San Diego Border Championships at the San Diego Combat Academy

The thrill of victory: No words can express the joy young Victor Ortega felt when the announcement came that he was victorious in his amateur debut. Photo: J. Wyatt

Saturday, September 1, 2012, was yet another momentous day in the long history of USA Amateur boxing history in San Diego with our local pugilists taking on challengers from both the Coachella Valley and Las Vegas at the San Diego Combat Academy in Mission Valley. Great match ups and great efforts made the event memorable.

In Bout #1, it was Ricky Hood (R) getting an impressive win over Devlin Thompson (L).

Bout #1, featuring two super-lightweights, had 22 year-old Ricky Hood (5-2) of the host gym, the San Diego Combat Academy, taking on 20 year-old Devlin Thompson from Barry’s Boxing, Las Vegas, N.V.

After the opening bell, both boxers began throwing the power shots. Before long it became apparent that Hood was landing the cleaner shots and by mid-round caught Thompson with an overhand right to knock him off his feet. Following another barrage of bunches, the referee issued Thompson a standing eight count.

In Round #2, Hood mixed things up and went more to the body. After one solid body shot, he followed with another overhand right. By this time, Thompson’s corner had seen enough and over the top rope came the surrender towel.

You could see it in their faces. Boxer Angel Moreno (C) along his coaches know full well Moreno had a difficult outing against his opponent Wesley Diana in Bout #2 in the USA Amateur Boxing Show, Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the San Diego Combat Academy in San Diego’s Mission Valley. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Wesley Diana (L) has the championship belt placed around his waist by tournament director Priest “Tiger” Smalls. To his right is his opponent in Bout #2, Angel Moreno. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #2 featured two 13-year-olds in the super flyweight division, Wesley Diana of Barry’s Boxing, Las Vegas, N.V. and Angel Moreno of the Indio Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley, CA.

In this one, Moreno became too predictable with his jab, jab, overhand right. Meanwhile, Diana patiently sat back and waited to counter. By the end of the first round, Diana had his distance and timing down to perfection and went after Moreno with the shorter right and lefts to score in punches.

In the third round, after an accumulation of blows to the head, the referee stepped in and issued Moreno an eight count. By this time, Moreno needed to knock Diana out in order to win and Diana was too tough and weathered Moreno’s last ditch effort.

Robert Lopez Jr. (R) has his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontan after he defeated Tearry Hammond in Bout #3 on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the San Diego Combat Academy’s USA Amateur Boxing show.  Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3 featured super bantamweights, 18 year-old Robert Lopez Jr. of Golden Hands Boxing of Chula Vista, CA making his debut against 22 year-old Tearry Hammond of Barry’s Boxing, Las Vegas who had a record of 1-1.

By the close of Round #1, Lopez, the more accurate puncher, had Hammond backing up and started catching him on the chin. The referee took note of the clean shots and began issuing Hammond one eight count after another. After the third eight count in Round #3, the referee called for a stoppage.

It was Gabriel Hernandez (R) getting the win over Gilbert Lopez (L) in Bout #4, a bout which many declared the best bout of the show. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4 featured middleweights, 21 year-old Gilbert Lopez (3-0) of Golden Hands Boxing, Chula Vista, taking on Gabriel Hernandez of Undisputed Fitness and Training Center in El Cajon, CA.

In this slugfest, Hernandez proved to be the more accurate puncher in a very scary toe to toe battle. With Lopez’s punches being wide and off the mark, Hernandez hung inside and countered with shorter and more effective combinations.

For whatever it’s worth, this was Lopez’s first bout after trimming down from super-middleweight (162.4 pounds in his last bout) to 155.6. The drop in weight makes him quicker, gives him more stamina but did little to make him more accurate.

Here we see Jorge Agiss (L) getting hit by a straight left hand. Many believe this punch led to his downfall in the hotly contested bout against Jaime Barriga. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #5, it was Jaime Barriga (L) getting the win over Jorge Agiss (R). Tiger Smalls, the show’s organizer is shown presenting the championship belt to Barriga. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 had the highly touted Jaime Barriga (6-0) of Barry’s Boxing in Las Vegas, CA going up against Jorge Agiss (1-4) of the CYAC in National City, CA. Both are 12 years-old and both training for the same amount of time.

