USA Boxing Show results from Pacific Coast Boxing Gym in Vista

Peter Moreno (center), the event organizer, presented two championship belts to the boxers selected for participating in the bout of the day, Alberto Cazarez (right) and Roman Gonzalez (left) .

Despite an underlying sadness that remains after their  tragedy on April 7, 2010, the Pacific Coast Boxing family put on a happy face, Saturday, May 8th, when welcoming boxers and boxing fans to their gym for the latest USA Amateur Boxing event.

The weather could not have been any more amenable, as a cool breeze circulated through the large building to keep the boxers and their fans refreshed while enjoying an exciting eight bout boxing card.

It had been exactly one month to the day since a madman entered the popular boxing gym on the east side of town and shot the well-liked volunteer boxing trainer, Hector Gil and wounded two others, 21 year-old boxer Ricky Gutierrez and fellow volunteer Peter Moreno.


Even though the facility appeared to be spit-and-polish with grand posters and flags hanging from the ceiling, three bullet holes remained in the back wall and another in the speaker of the facility’s large TV screen. The bullet holes are a reminder of how one stupid transgression can ruin so many lives.

Ever since the Gil tragedy, Ari Soltani, the gym’s owner and chief sponsor, plus his committed volunteers have been adamant, the gym will remain open in order to benefit the youngsters of the communtity. After making that decision, it meant going forward with the plans to host the USA Amateur event. The annual affair will now be a rallying point to celebrate Hector Gil’s life and contribution to the area. Soltani, himself, could not put into words the extreme pride and appreciation he has for the hardwork being done by the volunteers at the Pacific Coast Boxing gym.

And now the results from Saturday’s USA Amateur Show in which nine gyms participated.

Bout #1 featured 11 year-old Alberto Cazarez of Escondido facing 10 year-old Roman Gonzalez of the host gym, Pacific Coast Boxing. From round one on, their was absolutely no break in the action. In round one it appeared Cazarez had knocked Gonzalez off his feet but the referee ruled it was a push. What marred any chance of a victory for Gonzalez was his tactic of holding and hitting. Cazarez’s relentless straight one-two punch scored him a unanimous decision victory. With the action in this bout being so intense, the event coordinators later selected this bout as the top bout of the day.

Bout #2 featured 14 year-old Bryan Espinoza of Escondido going up against 12 year-old Jesus Balderas of Penacho. Balderas used his reach advantage to land more punches, especially to Espinoza’s mid-section. It wasn’t until the third round that Espinsoza managed to get in close where he could be more effective and by that time it was too late.

Bout #3 featured 11 year-old Jason Rivera of Rhino Boxing in Vista, an orthodox boxer, facing southpaw 12 year-old Luis Angel of the National City Community Youth Athletic Center. Up until Saturday’s match, Rivera’s reputation in the ring was a lofty one. But, he had never faced a lefty and never one with Angel’s skills. Not once did Angel let Rivera get inside. Jab, jab, left hook was followed by a jab, jab, right cross. Soon, Angel scored a standing eight count and you could see the frustration growing on Rivera’s face. To his credit Rivera hung in there until the very end.

Bout #4 featured 17 year-old Ivan Ordaz of Pacific Coast Boxing facing 19 year-old Marty Kelley of USIAA making his debut. The first round went to Ordaz who had the quicker hands and was getting off first. Realizing he had some catching up to do, Kelly came out firing in the second. His attempt to even the score soon started to wane, and back came Ordaz to register two eight counts. Round three was more of the same, another eight count and then the referee called for an early stoppage.

Bout #5 featured 12 year-olds Oscar Hernandez of Rhino Boxing and Luis Cortez of USIAA. From the opening bell, this bout was all Hernandez who wasted no time getting inside the defenses of his taller opponent to win all three rounds.

Bout #6 featured 16 year-old Johnny Quiroz of Rhino Boxing facing 14 year-old Miguel Bracamontes of Escondido. Whereas Quiroz appeared to be the busier of the two boxers and more effective on the inside, Bracamontes worked his magic from the outside, being more elusive and using his reach advantage to score the victory.

Bout #7 featured 10 year-old Alviro Tirado of Rhino Boxing facing 11 year-old Michael Santizo of Riverside Boxing. Tirado may have had the edge in round one but Santizo took over from there, capitalizing on a stiff jab that snapped Tirado’s head back and resulted in a bloody nose. After Tirado was issued several eight counts, it was clear Santizo had the victory in hand.

Bout #8 featured 25 year-old Rene Mendez of Pacific Coast facing 21 year-old Arthur Arrington of the Mongoose Gym in San Diego. It was Arrington’s sixth bout but his first against someone of Mendez’s caliber, a boxer who has been training on and off for 10 years and competed in several national tournaments like the Ringside Tournament and Desert Showdown.

After Arrington was issued two standing eight counts in the first round and then being pummeled with rights and lefts in the second, Arrington’s corner threw in the towel.

The next USA Amateur Boxing Show, “A Boxing Celebration of Life” in honor of coach Hector Gil will be held May 22nd, at LA Boxing, 13179 Black Mountain Rd., Rancho Penasquitos. Coach Gil’s family will be on-hand for an honorary presentation. Event coordinator is Dawn Kohley of San Diego Fight Source,

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