Thursday, May 17, 2018

Chats with Larry Gomez, Christian Aguirre, Francisco Alcantara




On Saturday, May 26, Imperial Boxing Promotions, headed by Trifon Petrov, of California,  returns to the Davis Conference Center, 1651 N, 700 West, in Layton, for a night of boxing. The main event matches undefeated Utahns Larry Gomez and Christian Aguirre for state middleweight rights. The pair will also be fighting for another title, the AmericanBoxing Organization’s regional middleweight title, according to Juan Curiel of the ABO.



A bout between Aguirre (winning a bout, at left, below) and Gomez (scoring a KO above) has been long anticipated and has gyms across the state buzzing with talk of who will prevail. Aguirre, in a recent state super-middleweight title fight, took a close nod over previously undefeated Bladimir Estrada. Gomez, who had an impressive amateur career, won a state title recently, stopping a previously undefeated opponent, Donald Griffin.



Utah Fight Game blog will be ringside for the card, which starts at 6 p.m. I’ll be reporting on the bouts, and Charles Presnell will be taking pictures. At the end of this article we have comments from both Gomez and Aguirre, as well as comments from local boxer and MMA pro, Francisco Alcantara, who also fights on the card.

According to Josh Morales, of Imperial, here is an update of the card 9 days before fight night. Amateurs: Jonathen Montalogo vs Rena Mendoza is one bout. Mateo Holt and Jay Wright are scheduled to meet opponents. Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves champs  Michelle Maya and Jon Bryant are scheduled to meet opponents.
Here’s the pro show: 122 pounds, Julio Martinez vs Jair Nava; 170 pounds, Enrique Ojeda vs Francisco Alacantara; 147lbs Anthony Ayala vs Justin Morales; and the main title belt between Gomez and Aguirre.

STEELFIST MMA FRIDAY NIGHT: Before we get to the interviews with Aguirre, Gomez and Alcantara, SteelFist MMA has a good pro/am card on Friday, May 18, in Salt Lake City. The doors open at 6 p.m. at the Union Event Center with heavyweights Eric Iman and Samuel Sprauer in the main event. A very intriguing co-main matches flyweights Miles Welk and Nicholas Clem for the professional promotional belt. A pro lightweight bout matches Nathan Kearsley against Idaho’s Kerry Lattimer (fighting for the third time in three weeks). There’s a whole night’s worth of bouts. It’s at 235 N. 500 West. The card, without Lattimer as replacement noted, is here.

BACK TO INTERVIEWS: Both Aguirre and Gomez were presented with the same questions. Gomez chose to be more brief in his responses. They are both good fighters and great individuals and we wish them the best.

CHRISTIAN AGUIRRE:

The most important reason why this fight means everything to me is because I get to show of my Heavenly Fathers name (CRISTO) in front of a big crowd. What motivates me most about this fight is that the odds are against me because my opponent hits super hard so it motivates me to wake up and run up the mountains. I just want to shock everyone once again because I know I work harder than he does. He may hit harder but I know I work harder.  (Photo below shows Aguirre, at right, sparring at the gym)



My fighting style is more old school like great legends such as Gene Fullmer, Roberto Duran. Marvin Hagler, Julio C├ęsar Chavez Sr, Jake LaMotta, and Rocky Marciano. My opponent’s strengths are his speed and power but … I know I have more heart than him to make him quit ... I only had one amateur bout but he’s had a little bit over 60 amateur fights. I used to spar him and he’s the real deal but I know that I won’t be alone in the ring that night. 

My training consists of waking up early in the morning and running up at the state capital and up the Ensign Peak. I do a lot of sprints to mimic the intensity of the bout and countless workouts later in the day. I’m also sparring with a few people for this bout such as Shilo Platts, Francisco Lopez, Julian Ruiz, and Nate Kearsley. I’m literally putting everything I have into this and I know the results will be good this May 26th. Huge shoutout to gyms such as BFit, Lights Out Boxing, Fullmer’s Boxing, UFC Gym, UCTC, Hidden Valley, KO Reyes Boxing, and Louie’s Boxing for molding me into the fighter I am today. 

