USA Amateur Boxing, Vista, CA, August 7, 2010

After their bout was selected one of the best bouts of the show, Reymond Ramos (left) and Jaciel Ordaz received their trophies from Freddy Galvan, one of the show's organizers. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Saturday, there was another exciting and often fun-filled USA Amateur Boxing Show. This time around, the up and comers were showcased in Vista, CA at the Pacific Coast Boxing Gym. 

A large contingent of San Diego’s boxing fans were on hand to enjoy the great food, the lively music and 13 action packed bouts. Among the invited guests were Chris Byrd, the former world heavyweight champion, Danny Perez, a top middleweight contender, fresh off his nationally televised bout with Craig McEwan of Scotland, recently turned professional boxer, Ricky Gutierrez, still recovering from that gun shot wound suffered back in April of this year, plus a host of professionals from yesteryear.

In Bout #1, 23 year-old Luis Torres of Pacific Coast Boxing took on 18 year-old Joshua Robertson who had been training at Indio Boys & Girls Club for only two months. Early on, Robertson impressed the patrons with his never say die attitude and kept pressing the action. In that first round, Torres, the more polished boxer, waited on Robertson to drop his right hand, then he countered beautifully with dandy left hooks and ended the round by landing a beautiful overhand right. In round two, Robertson came back with a vengeance, pinned his opponent against the ropes and threw everything but a burger and fries at him. Nearing the end of the round, Torres managed to rally back and Roberston was issued an eight count.

In the final round, after Robertson was issued a second eight count, the two men battled toe to toe until neither had anything left. In the end Torres received the decision.

Middleweight contender, Danny Perez (right), poses for a photo with the Marine Corps boxing team from Camp Pendleton, August 7, 2010 at the USA Amateur Boxing Show at the Pacific Coast Boxing facility in Vista, Ca.

Bout #2 featured 15 year-old Antonio Moreno of the National City CYAC in his debut going up against Robert Meza of Pro Am Boxing of Temecula in his second bout. The first round went to Moreno who was tighter in his stance and covered up much better to slip punches. By round two neither boxer held an advantage as both let their defenses down and were taking turns getting hit flush on the chin.

Meza came with his heaviest artillery in the final round. After waiting on Moreno to throw a punch, he countered with the best and cleanest shots of the entire bout.  Since I was in a quandary over who won, I checked individually with the judges’ scores. Two of them had the bout even and one gave Meza the nod.

If you ever wanted to witness a street brawl, it was right there in Bout #3 between 19 year-old Jose Aguirie, unattached, and 26 year-old Jorge Barba of Pacific Coast Boxing. Barba, who is partial to throwing only punches that if landed would knock you into next week, soon had Aguirie in trouble and the referee issued him a standing eight count. Instead of folding up his tent, Aguirie lasted out the round.

In round two, Barba began switching back and forth from righty to lefty. The tactic backfired and gave Aguirie an opportunity to shine and land some solid blows. As a matter of fact, Aguirie would have won the second round hadn’t he shoved Barba through the ropes. The rough-housing cost him a two point deduction.

Going into the third and final round, Aguirie needed to somehow land the knockout blow but Barba was too savvy to allow that to happen. After each exchange he made sure that they ended up in the clenches. By the time the final bell sounded both boxers were gasping for air.

Bout #4 featured 15 year-old Gabriel Hernandez (0-1) of Undisputed going up against 16 year-old Rafel Gomez (3-0) of Barrio Station. The experience factor showed up big time in this match. Every time Hernandez got the least bit careless, whether it was the first round, second or the final round, there was Gomez to land the two and three punch combinations that prompted the referee issue another standing eight count. When Hernandez had the patience and settled into his groove, he had no problem countering and landing the solid left hooks.

Bout #5 saw 17 year-old Nicolas Lopez of Pacific Coast Boxing going up against 21 year-old Marine Lance Corporal Grant Heathcock (8-2) a native of Jackson, Mississippi, now stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Ca.  This was one of those matches where the shorter man, Heathcock, just couldn’t get inside to do any damage. Lopez used his height, reach and better footwork to stay just far enough away to score his points but not allow his opponent to score.

