“Friday Night Fights” featured fireworks to kick off the long 4th of July Holiday Weekend

Aside from the host gym, Nevarez Boxing & Fitness of Vista had the largest fan base in attendance for the latest edition of Bound Boxing Academy’s Friday Night Fights.

When top Amateurs, most likely short timers before turning Pro, are featured on a local USA Amateur Boxing Card, aspiring boxers plus local boxing fans are drawn in big numbers to see them perform. On Friday evening, June 30th, the Bound Boxing Academy of Chula Vista, Calif. had the privilege of hosting two of these high-level match-ups.


First up, in Bout #2, they featured 21-year-old southpaw Austin Brooks (131 lbs.) from City Boxing, Downtown San Diego taking on 18-year-old righty Brandon Cruz (132 lbs.) from the host gym, the Bound Boxing Academy. From the opening bell, both of these gentlemen were prepared to throw caution to the wind. It was my hand speed is superior to your hand speed and you can’t possibly handle my firepower which will soon have you on your back. Realizing the severity of the punches being thrown, veteran referee Will White was on his toes and did not hesitate to interrupt the action to issue a standing 8-count. With both of these lightweights getting their bell rung, the multiple stoppages came and went right up until the final bell. 

Both Austin Brooks (red headgear) and Brandon Cruz (blue headgear) had their moments and both had to be issued standing 8-counts by referee Will White.

Veteran referee Will White’s highest priority, at all cost keep both of these athletes safe.

Just when you thought Austin Brooks (red headgear) was in the driver’s seat, back came Brandon Cruz (blue headgear) with a straight right or right cross to surprise Brooks. You can ask anyone, this was a very, very entertaining match to watch and definitely worth the price of admission (a whole $10) and then some. On this night, it was Mr. Brooks who eventually took the commanding lead in power shots delivered.

At the conclusion of Bout #2, the victorious Austin Brooks (c) from City Boxing was joined by his proud coach Vernon Lee and two buddies/sparring partners Aerance Velasquez (l) and Kyle Olson (r).

In the second battle-royale, Bout #7, the Promoter featured two more veterans, 20-year-old Kyle Erwin (142 lbs.) from the Nevarez Boxing & Training Center, Vista, Calif. and 18-year-old Lazaro Lorenzana (148 lbs.) from The Arena in Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. Both of these young men have delivered in National competitions. On Friday night, instead of head-hunting, both boxers were content to do more close-in body work and so the difference maker turned out to be Erwin’s hand speed, harder shots to the midsection, plus his defense. Erwin kept doing this elusive bobbing and weaving. It was good enough to secure the unanimous decision victory.     

From the opening salvos, you just knew Bout #7 between the veteran Kyle Erwin (red gloves) of Nevarez Boxing and Lázaro Francisco Lorenzana (blue gloves) from The Arena was going to be a classic. Lorenzana had recently brought home a Gold Medal from the World Boxing Council’s new “Green Belt Challenge,” and Erwin has always been a terror on the locally.

How low can he go? After ducking under one of Lazaro Lorenzana’s powerful left uppercuts, Erwin came right back with a powerful short left hook.

(top, right) Erwin and Lorenzana look over at each other as if to say, ‘Much respect, that was a war.’ (bottom, right) In the end, it was Kyle Erwin having his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontane. On hand to present the coveted belt was another local standout, Jason Meza (left) from The Arena.

To the victor goes the spoils. Here we have the victorious Kyle Erwin having his photo taken with his proud coach Bernie Nevarez.

The remainder of the fight card:

Bout #1 had 11-year-old Danny Hernandez (79 lbs.) from the San Diego Athletic Association, going up against 10-year-old Alejandro Leyva (83 lbs.) from Nevarez Boxing, Vista. With there being an unusual amount of wrestling and clinching going on, referee Will White deemed it necessary to issue Leyva a warning. In the end, it was Hernandez who landed more of the cleaner punches to come away with this close victory.

(bottom right) Danny Hernandez from the San Diego Athletic Academy has his arm raised in victory after defeating Alejandro Leyva (l) from the Nevarez Boxing Gym.

After his win, Danny Hernandez had this quality photo taken by Victor Morales.

Like with the boxers, the competition between photographers can be heated as well. Here are the SportofBoxing.com entries in the best photo of the day contest: we offer a snapshot of two winning boxers plus this lovely young lady who just happens to be a personal friend of Minnie Mouse.