Being a fighter has improved my life by keeping me disciplined and away from trouble. I used to street fight a lot growing up in Jalisco, Mexico. I used to fight for money and beat kids up in order to buy chips or soda. I also got my first knockout as a 4-year-old against a bigger kid than me when we would fight in the broken-down bricked houses. 

I grew up very poor and hungry but also angry because my biological father left me when I was just two years old. I would fight in elementary school all the way through high school until I ended up at the hospital once because my own friends jumped me but I made sure they ended up at the hospital also. After all that drama happened I decided to go into boxing and I don’t regret a single minute of it. I know I was born for this and I’m not afraid of any man with two arms and a chin.

After winning this fight against Larry Gomez 6-0-0 (6KOs) I will show off my Heavenly Father’s name to the world because I know my purpose is greater than money and fame. I used to be the weakest one in the gym. They used to drop me and bully me in that ring but it only made me stronger. I’m just ready to show the lake that Goliath is just a man. I’m just ready to become a world champion after this Great War with Larry. I give my God all the glory and I thank my family and everyone who is supporting me or has helped me in the past. This one’s for the underdogs! 

... Tony Fulilangi and Rick Manzanares are training me. Tony fought Big George Foreman.

LARRY GOMEZ: 

I don’t really want to give out my information  but … I’m training harder than ever and I’m 100 percent ready. I’ve never wanted to knock someone out more in my life after all the crap he talks. He’s finally gonna’ get what he’s got coming. Team Gomez is finally back and I always go for the knockout; that’s my style -- knockout punching. (photo below shows Gomez with handlers after winning state title)



ALSO HERE’S OUR CONVERSATION WITH FRANCISCO ALCANTARA

I’m stepping back in the ring because I want to try and make something happen; … I love fighting and I’ve been a striker in my MMA fights. My style will be the same, an aggressive approach and everything will be thrown with bad intentions.

I’m training with Danny Garcia and getting my sparring sessions in with The Pack members at Foley’s gym as well as Justin Roberts, my longtime friend. ... I don’t know much about my opponent but I just see him like any other opponent I’m coming to put him out.

I've enjoyed watching Cisco Alcantara fight for a long time. The best of luck to him and all the boxers that night. It’ll be great to see professional boxing back north of Salt Lake City. There’s another pro/am boxing card in SLC on June 1 from Flash Academy at The Complex. Bladimir Estrada will be on the card.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Junior Olympics amateur boxing results


The Utah State Junior Olympics tournament was held last Saturday at Foley's gym in Ogden. Here are the results, including title winners, who can move on to compete at Nationals in New Mexico:

56 pounds: Austin Garcia, Maximus Boxing, defeated Corbin Lloyd, Payson
170 pounds: Tate Johnson, Maximus Boxing, defeated Tod Pachecko, Foley's
98 pounds, TITLE: Colin Toilevuka, defeated Joe Gibson, Foley's (photo above shows Colin (at right) and Joe in corners between first and second round).
70 pounds: Giovanni Gonzales, Lights Out, defeated Shane Saunders, PAL
95 pounds: Elijah Willett, Maximus Boxing, defeated Erik Castaneda, Fullmers
80 pounds: Gizelle Alvaraez, LALO, defeated Estrella Hernandez, Lights Out
75 pounds: Sergio Sanchez, Maximus Boxing, defeated Saul Gamino, Lights Out
120 pounds: Juma Uredi, PAL, defeated Andre Lopez, Louie's
85 pounds: Anthony Charlie, Lights Out, defeated Fernando Quintanilla, PAL
65 pounds: TITLE: Adrian Ggamino, Lights Out, defeated Valentin Ssanchez, Maximus Boxing
110 pounds: Carson Matthews, Foley's, defeated Leonardo Sanchez, PAL
116 pounds: Lesly Hernandez, Louie's, defeated Aliyah Garcia, Oogden
132 pounds, TITLE: Javy "Danny" Melgar, PAL, defeated Giovanni Rodriguez, Oogden.
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Unopposed champions were 8 yrs to 10, Diego Cabrera, Austin Garcia, Giovanni Gonzales, 11 yrs to 12, James Cox, Saul Gamino, Sergio Sanchez, Jesus Guzman, 13 yrs to 14, Eduardo Lopez, Jr., Leonardo Sanchez, Carson Matthews, Sol Rodriguez, Jaqueline Garcia, 15 yrs to 16, Aaron Garcia, Adrian Lopez, Tanner Gurule, Alex Avila, Robert Chairez, Jayden Lopez, Lalo Zimora.

