Chris Martin & Adrian Melendrez open a Boxing/MMA Emporium

In the above photo collage you get to see some of Chris Martin’s favorite photos, beginning top, left, where Martin’s wife, Diana, is joined by their two sons Diego and Thiago. Next, Martin is shown with local boxing promoter Lou Messina, then former stablemate Jose Toribio, (bottom) Martin (l) is joined by his Best In Boxing announcing crew of Benny Ricardo and Kevin Ottley, and finally we have Martin’s brother Guillermo, trainer Joe Vargas, Martin, Head Coach Sergio Melendrez and able cornerman Brian Llano.

On April 20, 2019, the partnership of Christopher Martin, the former Boxing standout, and Adrian Melendrez, the respected MMA coach for over a decade, was firmly established when the pair held their Grand Opening Celebration of the Azteca San Diego Boxing Club at 4088 Bonita Road, Bonita, Calif., 91902. Boxing fans can now figure Martin has officially hung up the gloves and will now turn the majority of his efforts towards developing the future stars of Boxing. Who better to help someone reach a title shot but someone who was just two wins away from holding a world title.

The major benefit to a community like Bonita, Calif.? Boxing/MMA clubs often serve both as a physical fitness hub and as a community organization helping neighbors become friends, offering local youth an after school activity and most importantly they end up teaching a healthy, wholesome lifestyle.

For Saturday’s Grand Opening event, the popular duo made certain to invite a regular Who’s of local Boxing and MMA. They included Demonstrations, offered food, Live Music from DJ Marcos/Oso Flako and Sir DanielSD, and as expected provided those once in a lifetime golden opportunities to have a one on one meeting with the top professionals many of whom were set to compete on TV in the following week.

In regards to what Martin’s mates, family members and boxing insiders are currently mulling over: “#1 has to be, what is Martin’s possible motivation for opening a Boxing Gym in Bonita? Surely it has less to do with making money, and more to do about having an availabile gym that’s ready to help the top fighters prepare for an upcoming Pro fight. Especially since it’s a rare fete these days when someone, anyone, can turn a profit with such a small, local gym. Tying yourself up with the opening and closing of a gym door at established hours plus dedicating the majority of your time to the development of others can certainly be a chore and the majority of the time an unrewarding chore.

As a reference for readers, Pro Boxer Christopher “S. D. Kid” Martin, a Chula Vista resident, began boxing in the local USA Amateurs ranks and then turned Pro in 2006. He went on to have an illustrious career winning three titles: the USA California State Featherweight Title, and then he won both the WBO NABO and WBC USNBC Super Bantamweight titles. It goes without saying , nothing is easy in this sport. He also had to deal with the losses at the hands of the current WBA/WBO World Super Bantamweight Champ Danny Roman and the current WBC World Featherweight champ Gary Russell Jr. Of course there were the many highlights along the way. Such as the wins over the likes of Chris Avalos and Charles Huerta.

As with all photos, this photographer can’t resist showcasing an eye-catching photo from Saturday’s attendees plus adding the following words of wisdom, snippets of advice being offered to those were considering a membership at this new facility.

#1 “Boxing, which is extremely competitive, happens to be a great stress reliever. It will build your self-confidence and nothing will make you feel more alive than a good, competitive, sparring session where you’re going to have to concentrate 100% of your time even when your body might be telling you that you’re tired.”

#2 “Prior to visiting this gym on Saturday, face it, some of the guests didn’t give a crap about eating healthy and they were most likely way out of shape. They were getting into boxing for a good workout and the added bonus of learning how to defend themselves. They had no idea what they were getting into but lucky for them they’ll soon discover, it’s all good.”

#3 “If you are a smoker and you never want to stop smoking, the constant working out will eventually get you to stop the filthy habit. Why? Because of your desire to reach a higher performance level.”

#4 “You’ll also want to start eating better, and a healthy diet means you’ll be starting each day with a good breakfast. Also, when you start working out, you’re going to want to build lean muscle and you’re going need more energy to do your best in training, especially in sparring. So, you’re going have to make it a habit of eating standardized meals with a fair share of fruits and vegetables – which for most people will be a major upgrade.”

#5 “After you start boxing, you’re going start looking more like a human being and your posture will change dramatically. In time, your muscles are going to be more powerful and you’re going to start to look good. As an added bonus, you’re not going to break a sweat when you run up the stairs.”

#6 “While boxing is a confidence builder, you’ll be learning to do it with humility. You’ll learn self-defense without having to beat anyone up. After a year of training, you’ll feel so confident, that you’ll be able to avoid those bad situations more calmly because you’ll now have a choice. At the same time, boxing teaches you to care for others and to know no matter how good you become, you’ll always be able to find someone who is better than you in one thing or another.”

Here we have a photo of one of Saturday’s attendees, Phil Davis, who at this moment was getting fitted for a championship belt by Bellator CEO Scott Coker after one of “Mr. Wonderful’s” impressive victories.