In Bout #3, it was 22-year-old Cesar Loeza (165 lbs., red gloves) from the Alliance Training Center in San Diego’s downtown taking on 25-year-old Maath SulaimanMax” Mashaleh (161 lbs., blue gloves) from The Arena, Point Loma. In this power struggle, Mashaleh somehow prevailed, most likely due to his edge in conditioning, plus the number of straight and more powerful punching. It’s been said that “Max” now 3-0, whose is still relatively new to the sport, runs five miles every day and always goes full-bore in his training regimens. He would have to go full bore in order to beat someone like Cesar Loeza.

(bottom, right) At the conclusion of Bout #3, Maath Sulaiman Mashaleh has his arm raised in victory by referee Hondo Fontane after defeating Cesar Loeza.

On hand to make the presentation of the winner’s belt was Eric Puente (far right). After training in Colorado Springs with the USA National Team, Eric and his mates will soon be off to Germany to represent the U. S. in international competition.

In Bout #4, it was 13-year-old Michael Figueroa (4-4, 107 lbs.) from the Backyard Boxing Gym, Oceanside, Calif. returning to the Bound Boxing Academy to take on 14-year-old Anthony Hernandez (109 lbs.) from Nevarez Boxing, Vista, Calif. As his coach, Ivan Puente pointed out, “Michael Figueroa has become very focused. It’s like he’s on this mission. His goal is to follow in my son’s footsteps.” Ivan Puente’s son, Eric Puente, is currently ranked #1 in the nation in his age and weight class and now does additional training with the USA Boxing Team. 

In Bout #4, it was ready, aim, fire for Michael Figueroa (blue gloves). With no concern for his own safety, Figueroa went right after his opponent Anthony Hernandez and as a result improved his record to 5 wins against 4 losses.

(left) As a result of several heavy blows to the head by Michael Figueroa, Anthony Hernandez is seen being issued a standing 8-count by referee Andrew Moreno.

(left) A jump for joy – once Michael Figueroa heard the announcement of his victory over Anthony Hernandez, he jumped skyward. (below right) The victorious Michael Figueroa is joined by his proud parents. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In attendance at Friday evening’s show were this father and son duo. Perhaps several of the performances will inspire/motivate this youngster to give the sport a try.

In Bout #5, 11-year-old Sammy Vences (92 lbs., 7-3) from the same Backyard Boxing Gym, was not as successful as his stablemate. Vences got ambushed by 12-year-old Fernando Lopez (89 lbs) from Nevarez Boxing, who managed to land more of the cleaner blows, especially to the head.

Euphoric about the win over the tough Sammy Vences, Fernando “Chito” Lopez (l) smiles from ear to ear. Vences shows his good sportsmanship and claps for Lopez.

Bout #6 featured two 17-year-olds, Jorge Chavez (125 lbs.) from the National City CYAC and the less experienced Romeo Burciaga from Del Rio, Texas. After the free-swinging first round, Jorge Chavez finally settled down and soon was in control from there on out. Burciaga, who is currently staying with his older brother, a Marine, stationed at Camp Pendleton, will improve with more experience. 

Photographer Victor Morales also managed to catch this early, low blow thrown by Romeo Burciaga in his battle against Jorge Chavez.

Another of the unique photos taken by photographer Victor Morales was this cross ring black and white shot in Bout #6. He has Romeo Burciaga sitting on his stool listening to his brother’s instructions while his opponent, Jorge Chavez, sits directly across from him listening to his two coaches.

With Jorge Chavez coming on strong and launching his own ferocious attack, Romeo Burciaga must have been thinking, ‘Oh no, this can’t be good,’ as referee Hondo Fontane issued him a standing 8-count.

Here we see Romeo Burciaga making one last valiant effort to launch a comeback.

In between rounds, Romeo Burciaga (l) is shown receiving last-second instructions from his old brother. Photo: Victor Morales

At the conclusion of Bout #6, we had boxer Jorge Chavez and one of his coaches Clemente Casillas, the Director of the National City CYAC facility, pose for a photo.

On the other side of the ring, National Champion Andrea Medina, in the ring to present the winning belt, posed for a photo with Romeo Burciaga.

After the announcement of his victory, referee Hondo Fontane raised the arm of the victorious Jorge Chavez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The next LBC 44 USA Amateur Boxing Show,“When Worlds Collide”, is scheduled for this coming Saturday, July 8th at The Arena at 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard in Point Loma, San Diego, Calif. This show is expected to have a great many “out of town” guests coming to San Diego to test our local talent. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the first bout is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. With The Arena coaches having so many close ties (connections) with the gyms/trainers in Norwalk, Garden Grove, Palmdale, and Riverside, Calif. plus several gyms in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday’s show should be extraordinary, a doozy.

Share This Post

Pin It on Pinterest