A reminder that local Rocky Mountain Open Golden Gloves champs Diego Alvarez (Los Gallitos) and Jon Bryant (Lights Out) are in training for the upcoming national Golden Gloves in Nebraska.

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Last weekend was The Proving Grounds Invitational 4. Results included Jon Valentine submitting Chris Wells and Lucus Montoya was also a winner via submission. Ethan Alejo, of Park City Jiu Jitsu, was injured in competition but his gym says that he is on the road to recovery. The gym also expressed appreciation to fighters, PGI and others for raising money to help with Ethan's medical expenses. For photos, etc., go to PGI's Facebook page.

In MMA action, Kerry Lattimer, an Idaho pro well known to Utah MMA fans, was stopped by Nathan Stolen in round 2 at Front Street Fights 17 in Boise, Idaho, last weekend. Another fighter known to local cages, William Dunkle, lost a decision to Joe Boerschig. Card is here.

Local MMA pro Brenda Enriquez fights on a Combate card in Sacramento on Friday, against Lizbeth Lopez Silva. It's the main event and the card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

SOME BOXING NEWS: Next week we will preview the May 26 Imperial Boxing card in Layton. Interviews will include Christian Aguirre and Larry Gomez, meeting for both a state and ABO title. ... The Complex will host another boxing card on June 1. Bladimir Estrada, Ignacio Chairez, and Gabriel Chairez, will be on the card.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Alvarez beats Wright in a thriller, amateur boxing, MMA, more


Saturday, April 28 there was an amateur boxing card at Foley's gym in Ogden. A featured bout was an open 3X3 bout between 130 pounders Diego Alvarez, Los Gallitos gym, and Jay Wright of Foldey's. (Above shows Wright (at left) and Alvarez in action.)

In round one, Wright floored Alvarez with a right hand punch. Alvarez, a former national Golden Gloves champ, rebounded by forcing a standing eight count on Wright later in the round. The ebb-and-flow bout continued in round 2 with Alvarez slowly gaining control, earning two standing eight counts on Wright. However, late in the round, Wright brought the crowd to its feet by rallying, driving Alvarez back with a flurry.

The slugfest continued in the final round. Alvarez stunned Wright a barrage of punches, eventually forcing another standing eight count. At this point, Wright's trainer Dave Foley asked the referee to stop the bout. It was a hell of a fight and both Wright and Alvafrez merit respect for their talents and courage.

Other bouts included: Christopher Azcaray, Rodriguez Boxing, defeating Diego Cabrera, Unbreakable; Corbyn Lloyd, Unbreakable, defeating Kolytn Nalder, Rodriguez Boxing; Damon Weiblehouse, KC Boxing, defeating Dylan Bahena, Lights Out Boxing; Maxine Garcia, Unbreakable, defeating Kaydence Armstrong, Rodriguez Boxing; Sergion Sanchez, defeating Saul Gamino, Lights Oout Boxing; Max Ruiz, Foley's gym, defeating Julio Azcaray, Rodriguez Boxing; Nicole Sontange, Rocky Mountain, defeating Vanessa Shelburne, Foley's gym; Jesus Rodriguez, Louie's Boxing, defeating Jose Mata, Los Gallitos; Elias Barta, Rodriguez Boxing, defeating Fabian Barba, All Heart Boxing; Anthony Charlie, Lights Out Boxing, defeating Holden Atwood, Legends Boxing; Pedro Rubles, All Heart Boxing, defeating David Soria, Mori Academy; Tieler Dana, Foley's gym, defeating Emily Cornejo, Bone Crusher; Sami Daybell, Foley's gym, defeating Hope Clements, Rocky Mountain; Alayah Garcia, Los Gallitos, defeating Dulcy Burkman, Rodriguez Boxing; Jolsh Boyer, Cache Valley, defeating Cesar Bustos, All Heart Boxing; and Ramon Lopez, Legends Boxing, defeating Gary Bailey, Factum.

