Results from USA Amateur Boxing Show at The Compound

Under his father's tutelage, Gilbert Lopez takes the first major step in his boxing career.

The Amateur Boxing Show at The Compound in Oceanside, Ca. featured many dream match-ups and none more anticipated, none more yearned for than the lightweight matchup between 20 year-old Emmanuel Diaz of Barrio Station and 21 year-old Jose Vigil of North County Boxing in the very first bout. Like a knife cutting through butter, Diaz and Vigil had been out-boxing everyone.


Emmanuel Diaz of Barrio Station was selected top boxer of the May 7 USA Amateur Boxing Show after his well fought victory over Jose Vigil of North County. Photo: Jim Wyatt

From the opening bell the two parried nonstop with Vigil taking the lead. Before long the momentum swung Diaz’s way after he got his timing and distance. Then after Diaz got the least bit comfortable back came Vigil to introduce him to his best punch the uppercut. Diaz’s ability to counter and slip punches was the difference in this very close bout.











Boxing coach Tony Contreras poses for a photo with Jonathan Espino after Espino defeated Carlos Adams. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #2 featured 17 year-old Carlos Adams of the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista going up against 20 year-old Jonathan Espino of North County. Adams, who’s not used to losing, did everything wrong and Espino did everything right. Round one, Adams let the shorter Espino get inside and score, score, score. Then he got pinned against the ropes to allow Espino to score, score, score. He never worked to his best advantage – use his strong jab, throw the big overhand right and show more movement. On top of that he ran out of gas which made the judges decision very easy.





Bout #3 Jose Ortega (left) has his arm raised in victory after defeating Jose Chollet (right). Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #3 featured 10 year-olds Jose Chollet of Barrio Station going up against Jose Ortega of La Gente. Despite their even, nonstop exchanges, it was Ortega’s footwork that gave him the victory, his ability to sidestep the sometimes wild looping punches of Chollet. Totaling up the scorecards, Ortega won an unanimous decision.




Bout #4 featured middleweights 20 year-old Gilbert Lopez of the Golden Hands Boxing Club in Chula Vista, making his long awaited debut, going up against a 31 year-old fireman by the name of Joseph Flarvan of American Boxing.

This was one of those bouts where you send the children away or at least cover their eyes. From the git-go both boxers were throwing punches that knock heads off shoulders and despite their ferocity, both proved they could take the other guy’s best punch.

After an all out battle in round one, things did settle down somewhat and the better boxer took control, that boxer being Lopez. But give Flarvan credit, even though he was a bloody mess, he fought until the bell sounded to end round three.

During intermission I spoke with Bobby Lopez, a well respected boxing trainer, about his son’s debut. After complimenting the firefighter, he said he couldn’t believe the buzz-saw his son had to face in his first bout. While talking, his son came over with his brand new shiner and an ice pack on his hand.


After defeating Miguel Brieno (right), Alan Ramirez (left) had his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured eight year-old Miguel Brieno of Undisputed Fitness and Training Center Downtown going up against 9 year-old Alan “El Perro” Sanchez of Rhino Boxing.

These two guys have been going at it for quite a while now and it appears the younger Brieno is starting to show improvement. Or, it just might be that Sanchez is getting a bit too cocky and when you’re not being careful that’s when a long time foe can surprise you.






After his victory over Abraham Estrada, Russell Rivera gave us his Hulk Hogan pose. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #6 featured 17 year-old Russell Rivera of Rhino Boxing weighing 148 lbs. going up against 24 year-old Abraham Estrada of Escondido weighing 151.8 lbs. To me, it appeared Estrada landed far more of the cleaner punches, especially in rounds one and two. This was the first time I ever saw Rivera backing up. If he didn’t retreat, the power behind Estrada’s combinations would have had him lying face down. Rivera did come on in the final round but not enough to overcome his failings in the first two.









After defeating Alvarado Maldonado (left), Jabin Chollet (right) had his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt


Bout #7 featured 9 year-old Jabin Chollet of Barrio Station going nonstop with 10 year-old Alvarado Maldonado of Penacho. Even though he’s a year younger, Chollet appeared to be the more accomplished boxer. Of course that had no baring in the third and final round when both youngsters threw hands like it was the last round of a world championship. In the end, the judges gave the decision to Chollet.










Bout #8 After defeating Richard Reyes (left), Jesus Balderas (right) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt


Bout #8 featured 13 year-old Jesus Balderas of Penacho weighing in at 113.4 lbs. going up against 14 year-old Richard Reyes of El Centro who weighed in at 119 lbs. From the very outset, Balderas was on the attack against the much taller and less experienced foe. It was like watching Mike Tyson trying to take out the much taller Michael Spinks. Several supporters shouted “Go the stomach!!” but Balderas ignored their urging; his plan was to go for the knockout. Not once did the headhunter go anywhere near the midsection, the favored punch was his big overhand right. The intimidator won easily.