In the first round, it was Lopez’s powerful left hook followed later by two overhand rights that had the crowd oohing. In the second round, came the aaahs, as the power of those three earlier blows were exceeded. At the final bell there was frustration on Heathcock’s face, exhaustion on Lopez’s face.

Bout #6 featured eight year-olds, Cesar Ruelas, unattached, and Miguel Briseno of Undisputed. Briseno was no match for Ruelas who stayed grounded, used leverage, wound up for the home-run shot and even worked the midsection.  This was a lopsided win.

Bout #7 had 14 year-old Nick Emilio of Riverside, CA. getting a boxing lesson from 15 year-old Carlos Geraldo of CYAC. Even though Emilio was much taller, Geraldo bore in as if it were an advantage. The referee issued at least one standing eight count per round culminating in an early stoppage in round three. Geraldo not only showed that he was the more polished boxer but the heavier puncher.

Bout #8 between 16 year-old Brian Saloman of the Young Marines training with the U.S. Marine Corps boxing team on Camp Pendleton versus 17 year-old Ray Macias of the Marron Boxing camp was over quickly after Macias injured his right shoulder.  The referee stepped in to stop the bout within the first minute of action.

Bout #9 featured 26 year-old Ramiro Rodriguez of Marron Boxing going up against 27 year-old Jarrett White of Encinitas.  White, who had just fought last week at the USIAA Boxing Show, was much sharper this time around and had complete control of the bout. With the constant and heavy onslaught from White, Rodriguez tried to land these one shot knockout punches and then go into a cocoon. The maneuver drew a sly remark from one patron who yelled: “Come on, it’s showtime. It’s not a movie, it’s a fight!”

After an eight count was issued to Rodriguez in the third round, a heavy blow landed flush. Since these combinations were one-sided, the referee decided to stop the bout.

Bout #10 featured 16 year-old veteran Johnny Quiroz of Rhino Boxing in Vista going head to head with 17 year-old Saul Soto of the Academy of Striking & Grappling of Moreno Valley, Ca. who had had 30 bouts. In the first round neither boxer worried about defense as they unloaded with fierce powerful shots. Since Soto was getting the worst of it, the referee issued him two quick eight counts. Round two matched the first with intensity and soon the ref stepped in to issue Soto a third standing eight count. Soon after another blow landed square and the ref decided Soto had taken too many blows to the head and called for the early stoppage.

Bout #11 featured 18 year-old Semeias Joaquin of Barrio Station and 17 year-old Ivan Ordaz of Pacific Coast Boxing in Vista, two more boxers with a lot of experience. As in a few earlier  bouts, Joaquin was frustrated by his inability to get inside as Ordaz maintained his distance and scored at will. The taller boxer working on the outside won on all three scorecards.

Bout #12 was another Wow! bout, featuring 22 year-old Zachary Wohlman, unattached versus a southpaw, 18 year-old Giovanni Santillan of Undisputed Fitness and Training Center in San Diego’s downtown, making his first ring appearance after a two year lay-off.

Each boxer came out throwing scary leather, the kinds of punches that land people in the hospital. Even though Wohlman was physically stronger, Santillan was the better boxer and landed more rapid fire combinations and especially left uppercuts on the inside. By the third round, it became clear who was ahead in the point totals.

In the final bout of the show, Bout #13, it was 11 year-old, Jaciel Ordaz of Pacific Coast Boxing going up against nine-year-old Reymond Ramos of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center  of Downtown, San Diego for the bragging rights between the gyms.

Clearly Ramos looked better in the first round and this development had his boxing coach looking across at the Pacific Coast corner with a funny grin. At the end of round two, it was Ordaz who finished strong and his coach, Peter Moreno, initiated some playful taunting. After the bell sounded to end the final round, an overconfident Moreno pranced across the ring doing an amusing Irish jig. Everyone was laughing. Then after the ring announcer proclaimed that Ramos had won, it was Undisputed’s turn to whoop it up by waving their towels overhead.

As stated earlier, most everyone had a grand time at this fun event.

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