JUNIOR OLYMPICS: This Saturday, May 5, starting at 1 p.m. Junior Olympics amateur boxing tournament action starts at Foley's gym, 375 31st Street, in Ogden.

UTAH VERSUS COLORADO amateur boxing. On June 30, starting at 6 p.m., the Clearfield Aquatic and Fitness Center will host amateur boxing featuring youth boxers from Clearfield's Lights Out Boxing program. Lights Out's John Bryant, a Rocky Mlountain Golden Gloves champ, will be meeting an elite boxer from Colorado, with a host of other Utah versus Colorado bouts.

JIU-JITSU at Proving Grounds Invitational -- Remember that Saturday is brown and purple belt competition, grappling, jiu-jitsu, feature matches and tournaments at Proving Grounds Invitational 4 in Farmington. We interviewed John Valentine last week, who is competing.

RECENT MMA ACTION -- In Idaho Falls, Idaho, pro MMA fighters familiar to Utah cages competed last weekend. Returning Kerry Lattimer defeated Gabe Pelayo by decision and in the promotion's main event, Fabio Serrao stopped Andrew Cruz. In Casper, Wyo., Rowdy Akers was stopped by Houssam El Kasn in a pro bout and local amateur Eric Munoz stopped Cody Ammen. ... Lattimer is already scheduled to fight on Friday in Boise for Front Street Fights against Nathan Stolen. Also on the card is William Dunkle, who has fought in Utah. He meets Joe Boerschic in a pro bout.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Interview with jiu-jitsu pro John Valentine, fight update



Before we start our interview with jiu-jitsu professional John Valentine I(above), competing in Farmington on May 5 in the Proving Grounds Invitational, here’s a little fight news in Utah:

Last weekend in Denver Colorado at Sparta Combat League 68, some fighters with local ties competed. Kaecy Raddon, a highly ranked amateur at 155, lost a close decision to another top amateur, Johnson Nasona. In a kickboxing match, Jarrett Kelton lost a close nod to Brandon Taylor, and 185-pounder Hayden Brown was stopped by Anthony Cordova. A stablemate of the trio, Alie Kane, lost to Mdegan Winick in a 115-pound MMA bout. All are amateurs. Your reporter had Kelton, Raddon, and Kane winning narrow decisions on his card. (All results are here.)

Saturday, in Casper, Wyo, Rowdy Akers, MMA pro out of One Hit MMA, meets Houssam El Kasri  in a bout (card is here.) And the same night in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in pro MMA bouts, Kerry Lattimer meets Gabe Pelayo, and Fabio Serrao fights Andrew Cruz (card is here). The three bouts are all at 145 pounds.
Finally, Imperial Boxing has made it official: a pro boxing card May 26 at the Davis Conference. Main bout is 160 pounds pro state title Larry Gomez versus Christian Aguirre, both undefeated.

Now, our interview with John Valentine, who meets Chris Wells in an intriguing co-main bout at PGI: John, now out of Las Vegas, has a long tenure locally with MMA, including coaching a women's MMA team at Hidden Valley Gym, matchmaking with SteelFist, and managing MMA women fighters.

Tell us about the fight in May?

Valentine: The fight in May is going to be an exciting one. It is with the invitation-only and submission-only tournament Proving Grounds invitational (PGI), hosted by Dave Casteo and Carl Sims. I am one of the featured super fights and the co-main event for the tournament. I will be taking on one of the most decorated black belts in Utah, Chris Wells, who is a third-degree black belt under Pedro Sauer. In addition to my fight there will be three, eight-man brackets where people are fighting for prize money. In my fight specifically it is a winner take all. For me this will definitely be one of my toughest challenges that I have faced; but also one of the most exciting for me as I get an opportunity to once again give back to some special causes.

How is training going?

