By: Austin Killeen – Ringside
New Mexico Golden Gloves’ President Juan Nunez played host for a fundraiser Saturday at American Legion Post 13. The card featured 15 bouts, including show bouts with boxers from Texas and Colorado participating. It was the day of ten year olds, and some of these boxers displayed solid fundamentals for boxers so young. I don’t know the capacity for the venue, but it appeared to be sold out. Donations and ticket sales will be used for team travel and lodging to the Denver regionals (April 27) and Chattanooga nationals (May 5-11). For over 60 years New Mexico has taken a team to the national Golden Gloves and paid for their expenses. The Golden Gloves is the oldest amateur tournament in the country, having started in Chicago in 1923. I’ll cover those contests that caught my eye first, with no disrespect to the other contestants.
Bout #7, 160 lbs., Drew Lopez, Bamma Boxing, Roswell, NM, won by SD over Matthew Plakio, Unattached. This contest was voted the fight of the night, as both contestants were throwing punches with bad intentions. Plakio took a standing 8 count in the second round, something I usually don’t like about amateur boxing. Plakio threw some hard shots of his own, but he tended to throw them wide allowing Lopez to block most of them. This would make for a good matchup in this year’s Golden Gloves, especially if Plakio learns to shorten the arc of his punches. I was able to talk to both fighters during intermission and found them to be very nice young men.
Bout #4, 75 lbs., Terry Green III, age 10, Terry Green Boxing, El Paso, TX won by UD over Sevein Portillo, age 10, Champion Boxing, Amarillo, TX. I’ve seen Green box before, it’s hard to believe that he is only ten years old. He has amazing footwork, in part due to his lateral movement. He also is an excellent judge of distance, knowing when he’s in range and his opponent is not. As a result he used his quick hands to score with volume punching against his southpaw opponent. Portillo was no stiff, putting forward a valiant effort. I have no doubt that Portillo has had his hand raised in many fights.
Bout #1, 75 lbs., Alex Ortiz, age 10, Martinez Boxing, Farmington, NM won by SD over Tuhvuan Salazar, age 10, Champion Boxing, Amarillo, TX in an exciting opening bout of the evening. Typically on amateur cards the opening bout features two little kids who fight like windmills. This bout proved to be one of the best bouts of the night, featuring toe-to-toe exchanges for three rounds. Ortiz used his height and reach to capture a close first round. Salazar was doing well on the inside in the second but for some reason beyond the referee issued him a standing 8 count. I liked Ortiz in the final round, but it was very close. They may have been 10 years old, but they fought at a much higher skill level.
Bout #15, 80 lbs., Santino Castillo, age 10, Champion Boxing, Amarillo, TX won by SD over Jose Sandoval, age 10, JD’s Gym, Clovis, NM. Like the opening fight of the evening, this bout featured ten year olds who won the fans over. Castillo and Sandoval came to fight and only had one gear; forward. They knew how to deliver punches and did so often. This was another contender for fight of the night, as there were few clinches and lots of action.
Bout #2, 75 lbs., Zachariah Henry, age 8, Southside Boxing, Albuquerque, NM won by UD over Angel Navarrete, age 8, Unattached. This was a classic matchup of the shorter boxer Henry trying to solve the problem of Navarrete’s height advantage. Navarrete used his reach to keep his opponent on the outside. He did a nice job of scoring off his left jab, prompting the referee to administer a standing 8 count to Henry. Henry came storming back in the second, scoring with the cleaner punches because Navarrete gave up his height advantage. The final round was a repeat of the second round, which probably swayed the judge’s opinion.
Bout #3, 135 lbs., Codi Chavez, Open, Power Plant, Albuquerque, NM won by UD over Estevez Segura, Open, Lights Out, Las Cruces, NM. Chavez got off to a fast start to capture the opening round behind volume punching. This continued in the second round, in part due to Segura smoothing his own attack on the inside. In the final round Segura landed some nice combinations, as he gave himself room to work. Their contrasting styles made for an interesting contest.
