Battle at the Beach Friday Night Fights a huge success

Jonathan Quiroz (C) celebrates with his support group which includes his father (R) and brother (L) after getting his first pro win over the formidable Kerly Ortiz at the Show Palace in Oceanside, CA on Friday, September 21, 2012. Photo: Jim Wyatt

For the few who have or for those who are contemplating putting together a Boxing or a Mixed Martial Arts show, I’m sure you’re aware of its many intricacies. It’s a major, major undertaking.


From obtaining the promoter’s license to securing the venue, from matching up the fighters to worrying about their safety and insurance, from fulfilling the demands of the California Athletic Commission to worrying about the proper security, things can get rather costly.

The latest, local Pro Boxing/MMA show, “Battle at the Beach” was held Friday, September 21, 2012 at the Show Palace in Oceanside, CA and it made it over the many hurdles. Did it satisfy the audience? Absolutely. Did “the gate” cover expenses to satisfy the expectations of the promoter? Yes. Is he going to do it again? Most assuredly, in early December.

This news should delight local boxers. Why? Because with the success of “Battle at the Beach”, it increases their options to find work. With an additional venue in our area, a local boxer can either head south to Tijuana to fight at Las Pulgas, fight here in San Diego proper for Bobby D Presents or now head up to Oceanside to fight at the Show Palace. And it goes without saying, three venues can better serve the many up-and-coming amateur boxers.

Boxers making their Pro-debut have a proven track record of selling more tickets and almost guarantee the promoter will have his seats filled.

Results from Friday Night’s Boxing/MMA show:

In Bout #1 it was Josh Meyers (L) getting the close decision victory over Rene Mendez shown in the bottom, right panel. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #1, featured two boxers making their pro-debut, Josh Meyers (162 lbs.) going up against Rene Mendez (151.5 lbs.) of The Compound in Oceanside.

Plain and simple this was a battle between a super middleweight, Meyers, shorter but far more muscular and super welterweight Mendez who had the better boxing skills and obviously more experience in the ring.

In Round #1, Meyers went after Mendez like he was a snarling bull and Mendez, a helpless matador. Even though Meyers had an awkward style, he pinned Mendez against the ropes, landed more punches and definitely the harder of the two.

By the end of Round #2, Mendez had figured out a strategy to employ and started countering off Meyers’ wide and off the mark punches. Still, Meyers was the busier of the two.

At the close of Round #3, Mendez, the boxer, was starting to make some headway and the results of his handy work appeared on Meyers’ face who now had a mouse under the left eye and bloody nose.

As the bell rang for Round #4, you had to figure Meyers was completely spent and Mendez would finish out the fight convincingly. That never happened as Meyers persevered and actually landed a few straight, solid shots to Mendez’s head. It appears “quit” was never an option for the gutsy Mr. Meyers and as a result he got the nod in this close match.

After Jonathan Quiroz landed some hard shots to his opponent’s stomach, down went Kerly Ortiz (bottom left). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 featured flyweights, Kerly Ortiz (1-0) of Temecula Boxing going up against Jonathan “Johnny Boy” Quiroz (0-1) of the Rhino’s Boxing Gym in Vista, CA.

Round #1 was one of those “Wow” rounds, where the two boxers took turns pounding each other. Round #2 and #3 appeared to be more of the same until Quiroz caught Ortiz with that magic liver shot that had him drop to one knee. Amazingly, Ortiz finished out the round but Quiroz was definitely in the driver’s seat from that point on to gain his first win, an unanimous decision.

In Bout #3, it was Medhi Baghad (top right) 5-3, getting the submission victory over Dominique Gutierrez who now drops to (4-15). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3, scheduled to go three – 3 minute rounds, featured two mixed martial artists, Medhi Baghad (4-3, 4 KOs) from Algeria, a member of the Team Quest Gym in Temecula, weighing 165 lbs. going up against Dominique Gutierrez (4-14) of Downing, CA who weighed in at 162.5 lbs.

From the outset, Baghad had everyone’s attention with these scary high kicks to the right and left side of Gutierrez’s head. Then, at 2:31 of the second round, Baghad got on top of Gutierrez’s back to apply the rear naked choke which resulted in a submission victory for Baghad.