Valentine: My training, diet, spiritual, mental and physical preparation are all on point. I built a team for this fight compiled of some of the most talented and decorated world champions in the sport. Training under arguably one of the top five practitioners in the world, Team Robert Drysdale, I was able to pull and partner with a great group of coaches, including, world champions Antonio Lopez, Bendy Casimir and my long-time friend and former MMA coach, Utah Black Belt Brandon Guzzo.



Tell us about the charitable effort to raise money?

Valentine: The response to the charity and causes has been phenomenal. It’s been overwhelming, we’re reaching out to people who don’t even live nearby. The causes all center around suicide awareness. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and something that has plagued many folks in our own life, but it’s taken the lives of many folks in the Utah area as well recently. My main focus charity wise is “Kimonos for Kai,” which was created by James Wright, a close friend of mine in the memory of his son who passed Kai Wright. The message of the organization encourages parents and others to talk to your children about their feelings. Too often children take their own lives because they feel they have no one to talk to or turn to. The organization gives talks and provides support and tools to encourage dialogue between parents, coaches and our youth. James’s message really centers around the idea that you were not replaceable and that you can always talk to someone if you cannot talk to a parent and find a friend. If you can’t talk to a friend, find a coach. But the point is always be sure to talk to someone; there’s always someone here to help you. The second way I have shown support through my previous MMA fights and this event is to get sponsorships. This allows people who want to support others to attend these events who otherwise would not have the financial means to do so. I have already purchased blocks of tickets that will be distributed through the tournament organizers for Proving Grounds Invitational and they are working to distribute those to those in need. It’s important for folks to get out and see these events as they start to chart and plan their own future goals in jiu-jitsu or whatever sport they choose. Anyone interested in supporting can contact me directly. I’m excited at the opportunity to not only compete but compete with purpose in a class

Also, what are some long-term goals in your fight career?

Valentine: As I made the transition in November from the cage as an MMA fighter I still stay centered and focused on the concepts as a transition into jiu-jitsu. Meaning, I still love to compete and still able to do so at an age when many people were throwing in the towel. I want to believe that with training and focus I could be doing this for years to come. Coming off the world championships last year, a lot has changed. I was promoted to black belt after 17 years of training, which was one of the most exciting, and humbling experiences of my life. I feel like my journey now has just started. My main goal this year is to win a second world title, but in the black belt division. The medals and the titles don’t matter as much as my primary goal, which is just to be the best practitioner I can be. The medals in tournaments are just one way to measure that. So is learning, growing and developing as not just a practitioner, but becoming a better teammate. And representing the sport and my gym is also key. I plan to stay active this year and I have some exciting news that I’ll be announcing shortly about a submission-only super fight in the cage in Las Vegas where I will be the featured co-main event. All the proceeds will go back to our troops. Stay tuned!

Is there anyone else you'd like to thank John as you work up to your superfight?

Valentine: Yes, in addition to all the fans and supporters and my gym, I'd like to thank my sponsors, who have done such an amazing job of financing this journey and the charitable causes: Buckedup pre-workout, Breakpoint fight company, RK Fleming Photography and finally Carl Sims and David Casteo of Proving Grounds Invitational for putting on such an amazing event, giving back to the community and for giving me the honor to compete.

In a further conversation with me, Valentine, 47, said the bout with Wells is scheduled for nine minutes. There will be overtime competition, if needed, in which “they start you over, and you both take turns in one position,” he said. The competitor who does better in the OT will be the winner. The fight is at 155 pounds. “I started my weight cut a week ago,” John said. His only prediction? “I’m going to grow. That’s all I care about – to become a better martial artist.”

He also talks with pride about his sons, all active in sports, three of whom are active in jiu-jitsu. Citing their ability to motivate him, he said, “they are probably my best training partners.”

Thursday, April 19, 2018

SteelFist results, Raddon, Kelton fight this weekend


Although the poster says April 7 in Everett, Wash., an amateur title bout between Nasona Johnson and former Utahn Kaecy Rraddon for the Sparta Combat League 155-pound title is actually this Saturday in Denver. Several fighters with Utah ties are on the card (MMA bouts here). Besides Raddon and Nasona, Hayden Brown, an amateur who fights out of One Hit MMA, battles Joshua Cordova, and Allie kane fights Megan Winick.

