When opportunity knocked, Fort Worth boxer Jesus Guzman put on his work boots, grabbed a couple of bottles of Gatorade, and jumped at his chance.
Guzman, a loser in last week’s regional tournament in the 108-pound division, needed two bottles of the popular sports drink to hit weight, but he happily moved up a division to fill the Fort Worth region’s vacant spot at 114 in the Texas State Golden Gloves Tournament.
Now he’s moving on.
Guzman, an 18-year-old Castleberry High School senior, looked anything but a lightweight, in fact showing punching power, in a decision victory over Lubbock’s Joshua Montoya on Thursday night at Will Rogers’ Watt Arena.
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“He had to drink two Gatorades to make weight at 108.1,” said Joe Guzman, his trainer. “He has the power to handle 114. He’s been sparring with the heavier kids. He has to spar a lot of guys over his weight.
“I told him he’s got nothing to lose … only to gain. Physically, he’s ready.”
Guzman’s victory led off a good night for Fort Worth fighters, who went 3-1 Thursday and will send five boxers into tonight’s semifinals. The bouts begin at 7 p.m.
Jordan Pace (132) and Rafael Gaitan (178) raised hands in triumph after impressive victories.
David Rubio suffered Fort Worth’s only loss, to Houston’s Alex Donis, who was impressive in twice knocking down his foe. A bloodied Rubio did not survive the third round. Knocked flat a second time, a minute into the third, referee Roland Gamaz stopped the fight.
Guzman bloodied Montoya in the first with a left jab that couldn’t miss. Later in the fight, he displayed his punching power with a left hook followed by a right that both connected and backed Montoya on his heels. Still, he needed the last round to win and he got it.
“There was nothing different,” Jesus Guzman said of his first bout at 114. “We were just trying to figure him out [in the first round], whether he was a boxer or a brawler.”
The 114-pound division is looking for a new champion, though last year’s runner-up is back. Guzman will get that guy, Ephraim Bui, in the semifinals.
While Guzman darted to 114, Jordan Pace got to Fort Worth as fast as he could.
Pace, a state competitor from Dallas a year ago at 132, moved to Fort Worth this past year.
He controlled all three rounds, outboxing Lubbock’s Gabriel Vargas with a decided reach advantage and superior quickness in a decisive decision victory.
“I had to outbox him and be aggressive,” said Pace, who also trains out of the Golden Gloves gym. He’ll take on Oscar Perez of Houston in the semifinals.
“Houston fighters are pretty good, but I plan on taking it from him.”
Gaitan wore out Malcome Childs of Houston, forcing two eight counts. Childs’ corner threw in the towel on the last knockdown in the third round.
Despite that loss, Houston fighters have impressed, going 6-3 overall the first two days. Fort Worth is 5-3, and Austin is 4-1. Dallas fell back with two losses on Thursday and enters the third day at 4-3 overall.
114 pounds quarterfinals: Jovanny Carrillo, Dallas, d. Jorge Orocio, Rio Grande Valley, dec.; Ephraim Bui, Houston, d. Israel Ibarra, East Texas, dec.; Jesus Guzman, Fort Worth, d. Joshua Montoya, Lubbock, dec.
132 pounds quarterfinals: John Torres, Corpus Christi, d. Cesar Cantu, Rio Grande Valley, dec.; Allen Garcia, Austin, d. Julian Duron, El Paso, dec.; Oscar Perez, Houston, d. Moises Molina, Dallas, dec.; Jordan Pace, Fort Worth, d. Gabriel Vargas, Lubbock, dec.
152 pounds quarterfinals: Daniel Cantu, Austin, d. Shomari Wilson, Dallas, dec.; Victor Aranda, El Paso, d. Winford Page, RSF (Round 1); Alex Donis, Houston, d. David Rubio, Fort Worth, RSF (Round 3); Ysrael Barboza, Corpus Christi, d. Robert Castro Jr., Rio Grande Valley, RSF (Round 1).
178 pounds quarterfinals: Delyon Taylor, Twin Cities, d. Kenyotta Henderson, East Texas, dec.; Rafael Gaitan, Fort Worth, d. Malcome Childs, Houston, RSF (Round 3).
201-plus pounds quarterfinals: Juan Garza, San Antonio, d. Eric Briggs, Houston, dec.
108 pounds semifinals: Alex Martinez, East Texas, vs. Christopher Rodriguez, Rio Grande Valley; Stephen Acosta, Dallas, vs. Xavier Rodriguez, Fort Worth.
114 pounds semifinals: Joe Martinez, Corpus Christi, vs. Jovany Carrillo, Dallas; Ephraim Bui, Houston, vs. Jesus Guzman, Fort Worth.
123 pounds semifinals: William Sepulveda, El Paso, vs. Isaac Lopez, Austin; Angel Alejandro, Dallas, vs. Martel Washpun, Houston.
132 pounds semifinals: John Torres, Corpus Christi, vs. Allen Garcia, Austin; Oscar Perez, Houston, vs. Jordan Pace, Fort Worth.
141 pounds semifinals: Daytron Abdullah, Austin, vs. David Fabela, Fort Worth; Raul Manrique, Dallas, vs. D’Angelo Keyes, Houston.
152 pounds semifinals: Daniel Cantu, Austin, vs. Victor Aranda, El Paso; Alex Donis, Houston, vs. Ysrael Barboza, Corpus Christi.
165 pounds semifinals: Q. Barton, Fort Worth, vs. Austin William, Houston; Noah Jones, Dallas, vs. Jorge Tovar, El Paso.
178 pounds semifinals: Hector Ferrreyro Jr., Rio Grande Valley, vs. Delyon Taylor, Twin Cities; Rafael Gaitan, Fort Worth, vs. Burley Brooks, Dallas.
201 pounds semifinals: Dominic Okopie, Houston, vs. Peter Villanueva, Austin; Luther McAfee, East Texas, vs. Rolando Soto, Rio Grande Valley.
201-plus pounds semifinals: Jergen Deraj, Fort Worth, vs. Damon Stearne, Dallas; Juan Garza, Corpus Christi, vs. Saibu Habeeb, East Texas.