It was an impressive showing by the Mexican Amateur boxing team in front of an enthusiastic crowd of an estimated 1200 fans at The San Diego Sports Arena on Jan. 18th. The Mexican team came up big by winning eight of eleven bouts against the American contingent.
Light Flyweight, Odilon Zaleta, led the way for Mexico as he took the first fight of the night with a 13-11 decision over Luis Yanez. Yanez is the only fighter already qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.
Braulio Avila won in impressive fashion over 2007 Flyweight U.S. silver medalist Daniel Lozano. Avila jumped ahead quickly on points with a non stop assault. By the second round, Avila would take a lead of 22-3. It was at the: 53 mark of the third round that the United States coaches called a halt to the action to give Avila the victory by stoppage.
Oscar Valdez defeated hometown boy David Clark in the bantamweight division with a 15-12 decision. Clark took the early lead but Valdez poured on the attack and never let Clark regain the point’s edge to make it three in a row for Mexico.
It looked like Rico Ramos of Los Angeles was about to bring in the US team’s first victory as he seemed to clearly out box Arturo Santos but surprisingly lost an 18-11 decision that seemed to outrage the U.S. supporters in the crowd.
Francisco Vargas kept the roll going for Mexico by keeping a high work rate that seemed to overwhelm Cleveland, Ohio’s Miguel Gonzalez in the lightweight division. Vargas took the win over Gonzalez with a score of 38-11.
Light Welterweight Andre Sherard came close to stopping the Mexican’s win streak with a solid performance over Mexico’s Jesse Vargas. It was a close fight with Sherard going into the final round ahead in points. Vargas stepped up the pace and finished with a 15-12 victory.
It was Welterweight Greg Carter that finally took the first U.S. victory in a very messy win over Oscar Molina. Molina was ahead on points at the end of the first but Carter kept piling on the points. Carter was mauling Molina for most of the fight. At one point both fighters nearly tumbled over the ropes. Carter wins with a 24-13 decision.
Marco Antonio Periban defeated the United States’ Shawn Porter in middleweight action. Periban pressed forward and had a 20-5 lead after the second round and never let up. The Mexican took the fight with a 47-12 decision.
Light heavyweight Joshua Garza easily out pointed Siju Shabazz of New Mexico and ended up with a 27-4 decision.
Heavyweight David Carey outworked Javier Torres en route to a 27-16 decision. Carey had a slim lead throughout until a hard combination in the last round which led to a standing eight count, sealed the win for the American.
Mike Wilson took a 16-9 decision over Mexico’s Andres Ruiz. It was an exciting contest that seemed a lot closer than the final score revealed. The 270 lbs. Ruiz seems to be better suited as a pro than as an amateur. The crowd voiced it’s disapproval over the final decision.
Faces in the crowd:
Former World Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield who told the crowd he’d be fighting Mike Tyson next. Holyfield was serving as the U.S. team captain.
Mexican boxing hero and former champion Erik Morales who was the captain of the Mexican team.
Former world champion Terry “Terrible” Norris.
The 2008 “Battle Across The Border” was the first USA vs. Mexico dual meet since 2000.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?