
This was your classic battle between a boxer trying his best to score points and the power puncher more intent on going after the knockout. With the use of headgear, KOs are less frequent in amateur boxing, a general truth that put the more patient Torres at a distinct disadvantage.
By the end of round two, it appeared Robinson was in a good position to win the bout on points. Then in Round #3, Torres came on like an Oklahoma twister and the referee issued Robinson not one but two eight counts. After that first eight count, a Robinson supporter yelled out, “That’s what you get for showboating!”
The heavy artillery was unleashed in the final three minutes and most of it came from Torres. The way the bout ended should stand as a warning to Robinson if he’s contemplating turning pro.
Bout #10 featured Alan Ramirez (82.2 pounds) of Penacho Boxing of San Jacinto, CA going up against Jabin Chollet (77.4) of Barrio Station in San Diego.
Background information: Just last week Jabin Chollet boxed at the Alliance Fitness and Training Center in a controversial loss. He looked exceptionally good in that contest. On Saturday, he won his match over a boxer that his older brother, Jose Chollet, beat back in April of this year. Only problem – Jabin did not perform as well this week.
Round one was almost dead even. In Round #2, Jabin held a slight edge in the punch stats. Round #3 was so close, you could say it was inconclusive. Jabin’s performance made me wonder if we wern’t seeing some sort of “burnout” from this youngster who has always been so keen on the sport and very enthusiastic.
Bout #11 featured Terence Edwards (154.2 pounds) of Old School Boxing going up against Gilbert Lopez (155 pounds) of the host gym, Golden Hands Boxing.
The victor in this matchup turned out to be Lopez who landed punches in bunches in a slugfest. After the referee issued Edwards an eight count, it was clear the bout had become one-sided and the crew from Old School boxing soon threw in the towel.
To quote Ernie Johnson, Edwards’ coach: “Valiant effort for Terence Edwards! We didn’t get the win, but nothing beats the experience in the ring!”
And that’s what he got. There was no way Lopez was going to lose, especially with his grandfather, his namesake, Gilbert Lopez, in attendance. No way was he was going to lose while representing his boxing club in their second annual show. No way was he going to lose with all his friends and family cheering him on so energetically. For Edwards, his opponent must have seemed like a giant swell thrashing over him.
Next local USA Amateur Boxing show will be hosted by the San Diego Combat Academy at their newest location on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa.
San Diego Combat Academy
4164 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111 (the location is the former home of The Boxing Club)
Contact person: Tiger Smalls (718) 607-5476
Weigh in: 9 a.m. sharp First Bout: 1 p.m.