Memorable moments from “The North Show” at Encinitas Boxing

After his unanimous decision victory over the tough Nico Marchan (r) was announced, Brandon Ruiz (l) from Mariscal Boxing, Tijuana, went down on one knee to give thanks to God for his ability to defeat such a tough opponent.

On August 12, 2017, it was the Encinitas Boxing & Fitness Club’s turn to host the latest USA Amateur Boxing Show and as you would expect, there were a great many boxing fans present.


Imagine the surprise on their faces when they discovered they were in the same room with a former heavyweight champion? The two-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Medal winner, Chris Byrd was part of the gym’s welcoming committee. Before the opening bell, Byrd, with microphone in hand, welcomed attendees to the show and then gave the young athletes some valuable career advice.

After being an Olympian on Team USA with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Raul Marquez, etc. and then a professional, it’s now all about being a family man, making personal appearances and giving motivational talks. On TV shows like Celebrity Family Feud where his teammates were Mikey and Robert Garcia, Shane Mosley and James Toney. Byrd has also lent a hand in the training of today’s up and coming heavyweights at Encinitas Boxing and City Boxing Downtown. It’s been a fascinating life. Coach Mike Robinson, now in his 15th year of coaching has also helped a great many boxers, Pro and Amateur.

Yes, the Encinitas Boxing gym has come a long way under the direction of General Manager/Trainer Dana Donahue and coach Robinson. Of course, on occasion, you’ll see an unexpected celebrity drop by any gym, but the celebrities who have visited this facility seem to be drawn to it and find it a perfect fit.

Imagine rubbing elbows or sparring with an athlete of Russell Wilson’s stature, the QB who led the Seattle Seahawks to that 43-8 shellacking of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Could Mr. Russell be contemplating a career change?

Forgive the digression, we mustn’t forget the up and comers who themselves might turn into sports legends.

Before the first bout on Saturday, the local USA Amateur Boxing LBC44 CAL Border President Hondo Fontane (l), introduced the crowd to two local and National USA Boxing standouts, Nico Sanchez (c) and Eric Puente (r).

In Bout #1, they had 19-year-old Raulito Uribe (176.8 lbs.) from Elite Boxing Las Vegas scheduled to face 27-year-old Aerance Velasquez (168 lbs., Unattached). Unfortunately, Mr. Velasquez had trouble making it to the show and was forced to forfeit his match.

Bout #1 winner by walk-over was Raulito Uribe shown here having his arm raised by LBC44 CAL Border President Hondo Fontane.

Bout #2 featured 15-year-old Saul Garza (1-1, 124.8 lbs.) from Santos Boxing, Lancaster, Calif. going up against 15-year-old Andy Beltran Barajas (4-1, 125.8 lbs.) from Elite Boxing, Las Vegas.

Andy Barajas (blue) dominated this bout and had punches coming from every direction. All Saul Garza could do was cover up and remain in survival mode.

At the conclusion of Bout #2, we see referee Hondo Fontane raising the arm of the victorious Andy Beltran Barajas (l) who with the win improves to 5-1.

Bout #3 had 28-year-old Alejandro Martinez (141.4 lbs., 9-2) from the Nevarez Boxing & Fitness Gym, Vista, Calif. taking on 18-year-old Monray Marable (142.8 lbs., 12-6) from Santos Boxing, Lancaster, Calif.

With the first round going so well for Monray Marable, you could almost imagine the coach’s between rounds pep talk: “So far so good! You’re stinging him with your jab and clobbering him from long range but you can’t just stand there. Move to your right, don’t let him get in close where he can control you.”

The coach’s comments must have fallen on deaf ears, especially after Martinez managed to get inside and negate Marable’s offense of hit and move. Instead, Marable found himself handcuffed and Martinez continued to pound a way at the midsection and on occasion landed an uppercut to Marable’s chin.

After Marable’s lead disappeared, Alejandro Martinez (r) maintained his scoring edge by fighting in close as if they were fighting inside a telephone booth.

At the conclusion of Bout #3, Alejandro Martinez (r) has his arm raised in victory by referee Dana Kaplan after defeating the despondent Monray Marable.

In Bout #4 they had 17-year-old Leo Cruz (1-0, 144.4 lbs., red gloves) from Backyard Boxing, Oceanside, Calif. going up against 26-year-old Jesse Resendiz (142.8 lbs., blue gloves) from the Team Jesus USA Team.

Early on, with the wild all or nothing blows flying in every direction, you felt certain, the contest had no way of going the distance. What hindered Jesse Reseniz was his accuracy or lack there of. His blows were missing the target.

