By Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Glenn DePriest (click on picture to enlarge)
I wasn’t born when the Golden Gloves was founded in 1923 by Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward. Over the years the Golden Gloves tournament became the most prestigious competition in amateur boxing. Sadly I may be around to see its demise in the next few years. With ten divisions in men’s and woman’s Golden Gloves, there were potentially twenty matches that could have taken place on Saturday. In actuality there were four bouts; three men’s and only one for the women. This lack of matches is a direct result of USA Boxing which now controls Amateur Boxing in the United States. They set the rules for the Golden Gloves which must meet a more rigorous standard than that of competitors in USA Boxing tournaments.
The winners from Saturday will attend the Nationals from May 14th to the 19th at Omaha, Nebraska. Four Boys, Abraham Perez 114 lbs, Codi Chavez 141 lbs, Xvier Madrid 152 lbs, and Cullens Daniels 178 lbs and three girls Dacia Jacquez 119 lbs, Isabel Garcia 141 lbs and Sharahya-Taina Moreu will be representing us at the nationals.
All the title bouts below were scheduled for 3 minute rounds.
In the 152 lbs division, Xavier Madrid of New Mexico faced Jaydon Vigil of Colorado. This proved to be an action bout, resulting in a close decision for Madrid that could have gone either way. The fans liked the action, but much of the crowd did not like the verdict. The stockier Madrid worked well on the inside, landing clean punches. Vigil worked well on the outside, but appeared to hold a lot. I favored Madrid in a close round. In the second round Madrid switched to the outside scoring with clean blows. Once again I favored the boxer from New Mexico.
In the third round Vigil started bleeding from the nose, but it didn’t slow him down. He surprised me with his infighting, backing his opponent up much of the round. Madrid was not as effective fighting in retreat, causing me to award the round to Vigil. This was a close fight and if a judge saw one of the opening two rounds for Vigil it would explain their verdict. When the decision was announced Madrid was the recipient of a majority decision.
In the 141 lbs woman’s division Hannah Tercep won by Unanimous Decision over Isabel Garcia of New Mexico. The taller Tercep worked well from the outside in the opening round landing sharp punches. This resulted in the referee giving the game Garcia a standing 8-count. At this point in the contest I wasn’t sure that Garcia would even answer the bell for the second round. But Garcia proved to be a very tough competitor, attacking her rival at the opening bell. Working her way inside, she started throwing punches in bunches forcing Tercep to temporarily cover up. But Tercep is a special fighter, who was very effective even in retreat. Using lateral movement she started scoring from angles to carry the second round.
In the third round the game Garcia took another standing 8-count. She never stopped trying to turn things around, but was in against one of the best female amateur boxers I’ve witnessed to date. Tercep is a special talent who would do well in the nationals, but unfortunately will not attend. Tercep told Juan Nunez, President of the Colorado/New Mexico Golden Gloves she will be turning pro and not attending the Nationals. Isabel Garcia will be taking her place, and based on what I saw Saturday should do well.
In the 141 lbs division, Codi Chavez of New Mexico won by majority decision over Trey Alexander of Colorado. In the opening round both boxers had their moments, Chavez with uppercuts on the inside and Alexander at long range. This was a close round. In the second round Chavez switched to southpaw and won by a wide margin. Alexander appeared confused, allowing Chavez to score at will much of the round. Chavez put on a clinic in the final round to win going away. Alexander was a tough young man and just needs more experience.
In the 114 lbs division, Abraham Perez of New Mexico won by majority decision over Terrel Mendiola of Colorado. I’ve seen Perez box for more than three years and clearly this was his best effort to date. In the opening minute of the first round it was all Mendiola, but Perez found his rhythm behind stiff left jabs and hooks to take the round. In the second round Mendiola started bleeding from the nose, the result of combinations from the talented Perez. In the final round Perez crossed his gloves at the wrist, confusing his rival. He would then lead with either hand, scoring with surprising accuracy. He also displayed great head movement throughout the entire contest. The only surprise was the verdict not being by unanimous decision. Mendiola’s mistake was not trying to be first, instead of waiting to see what Perez would do.
The two show bouts below were scheduled for 1 minute rounds.
Ezekiel Martinez of the 505 Fight Factory won by unanimous decision over Ivan Watchman of Power & Glory at Bantamweight
Samuel Romero Unattached won by unanimous decision over Esiah Martinez of the 505 Fight Factory at Pee Wee.
Both Hannah Tercep and Abraham Perez put on a display of skills in the ring on Saturday afternoon. If I was asked my choice for MVB, and I wasn’t, I would have selected Tercep and Perez in a tie. They both have a bright future in the sport, if they continue to work hard and improve their already impressive skill set.