Confidence carries young boxer into Golden Gloves Open semifinals

Posted Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Rodolfo Rivas is an Open Division rookie, but he has brought an impressive résumé to his debut in this year’s Golden Golden Regional Tournament.

He introduced himself with a decision victory over L’Darius Whetstone in the quarterfinals of the 152-pound division of the Golden Gloves Regional Tournament on Wednesday at Watt Arena.

On display was the quickness and effective jab that made him a state and national Silver Gloves champion and winner of the Games of Texas.

At 17, he’s the youngest fighter in his division, but he feels no intimidation or reservation about facing off with older and more experienced fighters.

“I did [feel some intimidation] at first, but I’ve been putting in the work,” said Rivas, a junior at Castleberry High School. “I’m confident in myself.”

The regional tournament continues through Saturday. Bouts start at 7 each night.

Rivas received a bye into the quarterfinals after neither Luke Bateman nor David Fabela showed for their fight. John Duplesis, a Golden Gloves veteran, will fight David Rubio on Friday for the other spot in the final. The champion will advance to the state tournament next week in Fort Worth.

“I need to stay focused and work the fight to my advantages,” said Rivas, who needed to hang on after Whetstone rallied with several connections in the last two minutes.

The Reyes Boxing Club fighter slipped to one knee in the first round, but otherwise jumped out to a lead by working his opponent with a good left jab to a few locations. Though he was effective in controlling Whetstone’s jab, Rivas never found an opening for his right.

“He was a good opponent,” Rivas said. “I just couldn’t find a right.”

Big boys

In the last bout of the night, Raymond Walker defeated Alex Alvarez to advance to the semifinals of the 201-plus Open Division.

Walker will meet Jesse Parker on Friday night in a battle of 250-somethings. Pablo Galindo and Gregory Dismukes face off for a berth in the final Saturday.

Champions crowned

Several female boxers were crowned regional champions with victories, including Vivian Marshall (8-10 novice), Giselle Gomez (11-12 novice), Winter Parker (15-16 senior novice) and Amanda Bermudez (14-15 novice).

Power pack

Why is Phillip Mustafa of Arlington so confident about his chances in the 165-pound men’s Novice Division? He throws a right hand with a purpose. Mustafa advanced when opponent Emilo Morales decided he wanted no more after the first round.

“I had some good spots,” said Mustafa, who is a student at Tarrant County College, “and I hit him with some hard punches.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
San Francisco2Final | Box
Kansas City «7
110th World Series, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Houston «90Final | Box
Brooklyn86Final | Box
Boston «100
Washington100Final | Box
New York «103
Cleveland92Final | Box
Memphis «96
Minnesota «110Final | Box
Atlanta «117Final | Box
San Antonio107
Portland86Final | Box
LA Lakers «94
Phoenix713rd Qtr 5:17 | Box
LA Clippers71TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Philadelphia «5Final | Box
Washington2Final | Box
Edmonton «3
Buffalo03rd Prd | Box
Full Scoreboard