First Annual LATV World Class Boxing Awards

Monday evening, December 19, 2016, at La Capital Bar & Grill in Tijuana, all of the above, announcer Pablo Flores, Tania Enriquez, four male boxers, four trainers and two promoters were honored for their outstanding achievements in support of the 2016 LATV Boxing Shows. All photos: Jim Wyatt

On Monday night, PAP Sports hosted the First Annual LATV Network World Class Boxing Awards. The awards ceremony, hosted by multiple Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Fernando Paramo, took place at the popular La Capital Bar & Grill on Zona Rio in Tijuana. The event, sponsored by Lucas Oil Products, Inc. was recorded to be broadcast via the LATV Network on Friday, December 30th and then rebroadcast on Friday, January 6, 2017.


The boxers, coaches, and gyms that were honored were chosen based on their participation in the 2016 LATV Network National broadcasts which originate from both Tijuana and Ciudad Obregon, Mexico. The selections were based not only on the boxers’ performance but their entertainment value.

First up, a coaching award was presented to trainer Rudolfo Carrillo, the trainer of a team of boxers from Camalu, B. C., Mexico which included the Comeback Boxer of the Year: Mario Alberto “Guero” Ramirez.

The next presentation was to welterweight Mario “Guero” Ramirez (3-1, 1 KO) the Comeback Boxer of the Year. To his right is Hector Morales the representative from Lucas Oil and his grandson Manuel Martinez.

After Ramirez lost a close split decision to Armando Tovar of San Diego in his debut, he almost immediately returned to the ring to win his next three bouts to become a hometown idol. As part of Lucas Oil Products’ ongoing commitment to the development of boxing, several gyms, which included Carrillo’s Camalu Youth Boxing Program plus the Maykito Martinez Gym of Tijuana, will receive boxing equipment courtesy of Lucas Oil. 

Fight of the year was the Hernán “Tyson” Márquez battle against David Reyes at the Palenque de la Expo in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.

(l to r) Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, David “Zamorita” Reyes. With a 12 bout fight card and a packed-house featuring Marquez (40-7-1, 29 KOs) from Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, the ex-WBA World Flyweight Champion with his record of 3-1 in World Title fights, faced the hot prospect and hometown favorite David “Zamorita” Reyes from Ciudad Obregon. The high expectations for a memorable bout, an all or nothing battle royale, were high and the two men delivered. Click on the arrow below and you’ll see the closing round which is currently a favorite on YouTube.

Boxer or boxers who made the most progress in 2016: Edgar Valadez (3-0, 3 KOs) and Ricardo Valdovinos (3-0, 2 KOs). These bosom buddies have benefitted big time from training and sparring each other, either at Mondo’s Boxing Gym in Spring Valley or the Bomber Squad Academy in El Cajon. That being said, neither boxer could make it to the awards ceremony on Monday night. How was that possible?

Ricardo Valdovinos of the Bomber Squad Academy in El Cajon, Calif. tried to make it to the awards ceremony but just couldn’t.

Early Friday morning at 5:58 a.m., Edgar Valadez’s better half, Jasmine, was giving birth to an adorable seven-pound baby boy, Edgar Yaziel Valadez, and Edgar Sr. was right there by her side. It’s obvious from the photo below that the Valadez family’s thoughts were elsewhere. Monday, December 19, 2016, professional boxer Edgar Valadez is seen looking down at his newborn son at the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center/Kaiser Foundation Hospital on Zion Avenue off Mission Gorge Road in Mission Valley. His message: THANK YOU ??LORD FOR MY BEAUTIFUL SON, MY EARLY CHRISTMAS GIFT ??? I FEEL SO BLESSED. I’M SO HAPPY TO FINALLY HAVE YOU IN MY ARMS, WELCOME EDGAR YAZIEL VALADEZ.”

Also on Monday morning, LATV’s selection for Top Prospect of the year: Kevin “KO” Ottley of San Diego by way of Baltimore, Maryland was just returning from Las Vegas, where he had been featured Saturday night on a CBS-TV telecast of a six rounder with top prospect Jeremy “J Flash” Nichols (7-0). After only three bouts under the Borizteca Boxing Promotions banner, Ottley felt he was ready for this fight and being a boxer with tremendous fortitude and confidence, he never hesitated.

On Saturday evening, Kevin “KO” Ottley of San Diego, Calif. was battling hometown favorite Jeremy “J Flash” Nichols of Las Vegas at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center. The bout ended up being scored a six round draw.

(top) After being on TV, it seemed everyone wanted a photo with Kevin Ottley to include sportscaster Fernando Paramo and Hector Morales from Lucas Oil. (below, left) Borizteca Boxing Promotions CEO Saul Rios, Ottley, well-known trainer Vince Parra and co-promoter Lou Messina. (right) Kevin Ottley poses for yet another photo with the show’s host Fernando Paramo.

