Carlitos “Baby” Castaneda makes his Pro Debut

Tijuana has a long and storied history of producing some of the greatest boxers in history. The support group shown here, firmly believe Carlitos "Baby" Castaneda, has the potential to become the next champion from Baja California. Photo: Jim Wyatt

February 16, 2012   On Thursday evening at the Las Pulgas Nightclub in downtown Tijuana, Mayen Promotions presented “Abriendo Fuego,” translation, “Opening Fire,” an extraordinary pro boxing show with plenty of fireworks.


On the undercard of the featured bouts: Julio Cesar Felix vs. Cristian Aguilar and Emilio Bojorquez vs. Eduardo Iniguez was a bout between Carlitos “Baby” Castaneda and a second highly touted boxer Juan Gomez, both of whom were making their professional debuts.

Why the respective gyms, the Gato Felix Boxing Club of Tijuana (for Castaneda) and the Gonzalez Boxing Club (for Gomez) had these two hot prospects face each other is a mystery. Usually when a manager signs an exceptional talent, they prefer to take it slow, especially in the fighter’s first couple fights. It appears both boxers were considered exceptions to the rule.

A similar mystery surrounds the legendary author/guru, Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998), a Peruvian born, American best-selling author, who bore the same name as one of Thursday’s boxers. He wrote The Art of Dreaming and what it means to be a warrior.

“Nobody is born a warrior,” wrote Castaneda, “in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.” Carlitos Castaneda may have read some of writings and now has similar aspirations.

In the dressing room before the fight, the support people for this Amateur sensation were almost giddy with excitement and made all sorts of claims. “Baby’s the next Apollo Creed,” said one. “The new Master of Disaster.” An older gentleman was more reserved but just as excited, “Wait until you see this kid box!”

Why the nickname, Baby? Castaneda is only 16 years old.

His opponent on Thursday night, Juan Gomez, is 20 years-old and was also a top amateur with an 18-3 mark.

Prior to Thursday night's fight, the boxers Carlitos "Baby" Castaneda (L) and Juan Gomez (R) join the referee and their trainers for a photo op. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Throughout their four rounder, Gomez, the brawler, landed the power shots while Castaneda, the boxer, delivered the more accurate bruising combinations. The match had more intensity, was more action packed, than 95% of the matches you’ll see on TV. Within the first two rounds, they had thrown a mind boggling amount of punches, each proving they could take the other guy’s best shot.

Carlitos "Baby" Castaneda gets the traditional ride on a cornerman's shoulders after winning his pro debut. Photo: Jim Wyatt

At the end of their exhilarating contest, all three judges had Castaneda winning 39-37. It’s rare when you see someone as talented as Castaneda at such a tender age. The word “natural” comes to mind. With Castaneda training at the Gato Felix Boxing Club in Tijuana, we can be certain he benefits big time from having the opportunity to spar with so many great stablemates.

Now to the gentlemen who were supposed to be the headliners of Thursday night’s show but ended up being the also rans.

In the co-Main Event, Julio Cesar “Gatito” Felix (16-3-0, 6 KOs) of Tijuana went up against the much taller and rangy Cristian Aguilar (5-2-0, 1 KO) of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.

In Felix’s last outing he beat Sergio Nunez (4-6-0) in a 10 rounder by split decision at this venue. On Thursday night, he was adamant that he did not want a repeat of that experience.

Last time Aguilar fought, he got knocked out in the first round by Robert Manzanarez (16-0), the 5’7,” 17 year-old phenom from Los Mochis, Sonora, Mexico. So like Felix, Aguilar had plans to make amends for what they both considered a poor showing in their last outing.




Julio Cesar "Gatito" Felix is shown lining up Cristian Aguilar (R) to deliver another solid right hand, a right that would send Aguilar to the canvas. Photo: Jim Wyatt


In Round #1 of Thursday’s duel, both fighters looked impressive and judging the winner of the round was near impossible.

In Round #2, Felix caught Aguilar off guard and down he went after two overhand rights. At first it appeared to be just one of those flash knockdowns. Thoughts of a flash knockdown disappeared after seeing Felix chase after Aguilar.

In Round #3, Felix took over from where he left off and had Aguilar sitting once again. This time he couldn’t beat the count.









