March 13, 2011Ryan MaquianaCSNBayArea.com
Olympic hopefuls from Sacramento all the way to Bakersfield descended on downtown San Francisco Saturday afternoon to compete in the 2011 Regional Golden Gloves finals. The winners advanced to the California state finals on April 2 in Vacaville, where if they can emerge victorious, they move on to the National Golden Gloves in Indianapolis on April 25. The ultimate champion of each weight class earns one of the eight coveted spots for next years Olympic Trials.The fight of the night featured reigning national lightweight champion Jose Ramirez of Avenal taking a judges decision over former Philippine national team member Adam Fiel of Vacaville in the 132-pound final. While four judges ruled in favor of Ramirez and only one for Fiel, the outcome was much closer than the scorecards would indicate. In fact, Ramirez weathered a third-round knockdown from a Fiel left hook and edged his foe in a hotly contested exhibition of offensive firepower and accuracy from both fighters.It was my first fight since last September so I was a little sloppy, said Ramirez, a freshman at Fresno State. He was a tough fighter but I fought a smart fight and won in the end.I thought I did enough to win, but it happens in an amateur fight, said Fiel. Im going to fight at U.S. Nationals and Im sure Ill see him again in a couple of months. 2009 nationally ranked light welterweight Andy Vences of San Jose overcame the rough-and-tumble tactics of Tulares Vicente Guzman in the 141-pound final in a 5-0 victory that was also more competitive than one would believe after inspecting the cards. Vences, a student at San Jose City College, trailed his opponent early in the bout. However, midway through, he was able to time Guzmans barrages and pivot his way out of trouble, landing enough salvos of his own en route to the triumph. Once I started turning him around, I was able to land six clean shots at a time, said Vences. I got another fight next weekendand that should tune me up for state finals.In the 178-pound final, light heavyweight Ruben Mendoza of Tulare defeated Darrell Taylor of Sacramento by a 5-0 decision. Mendoza was the more consistent aggressor even though Taylor, a Mt. Eden High School of Hayward product, had his moments with some precise counterpunching of his own.Featherweight Edwin Sandoval of Bakersfield scored a 4-1 decision win over fellow 123-pounder Mario Cardenas of Fairfield. Sandovals combination punching in close quarters served as the margin of victory.Concords Daniel Thomas annexed the welterweight title by earning a dominant 5-0 decision over Jesus Sanchez of Madera in a battle of 152-pounders. Thomas utilized his superior height and reach to keep Sanchez at bay throughout the bout.At the 201-pound heavyweight limit, Antwon Abron of Stockton outhustled Clinton Nelson of San Carlos in a brawl of a bout that the judges scored 5-0. When the two decided to trade blows, Abrons harder and cleaner shots were the difference. To close the night, super heavyweight Laron Mitchell of San Francisco took a 5-0 judges tally over Bakersfields Patrick Schwenke in a display of raw aggression. Despite being the shorter fighter, the southpaw Mitchell pressed forward and was able to bully his opponent into the corner repeatedly. Sacramento flyweight Rodolfo Becerril (114 lbs.) and middleweight Ricardo Pinell of Sacramento (165 lbs.) were unopposed and will proceed to the next round as walkovers.