From beauty came fury, lady pugilists take the stage at Las Pulgas

Surely, one of the most exciting bouts at Las Pulgas Night Club on Thursday evening had to be the match-up between Sandra Robles (L) versus Kealani Vanderleest (R) won by Robles after four hard fought rounds. Photo: J. Wyatt

Mayen Promotions is at it again. On Thursday evening, the Tijuana based promoter, Guillermo “Memo” Mayen put on another very entertaining show for local boxing fans at Las Pulgas night club in Tijuana. “Se Viste de Rosa” translation “They wore Pink,” had an all female cast from the fight card to the fight doctor, from the corner help to the officials, all were under the watchful eye of the 1st female champion ever crowned by the WBC, the lovely Jackie “Aztec Princess” Nava. Nava filled in as honorary boxing commissioner.


Mayen Promotions designated a portion of last night’s proceeds to go to a local Women’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help them in their fight against breast cancer.

In the rear of the Las Pulgas Concert Hall, Sandra Robles (R) of Tijuana waits with her coach, Ray Solis, for the announcement of her scheduled fight against Kealani Vanderleeest on Thursday evening, October 25, 2012. Photo: Jim Wyatt

A short distance ahead of Sandra Robles is Kealani Vanderleest alongside her two coaches, Eric Hoover (R) and Doug Dickey (L) as they await her introduction. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #1 had 27 year-old Kealani Vanderleest of San Diego, a college graduate who in August fought for a World Muay Thai Championship going up against 18 year-old Sandra Robles of Tijuana, one of the best female Amateur boxers in the state, a gal with over 60 bouts, her opponent had eight. Both were ready to embark on a professional boxing career. Despite their age difference, it was Robles who had an overwhelming advantage as far as the much needed experience in the ring.

From the opening bell, the young ladies clashed and went nonstop delivering their arsenals. Since both are southpaws, they weren’t used to being hit by the left hand and it showed. Both took some terrific blows but it was Robles who was getting the full extension.

Even though Vanderleest continued to press forward, she was getting the worst of most exchanges. The way Vanderleest walked through punches, Robles must have thought she was fighting a machine.

When Robles slowed in Round three, Vanderleest took full advantage. Back to attack mode, she had Robles fighting while backing up. If she could take round four, she might have a shot at a draw.

That scenario turned out to be a pipe dream because Robles returned to her earlier form which meant getting off first and landing the cleaner shots. One, clean, head snapping left hook punctuated her final round rally to insure victory with scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37.

Bout #2 between Mayra Manzo of El Monte, CA and Silvia Zuniga of Mexicali, B. C., Mexico was cancelled.

Back in the dressing room, pre-fight, Abigail Castaneda (C) poses for a photo with her friend (L) and trainer Jesse Ochoa (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Before her fight with Abigail Castaneda, Angelica “Maravilla” Dominguez has her hands wrapped by a professional. Photo: Jim Wyatt

While referee Elizabeth Burciago looks on, the confident Abigail Castaneda (C) flings a left hook in the direction of the eventual winner, Angelica Dominguez. Photo: J. Wyatt

It took a lot of hard work but Angelica “Maravilla” Dominguez gets her first victory as a professional boxer. After the win was announced, referee Elizabeth Burciago (R) holds up Dominguez’s arm as well wishers celebrate her victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Angelica “Maravilla” Dominguez of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, got her first win while handing Torrance, California’s Abigail Castañeda her first loss. How it happened is still uncertain.

In the first round, both fighters threw a lot of leather with the majority of punches coming from Castañeda. While the punches thrown by Dominquez were more like slaps, Castaneda’s punches were clean and more numerous. Round #2  was more of the same.

Things changed radically in Round #3 after Castañeda got careless – some might say a bit cocky. Dominquez got up from her stool determined as ever. She immediately started delivering these wild right-left, right-left, right-left combinations to Castañeda’s midsection. Further on, two punches in particular got Castañeda’s attention – an uppercut and a clubbing to the back of her head. After that shot to the head, Castañeda’s knee hit the canvas.

At that point, referee Elizabeth Burciago ignored Castañeda’s plea that she had been hit illegally in the back of the head and ruled that Castañeda had been knocked down which would undoubtedly give Dominquez a 10-8 round to pull her even in the contest.

In the fourth and final round, both Castañeda and the much taller Dominguez traded blows with neither boxer distinguishing themselves.

In the end, the scores were baffling. Both Judge Jovanna Godoy and Jocelyn Ortiz gave every round to Dominquez with scores of 40-36 while Judge Brenda Lopez scored the bout 39-38 for Dominguez which would make more sense and consistent with the referee’s ruling of a knockdown which was confirmed after the last bout.