Also competing in a kickboxing bout against Brandon Taylor is Top of Utahn Jarrett Kelton. Besides having compiled a career in MMA, Kelton is a highly regarded kickboxer, as is Raddon, who compete in WAKO-sanctioned bouts. I chatted with Jarrett recently about his career and the upcoming Sparta card.

KELTON: "I'm just training at ONEHITMMA, teaching Bangmuaythai two days a week. I have a pretty busy (schedule), working full time (at) Juvenile Justice at Mill Creek Youth Center, teaching, training and raising my 17-year-old son, Rhett Kelton . We travel out to LUDWIG Martial Arts (in Colorado) every other month to dial in skill sets With Duane Ludwig, Bangmuaythai drills. I am the Bangmuaythai affiliate coach for Utah. Aldo Oreggia Owner/Head Coach At ONEHITMMA, has been great to work with over past years . He is great coach and friend. Myself, Allie Kane , Hayden Brown and KC Raddon will be fighting This Saturday in Denver for Spartan Combat League."

The Sparta card starts at 1 p.m. and should be livestreamed at their site. The Facebook page is here.

STEELFIST: Results from last week's SteelFist card is at Fighting Out of Utah MMA News Facebook page. In the main pro bout, former UFCer Clay Collard handed Carson Gregory his first loss via a second-round stoppage. That was for the 170-pound belt. In another pro bout, 145 pounds, Bryce Edminister stopped Karl Grace in round one. Winning in amateur title belts were Lehi Dominguez and Bryce Scanlon.

-- A couple of pro boxing notes: Bladimir Estrada plans to return to the ring in June and Francisco "Cisco" Alcantara, who is also a pro MMA fighter, plans to box on May 26 in SLC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Collard versus Gregory highlights SteelFist MMA card


There's a lot going on locally in MMA and other combat sports ... Thomas Hughes plans to fight soon, as does Rowdy Akers, as well as Jarrett Kelton. And in a submission-only card in Davis County, John Valentine will compete. In boxing, Jose Haro's next televised fight is pushed back a week to May 19. But today we'll focus on the Friday the 13th MMA card in SLC from SteelFist. There's a terrific main event, a promotional welterweight pro title bout between former UFC competitor "Cassius" Clay Collard, and undefeated Carson "The Perfect Storm" Gregory. It's scheduled five rounds.

Over the course of a year in 2014 and 2015, Collard fought four UFC bouts and acquitted himself well, winning one, losing two via decision and being stopped in round three by Max Hollaway. He took two years off before returning to action on a SteelFist card, stopping a tough fighter, Troy Dennison.

Gregory, 5-0, has been very impressive. He last win was over an excellent pro, Mike Jones, which he ended in round two. He's improved a lot since I first saw him outslug and eventually submit Kade Lindstrom in SLC a year ago. Gregory had only one loss as an amateur, a majority decision several years ago against Thomas Hughes.

On paper Collard would be the favorite; a lot depends on how good Gregory is at this stage in his career. If he beats Collard, he likely rapidly moves into a higher echelon of competition. Even if he were to be defeated, he would still be considered an excellent prospect. Collard, obviously, moves farther away from the UFC orbit if Gregory wins.

I chatted with Carson Gregory, asking him for comments on training and preparation for the bout, and what it's like to step into the cage with a veteran such as Collard. He was kind enough to provide these thoughts:

GREGORYClay it's just like any other opponent! I respect everyone the same in the ring because everyone has a fighting chance! Therefore, I treat every fight as if it's a championship for the world. I'm constantly upping my training no matter who is in my way. I believe the true enemy is within ourselves. When we beat the enemy within, then we are ready to face any challenges that lie ahead of us.

