New Mexico Golden Glove’s Tourney is Disappointing

Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward conceived the idea of a city-wide amateur boxing tournament in 1923, to be sponsored by the newspaper. Each champion was awarded a miniature golden glove which gave the tournament its name. The history of the GG’s is rich in tradition with great world champions emerging from its ranks.  Legends such as Joe Louis 1934, Muhammed Ali (1960); Sugar Ray Leonard (1973); “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler (1973); Michael Spinks (1974); Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (1977); Johnny Tapia (1984); and Mike Tyson (1984). Over the years the Golden Gloves tournament became the most prestigious competition in amateur boxing.

USA Boxing, formerly known as the United States Amateur Boxing Federation, has governed men’s amateur boxing in the United States since 1988. Over the years it has risen in prestige at the expense of the Golden Gloves. USA Boxing comprises 56 Local Boxing Committees, which are grouped into 14 geographical regions. These LBCs, along with the coaches, athletes, and officials form the backbone of USA Boxing and Olympic-style boxing in the United States. Boxing facilities, coaches, officials and athletes may be affiliated with USA Boxing; with athletes receiving an official “passbook” to be presented and marked at all sanctioned events. Athletes are classified according to age, gender and weight, with boxers younger than seventeen known as “juniors” and those thirty-five or older known as “masters”.

With this background Sunday at the Mountain View Community Center, New Mexico selected 8 champions to face Colorado in the regionals this coming Saturday. The 108 pound and 201 divisions will not be represented. Unfortunately six of the eight champions selected did not have to fight as there was no competition. The one contest that did take place was at 114 lbs., with the loser to fight in the 123 pound division. Nine additional bouts took place with youngsters as young as eight years of age. In addition to a USA Boxing week long tournament held the previous week there was a nine bout pro fight card also held on Saturday Night. Normally the GG’s takes place over three days, but due to lack of entries Friday night’s competition was canceled. As with all amateur cards I cover, I’ll cover those contests that caught my eye first, with no disrespect to other contestants.

l-r) La Zachariah Jacquez vs Abraham Perez

Bout #10, in the lone tournament competition Abraham Perez (Perez Boxing) faced Zachariah Jacquez (Jacquez Boxing) for the 114 pound Championship Bout. As you would expect this was clearly the fight of the night. Jacquez a southpaw used space well scoring with quick hands first. Perez appeared to be off his game, making little effort to cut off the ring on his fleet footed opponent. The second round Perez would trap his rival on the ropes, only to voluntarily give up his advantage. Perez would score with a clean punch and then back away. For his part Jacquez continued to peck away with right jabs and overhand lefts. This was very difficult round to score. The final round was Perez’s best, highlighted by a solid right hand to the head. Jacquez continued to work the ring well, with some nice footwork. I thought this was a difficult contest to score, but the judges did not, awarding Perez a unanimous decision. Both Perez and Jacquez are talented and should represent New Mexico well. Jacquez will represent New Mexico in the 123 pound division.

Representing New Mexico Saturday at the Regional in Colorado will be; 108 ponds vacant, 114 pounds Abraham Perez,  123 pounds Zachariah Jacquez, 132 pounds Jaime Aguilar, 141 pounds Marcus Ewing, 152 pounds Damien La Riva, 165 pounds Adam Marquez, 178 pounds Miguel Delgado, 201 pounds vacant, 201 + Herman Ortiz Castillo.

l-r) Damien La Riva vs Xavier Madrid

Bout #9, Xavier Madrid (Unattached) won by UD over Damien La Riva (Albuquerque PAL) Open/152 lbs. I was very impressed with the work of Madrid, but he had a live body in front of him in the form of La Riva. In the opening round Madrid slipped punches and worked his way in close. He was economy in motion throwing short, accurate punches to the body. La Riva tried to work on the inside, but that wasn’t the place to be. The second round was a repeat of the first and it was apparent that Madrid had man strength and knew how to use it. La Riva had his best round in the third, creating space with lateral movement. His jab made it more difficult for Madrid to get inside. Both boxers have some talent, but Madrid’s fast start was the difference.

