Boxers can give politicos a run for their money in spinning outcomes.
In losses, they can find any number of reasons to show why they actually won.
JR Guzman of Fort Worth, however, gave the unvarnished truth, in his opinion, of how he fared on Friday at the Texas State Golden Gloves tournament at Will Rogers’ Watt Arena.
“I thought I lost,” Guzman said. “I didn’t start out as good as I wanted to. It was my first fight since July. I felt good [with his conditioning], but, in the ring, I didn’t feel good.”
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So, he was predictably pleasantly surprised to hear, “Winner … red corner.”
Guzman, probably a little too hard on himself, used his punching power to earn a decision victory over Alex Martinez of East Texas in the semifinals of the 108-pound division.
Guzman, Tony Lamarr, in the 178 division, and heavyweight Richard Jones will represent Fort Worth in their respective finals on Saturday.
Fort Worth’s Jazmin Lopez, who advanced to the finals by walk-through will be featured in the championship of the women’s 152-pound division, one of three female championship bouts, the first in the 82-year history of the state Golden Gloves.
The bouts start at 7 p.m.
Fort Worth’s Alex Mones, in the women’s 125, Jordan Najar (123), Jordan Pace (132), Adan Pacheco (141) and Edgar Hernandez (152) all fell short in the semifinals.
Fort Worth is 6-7 over the three days of the tournament.
“I have to start of better, be quicker, adjust faster,” Guzman said. “The little things.”
For his victory, Guzman will get the fight he has so relished over the past year: a rematch with Ephraim Bui of Houston. Both have moved down a weight class since Bui’s victory over Guzman last year in 114.
“That’s why I wanted to win this fight, so I could get my revenge on the guy from last year,” Guzman said. “I watched the fight over and over. And every time I watch it was closer every time I see it. I think it was a close fight.
“I just need to start off quicker. I feel way better than last year. I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Lamarr, in his second state tournament in three years, used a height and reach advantage to best a shorter but quicker Rueben De La Rosa of Austin.
He showed resilience in taking De La Rosa’s best shots.
Lamarr also had the arena’s most boisterous cheering section, 15 or so family and friends reacting to his every move.
In the 201, the undersized Jones again managed to overcome a double-digit weight difference – 12 pounds – to win a favorable decision over Kelvin Gibson of Dallas.
Lamarr will be vying to keep the 178 in Fort Worth hands against Rio Grande Valley’s Hector Ferreyro. Fort Worth’s Rafael Gaitan beat Ferreyro in the finals in 2017.
Jones will face Darius Fulghum of Houston.
The difference for Lamarr has been his maturity, said his trainer, Paulie Ayala.
“He’s fought and sparred some of the toughest guys to come out of Fort Worth in a while,” Ayala said. “It was just a matter of him putting it all together and being ready at the right time. Right now, I think it’s the right time for him.”
Women’s 125 pounds semifinals: Esmeralda Navarro, Rio Grande Valley, d. Alexis Mones, Fort Worth, dec.; Destiny Jasso, Dallas, d. Carmen Vargas, Houston.
Women’s 152 pounds semifinals: Kim Washington, Dallas, d. Destiny Jones, Austin, default.
Men’s 108 pounds semifinals: JR Guzman, Fort Worth, d. Alex Martinez, East Texas, dec.
Men’s 114 pounds semifinals: John Atiles, Houston, d. Joe Martinez, Corpus Christi, dec.; Jovany Carrillo, Dallas, d. Mark Argo, Austin, dec.
Men’s 123 pounds semifinals: Jovani Martinez, Austin, d. Jordan Najar, Fort Worth, dec. Martel Washpun, Houston, d. Xavier Rodriguez, East Texas, RSF (second round).
Men’s 132 pounds semifinals: Jose Perez, Dallas, d. Jordan Pace, Fort Worth, dec.; Oscar Perez, Houston, d. Alejandro Pena, Austin, dec.
Men’s 141 pounds semifinals: Rodolfo Pena, Houston, d. Quindale Faulkner, Corpus Christi, dec.; Omar Juarez, Austin, d. Adan Pacheco, Fort Worth, dec.
Men’s 152 pounds semifinals: Alex Donis, Houston, d. Luis Flores, Corpus Christi, dec.; Devin Anderson, Austin, d. Edgar Hernandez, Fort Worth, dec.
Men’s 165 pounds semifinals: Anthony Flores, Austin, d. Ricardo Salgado, East Texas; Noah Jones, Dallas, d. Austin Williams, Austin, dec.
Men’s 178 pounds semifinals: Tony Lamarr, Fort Worth, d. Ruben De La Rosa, Austin, dec.; Hector Ferreyro, Rio Grande Valley, d. Kenneth Carter, Houston, dec.
Men’s 201 pounds semifinals: Richard Jones, Fort Worth, d. Kelvin Gibson, Dallas, dec.; Darius Fulghum, Houston, d. Keaundre Watkins, East Texas, default.
Men’s 201-plus pounds semifinals: Miguel Rodriguez, Rio Grande Valley, d. Damon Stearne, Dallas, dec.; Habeeb Saibu, East Texas, d. Albert Okopie, Houston, dec.
Women’s 125 pounds: Esmeralda Navaro, Rio Grande Valley, vs. Destiny Jasso, Dallas.
Women’s 141 pounds: Crystal Aceves, El Paso, vs. Annelicia Sustaita, Dallas.
Women’s 152 pounds semifinals: Kim Washington, Dallas, vs. Jasmin Lopez, Fort Worth.
Men’s 108 pounds: Ephraim Bui, Houston, vs. JR Guzman, Fort Worth.
Men’s 114 pounds semifinals: John Atiles, Houston vs. Jovany Carrillo, Dallas.
Men’s 123 pounds semifinals: Jovani Martinez, Austin, vs. Martel Washpun, Houston.
Men’s 132 pounds semifinals: Jose Perez, Dallas, vs. Oscar Perez, Houston.
Men’s 141 pounds: Rodolfo Pena, Houston, vs. Omar Juarez, Austin.
Men’s 152 pounds: Alex Donis, Houston, vs. Devin Anderson, Austin.
Men’s 165 pounds: Anthony Flores, Austin vs. Noah Jones, Dallas.
Men’s 178 pounds: Tony Lamarr, Fort Worth, vs. Hector Ferreyro, Rio Grande Valley.
Men’s 201 pounds: Richard Jones, Fort Worth, vs. Darius Fulghum, Houston.
Men’s 201-plus pounds semifinals: Miguel Rodriguez, Rio Grande Valley, vs. Habeeb Saibu, East Texas.