After the second knockdown, Cristian Aguilar (R) was definitely in trouble and had difficulty getting his bearings. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The referee raises the arm of Julio Cesar Felix (L) after his KO victory of Cristian Aguilar (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Emilio Bojorquez (R) is shown unloading a straight left on his opponent, Eduardo Iniguez (L) Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the co-Main event Emilio “El Musico” Bojorquez (18-1-0, 12 KOs) of our Downtown San Diego Undisputed Gym and the Traviesos de Tijuana took on Eduardo Iñiguez. Since Bojorquez had just recently returned to boxing after an almost two year sabbatical, his management team has had him fight only journeyman boxers. Iñiguez, with his record of 2-6-1, 2 KOs is just that, a last minute replacement for Piro Godoy.

From Round #1 on, Emilio walked Iñiguez down or trapped him in a corner to unload his hard combinations, one of which would be a thunderous shot to the midsection. This scenario went on for five rounds until the referee decided Iñiguez had taken enough of a beating.




The ultimate family man, Emilio Bojorquez poses for a photo after defeating Eduardo Iniguez (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

After defeating Jose Iniguez, Christian Bojorquez is joined by his support group which includes Undisputed Downtown's gym owner Ted Johnson (C) and Undisputed's head boxing coach Joe Vargas (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

After his battle with Christian Bojorquez, Jose Iniguez (L) receives an assist from his trainer and corner man. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Filling out the undercard:

Christian Bojorguez (4-0-0, 1 KO), Emilio Bojorquez’s younger brother, went up against the more seasoned Jose Iñiguez (3-9-0, 1 KO), Eduardo Iñiguez’s cousin, in a four rounder.

This one proved to be a mismatch from the outset as the much taller Bojorguez exploited not only his leverage and reach advantage but also his superior boxing skills to win almost every exchange. Christian now goes to (5-0-0, 1 KO)  while Iñiguez drops to (3-10-0, 1 KO)

With their awkward styles, the battle between Luis Albert "Chupacabras" Gomez (L) and Mario "Anesteciador" Lara (R) was tough to officiate. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Luis Alberto “Chupacabras” Gomez (5-3-0, 3 KOs) of “Gato” Felix Boxing Club faced Mario “Anesteciador” Lara (0-5). In the beginning neither boxer showed a lot of street cred as the punches were either off the mark or marshmallow soft. Gomez’s corner told the tale as they kept pleading with their fighter, “Today hijo, para manana, no!”

Luis Alberto Gomez (L) gets the decision over Mario Lara. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After the bell ended Round #3, someone in the crowd yelled, “Lara might finally win one.” That message must have gotten to Gomez who suddenly came alive in Round #4. In the end, Lara, “El Anesteciador” lost by decision, his sixth straight.

Since the opening bout only lasted 20 seconds, it's possible Reynaldo "El Rey" Russell didn't even have an opportunity to break a sweat. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After getting caught early in Round #1, Jose Caravantes is feeling more embarrassed than hurt. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the opening bout, 18 year-old Reynaldo “Rey” Russell (3-1-1) of the Melo Boxing Club got things off to a rousing start when he KO’d Jose Caravantes (0-3-1) at :20 of the first round. Caravantes began Round #1 by circling to his left and by the time he decided to backtrack, Wham, the bout was over.

Jonathan Medina (L) with his swarming offense was all over Francisco Flores (R) early in Round #1. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Jonathan "Nini" Medina has his arm raised in victory after defeating Francisco "Vago" Flores. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Also on the undercard, Francisco “Vago” Flores of the “Gato” Felix Boxing Club faced Jonathan “Nini” Medina of the Zamora Boxing Club. Both were making their pro debut.

In Medina’s nine amateur bouts, he won seven and lost two.  After four years in the gym, the 27 year-old Flores was finally giving Pro boxing a shot. Maybe he shouldn’t have.

Medina came on like a house a fire. He went up top and down below before forcing Flores to take a seat in the neutral corner. Medina set Flores down by utilizing his leverage and power to the midsection.

More about the people of Mayen Promotions: Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, Guillermo “Memo” Mayen, a successful Tijuana businessman and arguably the biggest club show promoter in Baja California, ran Boxing Shows each and every Monday night. It wasn’t easy and more times than not, the house lost money. After a long lay off, it appears Mr. Mayen is back in hopes of filling the void left by the other promoters who were likely scared off by the many headaches. When you love Boxing, the boxers and their trainers and the boxing community as a whole, it’s difficult for Mr. Mayen to stay away. Here’s hoping he can succeed. 


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