Best in Boxing Awards show premiers at the Four Points By Sheraton in San Diego

Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, San Diego’s Showplace for the Fighting Sports, MMA, MuayThai and Boxing.

On Saturday evening, December 21, 2019, the venture group of Borizteca Boxing Promotions (which opened up shop in 2014) in partnership with Global Sports Streaming with their Best in Boxing format, revived the time-honored tradition of celebrating the participants in their 2019 shows. Without a doubt, those who were honored had certainly left a lasting impression with their performance in the hotly contested matches, whether it be a Muay Thai fight, a Mixed Martial Arts show or a Boxing match.

The concept of having a year-end Sports Night/Sports Banquet isn’t new; this great motivator for adults and especially adolescence has been around for generations. So much so that high schools and colleges would be doing their Athletic programs a disservice if they didn’t continue the tradition. On this special night, if you were one of the fortunate ones to earn an award, or receive the standard team trophy, it was certainly a special moment.

Also, a promoter knows full well he must never ignore or discount the athletes’ fan base. The fact that Borizteca Boxing Promotions and Global Sports Streaming were willing to invest so much money in this year-ending salute is certainly a very positive development. Without further ado, here’s a review of what transpired at this year’s Show.

For the announcement of the first award, the duties were entrusted to renown boxing trainer Vince Parra with an assist from the Borizteca Boxing Promotion’s most popular/glamorous Ring Card Lady Kirstie Masciel.

From the above four fights selected by Global Sports Streaming and the Borizteca Boxing Promotions team and their staffs, on-line voters chose Ricardo “The Blessed” Valdovinos (8-1, 5 KOs) of San Diego who fought one hell-of-a-toe-to-toe scrap with Giovannie “King Gio” Gonzalez (currently 10-4, 4 KOs) from Stockton, Calif. And, as you might expect, Valdovinos was a natural behind the mike. As ESPN Sports Center host Stuart Scott used to say “He was as cool as the other side of the pillow!” After giving praise to his maker, his parents and his number one supporter, we made certain to get all three in the photo below.

Ricardo Valdovinos (right) was soon joined by his parents and the love of his life.
At home with his wife and two children, the co-recipient of the award, super lightweight Giovannie “King Gio” Gonzalez (10-4, with 8 KOs), the current WBC Super Lightweight International Titleholder called to congratulate his former opponent and wish him a Merry Christmas. He then explained, “With Christmas less than 4 days away and the distance from Stockton, Calif. to San Diego being 458 miles by car following the I-5 South route, it would have taken me 6 hours and 58 minutes to get there. Of course, that’s with no traffic and driving non-stop.” Valdovinos had to agree, “I’d say that’s a reasonable excuse for not attending.”
Over the years, famous musicians and rappers like Eminem, Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj have adopted alter egos to establish a new creative direction or deep dive into their personal emotions to remove themselves from their usual persona. The best example is David Bowie, who became Ziggy Stardust. Point to be made? When we saw featherweight boxer Brandon “Too Smooth” Cruz come up on stage to present the next trophy, he looked not only amazing, in control, and totally at ease, but well-heeled in his high fashion red blazer with it’s contrasting black silk collar and matching twill hankie. With microphone in hand, the ladies in the crowd began to swoon and wonder if the multitalented Cruz might be about to grab a guitar and serenade them with a love song.

Instead, Cruz settled in and gave an introduction of the next category, Comeback Fighter of the Year which went to the 38-year-old, 5′ tall Carina Moreno (25-6, 6 KOs) the former WBA World Female Flyweight Champion from Watsonville, Calif., who after not competing for 5 years and 8 months, defeated both Judith Vivanco in February and then Cinthia Martinez in April, both by a unanimous decision. With Moreno’s home being 450 miles north of the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, she too was a no-show to accept her trophy.

(Photo bottom, right) On December 1, 2012, Carina “La Reina” Moreno (left) traveled all the way to Burg-Waechter Castello, Dusseldorf, Germany to defeat Susi Kentikian (right), the WBA Female Flyweight Champion of the World by split decision. Then, seven months later, on July 6, 2013, Kentikian exacted her revenge with a unanimous decision victory to regain her title. (photo, top) Carina Moreno and her coach toured our fair city and made a stop not only at the Carrier U.S.S. Midway which is now a museum but visited the famous bronze statues of the soldiers with entertainer Bob Hope who during multiple wars traveled the World to salute the Troops.

With your proud son, Carlos Barragan Jr. making the next introduction and receiving an assist from a slideshow of memorable photos to celebrate your fascinating career in the sport of boxing, the well-respected boxing confidante/mentor/guru of boxing Carlos Barragan’s heart must have been thumping. And to top it off, there was the Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez making the presentation of his award in front of Carlos’ many friends and family which included his devoted wife. This presentation has to be one of the true highlights of his life. The patriarch of the Barragan clan has been instrumental in the training and development of so many individuals and champions eg. Antonio Orozco, Chris Arreola, his grandson David Barragan, Armando Tovar, the Arrellano Brothers, a list that goes on and on. There were also the athletes from other sports, eg. the San Diego Chargers football players who trained with him in their off-season. All of them benefitted big time from his expertise/training regimens – from the youngsters to their parents. This was truly a night to remember.