I think the biggest challenge has been trying to stay true to my morals. There have been a lot of things said over social media that definitely pushed my buttons during this camp, but I had to remind myself that I am not the judge. I am merely a man and have made mistakes and said things that I regret in the past, so why would it be any different with any other man? I feel the calm before the storm, I'm ready for this fight. Friday night is my night! Friday night The Perfect Storm will arrive and destroy anything in its path!

Here are some of the other scheduled bouts on the SteelFist card that I find intriguing. I wish all the fighters the best. The entire card is here.

-- Bryce Edminister versus Karl Grace, 135 pounds: Edminister is returning to SteelFist as a professional. He had success here as an amateur. He trains out of KOA in Davis County, scheduled three rounds.

-- Lehi Dominguez will attempt to defend his 170-pound SteelFist amateur belt against Ului Papanue, scheduled five rounds.

-- Two undefeateds meet with Bryce Scanlon trying to wrest away Ranu Meah's amateur promotional heavyweight title belt, scheduled five rounds.

-- Two amateur middleweights, Ogden's Eric Munoz, and Cole Shafer, meet in a scheduled three rounder.

Card is at Union Event Center in Salt Lake City. Doors open at 6 p.m.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bryant, Alvarez among Golden Gloves champs



This week's Utah Fight Game blog was late because we wanted to get a lot of the info from FitCon reported after it happened. There was an MMA card and the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves championships, with open winners moving on to nationals.

Those moving on to nationals include Jon Bryant, (top photo left) a repeat winner, from Lights Out gym in Clearfield, in the 152-pound division. Also, Diego Alvarez, (bottom photo left), a repeat winner from Los Gallitos gym in Ogden, is champ at 132 pounds. Alvarez was the national Golden Gloves champ in 2016. Ismael Milo Guttierez, of Herriman, is the 141-pound champ; Billy Wagner, of Montana, is the 165-pound Rocky Mountain champ after defeating Utah's Heneli Paea; Utah's Marquise Bowman is the 201-pound champ; Kendra Reeves, of Idaho, is the women's 152-pound champ; and Stephanie Mendoza, of SLC, is also moving on after winning Saturday. Boxers who moved through via walk overs to nationals include Northern Utah's Michele Maya.

Most of the boxers, including Bryant, Alvarez and Gutierrez, had to win on Friday and Saturday to move to the national Golden Gloves championships, held in May in Omaha, Neb.

There were a lot of "show" bouts on both days, that were not part of the Golden Gloves semifinals and finals. Some results: On Saturday, Dylan Bahena of Lights Out defeated Daren Cafero (Montana), 65 pounds, and James Cox, Lights Out, defeated Donel Velorde, Montana, 75 pounds. At 95 pounds, Colin Tuilevuka, Northern Utah, defeated Elijah Willet, Ogden. Both are talented amateurs who have fought three times recently with Tuilevuka getting the nod in competitive bouts. Also, Saul Gamino, Brigham City, defeated Ozmanny Sanchez, at 70 pounds. Both Willett and Sanchez are trained by Victor Palafox.

In Friday "show" bouts, results include: Cox defeated Cafero at 70 pounds; Bahena defeated Velorde at 65 pounds; and Tanner Gurule (Fullmer Bros gym) defeated Andrew Lopez, (Louie's gym). Some amateur boxers received $2,000 Golden Gloves scholarships. Santana DeCarlo, who fights out of All Heart Boxing Gym, was among the recipients.

MMA card:

There was an MMA card at FitCon as well. In the main event, professional 205-pound fighter Jarome Hatch defeated Ben Robinson via third round stoppage. In another fight, Northern Utah fighter Destiny McCubbin, who trains and lives in Las Vegas, won the promotion's 115-pound belt with a 5-round decision over Lauren Chidester, of Hidden Valley gym in Sandy. Jeffrey Dutcher, of Fighting Out of Utah MMA News, said "These girls were bloody and left it all in there; a great fight."

In a pro bout, 160 pounds, Bobby King defeated Andy Perez via unanimous decision. To get all the results, including other amateur promotional title fights, go to Fighting Out of Utah MMA's Facebook page.

We'll have more news next week, including some upcoming fights scheduled and a look athe April 13 SteelFist card, headed by a match between Clay Collard and Carson Gregory.