Despite being shorter and outweighed by four pounds, Barriga proved he has the better grasp of how to accumulate points. Whenever there was an opening, his gloves went nonstop. By the end of the third round, both boxers had inflicted the same amount of punishment, however Barriga was well ahead on the judges’ scorecards.

During intermission, Community Commitment Awards were presented to two boxing families, the Barragans of National City, Carlos Barragan Sr. and Carlos Barragan Jr. and the Diaz family of Coachella Valley, brothers Antonio and Joel, for their work with local youth. Their proven methods of realistic prevention, intervention and diversion for at-risk youth have been instrumental in keeping many of our young people headed in the right direction towards a more productive and rewarding life.

(L to R) Carlos Barragan Sr. and Carlos Barragan, Jr. of the National City Community Youth Athletic Center, Antonio Diaz, Priest Tiger Smalls, and Joel Diaz. Antonio and Joel Diaz help run the Indio Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley, CA.

Bout #6 between Lorenzo Segoviano (front) and Roberto Campo (rear) was one of the best action bouts of the show. Here we see Campo trying to recover after missing a wide looping left hook that barely missed the elusive Segoviano. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #6, it was Lorenzo Segoviano of the Indio Boxing Club (L) getting the win over Roberto Ocampo (R) of ABC Mongoose Gym in San Diego. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #6 featured 14 year-olds, Lorenzo Segoviano (11-3) from the Indio Boys & Girls Club in Coachella Valley, CA, weighing 112.4 pounds, going up against Roberto Ocampo of the ABC Mongoose Boxing Club in San Diego, CA, weighing 118.2 pounds, two boxers with a lot of experience.

Segoviano won the match by staying in close and repeatedly landing the right cross. Even after Ocampo managed to rally late in Round #3, there was no doubt Segoviano was ahead on all scorecards.

Victor Ortega vs Jose Fernandez, the bout everyone will remember. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The proud parents join their son after his emotional win. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #7 featured nine year-olds, Victor Ortega (77.6 pounds) of House of Boxing making his debut against Jose Fernandez (1-1, 74.6 pounds) of Cital Boxing, San Diego, CA, a youngster he had often sparred.

From Round #1 on, you could see Ortega wanted it more. His punches, especially the straight left hands to the head, were landing with pinpoint accuracy. And when told a correction needed to be made, he made it. When the exchanges went nonstop, he made sure he landed the final blow.

In Bout #8’s battle royale, Mulapi Estani (R) of the Tiger Smalls Boxing Team got the win over Tony Burnett (L) of the LA Boxing Gym in Carlsbad. Photo: J. Wyatt

The bonding between coach and boxer is special. After his grueling battle with Mulapi Estani in Bout #8, Anthony Day, Tony Burnett’s coach, attends to his boxer’s needs.

In Bout #8, Mulapi Estani (R) of the Tiger Smalls Boxing Team got the win over Tony Burnett of the LA Boxing Gym in Carlsbad. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #8 featured 27 year-old Mulapi Estani (133 pounds) of the Tiger Smalls Boxing Team going up against 22 year old Tony Burnett (0-3, 128.4 pounds) of LA Boxing in Carlsbad.

The shorter Estani kept up the pressure and stayed in Burnett’s grill to land the short but powerful straight shots to the head and body. At one point Estani landed five hard, unanswered blows to Burnett’s head. The unanimous decision victory was never in doubt.

Next week, the USA Amateur Boxing show travels to Vista, CA for a show at the Legacy Training Center at 1304 N. Santa Fe Ave. #B, Vista, CA 92083

Contact person: Ivan Puente (760) 586-0011

Weigh-ins: 9 a.m., First Bout: 1 p.m.

Special entertainment provided 12 noon to 1 p.m.

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