Round of the year: Round one of the dramatic Roberto Meza vs. Alfonso Sandoval bout of July 15, 2016, in which Meza suffered a flash knockdown, then recovered and ended up winning the match. Sandoval hails from Mexicali, Mexico. The 20-year-old Meza, 5-0, 3 KOs lives in Vista, Calif.

Roberto “Ram” Meza had quite a year despite the meddling of troublemakers Rocky and Ali who tore up the family’s backyard gym. Selected Best pound for pound fighter, the 20-year-old from Temecula, Calif. went 5-0 in 2016 with 3 of his fights televised via the World Class Boxing Series.

(l to r) Local favorites Robert “Ram” Meza and Kevin “KO” Ottley.

Fight of the year was the Jorge “El Bandido” Escalante (San Diego) vs. Jorge Guillen (San Luis, Rio Colorado, Baja California) bout featuring Escalante’s come from behind 4th round knockout.

Jorge “El Bandido” Escalante of San Diego (right) unloads this all or nothing knockout blow to the side of Jorge Guillen’s head and down he went.

Fighter of the year: Armando Tovar (5-1, 4 KOs) from the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif. is joined by his coaches, Carlos Barragan Sr. (right) and Jr. (left) plus Cutman 4 Hire Juan Ramirez. A crowd pleaser, Tovar has a record five appearances in the World Class Boxing Series.

Knockout of the year: 21-year-old Hector Valdez (7-0, 6 KOs) from Dallas, Texas knocked out Horacio Perez Gomez of Tijuana (0-2) at the 1:20 mark of round one in their July bout.

(top) Hector Valdez’s trainer Vince Parra and manager Arnie Verbeek join the victorious Hector Valdez after his KO victory over Horacio Perez Gomez. (bottom) With Hector Valdez living in Dallas, Texas, his trainer Vince Parra came to Tijuana to accept his award for Knockout of the Year.

Upset of the year: had to be the Saul “Bebe” Hernandez (7-9-1) victory over Isaac Zarate (12-1-2). Prior to this split decision victory, the underrated Hernandez from Tijuana had several wars in Mexico and the United States, but had just one victory in his last six fights. It had been four years and two months since Zarate from San Pedro, Calif. had lost a match. Plus, in 2014, Zarate had won the vacant NABF Junior super bantamweight title.

Female Fighter of the year: On occasion, World Class Boxing events have included the women. The Women’s Boxing designate as Fighter of the Year is Tania “La Chula” Enriquez (10-0) from Tijuana who first defeated Carol Castro by a unanimous decision in July and two months later followed-up won a unanimous decision victory over Selene Lopez in their 8 rounder.

In this photo, we see Tania Enriquez with her manager, confidant.

Ring Announcer of the year: Pablo Flores (l), shown here shaking the hand of Hector Morales from Lucas Oil, is currently considered Mexico’s top Ring Announcer and also appears in many Golden Boy Promotion shows in the United States. He is fluent in several languages and is a crowd favorite.

Ring announcer extraordinaire Pablo Cortez is joined by his father (l) and trainer of Champions Carlos Barragan Jr. from the House of Boxing (r).

Carlos Barragan Jr., Armando Tovar’s trainer, accepted Tovar’s “Boxer of the Year” award plus the award established for the most active gyms that assist the promoters of the LATV Boxing telecasts.

Promoter of the year: the Borizteca Boxing Management Group aka Borizteca Boxing Promotions got the nod. In 2016, their shows attracted international competition plus high profile fighters. They’re currently considered the fastest growing promotional company on the West Coast. Both CEO Saul Rios and Director of Operations Lou Messina spoke of their intent to keep pushing forward to get even better just like the fighters.

Ring Card Girl of the year: Bianca Soto. In addition to Ring Card duties, Ms. Soto works as a model for several brands in Tijuana and the general Baja California area.

To the left of the victorious Adrian Gutierrez, we see the lovely Bianca Soto.

In addition to the boxers and gyms above, recognition was also given to the following gyms: 1) the House of Boxing Training Center (Paradise Hills, Calif.), Mondo’s Boxing Club (Spring Valley, Calif.) and the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy of El Cajon, Calif. These boxing clubs consistently provide top-notch young boxers for the Tijuana shows.

Our critique of La Capital Bar & Grill: All said and done the boxers, media and coaches enjoyed themselves. The servers were warm and fuzzy. The building has an upstairs and downstairs. It’s close to the border. The music videos entertain and soothe, rather than blast your senses. The horsd’oeuvres, appetizers, were delicious and Antonio Vasquez, the general manager, made it all happen.

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