First of many shows at House of Boxing a huge success

Genaro Gamez of Ocean’s Boxing Club is congratulated by his father/coach Luis Gamez (r) and fellow coach Luis Lorenzo (l) after his big win at the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills on Saturday, November 19, 2011. All photos: Jim Wyatt

To quote the Barragan family, “Mission accomplished! Saturday’s boxing show “Rumble on Reo” was a huge success.” The brand new San Diego boxing gym, showcasing its first USA Amateur Boxing Show since opening their doors, was jam packed, the boxing was outstanding and the concession stand was hopping. And when you have Carlos Barragan Jr. as your Master of Ceremonies, you know things are going to run smoothly and they did.


Bout #1 winner Brandon Lee (L) has his arm raised in victory by referee Will White after defeating Lazaro Lorenzana (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #1 featured Brandon Lee from Coachella Valley Boxing Club going up against Lazaro Lorenzana of Gladiators School of Boxing in Spring Valley. Lee, the more experienced of the two used his leverage to land the heavier blows and consequently notched himself an eight count to insure the win.

Bout #2 winner Genaro Gamez (L) is joined by his father/coach, Luis Gamez (r) and fellow coach Luis Lorenzo after his RSB (Referee Stops the Bout) victory over Joseph Rios. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 featured Genaro Gamez of Ocean’s Boxing Club going up against Joseph Rios of Real Deal. Rios has the skills but he’s admittedly a slow starter. Gamez is the impatient type who doesn’t like waiting around for slackers.

After Gamez managed to land two solid left hooks, the referee called for a stoppage to issue an eight count. Moments later, Gamez was on him again and the referee quickly stepped in to issue a second eight count.

Once you have two eight counts issued against you in the same round, you can’t take any chances because the third means the referee will automatically end the bout when a third is issued. Gamez knew this, and went all out to smother his opponent. The referee may have been somewhat quick on the draw but it was his intent to protect the boxer.

Bout #3 winner, Carlos Geraldo (L) of the House of Boxing and Cesar Lopez (R) of Real Deal Boxing of Hemet, CA, along with referee Will White await the announcement of who won Bout #3. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #3 featured Carlos Geraldo of the host gym, House of Boxing, San Diego, going up against Cesar Lopez of Real Deal Boxing of Hemet, CA.

This one got off to a rocky start after an eight count was issued for a loud sounding slap on the head gear. Fortunately, the momentary distraction did not affect the rest of the match which was a barn burner. Geraldo, who is lightning quick, had an unusually tough time with Lopez who did a did great job of trading blows.

In the end, it was Geraldo’s accuracy that proved the difference. They may have been matching each other in number of punches thrown, but Geraldo’s were the ones landing at a higher percentage.

With their reputation, everyone had their eyes glued to the bout between Jorge Porras (l) of Porras Boxing, Fallbrook and Jose Vigil (r) of North County Boxing. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #4 winner Jose Vigil (L) and Jorge Porras (R) have their arms raised by referee Rick Ley after their entertaining bout. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #4 featured two pros, Jose Vigil of North County Boxing and Jorge Porras of Porras Boxing of Fallbrook, CA. What made this match-up so good, so tough, was the fact these gents are both brawlers and every time they step into the ring they have identical game plans – move forward and bang away.

The difference maker in the first round had to be the three times Vigil caught Porras flush.

Round #2 was evenly contested but to split hairs you’d have to say Vigil had more power behind his punches.

The third round was an all out war and I dare anyone to say who won that round. Neither boxer would let up and it went right down to the wire.

Bout #5 winner, Miguel Andrade (L) receives his trophy from referee Rick Ley after defeating Marcos Rios (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured Miguel Andrade of Barrio Station going up against Marcos Rios of the National City CYAC.

This bout featured two odd occurrences. First, an eight count was issued to the wrong boxer. In a heated exchange, Rios caught Andrade with a blow flush that snapped his head back, a real crowd pleaser. In all the confusion, the referee stopped the action and began issuing Rios an eight count. Andrade was surprised, Rios objected and onlookers were dumbfounded.

For whatever reason, that mishap set in motion a downhill spiral for Rios. His confidence and his energy began to dissipate. Soon after a powerful left hook, seconds before the bell sounded to end round #2, bloodied his nose and may have cemented his fate.

By the third round, Andrade was clearly in control.

