Borizteca Boxing Promotions critiqued: 6 exciting bouts, 2 possible “Fights of the Year”

Por favor, no quise ser criticón.

Por favor, no quise ser criticón. Like one of those freelance theatre critics, we thought it would be fun to let loose and be a reviewer of the Borizteca Boxing show we covered on Friday night. Without malice or forethought, here is our impartial assessment of how things went at the Salon Mezzanine.

With professional boxers being entertainers of the highest order, why shouldn’t we have someone like myself appraise their efforts, rate these boxers in comparison to their peers? On Friday evening, at the Salon Mezzanine in Tijuana in front of six hundred plus patrons, 20 athletes were set to perform on a fight card presented by the Borizteca Boxing Management Group. If for any reason, the patrons, the attending boxing fans, remained quiet and showed any restraint from cheering wildly at the end of a round or bout, we would have our proof of a lackluster performance.


Since Bout #1 featured the pro-debut of welterweight Édgar Valadez from Mondo’s Boxing Gym, Spring Valley, Calif., you knew his fans would be loud and perhaps over the top with their cheering. His trainer described Valadez as a brawler who likes to fight in close and his opponent, Hugo Gutiérrez (0-5-1) was surely hungry for his first win. After more than a dozen crowd-pleasing exchanges, it appeared Gutiérrez was in trouble and started to cover up. By the second round, Valadez had started to land the heavier blows to the side of Gutiérrez’s head. Before long we saw Gutierrez drop to all fours and he couldn’t get up.

Valadez ov Gutierrez

(photo, left) Edgar Valadez makes his way to the ring. (bottom, right) We see Gutierrez down on all fours and unable to respond to the referee’s 10-count.

At the conclusion of Bout #1, Valadez has his arm raised in victory, is interviewed by Fernando Paramo and is joined by his support staff of

At the conclusion of Bout #1, Valadez had his arm raised in victory, was interviewed by lead sportscaster/color commentator Fernando Paramo and then he was joined by his support staff (l to r) trainer Frank Barajas, stablemate Ricardo Valdominos, Armando Barajas and coach Jason Haines.

Bout #2, featured Rosario Rosales from Tijuana going up against Ricardo “Maykito III” Martínez (7-0) of Tijuana. Rosales gave it his best in round one, but by round two he was being pummeled from one side of the ring to the other. With Rosales buckling under so quickly, we’d have to consider this bout a clunker.

Wearing the colors of the Mexican flag, was slow and deliberate

(top, left) Wearing the colors of the Mexican flag, Ricardo Martinez may have begun slow and methodical but by the fourth round he had the thoroughly beaten Rosales bent over and likely hoping for an early end to the punishment. Photos: Jim Wyatt

abt2 b fine and dandy no problem herea bt 2c maybe ther is a problem

(top) After the round four stoppage, Ricardo Martinez remains in his corner and awaits further instructions from the referee.

(top) After the stoppage in round four, Ricardo Martinez remained in his corner with his father and brother to await the instructions of the referee. (below, right) the boxers meet up in the center of the ring for a photo.

Bout #3 From the middleweight division, they had debutant Alexis Zamarripa from Camalu, B. C., Mexico going up against Kevin Ottley (1-0) from the Bomber Squad Boxing Academy, El Cajon, Calif. Not much to say about this miss-match only that Zamarripa took a beating for almost two rounds until his corner finally decided it was time to throw in the towel.

As you can see, Kevin Ottley's punches landed and Alexis Zamarripa's didn't.

As you can see, Kevin Ottley’s punches landed and Alexis Zamarripa’s didn’t.

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The Bomber Squad team celebrates Kevin Ottley's TKO victory.

The Bomber Squad Boxing Academy team celebrates Ottley’s TKO victory.

