Ted Luzzi, our friend and Double Punches contributor, wrote an article about our most recent epic event:
2014 Regional Junior Olympic Championships
It’s two o’clock on May 17, 2014. It’s finally time for the 2014 Regional Junior Olympics, where the best of northern and central California are coming together to battle it out and see who advances to represent California at the U.S. nationals in West Virginia. The anticipation has been building for weeks since Richard and Maria Lopez announced that Double Punches actually won the right to stage this event—and event where Olympic dreams begin. The arena is packed with fans, waiting with bated breath for the first match, ready to blow the roof off the Santa Rosa Salvation Army’s arena as they root for their heroes. The action will explode live in front of the crowd.
While this is a boxing event, it is also a fundraiser. The funds raised will provide for extra ways for Double Punches boxing club to help local youth. The program provides ways of helping young people master themselves and their problems. For local boxing fans, especially those interested in reclaiming Santa Rosa youth from gangs, crime and drugs, this is an epic event.
It really says something about a young person’s character that they will train and study hard to be ready for events like this. They can see in themselves the potential to become a stronger, more confident person. They can use the Double Punches Program to empower their dreams. Win or lose in the boxing ring, these competitors are winning in the significantly larger, more important arena of life.
Ring announcer Rafael Rivera classily introduces the officials and makes the customary announcements. Double Punches singer Tom McIntyre shows his support and belief in his club by agreeing to sing the national anthem. As Tom’s voice soars over the crowd, people take off their hats and place their hands over their hearts. The anthem ends and there’s a moment of silence. Then the tension builds once more when the day’s fighters, dressed in their colorful trunks, are spotted. The crowd’s energy increases; you can almost feel the tightening neck chords and the belly butterflies flutter as the crowd gives off a roar at the opening bell!
Dominic Sierra, 10 (unattached) vs. Juan Guzman, 11 (Caballero BC)
In this intense first match, Guzman came out swinging. Despite his young age, he throws 5 and 6 punch combinations like a professional. Punching in combinations is one of the hardest skills to learn, but Guzman appears to be a natural at it. Sierra tried to counter punch with straight punches. He was very determined but Guzman’s blistering and relentless attack is too much to handle. Guzman wins the first two rounds, but somehow Sierra refuses to concede defeat, and the boys have furious exchanges as neither will give ground. The crowd roars its approval at the sensational ending. Guzman gets a deserved decision win. My friend Scott, whom I attended the fight with, looked at me wide eyes and said, “Wow! That was exciting.”
Luis Espinoza, 22 (Danny Rizo BC) vs. Danny Carnero, 19 (Mateen BC)
Espinoza starts well, demonstrating excellent boxing skills. Carnero could not cope with crafty Espinoza’s style and counter punching in round one. During round two Carnero’s coach kept yelling to “throw the right hand over the jab!” Halfway through the second round Carnero began turning from Espinoza’s jabs and crossing rights over them. Big right hands by Carnero crashed home, stunning and hurting Espinoza. I gave Carnero Round two. Round 3 was a war: Espinoza’s boxing skills versus Carnero’s rights over the jab. Carnero landed and bloodied Espinoza’s mouth, and let loose a devastating barrage of right hands, knocking Espinoza and forcing the referee to give him a standing eight count. Many on the crowd were surprised when Espinoza got the decision. It was the surprise of the night and the crowd visibly disagreed.
Check it out!
This slideshow on BleacherReport.com has quotes and commentary of the most noteworthy moments in boxing history like these:
“Sure the fight was fixed. I fixed it with a right hand.”
“I fight for perfection.”
“Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.”
-Sugar Ray Robinson
A story with a lesson for every sport…
The baseball rose rapidly; a hit off of legendary Babe Ruth’s bat. All eyes in the huge stadium were fixed intently on the ball’s trajectory: Would it be the record breaker? Then the ball cleared the fence for home run number 60—an all time record! The crowd reacted dramatically, rising in terrific excitement; 60,000 people, screaming and shouting. Babe Ruth had done it! That 1927 game marked one of the most memorable moments in sports history: a Home Run record which lasted for decades. Ruth was ennobled by adoring fans and reporters as having had “The best season any player ever had.”
However, 1927 was a year for Ruth in which he actually struck out at the plate 89 times. That’s right—far more often, Babe struck out instead of landing those home runs. Ruth experienced a mid season slump, where he had a devil of a time connecting with the ball—certainly nothing close to a home run slug. At one point during this slump, Ruth was frustrated enough to angrily kick, and dent, his team’s water cooler.
Two of our boxers, Jonathan Rubio and Pedro Madriz (aka “Lobo”), fought at the Battle of the Kennel 7 in San Leandro last Saturday, April 5th. Unfortunately, Lobo didn’t get the decision this time around–but young Jonathan was able to bring home the victory against Javier Gradilla, a tough fighter and Silver Gloves champ from Modesto PAL. It was a good match, and Jonathan had this to say of his experience:
“I had good training, but I was still a little nervous. We were bout #10, right after intermission. I was in the blue corner and warmed up by shadow boxing. In the first round I came in throwing jabs, later catching him with a big left so I felt like I had won that round. Round 2 [Gradilla] came in harder, so I had to throw punch after punch, it was a close round. Round 3 I was able to get him with another hard left. With this win I’m at 17-7, and I’m getting ready for the upcoming Junior Olympics right now, they’re this April 26-27.”
“Jordan has been a wonderful part of the tutoring and mentoring program here at Double Punches. He consistently shows up and always begins doing his homework without being asked. He is a respectful young man who brings a lot of joy to our program. The other students are always delighted to see him, as he has a great sense of humor. Jordan is also a critical thinker, always bringing up current events for us to discuss. Jordan is a pleasure to have and and definitely deserves to be recognized as Knockout of the month.” – Rubie Magallanes, Double Punches TAM tutor
Jordan, 17, has been with us for a year: “I joined because I love boxing, and I wanted to get fit. I enjoy the boxing shows the most because it motivates me to one day be a great boxer. An activity I don’t like but do anyway is running: I know it will make me better, and it keeps me fit. Because of the club I have better self confidence. DBPC motivates me to be a better person each and every day. My parents also inspire me to be the best person I can be. Ten years from now, I see myself as a respectful and responsible person.”
Keep up the great work!
written by Andrea Cebreros
At the Santa Rosa Salvation Army’s 2013 annual Volunteer Appreciation Lunch last week, Double Punches honored volunteer coach Brian Russell.
We met Brian about 12 years ago when his son Mike, 9 years old at the time, joined our club.
He knows how to motivate the kids to work hard and be ready when they compete. He has helped kids prepare for the Junior Olympics, Silver Gloves and Golden Gloves competitions, and represented Double Punches at the 2008 Junior Olympics Nationals, where his son Mike came in at #2.
Brian is not afraid of a challenge, and he’s also not afraid of heights; currently he works as a painter for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Can you imagine having to climb that bridge day to day, rain or shine? Well, not only is that what Brian does every day, but even after a hard day of work he makes time to come into Santa Rosa 2-3 days per week to coach the kids. And he has been doing this for over 12 years!
Brian, thank you so much for your dedication and service to the Club, and to Sonoma County’s youth!