After their grueling match in Bout #6, referee Rick Ley raises the arm of the victorious Stephanie Salavatiera (C). To her left stands Paul “the Ultimate” Vaden, the former light middleweight Champion of the World who was there to present the winning trophy. To the referee’s right is the challenger, Gabriela Romero. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #6 featured a rematch between Stephanie Salavatiera of Cital Boxing and Gabriela Romero of Team Unified. In their first match many thought Romero had won. As a matter of fact this match-up kind of reminds of the Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy with it’s duel of the lefty versus righty .

In this one, Salavatiera was concerned about staying on the outside and keeping Romero at a distance. While Romero continued to press forward with her left jab and occasionally land the menacing straight right.

It’s possible that Round #1 was a toss up as both boxers showed marked improvement over their first match. It would be difficult to say conclusively who won Round #1.

In Round #2, Romero came on like gangbusters and landed her left hand at will. After landing two consecutive hooks, the referee stopped the bout to issue Salavatiera an eight count.

A short while later, the referee was back issuing Salavatiera a second eight count. The way Romero was chasing after Salavatiera, and continually popping her in the face with the left hand, it appeared a stoppage was imminent.

Showing amazing fortitude, Salavatiera managed to survive Round #2. In Round #3 with the exchanges pretty even, it appeared neither had enough oomph to finish off their opponent. After Romero made one last push and ran out of gas, Salavatiera ended the bout with an impressive right to the side of Romero’s head.

Once again, the majority of the people felt Romero had won. They just couldn’t understand the scores and brought up the fact that Romero had come so close to knocking her out, so close to getting that third straight eight count, how was this possible. Even with all the loud cheers for Salavatiera, you could still hear the boos of frustration from the Romero faithful.

Out of a sense of fairness and for the simple reason the two boxers bring out the best in each other, there has already been talk about a third bout.

Bout #7 winner Homer Palomino (L), referee Will White (C) and the challenger Tyler Herberger (R) await the judges’ decision. In the background is the award’s presenter, Mercito Gesta, a top contender in the lightweight division and current WBO NABO Youth lightweight title holder. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 featured Homero Palomino of Gutierrez Boxing going up against Tyler Herberger of Old School Boxing. Since both are very skilled boxers, this matchup was a treat to watch. For someone so young, Palomino is just 15, he has traveled extensively and won several National Tournaments.

The edge in this bout came from Palomino’s accuracy and use of lightning fast combinations that came from so many angles.

While awaiting the judges’ decision for Bout #8, Luis Enriquez (L), the eventual winner, and Daniel Villagran (R) pose for a photo. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In Bout #8, Daniel Villagran of Old School Boxing was making his debut against the more seasoned Luis “Angel” Enriquez. 

Enriquez, not only had an experience and height advantage, he’s also a southpaw with a tremendous reach. Throughout the match, Enriquez scored at will and often teed off on his opponent.

That being said, Villagran did exceptionally well for someone making their amateur debut.

After having his arm raised in victory by referee Will White (c) Israel Caballero (l) celebrates his win in over the tough Corey Snyder (r) in Bout #9. Photo: J. Wyatt

Bout #9 had Israel Caballero of Gladiators School of Boxing in Spring Valley going up against Corey Snyder of Cital Boxing and Nutrition of La Mesa.

Since the two have faced each other before, this was a sort of grudge match and things got rather ornery in a hurry. Overall, you could say the exchanges in the first round were pretty even. Snyder was issued an eight count in the second round. The third round went to Caballero who landed the cleaner shots to the head.

Bout #10 winner David Rodriguez (R) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley after his defeat of Jose Vasquez (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt




Bout #10 featured Jose Vasquez of the Gutierrez Boxing Gym going up against David Rodriguez of the House of Boxing. Note well: Over the past two years, Rodriguez, a San Diego Police Officer, has won the heavyweight championship at the annual Battle of the Badges show which is held at the Barona Casino.

In regards to expectations, you just knew things were about to explode and in a hurry. Unlike the lollygagging you see in most professional heavyweight bouts, these gentlemen went right to work. Since Vasquez was the busier fighter in the first stanza, you got to figure he took Round #1.

By Round #2, it became clear what Rodriguez had planned. Early on, he likes to patiently pound away at your midsection. Then, as soon as he saw Vasquez’s hands started to drop, he began to vary his attack, sometimes going to the stomach and other times going to the head.

By Round #3, it was clear who was in better shape – Rodriguez, and who was the beaten man – Vasquez.

Bout #11 winner Hoslop Kekoa (L) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley after defeating Nazario Hernandez (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #11 featured Hoslop Kekoa of LA Boxing going up against Nazario Rodriguez of House of Boxing who was making his amateur debut after training for just two months.