After defeating Johnny Quiroz (right), Carlos Geraldo (left) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt


Bout #9 featured 16 year-old Carlos Geraldo of the National City CYAC going up against 17 year-old Johnny Quiroz of Rhino Boxing. Early on Quiroz got inside and put a lot of pressure on Geraldo but as the bout progressed the skills of the more experienced boxer shown through.











After defeating Jose Alcala (r), Jose Reyes (l) had his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo: Jim Wyatt


Bout #10 featured 15 year-old Jose Reyes going up against 14 year-old Jose Alcala of Pacific Coast Boxing. This was one of those failure to communicate bouts. Alcala had only been training for four months. This bout was his debut. His opponent, Reyes, has all the skills and been boxing and competing for years. When referee Rick Ley saw the disparity in skill level, he was quick to stop the bout.










After defeating Alfredo Rodriguez (left), Mario Cuin (right) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt


Bout #11 showcased two experienced featherweights, 18 year-old Alfredo Rodriguez (123.4 lbs.) of the Alliance Training Center of Chula Vista going up against 17 year-old Mario Cuin (127.4lbs.) of Temecula Boxing.

While Rodriguez showed off his slick defense moves, the constant aggression by Cuin was getting him the browny points. The difference in this one? Was who threw the most punches. It didn’t matter how hard the punches were or placement, Cuin made certain the punch stats were in his favor, especially in the third and final round.








Nico Cortez (right) has his photo taken with USA Boxing official Rick Ley. Photo: J. Wyatt


Bout #12 featured welterweights 18 year-old Nicholas Cortez of Rhino Boxing weighing in at a much slimmer 144.6 lbs. going up against 23 year-old lefty, Ryan Gerrard of the Poway Boxing Club weighing the same weight.

Cortez came out firing and using his newest weapon, an improved stiff jab that kept Gerrard at bay. Before long, that stiff jab had his opponent’s nose bleeding. Cortez added another wrinkle by switching back and forth almost effortlessly from southpaw to righty. With this impressive showing against Gerrard, we just might see Mr. Cortez turning pro soon.









Nico Cortez (right) has his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley after defeating Ryan Gerrard (left).
















After defeating Noe Larios (right), Adrian Hernandez (left) had his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt


Bout #13 featured 14 year-old Noe Larios of Valley Center, weighing in at 101 lbs. going up against 12 year-old Adrian Hernandez of The Compound who weighed 105.4 lbs. After the fists started flying, someone behind me yelled, “Wow, this one’s a bar fight!”

I suppose it was for a while, but then Hernandez, the more accurate and busier puncher took over the bout. The thing that really impressed the crowd was Hernandez’s energy level.









Bang! Down went Giovanni Ortiz from a punishing blow from Jose Gomez.


Bout #14 featured 21 year-old Giovanni Ortiz (136.8 lbs.) of The Compound going up against 23 year-old Jose Gomez (134.6 lbs.) of the Marron Boxing Camp in Lakeside, CA.

After scoring the KO victory over Giovanni Ortiz (right), Jose Gomez (left) had his arm raised by referee Rick Ley. Gomez's coach, Jesus Jimenez stands close. Photo: J. Wyatt

Within the first minute of action a gent in the crowd made a reference to the pop in their punches, “There’s no slappy slap in this one!” The description of the early action was right on the money. It was as if the boxers were at close range throwing baseballs at each other. One of Gomez’s baseballs connected and down went Ortiz to give Gomez the victory by knockout.










After the bout, Brady Rein posed for a photo with his support group. Photo: J. Wyatt







Bout #15 featured super middleweights 25 year-old Brady Rein of Poway Boxing versus 23 year-old Jesus Lopez of Tanos Boxing. Just like in the first bout with Diaz vs. Vigil, these two gentleman have been knocking off the competition for years and now someone has matched them up.

The “oohs and aahs” followed as one big punch followed another. Both were swinging for the fences. One of the memorable punches was an overhand right by Rein that snapped Lopez’s head back. Since the heavier boxers throw so much harder, it was a miracle that Lopez didn’t go down. Rein followed that punch with a right, left combination and later two solid uppercuts.

After defeating Jesus Lopez (left), Brady Rein (right) had his arm raised in victory by referee Rick Ley. Photo: Jim Wyatt











Adrian Hernandez (c) is shown receiving the trophy for top junior boxer from show organizers Freddy Galvan (l) and Andy Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

After the final bout, the top junior and senior boxers of the show were selected. Emmanuel Diaz won in the senior division and Adrian Hernandez won in the juniors.


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