In Bout #4, it was Ricardo “Ricky” Gutierrez (1-1) getting the decision win over Jose Hernandez (0-1). Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #4 it was Jose Hernandez (135 lbs.), coached by Manny of Vista, CA, making his debut against Ricky Gutierrez (135 lbs.) from San Marcos, CA (0-1).

Gutierrez’s first loss came to Pablo Armenta back on February 25, 2010. Both boxers went down in Round #1 and then Gutierrez went down again in Round #2. It was a memorable, hard fought battle. Soon after, Gutierrez was a victim of a gunshot wound to the leg and doctors told him it was unlikely he’d ever box again. Gutierrez beat the odds and returned to the ring on Friday night to give boxing another go.

Even though Gutierrez’s opponent, Hernandez, was in excellent shape and a top amateur, he couldn’t match the hard power shots coming from his opponent. This bout was won based on the power of the blows rather than the accumulation of blows.

Since Bout #5 was such a hotly contested fight, Carlos Ortega (R), the winner, was given a second trophy later for “MMA Fighter of the Night.” Photos: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #5, it was Carlos Ortega (2-2) of the Escondido Fight Club taking on Ed Hoffman (0-2) of The Compound in Oceanside, CA.

Not to keep using an old cliche but “this one was a war.” In Round #1, the fists went flying, the leg kicks were whipping and both fighters were dishing out a lot of punishment. It ended up being an all or nothing round for Hoffman who couldn’t answer the bell for Round #2.

In Bout #6 it was Gabriel Medina (top), now 2-1, getting the win over Alan Roach who lost in his debut. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #6 featured a four round contest between welterweights Gabriel Medina (1-1) of Murrieta, CA going up against southpaw Alan Roach who after competing in the Mixed Martial Arts wanted to give Boxing a try.

If you had a chance to watch the recent Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout, it appeared Roach was mimicking the same Martinez tack of standing sideways, having his hands down at his side and shooting the right jab at his opponent. The strategy may have worked for Martinez, but Roach lacked the necessary hand speed. Medina faired much better and landed more than enough punches to get the win.

In Bout #7 it was Matt Lagler getting the split decision victory over Nick Moghaddam, the head Jiu Jitsu instructor at the Allan Goes Jiu Jitsu Gym in Mission Viejo, CA.

At Thursday’s weigh-ins for Bout #7, the 6’3” Nick Moghaddam (6-4-1, 4 KOs) of the Allan Goes Jiu Jitsu Gym in Mission Viejo, CA weighed 212 lbs. for his battle against 5’10” Matt Lagler (5-5-1, 2 KOs) who weighed 196 lbs. Lagler trains at the Undisputed Fitness and Training Center in North Park, S. D., CA. Their bout would be a MMA contest of three-3 minute rounds.

On Friday, fight night, the very same Moghaddam told us he weighed 225 lbs. after replenishing himself. In the end, I suppose the excess weight didn’t help much as Lagler secured the win by decision (a Split Decision) after three very tough rounds. Judges Alejandro Rochin and Lester Griffin scored the bout 29-28 for Lagler while Jerry Cantu scored it 29-28 for Moghaddam.

Lagler’s strategy involved getting inside and out-muscling his opponent to score the takedown. Moghaddam, who would have rather stayed at a distance, use his high kicks and exchange blows with his reach advantage, was frustrated throughout after Lagler managed to get inside position.

Both Jesus Lopez (center, bottom), the eventual winner, and Lawrence Letuli (top right) know how to dish out punishment and they went nonstop in Bout #8. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #8 super middleweight Jesus Lopez of Tanos Boxing, Temecula, making his pro-debut, went up against the very tough Lawrence Letuli (0-1-1) of Extreme Boxing, Oceanside, CA.

In the dressing room before the fight, Lopez’s trainer mentioned that his boxer, Lopez, was a late addition to the fight card and had to lose 10 pounds in 10 days.

Fortunately for Lopez that starvation diet to make weight didn’t affect his performance. The USA Amateur veteran stood toe to toe with the more muscular Letuli and while trading blows he made certain that he landed more of the telling blows to get the win.

After the show, special awards were handed out and Johnny Boy Quiroz received a championship belt after being named “Boxer of the Show” for his performance in Bout #2.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the packed house gathered around their favorite boxers and fighters for photos and the merriment began anew. It will be interesting to see if this format of mixing the MMA bouts in with the boxing continues to grow in popularity.

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