By round three, Leo Cruz (red gloves) was landing at will.

(bottom photo) At the conclusion of Bout #4, we see referee Dana Kaplan raising the arm of the victorious Leo Cruz (r) from Backyard Boxing, Vista, Calif.

Bout #5 was certainly a memorable confrontation, as the 31-year-old Christian Abuan (182 lbs.), a relative newcomer to the sport who was making his debut against 20-year-old Cameron Frazier (1-0, 187 lbs.) from Santos Boxing, Lancaster, Calif.

With both boxers being relative newcomers, round one turned out to be a bit chaotic. Even so, Christian Abuan (red gloves) was on the receiving end of the majority of punches thrown. All photos: Jim Wyatt

After that wild and wooly first round, Cameron Frazier must have been advised or admonished for not using his jab to set up his punches. As they began the second round, there it was, the perfect jab in all its glory.

As the boxers awaited the judges’ decision, you could see blood coming from Christian Abuan’s mouth and teeth. He looked to be completely exhausted.

In the end, it was Cameron Frazier (l) having his arm raised in victory

Upon later examination, after his all out war with Cameron Frazier, it was discovered Christian Abuan had fractured his jaw, in layman’s terms: Frazier broke Abuan’s jaw.

Bout #6 featured 25-year-old Nico Marchan (6-4, 122 lbs.) from the House of Boxing, Paradise Hills, San Diego, Calif. going up against 18-year-old Brandon Ruiz (51-2, 123 lbs.) from Mariscal Boxing, Tijuana. After you watch Ruiz fight, you would have to agree with both Ruiz and his coach, Coach Mariscal, that Ruiz should be a candidate for Mexico’s 2020 Olympic Boxing Team. That is Ruiz’s goal. To be Mexico’s representative at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. An ambition that keeps him focused and continually honing his craft.

In round one of Bout #6 the two accomplished boxers probed to find their opponent’s weaknesses with Brandon Ruiz landing more of the telling blows.

(top photo) At the conclusion of Bout #6, the boxers joined veteran referee Rick Ley in the center of the ring to await the judges’ scores. In this one, it was Brandon Ruiz (l) winning a unanimous decision to improve his record to 52-2.

It’s rare when you see this much good will towards an opponent right after going toe to toe in a close match but believe me, it was genuine. Wouldn’t it be something if these two young men entered the field of Politics and one day ran for President of their respective countries? Mexico and the Philippines.


In Bout #7, it was 11-year-old Antonio Padilla (92.8 lbs., No Club Affiliation) earning his third victory by outworking 11-year-old Giovani Rosendale (87.8 lbs.) from Backyard Boxing, Vista, Calif. From the opening bell, both boxers went at it nonstop. How anyone could pick a winner in this all out war – it seems inconceivable.

On this day, the judges decided that Antonio Padilla (red gloves) had outpointed Giovani Rosendale (blue gloves) in their very close match.

(bottom photo) Antonio Padilla from the Bound Boxing Academy, Chula Vista has his arm raised in victory by referee Andrew Moreno. Showing good sportsmanship, Giovani Rosendale from Backyard Boxing claps for Padilla.

In the featured bout, Bout #8, they had 18-year-old Hunter Williams (4-2, 150.6 lbs.) going up against 20-year-old Ricky Gutierrez (2-1, 151.8 lbs.) from Elite Boxing, Las Vegas, Nevada.

second to last

From the opening bell, Ricky Gutierrez (blue gloves) was all over Hunter Williams suffocating him with punches from every angle. Even when Williams was in retreat, Gutierrez chased after him to give him no relief.

Both fighters threw and landed some heavy bombs on their opponent.

Even after throwing bombs at each other nonstop, the Warriors were respectful enough to pose for photos after their clash. That is true sportsmanship.

In Bout #9 they had 11-year-old Sammy Vences (7-3, 87.8 lbs.) from Backyard Boxing, Oceanside, Calif. going up against 12-year-old Fernando Lopez (88.4 lbs.) from the Nevarez Boxing & Training Center, Vista, Calif. On this day, Lopez seemed to land the majority of blows, plus the cleaner shots to the head.

It seemed to be all or nothing in that first round.

After referee Andrew Moreno raised his arm and presented Fernando Lopez his trophy, Lopez (bottom, left) posed for this photo with his proud coach Bernie Nevarez.

The next USA Amateur Boxing Show is scheduled for August 25, 2017, at the Bound Boxing Academy on Palomar Street in Chula Vista, Calif. Like this show, it should be memorable.

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