Results from Saturday’s USA Boxing Show at the USIAA Facility

The top bout of the show had to be the battle between Cesar Solis and Arthur Arlington.

Another Saturday passes and another great USA Amateur Boxing Show goes into the books. This time the USIAAUnited States Institute of Amateur Athletics on Woodman St. in Skyline Hills (San Diego) was the host.

In Bout #1, nine year-old, Destiny Ruiz, all of 64 pounds, made the trek from her gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Richard Steele Boxing Gym, to accept a challenge from Jessica Juarez, who weighs 67.6 pounds, is 10 years-old and trains at the USIAA facility.


Destiny Ruiz (right) of Steele's Gym Las Vegas lands a solid right hand after getting under Jessica Juarez's jab. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

In the very competitive first and second rounds, the edge in punches thrown and percentage of punches landed went to Ruiz. Her short right and left hooks landed flush and she benefitted from having her opponent box while backing up. Hoping to finish well, Juarez came out firing in the final stanza, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges.

In Bout #2, Idris “Prince Tiger” Smalls of Undisputed Fitness and Training Center (North Park) was matched up against Ish Garcia, a U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton.

Idris Smalls (left) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Ish Garcia of the USMC Boxing team from Camp Pendleton. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

With Garcia playing peekaboo behind his gloves, Smalls had his way and picked him apart with lightning fast combinations. Their match-up reminded you of the Pacquiao/Clottey bout where Pacquiao was in control throughout. Whenever Smalls got a little sloppy or was maneuvered into a corner, there was his pop to admonish him. The improvements to his arsenal are noticeable; his footwork has improved, his confidence is up and his jab is now starting to snap heads. By the third round, Garcia’s nose became bloody and the referee had to issue him a standing eight-count.

Israel Caballero of Barrio Station (left) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Luis Cortez of USIAA.

In Bout #3, 11-year-old Israel Caballero of Barrio Station faced 12 year-old Luis Cortez of the USIAA.  Even though they were trading blows throughout, it was Caballero doing most of the damage. Warned twice about not biting down on his mouthpiece, Cortez received a point deduction. Caballero’s stiff jab was his best punch and before long it paved the way for an overhand right. After taking three unanswered right hands, the referee ended up issuing Cortez a standing eight count.

While there were clear cut winners in the earlier bouts, the winner of Bout #4 between 15 year-old Gabriel Hernandez of Undisputed (North Park) who weighed in at 141 pounds and 16 year-old Rafael Gomez of Barrio Station who weighed 134 pounds, could not be determined until the final moments.

Rafael Gomez of Barrio Station (right) has arm raised in victory after defeating Gabriel Hernandez of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center of El Cajon. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

In round one there were many ooh’s and aah’s especially after each got caught flush on the face with a power shot.  It was impossible to know which boxer held the upper hand as the ebb and flow went back and forth.

In round two, after having a point deducted for a low blow, Hernandez went on a rampage and scored big time with three successive flurries. All three of these flurries ended with a shot to the head.

It appeared the third and final round would decide the winner. In that third round, Gomez pulled out all the stops and after repeated blows to Hernandez’s head, the referee issued a standing eight count. A short while later another flurry produced three additional unanswered blows and the referee made the decision to stop the bout in favor of Gomez.

Jorge Escalante (left) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Jarrett White. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured 25 year-old Jorge Escalante, unattached, facing 27-year-old Jarrett White of Encinitas. Talk about who you know, White benefitted from having two former world champions working his corner. Bigger than life, there was Paul Vaden, the former light middleweight champion, and Chris Byrd, the former IBF and WBO heavyweight champ.  Between them, they have 30 plus years of experience in boxing to share.

Byrd alone had 275 wins as an amateur before winning the silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He then went on to defeat the likes of David Tua, Vitali Klitschko, and Evander Holyfield in the pro ranks.

Getting back to Mr. White’s performance. White looked lethargic and allowed Escalante to dictate the pace while fighting the entire bout backing up. Escalante dominated all three rounds with his quickness, beginning with the lead overhand right followed by short left hooks.  Even after Escalante had a point deduction for hitting with the side of his glove, there was no doubt who was ahead on the judges scorecards. Escalante came out strong and finished strong landing five punches to every one that White threw.

Cesar Solis of the Black Tiger Gym (left) has his hand raised in victory after defeating Arthur Arlington of the Mongoose Gym in bout #6.

Bout #6 had 18 year-old Cesar Solis of the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road in his debut going up against the more accomplished Arthur Arlington of the Mongoose Gym who was three years older and three pounds heavier.  Solis took round one by being elusive, sharper, busier and landing more shots from a host of angles. Arlington preferred to bide his time and counter.

Feeling more confidant, Solis opened up in round two and took more chances. Arlington made him pay and started landing these head snapping jabs that led to some impressive combinations.

Both boxers must have known the third and final round would decide the match because they came out firing. Once again, it was Solis who landed more of the telling blows, especially with his left hand.

After getting tagged by Ryan Kalowsek of the Marine Corps Boxing Team (not shown), Ramon Diaz of USIAA (left) takes full advantage of referee Rick Ley's long ten count to try and regain his composure. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt.

Bout #7 had 34 year-old Ramon Diaz, a family man and USIAA volunteer, who tipped the scales at 283 pounds facing the 22 year-old super fit Marine, Ryan Kalowsek, who weighed in at 212 pounds. After a few devastating pile-drivers, Diaz was in trouble and went down for the count.

This was one of those match-ups where you question—What was the matchmaker thinking? After getting my first glimpse of Kalowsek and then being hit by one of his devastating blows, I would have turned and ran for the nearest exit. But not Diaz who stood toe to toe with a guy that had the same body type as the fellows you see battling the Klitschko brothers.

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