Solid gold experience at Golden Gloves

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Liberal arts sophomore Maria Giron takes a hit in the second bout of the San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves Tournament preliminaries Feb. 20 in the Woodlawn Gym. The official of this bout was Cynthia Trejo, and Giron was categorized as a female novice 101-pound lightweight. Although her bout did not qualify her for the next competition, she said, "Overall I tried my best." The local tournament benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio.  Photo by Tress-Marie Landa

Liberal arts sophomore Maria Giron takes a hit in the second bout of the San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves Tournament preliminaries Feb. 20 in the Woodlawn Gym. The official of this bout was Cynthia Trejo, and Giron was categorized as a female novice 101-pound lightweight. Although her bout did not qualify her for the next competition, she said, “Overall I tried my best.” The local tournament benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. Photo by Tress-Marie Landa

Official Cynthia Trejo awards Lynzee VillaFranca a championship trophy and windbreaker after defeating liberal arts sophomore Maria Giron by decision during the preliminaries of the San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves Tournament Feb. 20 at the Woodlawn Gym.  Photo by Tress-Marie Landa

Official Cynthia Trejo awards Lynzee VillaFranca a championship trophy and windbreaker after defeating liberal arts sophomore Maria Giron by decision during the preliminaries of the San Antonio Regional Golden Gloves Tournament Feb. 20 at the Woodlawn Gym. Photo by Tress-Marie Landa

Boxing club represents this college in tournament

By Kyle R. Cotton

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Last week, this college’s boxing club sent four representatives to the San Antonio Golden Gloves regional tournament, novice division, however, none will proceed to the state Golden Gloves tournament.

The four were drama freshman Dennis Salazar fighting light weight class 132; liberal arts sophomore Maria Giron fighting light fly weight class 101; criminal justice freshman Jose “Pepe” Rodriguez and engineering freshman Adrian Guzman fighting light welterweight class 141.

Oneill Fuentes from Randazzo Brothers Boxing Gym leans for a punch on drama freshman Dennis Salazar during the seventh bout in the preliminaries of the Golden Gloves tournament Feb. 18 at Woodlawn Gym at Alexander and Josephine Tobin. Fuentes won the one-minute match in the third round. The tournament continues through Friday  Photo by E. David Guel

Oneill Fuentes from Randazzo Brothers Boxing Gym leans for a punch on drama freshman Dennis Salazar during the seventh bout in the preliminaries of the Golden Gloves tournament Feb. 18 at Woodlawn Gym at Alexander and Josephine Tobin. Fuentes won the one-minute match in the third round. The tournament continues through Friday Photo by E. David Guel

This college’s boxing coach, Hector Ramos, said, “These were the ones who survived the whole training camp and proved to me they could get hit and stay competitive.”

“They have the chance to win the whole tournament,” Ramos said Feb. 17 before the match began. “I won this tournament back in 2005, and winning this tournament provides you with memories that will last you a lifetime.”

Salazar and Guzman were one and done in the tournament after receiving a first round bye.

Salazar, who last year lost in the first round to the eventual champion, fought Randazzo Brothers Boxing Club’s Oneil Fuentes.

Before his fight, Salazar said his game plan was to lead with his jab and fall into his backhand.

It was a game plan he executed well, as both fighters felt each other out in back and forth exchanges of controlling the fight.

Most of the way Salazar focused on the body.

Fuentes came at Salazar with a flurry of punches in the final round, resulting in a 2-1 decision in Fuentes’ favor.

Ramos said, “We executed our game plan, and I feel Dennis won and the judges were looking at the wrong fight.”

Fuentes saw the fight a little differently, saying, “I did my job, and I found the fight easy except for the first round.”

Guzman fought San Antonio Golden Gloves’ Esteban Vela, and began the fight Feb. 19 by landing a fierce three-hit combo before Vela managed to pin Guzman against the ropes.

Vela worked the ring with Guzman throughout the match with Guzman countering with several jabs to keep it close.

Vela won the match on a split decision.

Afterward, Guzman said, “He got me on the ropes. He put more pressure on me than I was expecting.”

Ramos said, “Knowing that he worked out in a room with no bags, no mirrors, and no ring, he did excellently.”

“We’re going up against guys that have all of that. For us, just to be training in an empty room, I’m real happy,” he said.

Thanks to several byes, Giron, the club’s only woman contestant, made it all the way to the championship final Feb. 21 against Luna Boxing Club’s Lynzee VillaFranca.

This was Giron’s first official fight as a boxer; she didn’t have anyone in her weight class to fight at SACtacular, Oct. 17.

Giron said, “I’m just going to try my best and see what happens.”

The fighters went back and forth in the first round with Giron scoring multiple counter attack flurries against an aggressive VillaFranca.

From there it was a battle, with VillaFranca maintaining her position as the aggressor to a unanimous decision.

Afterward Giron said, “I feel tired, but overall I tried my best and that’s all you can ask for.”

Ramos said, “It was a good fight, and I’m real happy with her performance against someone who looked older and stronger.

“We did what we practiced and we executed our gameplan and she landed a lot of threes (three-hit combinations),” he said.

“Honestly, Maria was great,” VillaFranca complimented her. “I never really fought someone my size so that was an interesting dynamic to adjust to.”

“I want to train with her because that’s what I need to get better, there are very few girl’s our size with a desire to get in the ring,” Villafranca said, adding she plans to reach out to her.

The college’s fourth boxer, Rodriguez, made it all the way to the novice light welterweight class 141 semifinals after a first-round bye, and defeating the unattached Mario Torres.

Rodriguez in the semifinals went against his sparring partner of Ramos Boxing Team, Nathaniel Dominguez.

Rodriguez said, “We train together, but it really had me nervous since he has a lot of experience.”

When asked about his game plan, Rodriguez responded, “See how he moves to start and make a game plan from there.”

The fight started fast and furious with both fighters going back and forth with no clear advantage for the first two rounds with both fights seemingly getting faster and stronger as the contest went on.

In the third round, Rodriguez played keep away, thinking he was ahead and only attacking to keep his opponent back, however, Dominguez won by a unanimous decision.

Rodriguez said, “I thought I had it for a few seconds … I thought I was ahead.”

Ramos said, “He fought well, he landed big shots and it was a really close fight, the other guy was a more technical fighter and I think the judges saw that.”

Dominguez said, “It was a real hard fight, me and Pepe trained hard for that fight and he laid it all out there. He’s a warrior.”

Ramos said, ”Overall we performed great. All of them lost to Golden Glove champions and for them to be at this level already is unreal, and I’m really happy with their performance.”

Danny Geraldo Martinez contributed to this story.

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