Bout #5, 90 lbs., Chris Reyes, age 11, Torritos Boxing, Albuquerque, NM won by UD over Giovanni Miranda, age 11, Champion Boxing, Amarillo, TX. Miranda used heavy hands to carry the opening round, in particular his use of a nice left hook. He continued to control the action in the second, but Reyes finished strong behind a nice body attack along the ropes. I’m sure he captured the eye of some of the judges. In the final round Miranda showed those in attendance that he’s the complete package, but you can only do that if you’re facing a live opponent which Reyes most definitely is. In the end it was Reyes’ heavy hands that won him the contest.
Bout #6, 132 lbs., Geraldo Vasquez, age 15, Sigala Boxing, Albuquerque, NM won by TKO-Rd 2 over Jesus Rylon, age 15, Torritos Boxing, Albuquerque, NM. Vasquez showed why lateral movement is so important to any fighter. His movement created openings which he took advantage of. The referee halted the contest in the second round to save the game Rylon from unnecessary punishment. Rylon was game and if he’s willing to put the time in he has some potential.
Bout #8, 165 lbs., Joseph Chavez, Open, Power Plant, Albuquerque, NM, won by SD over Damien La Riva, Open, Unattached. This was an entertaining fight and I hope they plan to be in this year’s Golden Gloves tournament. Chavez captured the first two rounds behind a nice upper cut and a stiff jab. Add to that his solid defense and it appeared he would win easy. But La Riva had different plans and he captured the final round behind a strong body attack. He let his hands go, throwing some nice combinations. When fighters find themselves outclassed, they have to remember a punch not thrown is a punch not landed. If La Riva fought the entire fight like the he did the third round, we might be talking about the fight of the night.
Bout #9, 132 lbs., Tyler Valdez, Gunnison Valdez Boxing, Denver, CO. won by UD over Logan Henry Bamma Boxing, Roswell, NM. Valdez carried the opening round with a body attack. Henry returned the favor taking the second round, by mixing his attack to the head and body. The final round was razor close with both combatants exhausted, but not giving up.
Bout #10, 141 lbs., Nevaeh Green, age 14, Terry Green Boxing, El Paso, won by UD over Kimberly Enrique, age 14, Torritos Boxing, Albuquerque, NM. Like her younger brother, Green used her jab to set up her overhand rights to the head. This was her first fight; as a result she lacked her brother’s ring generalship. But she knew enough to utilize her height and reach to control each round. Enrique was very aggressive, but she didn’t know how to avoid punches while working her way inside. If she learns how to bob-n-weave she should see a big improvement in her skills.
Bout #11, 90 lbs., Dillon Jaramillo, age 9, TNT Boxing, Los Lunas, NM, won by UD over Alex Lambert, age 9, Bamma Boxing, Roswell, NM. Jaramillo captured the opening round with aggressiveness and accurate overhand rights. Why change what’s working, Jaramillo captured the second round in the same manner as the first. Determined but exhausted Lambert had to take a standing 8 count in the final round. Lambert was gritty but lacked the fire power of Jaramillo.
Bout #12, 55 lbs., Lorenzo Cerrillo, age 9, Duke City Brawlers, Albuquerque, NM, won by UD over Christian Castro, age 9, Martinez Boxing, Farmington, NM. Cerrillo was very aggressive in the opening round and that was enough to catch the judge’s eyes. Castro came to life in the second stanza, but was it enough to even matters with the arbitrators at ringside? Cerrillo made sure he didn’t leave it up to the judges as he had a strong final round. Cerrillo is not a bad fighter, but it’s a lot easier to fight when you’re moving forward.
Bout #13, 100 lbs., Angel Sandoval, age 13, JD’s Gym, Clovis, NM won by SD over Angel Enriquez, age 13,Torritos Boxing, Albuquerque, NM. Enriguez was very aggressive in the opening round, reminding me of a modern day Henry Armstrong. The taller Sandoval used his height and reach to keep the fight at long range in round 2. A round I felt he won. The final round was like the first with Enriguez working on the inside. This was a close contest and where you were sitting a ringside would affect how you judged the contest.
Bout #14, 95 lbs., Carlos Castro, age 11, Martinez Boxing, Farmington, NM won by UD over Luis Ramirez, age 11, TNT Boxing, Los Lunas, NM. Castro utilized his length to control the entire fight. Scoring behind a nice jab, he was able to score with his total offense. Ramirez needs to learn how to slip a left jab; if he does he’ll see a world of improvement. Amateur boxing is a learning process and there is a lot to digest.