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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.

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Harvest Rumble 2013

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Ted Luzzi, our friend and contributor, wrote an article for us about last month’s Harvest Rumble:

HR2013_OpeningAnnouncer

Double Punches’ 5th Annual Harvest Rumble Amateur Boxing Competitions fight night in Santa Rosa this past Saturday, October 12th featured some great action fights—the kind that rain punches from all points of the compass, exciting the crowd. Often, the well-matched bouts were toe-to-toe, punch for punch. A big turnout had been anticipated due to the successful pre-event ticket sales alone; nonetheless, it was still gratifying to see every seat filled so quickly. At one point people lined the walls, standing where they could to see the fights. The complete card consisted of 13 matchups; the show ran over three hours. Over 200 people were in attendance. The audience cheered all afternoon, supporting their favorite boxers, certainly getting their money’s worth.

HR2013_Crowd

At 2:30 pm the ring announcer, Rafael Rivero—Community Outreach Specialist for the City of Santa Rosa—trotted to ring center and made the opening statements. He was followed by Major C. Joseph Murray, the commanding officer of The Salvation Army Santa Rosa Corps, to lead the Opening Prayer, adding dignity to the occasion. Richard Lopez, the Double Punches Boxing Club Program Director, welcomed everyone, while the President of the Northern California U.S.A. Boxing LBC #38, Robert Rodriguez, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

HR2013_MajorJoeOpening

The anticipation was building. My friend Scott looked at me and said his palms were sweating. I had initially told myself I wouldn’t let the excitement and emotions of the moment push me around; I would cheer only temperately and with restraint. What nonsense! My palms were sweaty too.

Here are some highlights from the riveting matches:

 

Martha Arroyo (13, Napa SAL) versus Ariana Garcia (14, Warriors 4 JC)

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Voted Best Fight of the Night by the audience

Both these fighters seemed charged with predatory intensity as they attacked each other at the opening bell. Both girls were fearless, with a total disregard for danger, it seemed. They fought with fire; toe-to-toe, punch for punch. Garcia appeared to possess the faster hands initially, pulling ahead.  She kept up a daring attack, landing more punches than Martha, seemingly winning the fight—but Miss Arroyo changed tactics, and began timing Ariana’s rushes perfectly; countering with fierce, accurate rights that shot straight through Garcia’s guard whenever she charged in.

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Oct 16

Spotlight! Luis Andrade & Reynaldo Robledo

This week we are showcasing two of our up and coming young boxers:

In a spectacular close match at our Harvest Rumble competitions on Saturday, our own Luis Andrade, 16, won his bout against Sergio Sora, 17, of Napa SAL. This was Luis’ debut fight and first win, and we could not be prouder!

Luis Andrade_2013 Harvest Rumble Win

October 2013 Knockout of the Month:
Reynaldo Robledo
Reynaldo Robledo

Rey has been with Double Punches for one year. When asked why he joined, he says it’s because he wants to be a Professional boxer someday. He enjoys everything about boxing, and has no complaints about the exercises. Rey believes the club has benefited his discipline, gotten him out of trouble, and helps him get away from his problems. He says his family in particular has influenced and inspired him because they motivate him to be someone in life, and they also love the sport of boxing. Ten years from now, Rey hopes to be a Pro boxer. This month, Rey was nominated for Knockout of the month by some of his fellow classmates because of his focused and friendly attitude, both in the ring and off it.

Written by Andrea Cebreros