Heavy hitters keep working on creating the perfect Boxing Gym

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, with all the people waiting around, you would have thought the large assembly of people was waiting for Easter Sunday Mass to begin or perhaps a wedding of note. Strangely enough, the draw was the Grand Opening of the new Mayen Boxing Gym in the center of Tijuana.

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, boxing promoter Guillermo Mayen held a Grand Opening for his new Mayen Boxing Gym in Tijuana’s downtown. His former furniture store, a massive building with extremely high ceilings, more than fit the bill. It would give him space galore for anything and everything. Two days later, a dear friend, colleague, philanthropist, and founder of the SIMNSA Health Plan, Frank Carrillo, also a boxing enthusiast and former promoter, opened a new boxing facility just across the border in Chula Vista, Calif. Despite having the same goal, the two masterminds came up with strikingly different ideas for the gyms’ decor. Mayen wanting to remain old school in hopes of impressing the traditionalists went with the vintage look while his chum left the interior designing up to his daughter Christina Suggett, the CEO of his Medical Insurance firm plus an in-season Professional Football player/coach who decided to go ultra modern with bright colors so she could attract gym members who are looking for the latest and greatest, state of the art boxing equipment and training methods.

Could both enterprises end up filling an emotional, psychological or environmental need? Time will tell.

Guillermo “Memo” Mayen’s approach of keeping things at their status quo came first. On Tuesday, as the many onlookers, fact checking Press, members of the Tijuana Tourist Bureau and officials of the Tijuana Boxing Commission, walked about the large, cavernous building, they couldn’t help feeling they were stepping back in history. Surrounding the visitors with memorabilia that went back 75 years was Mayen’s plan. Making his building a cultural landmark in Tijuana, the boxing capital of the world, was step two. Covering the walls with fight posters was step three. And, with Mayen’s connections in Boxing, the greatest boxers in the world would be stopping by his gym just as they now stop by Golden Boy Promotions on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Just days after beginning his new enterprise, Mayen received the designation he desired from the WBC, the World Boxing Council, that of being recognized as the first Boxing School of its kind. The news exposed Mayen’s ultimate plan. In addition to holding training classes for the youth and having the professionals train at his gym, he is now in the planning stages of holding regular classes for trainers, referees, and judges to improve their skills on the same scale you would expect from a prestigious university of advanced learning where on completion of your studies, you would receive a degree.

Participants in The Jab Boxing Club ribbon cutting ceremony (l to r) former USBA Super featherweight champ Ruben Castillo, boxing coach Dale Soliven, gym owner Frank Carrillo, former World Featherweight Champ Danny “Little Red” Lopez, gym’s CEO Christina Suggett, former World Super Welterweight champ Paul Vaden and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman.

On Thursday, in Chula Vista, the Jab Boxing Club Grand Opening, a catered affair, was by invite only. The San Diego City Council was represented by Councilman David Alvarez from District 8. There were also several Pro Boxing celebrities, Ruben Castillo, Danny “Little Red” Lopez, Henry Tillman and Paul Vaden. The stories about the boxers who attended would take hours to relate.

You can’t miss their location on Boswell Road. Not with that big flag waving,

(l to r) Head boxing coach Dale Soliven, Super Welterweight Champion Paul Vaden, Ruben Castillo, gym owner Frank Carrillo, World Champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez and finally 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman.

(l to r) Promoter/manager Jorge Marron, new gym owner Frank Carrillo and boxing co-promoter Lou Messina of the Borizteca Boxing Management Group.

Protecting the ladies from any possible harm, or is that the other way around? Gym owner Frank Carrillo (l) and San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez (r) clench a fist while posing for photos with the other invited guests.

Local law enforcement officers present Frank Carrillo with a plaque of sincere appreciation for his support of their efforts in working with local youth.

Gym members and coaches pose for a photo after one of their workouts.

The Jab Boxing Club has their share of cherished mementos.

San Diego’s finest: In their day, the three local boxers in this collage were icons in the sport of boxing. Their photos now hang on The Jab Boxing Club’s wall.

With so many of the San Diego Surge Women’s football team members working out at The Jab Boxing Club, you know they’ll be getting a tremendous amount of support from the gym as they once again make their push for the title.

Of all the items they have been selling in their clothing line, nothing is moving faster than the popular Canelo Alvarez caps.

It was great seeing both Vaden, San Diego’s only born and raised world champion and Tillman, a member of that 1984 U. S. Olympic Boxing Team along with Evander Holyfield and Paul Gonzales who won 9 out of a possible 11 gold medals. Tillman won the gold in the heavyweight division. Here’s one of those: “Did you know?” questions for you. Tillman finished his professional career with a record of 25-6-0 with 16 knockouts and holds the distinction of being the only boxer who ever beat Mike Tyson twice. That fete occurred during the 1984 Olympic Box Offs. Four years ago, Carson, Calif. dignitaries, boxing celebrities, and other pro athletes joined Tillman for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of his Henry Tillman Championship Boxing Club.

The National Champion San Diego Surge Women’s Pro Football Team had representation at this affair. Of course, they did. Christina Suggett has been a player/coach for years plus star quarterback Melissa Gallegos has been the driving force in their four Playoff runs. The Jab also introduced attendees to several young boxers who are said to have great potential. Boxing promoters Jorge Marron from Marron Boxing Promotions and Lou Messina from the Borizteca Boxing Management Group were present but kept a low profile. Plus, we mustn’t forget the gentlemen who were the focus of this article, Guillermo Mayen, and Frank Carrillo.

As mentioned, everything in the “The Jab Boxing Club” is first class and still has that fresh as a daisy smell. Their head boxing coach Dale Soliven got his schooling first at the National City CYAC and then the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills. He honed his technique and developmental training methods by first teaching the youth, then the ladies and finally he helped offseason NFL football players such as Mike Tolbert. Les Spellman, ex-military, is to be his assistant. Every coach has experience/credentials and with the JAB Boxing Club being on the Maxim Training Campus, you can find every fitness machine imaginable under the same roof. So, you’ll be seeing people training Kettlebell extreme, lifelong functional fitness, and youth sports development.

So who all attended that Grand Opening function on Tuesday in Tijuana? It goes without saying they had an even bigger crowd. As mentioned it was like visiting a historic site, a Boxing showplace where you were greeted by Senor Mayen and his lovely daughter who herself runs a gym in Tijuana which is strictly for women. Their guests/visitors came and went all day, from your local dignitaries to the present day and former boxers, judges, referees, ring announcer Pablo Flores, the leadership of the Tijuana Boxing Commission plus the Tijuana Tourist Bureau, various members of the Press and even a few tourists.

Crack members of the Tijuana Press Corps join Guillermo Mayen (c) for a photo.

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