Tuesday, June 29, 2010
He will never be forgotten I am glad I got the opportunity to meet and work with him and share time with him. Also the title of the video is Oscar Rivadeneyra "Return of the Champion".
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
By Ryan Maquiñana
2005 light heavyweight National champion Brandon Gonzales was in attendance, with his presence serving as a testament to what success at this level could entail for these aspiring amateurs. Several fighters of note have come out of this regional and made their mark on the sport, including Gonzales and 2004 Olympic gold medalist/now-WBA super middleweight titlist Andre Ward. One can only wonder what the future holds for this new batch of fighters from the Golden State.
(Note: The listed scores reflect the five individual judges’ decisions and not the actual point totals, which were not made available to the media or public.)
The opening tournament bout pitted San Ardo’s Roman Morales against Fairfield’s Mario Cardenas in a clash of 123-pound featherweights. Morales, a southpaw, overcame a strong first round from Cardenas to finish the fight ahead on all five judges’ scorecards, 5-0. The San Ardo product now looks to add to his two titles in national tournaments with another triumphant run in July.
In the 132-pound lightweight division, two-time Junior Olympic champion Jose Ramirez of Avenal took a 4-1 decision over Andy Vences of San Jose. With a sizable family contingent vocally behind him, Ramirez edged out his opponent in their numerous exchanges, in the center of the ring. Vences, who won last year’s regionals at junior welterweight, gave a solid account of himself, by displaying excellent hand speed, but Ramirez’ boxing skills were the deciding factor.
“He was a tough opponent because he had good upper body movement,” Ramirez assessed. “The jab did the job in the end.”
Junior welterweight Paul Cano of Clovis engaged fellow 141-pounder Greg Good of San Francisco, with the former pulling out a 4-1 decision. Cano found himself stalking Good for most of the fight, which was no easy task since the San Francisco southpaw had a mobile, awkward style. However, in the sweltering Sacramento heat, Good found it tougher than usual to impose his style on his opponent, and Cano took advantage of the sporadic instances when he was able to stop him in his tracks.
The 152-pound welterweight division bout featured an interesting conflict of styles between Lathrop’s Quilisto Madera and Pittsburg’s Mike Morales. Madera enjoyed a height advantage, and from the opening bell, began to pump his jab to establish distance. Nonetheless, a determined Morales was able to work his way inside with a series of stinging body punches that were audible to the capacity crowd in attendance. For his part, Madera threw counters to the now-exposed head of his opponent, but it could be argued that his volume was insufficient to win, as the referee raised Morales’ arm after a 5-0 decision.
Moving on to the middleweights, Aaron Cloey of Stockton faced off against San Francisco’s Ricardo Pinell in a battle of southpaws. A seemingly close fight was broken open by Pinell in the third and final round, when he landed two consecutive one-two combinations that snapped Cloey’s head back and stunned him. Pinell ended up securing a 5-0 decision to take the 165-pound regional crown.
In what was arguably the most talked about fight of the day, Fresno’s John Watts met Oakland’s Cymone Kearney in a 178-pound showdown. A straight right hand is a textbook weapon against a southpaw, and Kearney utilized it to perfection as he dropped his opponent to one knee, only seconds following the opening bell. Moments after Watts survived the count, Kearney landed a lead left hook that floored the Fresno fighter, leaving the referee no choice but to stop the bout in the first round.
Kearney fights in the same amateur division that Ward once conquered, and he also trains at King’s Gym in Oakland, the same place where the 2004 gold medalist learned his craft. The new regional champ reflected on his performance, “The key was staying confident and being in control. I saw he was a southpaw, so we tried to line him up with that quick jab, and once we did that, it opened things up.”
Kearney also vows that this year’s outcome at nationals will differ from his experience at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials in Houston, when he was stopped by eventual U.S. champ Chris Downs. “Between then and now, the difference is maturity. I don’t want to get there again and come up short. The goals are a National title and an Olympic gold medal now, and that’s what I’ve been working hard every day for.”
In the final bout of the day, the heavyweights stepped to the forefront as Tulare’s Ruben Mendoza fought San Mateo’s Mike Marshall in a three-round scrap. In what could best be analogized to football’s “three yards and a cloud of dust,” the two 201-pounders would meet in the center of the ring, throw their respective shots, and then clinch. But the fight was far from boring. While Marshall had his moments and landed some clean punches, Mendoza displayed a veteran’s demeanor with inside fighting and locked his opponent’s arms when necessary to initiate his own offense. Perhaps it was his success in this department that served to be the margin of victory, because three out of the five judges felt Mendoza won the fight, while the other two gave the nod to Marshall.
Flyweight Gilbert Mendoza of Modesto and super heavyweight O’Jayland Brown of Sacramento were unopposed and automatically advanced to nationals. In a non-tournament matchup, San Jose’s Eros Corega defeat Mendoza, 3-2.
In a year that is basically serving as a warm-up to the first ever Olympic team trials for female boxers in 2011, flyweight Jamie Mitchell defeated Courtney Ogawa of San Francisco behind a chopping overhand right, as well as a variety of quick combinations. The Salinas’ product took the 112-pound bout by a margin of 5-0.
Fresno’s Shanne Ruelas faced off against Sacramento’s Janelle Gonzales in a battle of featherweights. Gonzales, the wife of Brandon Gonzales, chose to start with a body attack and work her way up. On the other hand, Ruelas elected to initially throw one-two combinations to the head and go to the body soon after. As the bout progressed, Gonzales employed a left hook and uppercut that were effective; however, the overall volume from Ruelas carried the Fresno fighter to a 4-1 decision.
“I should have thrown more punches,” said Gonzales. “When a person throws six punches, you need to throw ten or 12. I thought I landed the harder punches, but she was the better fighter today.”
Finally, Katonya Fisher of Bakersfield and Kara Potter of San Jose fought for the 132-pound lightweight regional crown, with Fisher consistently beating her opponent to the punch, en route to a 5-0 decision win.