Bout #4 In this one, welterweight Ricardo “Junior” Valdovinos from Logan Heights, San Diego, Calif. and training at Mondo’s Boxing Gym, Spring Valley, faced fellow debutant Juan Armendáriz of San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico. During their weigh-in on Thursday, there was talk Armendariz had failed to make the agreed upon weight and weighed nine pounds over the limit. Standing next to each other, it was easy to see Armendáriz was the bigger man. Did it matter? Yes. But Valdovinos was adamant about taking the fight. With both being debutants and not knowing anything about each other’s skill level, it was a bold move for Valdovinos to take the fight. With both men trading heavy blows, the first round was complete chaos. By the end of the second round, Armendáriz had started to breathe through his mouth and was definitely running low on petrol, while Valdovinos seemed fresh and began to land the cleaner, straighter blows, mostly to the head. The one thing that impressed you the most about Valdovinos was his calmness under fire plus ring savvy while his opponent was more nervous energy and swinging for the fences.

Often times it is that one big punch that turns the tied.(bottom photo) This big overhand right put Valdominos in the driver's seat.

Often times it’s that one big punch that turns the tide. (bottom photo) This big overhand right put Valdominos in the driver’s seat.

(bottom) You talk about a support group, this one with Diana Velazco, Junior Valdovinos, Leo Villasenor, Araceli Valdovinos Garcia and Mo’Nii Valdovinos. Coach at Mondo’s Gym, Spring Valley, Calif. is Frank Barajas.

(bottom) Talk about having a great support group, this one with Diana Velazco, Leo Villasenor, Junior and Araceli Valdovinos, Garcia and Mo’Nii Valdovinos, Jason Haines, Frank and Armando Barajas is as strong as it gets.

Bout #5 After coming out victorious in his debut on May 13, 2016, featherweight Robert “Ram” Meza of Temecula, Calif. returned to do battle with the winless Alfonso “Poncho” Sandoval of Tijuana. How hungry was Sandoval for that first win? He surprised everyone and had Meza on wobbly legs after landing this powerful overhand right. Amazingly, Meza kept his composure and battled back to get the win by scoring consecutive knockdowns, and a third knockdown of which Sandoval needed more than just 10 seconds to recover. And the quote from Mr. Meza, “Yes, I was staggered by that blow but the harder, the more challenging the fight … it only makes me perform that much better.”

After being staggered Roberto Meza went nonstop at Alfonso Sandoval

After being staggered by one of Alfonso Sandoval’s punches, it seemed as though Roberto Meza (black trunks) had been re-energized. He went after Sandoval with a vengeance.

ccc Bt 5 afirst knockdownccc Bt 5 real secon fromooo Bt 5 d

Bout #6 had Hector Valdez (6-0, 5 KOs) from the Maple Avenue Boxing Gym in Dallas facing Horacio Perez Gomez (0-2) from Mexicali. It appeared Gomez was blindsided and didn’t know what hit him. There was no need for a 10 count as he lied there on his back and half way through the ropes.

It happened so fast, Horacio Perez didn't even have a chance to raise his guard.

Hector Valdez (l) hit Horacio Perez so hard and so fast, Perez had no chance of raising his guard and all we got on our camera was this blurred picture.

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Hector Valdez's trainer Vince Parra and Manager Arnie Verbeek join the victorious Hector Valdez after his KO victory over Horacio Perez. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Valdez’s trainer Vince Parra and manager Arnie Verbeek join the victorious Hector Valdez after his KO victory over Horacio Perez. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 Also from Camalu, it was Mario Ramírez making his professional debut against the hard-hitting Armando Tovar (3-1, 3 KOs) of San Diego’s House of Boxing. In round one, both boxers landed some big shots. Since Tovar was favoring these vicious uppercuts, it’s likely the judges favored him. In round two, Ramirez proved to be more elusive and varied his stance going successfully back and forth from righty to lefty. With both boxers doing so well in the final round, tit for tat, it seemed near impossible to decipher who would come out victorious. In the end, the judges were divided – two went with Tovar and the other had Ramirez ahead. This hard-hitting see-saw battle would have to get strong consideration for “Bout of the Night”.

The Armando Tovar versus Mario Ramirez was without a doubt the most exciting, the most competitve and the one drawing the most interest.

The Armando Tovar versus Mario Ramirez bout was without a doubt the most exciting, most competitive plus the one drawing the most attention.

The red corner waited in vain for judges favorable decision.

The red corner waited in vain for the judges’ favorable decision.

