Biology freshman Chelsea Castro and biology sophomore Juliana Carbajal square off April 16 while onlookers watch from the mall during the SAC Boxing Show. Carbajal won by unanimous decision. Thomas Macias (360 photo)
Participants in SAC Boxing Show flash skill and differing styles in outdoor competition.
By Thomas Macias
“They all ‘performed,’” head coach Hector Ramos said of this college’s boxing club in issuing his highest personal compliment toward the 10 fighters who participated in the “SAC Boxing Show,” an intersquad competition consisting of five fights April 16 in an outdoor ring in the mall.
Ramos, a former All-Armed Forces and professional boxer, said for him to suggest a boxer had “performed” was to credit the fighter for overcoming fear, anxiety and nervousness and in executing in the ring the training learned in practice.
“I’ve had boxers get on the big stage and not perform,” Ramos said.
“I’m really proud of the (boxers),” Ramos said. “You see the facilities that we have with no bags, no boxing ring … and to perform the way that they performed up there, in my eyes it’s an A-plus.”
The first fight pitted computer science freshmen Jeremiah Hayden against biochemistry sophomore Albert Gomez in a match of contrasting styles with the puncher Gomez squaring off against the counter-punching Hayden.
The fight was evenly matched through the first round with both fighters peppering each other with combos and flurries and with each showing effective defensive movement.
Experience and conditioning worked to Gomez’s ultimate advantage as he outpointed Hayden in the second and third rounds in winning a unanimous decision.
The afternoon’s second fight was a demonstration bout between nursing sophomore Antonio Silva and emergency medical technician Rafael Ontiveros.
Although the two pugilists are buddies outside of the ring, Ramos said the nature of the event led the two to stand toe-to-toe through three rounds, throwing haymakers with each trying to deliver what Ramos called “the winning punch.”
The fight was an exhibition-only match with no decision being rendered; however, the fight was evenly matched and appreciated by the crowd.
The third event showcased the most well-rounded boxer of the afternoon, kinesiology freshman Tyler Morris, against math sophomore Carlos Tapia.
Although the capable Tapia was able to lay in good exchanges throughout the three rounds, Morris’ power shots, conditioning, ring-generalship and aggressive style resulted in a unanimous decision.
In an interview after his fight, Morris said strength, quickness and accuracy were his best attributes although the felt he needed to improve his footwork.
“The worst thing is getting hit in the nose,” he said of his experience. “The best thing is hitting (other boxers) in the nose.”
The fourth event on the card featured civil engineering sophomore Francisco Cardona against business freshman Jose Moreno.
Ramos said this bout was characterized by “the athlete (Moreno)” against the “student of the sport (Cardona).”
In a back-and-forth fight featuring a constant exchange of punches, Ramos said Moreno was able to effectively employ his strength while Cardona’s hustle kept the contest a toss-up.
Moreno ultimately prevailed and was credited with the decision.
The final fight of the event matched biology sophomore Juliana Carbajal and biology freshman Chelsea Castro.
Carbajal, who had waited more than a year for an opportunity to compete in the SAC Boxing Show, demonstrated a complete game in effectively jabbing, punching and employing efficient footwork and defense.
Other boxing events did not attract a female opponent who could provide an equal matchup, she said.
Castro was nonetheless a scrappy fighter whose defensive talents showed in her ability to parry punches and in her lateral movement, which removed her from precarious situations.
Carbajal emerged victorious, and in an interview following her unanimous decision said boxing is a family affair as she was influenced to box by her sister who had previously competed for this college’s boxing team.
An accolade given to not only the 10 participants of the SAC Boxing Show but to all the members of this college’s boxing team was offered by Arturo Ramos, father of Hector Ramos. The senior Ramos has devoted more than half a century to the sport of boxing.
Ramos said that he believed there are many people who would like to challenge themselves by entering a ring but for various reasons never avail themselves of the opportunity.
Ramos suggested the lessons and confidence accrued by boxers are good preparation for adversity many will face outside of the ring.
“Once you’re ready for boxing, you’re ready for life,” Arturo Ramos said.