Surprisingly, Rodriguez took Round #1 by being more active and landing the cleaner shots. That advantage disappeared in the second round as Kekoa, who has been training for several years, took complete control of the bout.

By Round #3, the frustration had set in and Rodriguez began to hold back. While waiting to counter, the final three minutes disappeared from the timekeeper’s clock.

Bout #12 winner Melvin Rodriguez (R) of the U.S. Marine Corps boxing team has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley after his defeat of Terrence Edwards (L) a member of the U. S. Navy. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #12 featured a battle between the Navy and Marine Corps. Terrence Edwards from Old School Boxing is in the Navy and Melvin Rodriguez is a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton.

With Round #1 being a get-to-know-you round, Rodriguez saw his opportunity to steal the round in the final seconds and that’s just what he did. Rodriguez then took the hotly contested Round #2, scoring with several combinations.

In Round #3, after Edwards was issued an eight count, the bout turned into a real donnybrook with both men throwing punches at a record pace. Regardless of how Edwards faired in the closing minutes, Rodriguez had already done enough to get the nod.

You could see there was a major size difference when 8 year-old Xavion Douglas (L) and USA Boxing official Hondo Fontan (R) stood next to each other. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After defeating Xavion Douglas in Bout #13, Jonathan Rodriguez of Ocean’s Boxing Club had his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontan. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #13 featured eight year-old Xavion Douglas, of Rhino’s Boxing in Vista, CA still looking for his first win, going up against Jonathan Rodriguez of Ocean’s Boxing. You have to admire Douglas’ resolve as he keeps coming back for more. This had to be his fourth bout and each time his opponents have been taller and more experienced.

As in the past, Douglas gave it his all but the accumulation of blows from the taller Rodriguez was too much to overcome. Each round began the same way with the determined Douglas on the attack and throwing punches as best he could.

Bout #14 winner Jose Chollet (L) has his arm raised by referee Will White after defeating Jesus Laguna (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #14 featured Jose Chollet of Barrio Station going up against Jesus Laguna of the National City CYAC. The difference in this one was the wild looping attempts by Laguna in comparison to the much steadier, harder, straight punches of Chollet that netted him two 8-counts.

Chollet took both Rounds #1 and #2, while the never say die Laguna may have taken Round #3.







After feeling the wrath of one of Raul Meza’s punches, a hard left hook, Chris Shay (L) gets an assist from referee Will White. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #15 winner Raul Meza (L) has his arm raised in victory by referee Will White after his defeat of Chris Shay (R).   Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #15 featured Raul Meza of the Alliance Training Center and Chris Shay (Unattached) two gentlemen who were making their amateur debuts after only being in the gym for about four months. USA officials classify this group or bracket as “Novices.”

As the two men circled each other, you could sense something bad might happen and it did. Meza caught Shay flush. Sensing he was in trouble, Shay took a knee.

After a brief respite, Shay was up and again circling his opponent. This time, Shay got hit by a crashing left hook that not only buckled his knees but may have broken his nose. The referee immediately halted the action and sought medical attention from the attending physician.

Bout #16 winner Julian King (R) and his opponent Carlos Garcia (L) await the judges’ announcement. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After seeing what happened to Shay, the gents in the following bout, also novices, must have had second thoughts about how they were going to approach their debut. Bout #16 featured Julian King of the Gladiators School of Boxing in Spring Valley going up against Carlos Garcia (Unattached) who was assisted by members of the Porras Gym of Fallbrook, CA.

In this one, King spent the majority of his time circling, using his stiff jab, countering and on a rare occasion throwing a two punch combination. His opponent, Garcia, was nonstop in his pursuit of King. The problem for Garcia was landing a punch on the more elusive King. In the King was awarded the close decision.

After their grueling battle in Bout #17, Jesus Toro of the U. S. Marine Corps (L) and Bruce Ntwari (the eventual winner) pose for a photo while awaiting the scores.

Bout #17, the final bout of the day, featured Jesus Toro of the Marine Corps Boxing Team going up against Bruce Ntwari of Cital Boxing and Nutrition.

Both boxers have been training for over a year and both have been getting better and better. In past matches, Ntwari had always run out of gas just as he entered the final round. This time out he looked fresh and continued with his strategy of staying on the outside and landing the jab with an occasional combination.

Not to belittle Toro’s performance, but Ntwari was like a sharpshooter from the outside and caught Toro several times with some great shots, one, a beautiful uppercut, had the crowd oohing and aahing. While being man-handled in the third and final round, Ntwari caught the aggressive Marine with a solid left. Both boxers left it all in the ring.

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