Before her fight against Brenda Flores, two of Paloma Lopez’s dearest friends visit with her in the rear of Salon Las Pulgas on Thursday evening, October 25, 2012 in downtown Tijuana. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Prior to her match with Paloma Lopez, Brenda Flores (R) poses for a photo with a fellow boxer from her gym in Tijuana. Photo: Jim Wyatt

At the conclusion of Bout #4, referee Elizabeth Burciago (C) raises the arm of Brenda Flores (R) in victory after she defeated Paloma Lopez (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4 featured two bantamweights making their pro debut Brenda Flores of Tijuana and Paloma Lopez of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora. Flores biggest mistake occurred the day earlier when she failed to get her hair tightened down. Lopez took care of matters days before when she had her hair put in cornrows. In both rounds three and four, Flores battled not only Lopez but the hair dropping down in her face.

Early on, Flores did much better and proved to be more elusive. She kept darting in and out to land her sharp jabs or an occasional solid right. Lopez was more of a plodder and kept trying to get inside to land her right crosses and straight lefts. Though quite accurate at times, she soon fell behind on the punch count in this very close contest. With their lack of activity in Round #4, the final round should have been ruled dead even.

In the end, judges Brenda Lopez and Jovanna Godoy scored the bout 39-37 for Flores while Jocelyn Ortiz scored it 39-37 for Lopez for a split decision.

(left) After the defeat of Carol Castro by Kenia Enriquez, Castro is seen attempting to leave the ring posthaste. When her corner people noticed she was having some difficulty, they rushed to assist her. After Enriguez won her third straight match, people are starting to take notice of this upcoming sensation who is still in high school. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The judge and jury at Las Pulgas Night Club were all women on Thursday evening, October 25, 2012 led by boxing great Jackie Nava (Center). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured the hard hitting and very popular Tijuana high school senior Kenia Enriquez (2-0, 1 KO) returning to the ring to face Carol Castro from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico (1-1, 1 KO).

After the feeling out round, Enriquez had loosened up and had her sites set for the heavy artillery. Relentless, Enriquez began round two by backing Castro up and then landing several hard shots to the head. Tough as nails, Castro remained on her feet but appeared to be glassy-eyed when referee Burciaga called time. She then stepped in front of Castro to ask her a few questions. At that time, she determined Castro was indeed having trouble and called a halt to the action.

As soon as Burciaga said that was it, Castro turned an about face and headed through the ropes. Several concerned people rushed over fearing she would fall off the apron and it did appear that was likely.

Jolene Blackshear ko’s Lili Barajas, broken nose and all. The members of her coaching staff are pumped big time and see Blackshear giving it another shot at the title. Photo: Jim Wyatt


In her first fight back in three years and 10 days, forty-two year old light flyweight Jolene Blackshear of San Diego, CA, wasted little time and broke Lili Barajas’ nose. It took all of 1:33 of the first round for the senior Blackshear to find pay dirt.

Nothing could prepare Barajas for this night. More than likely, Barajas’ coach/manager advised her that there would be a lot of rust. There was none.

As alluded to, back in 1997 and ‘98, Blackshear was an IFBA Light Flyweight & Flyweight Title holder. That was 14 and 15 years ago. Three years and 10 days ago, she was in a South Korean ring fighting for the IFBA International Female Boxers Association Minimumweight Title.

It was a rough and unexpected outing against Jolene Blackshear for the formerly undefeated Lili Barajas of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Light Flyweight Jocelyn “La Princesa” Arroyo has her arm raised by Tijuana boxing hero Jackie Nava after she defeated Yadira Trejo (Right side, right panel) on Thursday evening at Salon Las Pulgas in Tijuana’s downtown. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Participating in the 10 round Main Event for the vacant NABF female flyweight title were Joselyn “La Princesa” Arroyo (10-0, 3 KOs) and Yadira Trejo (3-0).

At the tender age of 18, Arroyo of Guadalajara showed a lot of savvy as she circled on the outside of her shorter, stockier opponent. At first you would assume it was just a matter of time before Trejo, the gal with the heavier hands, would corner the slender Arroyo and pound her into submission.

Oh, contra-ire! On each attempt to advance, Arroyo was right there to close the door in her face with either the stiffest of jabs or an occasional one-two combination. As it turns out, it was Arroyo that had the dynamite in her fists.

By being wide and off the mark, Trejo, from Tlalnepantla, Mexico, left herself open. It was at 0:33 of the second round that “La Princesa” caught Trejo good, connecting with a solid right to the body to drop her. Trejo, who went down on one knee, was able to get back up but referee Elizabeth Burciaga thought she had seen more than enough of Orroyo’s lightning fast punches and stopped the fight.

Not to be outdone by Mayen Promotions, Oceans promotions, Quinones Promociones, the promoters of Saturday night’s Boxing Show in Tecate, “Noches de Invictos” have added a special attraction. During their regular intermission on Saturday evening, they’re planning to invite wives in their audience to come up into the ring to fight any of the husbands in the crowd who they have reason to believe are cheating. The men have to fight with both hands tied behind their backs while the ladies get to load up their hand wraps with most anything.

Remember, be good, because women rule. 

Share This Post

Pin It on Pinterest