Everyone in the sport of Boxing knows that having your arm raised by Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez will bring you good luck, good fortune, so the owner of the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel obliged.
The Medina Family plus members of the Bound Boxing Academy were certainly well represented on this night.
We could be wrong but this does appear to be the Brandon Cruz fan club.
You have to figure it’s not going to be that much of a surprise when it’s your son up on stage and he begins by telling the audience about an amazing gentleman who’s been a Boxing Fan since the early sixties.
Everyone has their favorite photo and this one appears to be a classic.

As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words. Especially that top left photo of the Barragan family’s start-up boxing gym located in their backyard which eventually led to the more notable, substantial and revered, present-day House of Boxing Training Center on Reo Drive in Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif., where a who’s who of Boxing have trained.

Next up, it was my honor to present the Prospect of the Year Award to San Diego’s Adrian Gutierrez (10-0-1, 4 KOs) who went 4-0 in 2019. As you can see from above, this category had some mighty stiff competition. Based on the caliber of his opponents, Gutierrez justifiably ended up receiving more votes than the highly thought of Elvis Rodriguez (5-0-1, 5 KOs) and Brandon Valdes (13-0, 7 KOs).

Somewhat surprised by the support he received and hardly braggadocious, Gutierrez then promised to work even harder in 2020, plus attend next year’s function dressed in more fashionable attire. Need I say, everyone present felt they were playing second fiddle in comparison to Brandon “Too Smooth” Cruz.
After the presentation of his trophy for Top Prospect of the Year, Adrian Gutierrez was joined by his two very proud parents, one of whom, David Gutierrez, a well-known Chula Vista attorney, was at one time an outstanding Amateur boxer and then an undefeated Pro standout as well.
One of the most popular local boxing fans/supporters that you’ll ever meet, Joe Stidman, the owner of Heartland Meats in the South Bay, was asked to present the next award to Andrea Medina, currently in her first year at San Diego State University. Medina has a very good chance of going to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. She now has a record of 4 wins and 2 losses against the other young lady who has qualified to be on the USA Boxing Team which will be competing in several International Competitions until the final Olympic competitors are chosen. After the soft-spoken Medina, thanked most everyone, she gave an extra special thanks to her parents.

After the presentation of Andrea’s award, neither Medina nor Joe left center stage. With his deep baritone, bass voice Joe Stidman did not want to relinquish that microphone. As you can see from the photo above, she eventually had to rip it out of his tight-fisted paws. It was as if we were about to witness a Barry White vs Madonna battle of range and timbre. Just joking!

(right to left, top to bottom) In the above photos, we first have Andrea’s oh so proud Aunt and Grandmother. Then we have the proudest parents in all the land, followed by fellow gym mate boxer Ricardo Valdovinos.
Another of the evening celebrants was JonathanJonny” Mansour, the local Male Amateur Standout who over time, more than a couple years, kept working hard in the gym until he finally broke through to become a force, an actual USA National Amateur Champion who at this point has designs on making it to the 2024 Olympics. And knowing Mr. Mansour, he’s probably giving all the credit to his coaching staff led by the Bomber Squad Academy’s head boxing coach Berlin Kerney IV.
And, as far as a good public speaker and future politician, this young man held everyone’s attention.
Jonny Mansour’s entire family was in attendance, Mom, Dad, two brothers, and a younger sister, his coach Berlin Kerney plus three close friends all there to share in this young man’s success story.
With a smile on her face, Emmy Award-Winning TV Host Courtney Perna, the blonde beauty wearing the brass knuckles, kept the show moving right along and everyone on their toes.
It’s what some people call thinking out loud and she was good at it. Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez was a delight and no doubt has a sponsor who owns a men’s haberdashery in Las Vegas, most likely Sak of Fifth Avenue or Ralph Lauren because the clothes he wore were top-notch and fit like a glove. Not once did he get rattled.

Presenting the Award for 2019 Best In Boxing Boxer of the Year was Saul Rios the CEO of Borizteca Boxing Promotions.
With his family present, Kevin Torres, who went 5-0 in 2019, receives his just reward for a remarkable year.
Knowing full well he wasn’t going to get away without saying a few words, Kevin “Diamond Boy” Torres (15-1-1, with 13 KOs) after three of Boxing, was his usual unassuming and courteous self, first thanking his manager Christina Carrillo, Borizteca Boxing Promotions, Best In Boxing, the Barragans of the House of Boxing Training Center, his parents, loyal supporters and of course his number one supporter.
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