USA Boxing Show, Rancho Penasquitos II

After a hard fought battle with Salvador Alvarez, Neil Raja poses for a photo with coach Eddie Roa of Pacific Beach Boxing.

Bout #8 featured 22 year-old Neil Raja of Pacific Beach Boxing Club facing 17 year-old Salvador Alvarez of San Ysidro Boxing. Round one was more like a wrestling match than a boxing match as the boxers did a lot of hard charging at one another, holding, pushing and thrashing. Being that Alvarez was busier and landed more blows, he took the first round. The brawl continued through the second round, with Raja’s face becoming red and Alvarez’s nose becoming bloody. Raja’s weapon of choice, a stiff jab, was really starting to bother Alvarez until he figured the best defense was a good offensive. That’s when Alvarez started landing his left hook with regularity.Then, as if he were completely spent, Raja started gasping for air. At the end of the bout the crowd cheered wildly, not for any special boxing skills but for the two young men who had given it their all. Alvarez was awarded the victory.

Bout #9 between 23-year-old Paul Cassarino of Pacific Beach Boxing Club and 22 year-old Ryan Gerrard of Poway started off slow. It appeared Cassarino had it in his head to patiently wait for Gerrard to throw his first punch and then counter. Cassarino’s strategy proved foolhardy as it gave everyone the impression that his opponent, Gerrard, was in command of the bout.   By the second round Gerrard had begun to take Cassarino to school, using his jab to set up his big left hand. Since Gerrard was more aggressive throughout, he had no problem gaining the decision.

Bout #10 featured two cruiserweights, 27 year-old Joe Ursich of LA Boxing who was making his debut after only being in the gym for four months and 23 year-old Luke Redando of City Boxing who has been training for about a year and half. Both fighters went all out and delivered blows that would normally knock a building down. After getting hit with several big punches, Ursich was issued a standing eight count. Soon after being issued a second eight count in round two, the referee called for an early stoppage and awarded Redando the victory.

Bout #11 featured 11 year-olds Christian Icon of Barrio Station and Corey Snyder of City Boxing. Both boxers came out firing and were non-stop. Snyder was a raging bull as he kept trying to pin his opponent against the ropes or in a corner. Since Icon demonstrated the better footwork, was the busier of the two boxers and landed the cleaner shots, he was awarded the victory.

Bout #12 featured two more cruiserweights, Jesse Rosales of the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road making his debut and Matt Guarin from the host gym, LA Boxing. Guarin, whose physique rivals the Incredible Hulk, came out swinging for the fences. He looked awesome in that first round and got inside Rosales’ reach advantage to deliver many damaging blows.   After getting instructions from his corner, Rosales turned the tide in the second round by out-maneuvering and out-boxing Guarin. In the third round with both boxers nearly spent, Rosales landed a big overhand right to send Guarin to the canvass.

For me, it was like watching the tallest tree in the forest fall. Guarin was more surprised than hurt and did manage to regain his feet.The combination of outscoring Guarin in round two and then the big knockdown in round three was enough to earn Rosales the victory.

Bout #13 featured 18 year-old Joaquin Semeias of Barrio Station going up against 28 year-old Josue De La Sancha of City Boxing. From an age standpoint, I don’t believe this match-up should have occurred. Semeias may be talented and a real up and comer but by no stretch of the imagination is he ready to fight someone of De La Sancha’s skill level; someone who can knock you out with just one shot to the head.   Even though the boxers traded blows equally in the first round, De La Sancha’s punches had more impact and you could see Semeias being jolted backwards. De La Sancha’s stiff jabs landed with almost the same force as an overhand right. After he had Semeias worrying about that jab, he came up the power alleys with devastating uppercuts and solid left hooks.   After a left hook sent Semeias to the canvass in round two, he got right back up. At one point the two boxers traded left hooks at the exact same time. After round two ended, Semeias’ corner decided their boxer had had enough and threw in the towel.

Bouts 1—7 can be found in the previous article.


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