A week from now, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, the 6’2″ tall, former NCAA wrestling champion and four-time NCAA Division I All-American at Penn State University, and now MMA heavyweight Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis will be battling Liam McGeary at the SAP Center, San Jose, Calif. There he was on Saturday all smiles and hugs with his former mates from the Alliance Training Center, Adrian Melendrez and Chris Martin. Davis first entered the pro ranks in 2009 as a Light Heavyweight at UFC Contender. In 2015, he parted ways with the UFC and signed with Bellator and the same year went on to win his first title. His record at this time is 19 wins and only 5 losses. These are the type of people that you’re going to run into when you’re a member of a gym like this.

Honored guests joining Diana Martin (c) for a commemorative photo included (l to r) Dr. Eugene Nowak of Nowak Aesthetics who Union Tribune subscribers voted top Dermotologist in San Diego, then you have Melissa Bonilla, Mrs. Martin, Dr. Nowak’s wife Mayte, and finally Deron and Irene Pettke.

#7. “While boxing you’re going to see and feel the progress. And as you progress, you’ll soon realize the regimen is a lifestyle choice in which you’ll still have a lot to learn. That’s when you come to the realization that boxing is not just a sport you do for a few months, it’s something you should make a part of your life.”

#8. “One of the misconceptions people have about a boxing club is that it is full of low-lifes. Man is that so very far from the truth. I’m sure there are some boxing joints in the world, but I’m also sure that good gyms like the one Chris Martin is opening, are far more plentiful. You will soon make friends and discover that most gym members are really “exceptional” people, just like you.”

#9. “Sparring is not that violent, especially when you’re using the in-house head gear and working with someone who is like-minded. You might be intimidated at first, but you’ll soon learn it’s really not that bad.”

#10.  “Boxing will always have an impact on your mood. The day after a hard workout is a magical one. You’ll discover you suddenly have more energy, you’ll be happier and you’ll be more outgoing.”

#11. “In regards to sleep problems: If you had problems sleeping before, a good workout guarantees you will sleep like a baby, not just after the workout, but all the time.”

#12. “If you are completely out of shape, this sport will take you where you want to go as long as you follow the trainer’s advice. Follow their regimen and after just a few months of giving it your best, you will not be able to leave it.”

#13. “Most gyms, most coaches will recommend that you workout a minimum of three times a week and if possible never, ever skip a training session. The Azteca San Diego Boxing Club posted this provisional schedule. They’ll be open Monday thru Friday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Closed Sundays The Kids Boxing Classes are 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teens/Amateur Class: 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Individual routines are given to members depending on what they would like to accomplish and what coaches determine would be the best route to meeting those goals.




MMA fighters tend to be unique, more so than any other group of athletes. At first Darrion “the Wolf” Caldwell declined to have his photo taken with this pup. After some groveling from both the puppy and myself, he acquiesced.




Here’s Darrion Caldwell having his arm raised in victory by local ref Jason Herzog after he had won the Bellator Bantamweight Title over Eduardi Dantas at Bellator 184.



During a workout, athletes claim they take out the majority of their frustrations on the heavy bag. (l to r) Pro MMA fighter/Navy Vet Orlando Jimenez, daughter Joselyne, son Santiago, wife Priscilla, son Cristiano, and fellow Combate Americas MMA fighter Paulina “Firefox” Granados who just so happens to be competing on Friday, April 26, at the Galen Center in Louisiana on Univision TV, agreed wholeheartedly.
Here we have another local fighter/coach Rolando Perez (c) from the Alliance Training Center, Chula Vista posing for a photo with two good buddies (l to r) Abraham and Javy.

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In this photo we have more interested parties (l to r) Junior Cunnington, Waylon, Kelly Coffey, co-owner Adrian Melendrez and Robert Cunnington.
Here we have well known boxing trainer Sergio Melendrez from the Alliance Training Center at “H” Street sitting on the new ring apron with his grandson Alex Melendrez.




(right)


You talk about a man’s man, here we have Bareknuckle fighter, MMA legend Joey Beltran (right) posing for a photo with new gym owner Chris Martin.
(l to r) MMA great Jessica Penne with her puppy, ????, Brian Llano, MMA Coach from the Alliance Training Center on “H” Street in Chula Vista, Orlando Hernandez, MMA fighter Angela Hill and former Pro Boxer and now gym owner Chris Martin.



The in-house proteges who just might end up being the stars of tomorrow.



Some say the best DJ outfit in all of San Diego County is Sir DanielSD which has these two gents running the show: DJ Marcos (l) and DJ Oso Flako (r).


Naturals: How long before we get to see these youngsters appearing in a Hollywood flick or modeling for children’s clothes and then on to Vogue and GQ?




Like the lass above in her pink dress, the daughters of MMA legend, MMA trainer and Hill Top High School Wrestling coach Danny Martinez (c), also have big plans.



What part of “I want to go with Grandma don’t you understand?” Another star in the making poses for Grandma, who doesn’t baby sit your child, she arranges play dates.







If you recognize this youngster, could you please contact us or either of his parents. Just after the doors opened on Saturday, this youngster suddenly appeared and before long had begun to ramshackle our place, basically have his way with our equipment. A parent or guardian may have mistaken our location for being a local Daycare center.
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