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 year’s 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. “I’m going to fight at U.S. Nationals and I’m sure I’ll 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 Tulare’s 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.
Read more: CSN Bay Area