Chula Vista Boxing Gym closes, Covid 19 Fatality

When you own and operate a Boxing Gym like the one ex-heavyweight boxer Tony “Demolition Man” Mendivil did in San Ysidro, Calif., your day to day travails can be maddening. Pumped up one minute, seconds later you’re dealing with a major catastrophe. In the above photo collage we see Mendivil’s revered gym with its unique logo, proud daughter plus an advertisement displaying membership dues far below the norm.

Along came the Corona Virus with its many added restrictions, requirements and finally a demand from the State of California to have all Boxing gyms close their doors until further notice.

So, tell us a little something about the gym owner. Heavyweight Antonio “Demoledor” Mendivil’s Pro Boxing career lasted 12 years and he won 15, lost twice and suffered 4 Draws.
A true Boxing enthusiast, Tony willingly accepted the ever increasing demands of the sport whether it meant his time, perhaps opening up his gym at an early or late hour or lending monetary support to a boxer or trainer. At the time, those requirements seemed so essential, and yet other times they had to be a burden on him and his family. Being a competitor himself, Tony has had a tremendous respect for the champions of his sport. Especially those people who don’t require an introduction: gentlemen like Diego “Pelucho” Morales (above), the WBO Super Flyweight Champion and his entire family Erik, Ivan, plus its patriarch, boxing trainer/coach Jose “Olivaritos” Morales. He also connected with people like Manny Pacquiao, Julio Cesar Chavez, Edivaldo Ortega (below left) and Jose Uzcategui (top right).
Here’s our first look at some of Mendivil’s undergraduates. These want to be star athletes/future champs, perhaps defenders of the defenseless required much attention.
Most times, a gym’s south of the border exploits have been fruitful and the able representatives of the Chula Vista Boxing Gym returned home with the Team Trophy.
We mustn’t forget the accomplishments of the young ladies.
On a monthly basis, Tony had a habit of singling out one boxer such as Christopher Reyes (left) or Elias “Canelito” Garcia (right) for being the gym’s “Boxer of the Month.”
At the gym’s Open House Events, you’d often see more than a few top Professionals showing up, as did Tijuana welterweight Emilio “Yori Boy” Bojorquez (24-2 with his 18 KOs).
Within minutes, you’d see everyone in the gym lining up, knowing full well where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to be doing to reach their goal.
From the youngest to the more mature, Coach Mendivil often found himself in a difficult situation when choosing his single “Boxer of the Month.” At one point Alan “Santi” Hernandez (r) had to wait a month while the younger Rafael Ceballos was recognized.
Both Javier Montelongo (right) and Robert Miranda (left) are former “Boxers of the Month”.
Back in October of 2015, one of the newest members of the Chula Vista Boxing Club, nine year-old Rod Bedoya (right) had to be blown away when he learned his 6’4″ tall gym mate, super middleweight Gonzalo “Flako” Romero (left), a visitor from Madrid, Spain, had won his first three contests in Tijuana and the fact that all three were won by an early stoppage. One can only guess what thoughts were racing across his mind.
Here we see some of the more serious young ladies letting loose on the heavy bags.
Some of the many gym members gather around for a group photo.
It was ladies night at the Chula Vista Boxing Club.
Simple enough, the CVB Lady Warriors believed their coach, Coach George, was the very best.
He may have lost some hair over the years but that development had nothing to do with Coach George’s expertise in training some of the area’s top female athletes.
It’s safe to say, nobody will ever forget the time this Telemundo Sports reporter came to the Chula Vista Boxing gym and interviewed both Coach Mendivil and the great Erik Morales, the only Mexican fighter in Boxing history to win multiple world titles in 4 weight divisions.
The value of and utter delight of being chosen “Boxer of the Month” and receiving that commemorative shirt could be seen over and over again in the faces of the overachievers, such as Kenton Wright (right) who dazzled the coach with his quick hands.
“Boxer of the Month” designates: Jose Luis Miranda (left) and Anna Melchor (right).
(left to right) Ernesto Munoz and Raul Nava
Latasha, a Mom working full time plus Jessica Ulloa were recognized.
Two more recipients of “Boxer of the Month”: Saul Avila (left) and Gamaliel Barajas (right).
Putting a smile on your coaches face … priceless. That’s what Ezequiel Sepulveda (left) did and the following month it was Arturo Manrique’s turn (right).
After Victoria Monroy (left) took her turn in the spotlight (May of 2014), it was Abraham Navarro’s turn.
Two more of the overachievers who won the “Boxer of the Month” award were Luis Meza (left) and heavyweight Juan Haro (right).
Here we have two more Boxers of the Month, Valeria, plus a representative of the gym who was victorious South of the Border and brought home a trophy for his own mantelpiece.
Some members of the gym like Mariana (left) and Gil (right) led by example.
“If you’re looking for trouble, then you’ve come to the right place. Nobody had a better sense of humor than these two young ladies.
During the offseason of World Rugby competition, Nana, Abbey and Latasha needed to stay in top shape and do some cross/training. They decided that working out at the Chula Vista Boxing Club would be ideal and it was.
One never knew what to expect or who would be in attendance when the Chula Vista Boxing Club opened up its doors …not quite Ali vs Frazier but close.
Five-year-old, El Mechas, with a little help from his Mom, made this smart looking boxing outfit to showcase his support for his beloved gym.
This young lady became the youngest ever to receive the distinction of “Boxer of the Month”
Are you sure you want to spar Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui? After all, this man has a record of 29-4, with 24 KOs and is a former World Middleweight and Super Middleweight Champ who has faced some of the toughest people in all the world from Matvey Korobov to Julius Jackson, from Andre Dirrell to Caleb Plant. “He doesn’t look that tough?” In the end, it was Coach Tony doing the majority of the sparring with the 29-year-old, 6’2″ tall Venezuelan.
As they say, “Back in the day…
Tony Mendivil: “Bottom line is, I enjoyed this incredible experience and the young people I got to know, appreciate and help. The words… I can never fully express.”

Epilogue to the now defunct CVB gym

The Chula Vista Boxing Club’s final day has now come and gone. Friends and family came early morning on Saturday, August 15, 2020 to help plow through the chores of dismantling the 24 foot ring, gently remove the memorabilia, heavy bags, wall mirrors with the majority of the contents being transported to a dear friend’s large backyard in hopes that someday this friend will be able to build his own gym. On that final day, several random photos were taken of the workers dripping with sweat and hustling to complete this project of huge proportions.

Early morning, the task of removing all these fixtures, mirrors, memorabilia and breaking down a 24′ permanent ring must have seemed like an insurmountable task. Not at all for these seven burly mates, consisting of chums and relatives who wasted no time, held their focus and kept plugging away until everything had been detached and set on the various trucks.
“Gently as I go, one memorable Boxing Poster after another.”
The three banners on high in the center of the gym.
One of the lasting memories will be the posters on the back of the front door.
As they say, a picture can say a thousand words – relay a ton of memories.
As a photographer you never want to interrupt men at work but in my defense this was the removal of the final board of a rock solid ring which had serviced this gym for many years.
Even as sunset approached, there were still three plus hours of work to do.
It was just about 10:30 p.m. when this charming couple finally got an opportunity to turn out the lights for the final time. Now what on earth to do with all our free time?????
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