From here on out, it seemed the patrons were being spoiled with one great match-up after another. In Bout #8 they had the very popular Alfredo “Pepe el Toro” Ledezma (6-0) of Tijuana going up against Julio Cesar Figueroa (0-2) from Camalu, B. C., Mexico. It’s likely Ledezma took both rounds one and two with his hard shots to the midsection.

Alfredo Ledezma (r) presses the attack verus Julio Cesar Figueroa in Bout #8.

Alfredo Ledezma (r) presses the action against Julio Cesar Figueroa.

(bottom) The victorious Alfredo Ledezma gets win #7.

(bottom, left) Alfredo Ledezma celebrates victory #7 with his coach .

In Bout #9, the 8-round Co-Main event, they had 19-year-old flyweight Tania “La Chula” Enriquez (8-0, 5 KOs) going up against the veteran Carol Castro (6-7) from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. With Enriquez dominating from the opening bell, this one turned out to be one of the most non-competitive bouts on the fight card. With Enriquez landing almost at will, you might have thought Castro had never, ever, faced a lefty. With Castro being so uncompetitive, referee Cristian Curiel felt obliged to stop the bout.

The most onesided match-up of the night.

One last punch in the face before we call it a night.

One last punch in the face before we call it a night. At the conclusion of their match, we see Tania Enriquez (9-0, 6 KOs) having her arm raised in victory after defeating the veteran Carol Castro (6-8, 2 KOs).

The final bout of the evening, Bout #10, between Tijuana’s Bryan “The Kid” Figueroa (10-0) and Héctor “Estudiante” Ambriz (5-3-1), a top prospect, who trains with José Guardado and Óscar “Vaquero” Maldonado at the Guardado Gym in Ensenada, turned out to be a classic battle with many shifts in strategy.

The two combatants in the Main Event, (l to r) Hector "El Estidiante" Ambriz and Bryan "the Kid" Figueroa make their entrance.

The two combatants in the Main Event, (l to r) Hector “El Estudiante” Ambriz and Bryan “the Kid” Figueroa make their entrance to the ring.

It could be argued that Ambriz took round one based solely on his additional two blows to the head. Round two was even closer and should have been scored a toss-up.Bryan 2 Then, at the close of round three, Figueroa mentioned to his corner that he was having some pain in his left foot. Figueroa’s strategy changed in Round 4 as he began to circle ala Mohammad Ali. Circle and then tap the frustrated Ambriz on the head. By Round 5, Figueroa did nothing but circle and hold. Despite the repeated warning about holding, Figueroa continued to grab and hold which frustrated his opponent. foot problemsWith the leg injury getting worse, Figueroa went down on his own accord and the referee gave him time to sort things out. In that round, round 6, Figueroa could not run and with 30 seconds left in the round, he was forced to go toe to toe with Ambriz. For the remainder of the bout, rounds seven and eight, Figueroa went back to running/circling.

At the close of the fight, two fellow journalists came over to discuss and eventually ask who I thought had won the match. I said it was too close to call and they both disagreed with that assessment. They concluded with, “You watch, they’re going to give it to Figueroa because they want to protect his undefeated streak.” As the judges’ scores were read, their sentiments came to fruition. They had Figueroa, now 11-0, winning by a Majority Decision.

verdict and then

After the decision was read, Bryan Figueroa made his own announcement and then raised the arm of his opponent Hector Ambriz. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Here's our scorecard for the Borizteca Boxing  Promotions show of Friday, July

Here’s our scorecard for the Borizteca Boxing Promotions’ show of Friday, July 15, 2016

It's Showtime at the Salon Mezzanine

The “Viva Tijuana” boxing card is now part of the World Class Boxing Series, produced and distributed by PAP Sports. Friday evening’s well-received event was taped for delayed broadcast to the United States, Baja California, and Puerto Rico via LATV Networks, and worldwide via the Internet through Global Sports Streaming. GSS is a Live Streaming and Multi-Channel Network (MCN) within the YouTube Eco system which currently brings you live boxing and MMA but intends to branch out into other sports. What they do is help athletes expand their digital branding. GSS’s experienced team has the know-how and technological skills to help creators, sports organizations and athletes make their digital mark.

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