l-r Leanna Martinez vs Dacia Jacquez

Bout #8, Dacia Jacquez (Jacquez Boxing) won by UD over Leanna Martinez (Unattached) Open/114 lbs. Once again this was a contest in which one boxer had the better skills, but was facing a stubborn opponent who never stopped trying to turn the tide. Jacquez created space for her jab and knew how to use it. In rounds two and three she started throwing combinations off the jab, including a beautiful double left hook to the head and body that scored. Martinez landed some nice counter punches to score at times, making this a competitive match. Woman’s boxing is getting better all the time and these young ladies are proof.

l-r ) Amery Williams vs Ramon Guzman

Bout #5, Ramon Guzman (South Valley Boxing) won by UD over Amery Williams (505) Age 11/92 lbs. Amery Williams is a good boxer with some ability; unfortunately he was facing a fighter in Guzman who knew how to deal with a southpaw style. In the opening round Guzman employed a body attack to break through Williams’ defense. Williams wasn’t standing around as this was an action packed round. In the second and third rounds Williams was able to score with his right jab, but Guzman answered with some big guns. This was a good contest.       

l-r) Aiyonah Williams vs Isabel Garcia

Bout #3, Isabel Garcia (JD’s Gym) won by UD over Aiyonah Williams (505) Age 17/135 lbs. The opening round belonged to Williams the result of cleaner punching, while her opponent couldn’t seem to get started. Garcia must have gotten some solid advice between rounds, because she picked up the pace in the second round with an aggressive two handed attack. In the final round Garcia continued to attack, with a big finish to close out the round.

l-r) Saul Solis vs Christopher Bustamante

Bout #4, Saul Solis (Lions) won by UD over Christopher Bustamante (JD’s Gym) Age 8/69 lbs. I know you shouldn’t call male boxers cute, because only their mothers would appreciate a comment like that. These young men never stopped throwing and seemed to possess endless energy. The difference was Solis’ jab which was very accurate, combined with excellent lateral movement. But Bustamante never stopped pressing his opponent and the audience seemed to like the action. If Bustamante learns how to bob-n-weave he will be a force to be reckoned with. Who cares if they’re cute, these little warriors know how to bring it!

l-r) Alden Smith vs Mark Gonzales

Bout #1, Alden Smith (Roswell Boxing) won by SD over Mark Gonzales (House of Pain) Age 15/118 lbs. The opening round was very close as each boxer took turns attacking the other, only to lose their advantage due to carelessness. In the second round Gonzales landed a nice right hand to the head, but wasted his advantage. I gave the round to Smith because of his counter punching. Smith had a nice final round using his height and reach advantage to control the action.

Bout #2, Arianna Carrasco (House of Pain) won by UD over Zera Adame (TNT) Age 14/114 lbs.  Carrasco controlled the opening behind a nice jab and right hands. Adame was ok on defense, but failed to move her hands. Adame picked up the pace in the second but could not match the fire power of her rival. Carrasco dominated the final round by throwing first, keeping Adame on the defensive. Adame needs to learn how to deal with a jab and counter. If she can develop those skills it won’t be so easy for someone to dominate the action.

l-r) Mark Gonzales vs Gregory Alaniz

Bout #6, Gregory Alaniz (Castillo’s Boxing) won by UD over Mark Gonzales (Unattached) Novice/125 lbs. Both young men showed some skills in the opening round and it looked to be close. Unfortunately for Parcel, Alaniz has some power which he used to dominate the final two rounds. This power surge resulted in Parcel’s taking standing 8-counts the result of Alaniz two fisted attack. If Parcel can improve his footwork, it would go a long way in improving his defensive skills. Alaniz knows how to sit down on his punches, which should make future opponents less likely to go toe-to-toe with him. 

l-r) Josue Reyes vs Ruben Contreras

Bout #7 Josue Reyes (Torito Boxing) won by UD over Ruben Contreras (Lions) Age 15/138 lbs. The stockier Reyes didn’t allow his taller opponent to work at long range. He relentlessly pressed the attack against the taller Contreras. Reyes worked behind clean punching to the body to slowly wear down his rival. For his part Contreras realized he needed space to work and would have had more success with better lateral movement.