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At the Golden Gloves: Scouting the Bouts
by Adam Pollack

I just returned from the 2001 National Golden Gloves Tournament in Reno, Nevada. I was a one of the Iowa team’s coaches, and one of my boxers, Markus "The Tornado" Varnado, was competing at 178 pounds. The following represents a report regarding some of the good boxers and notable bouts that I saw.


First Round: Aaron Alafa defeated Richard Flores. At the U.S. Championships, Alafa was stopped in four rounds by this year’s champion Ron Siler. Raytona Whitfield defeated Derrick Bivins. Whitfield lost 21-17 to eventual champion Ron Siler in this year’s U.S. Championships semifinals, but was stopped in four by Siler in the U.S. Challenge. Demario Crittenden won a decision over Joe DeLeon with his speed and boxing style, but did not look very strong. Crittenden lost in last year’s semifinals to eventual winner Ron Siler. Top ten ranked Mario Gaxiola looked poor and lost to Ryan Schmidt.

Quarterfinals: Ryan Schmidt defeated Ricardo Johnson. Southpaw Aaron Alafa defeated Demario Crittenden with sharper, cleaner, and stronger punches.

Semifinals: Raytona Whitfield’s speed and strength defeated Ryan Schmidt. Aaron Alafa looked sharp in defeating Jesse Rodriguez.

Finals: Aaron Alafa’s sharp southpaw punches and superior defense helped him outbox Raytona Whitfield. Whitfield did come on strong in the final round though.


First Round: Francisco Rodriguez defeated Josh Dahl. Rodriguez lost in last year’s semifinals to eventual champion Rashiem Jefferson. Along the way to those semifinals, Rodriguez had defeated Raytona Whitfield and Broderick Harper. Robert Semidei upset Karoz Norman. Norman had lost to Brian Viloria 19-5 in last year’s Olympic Box-Offs at 106. Francisco Moncada defeated Reynold S. Madara.

Quarterfinals: Broderick Harper defeated Robert Semidei. Francisco Rodriguez defeated Saul Gonzalez. Francisco Moncada defeated Steve Johnson.

Semifinals: Francisco Rodriguez defeated Broderick Harper, as he had done in last year’s Golden Gloves. Francisco Moncada looked very sharp, landing well timed and placed punches in defeating Roberto Ceron, last year’s PAL champion. Ceron had lost to this year’s U.S. champion Roberto Benitez in the U.S. Championships 36-9.

Finals: Francisco Rodriquez outhustled Francisco Moncada to clearly win.

119: Rashiem Jefferson put in a workman-like effort with quick punches and high punch output to win his bout against Angel Gonzales. Jefferson won last year’s Golden Gloves at 112 pounds by defeating Mickey Bey, but had lost to Roberto Benitez 22-12 in the 2000 Olympic Trials at 112. Quick southpaw Michael Oliver looked impressive in his one round destruction of Luis Ramirez, primarily with body blows. Oliver had lost to Clarence Vinson in the Olympic Trials and Jose Aguiniga in last year’s Golden Gloves. Strong southpaw Francisco Urrabazo defeated Phanh Phakousonh. Urrabazo lost to Mickey Bey in last year’s Golden Gloves at 112 pounds. Mickey Bey looked excellent in taking apart a tough fighter in David Martinez, Jr. Last year, Martinez lost to eventual national champion Jose Aguiniga in the California State Finals. Martinez defeated Francisco Urrabazo 17-13 in the 2000 PAL Championships and 15-4 in this year’s U.S. Championships, which Martinez eventually won by defeating Jason Litzau 18-10. Martinez recently lost to Litzau 32-23 in the U.S. Challenge. Bey defeated Jason Litzau in last year’s Golden Gloves but lost to Litzau 21-11 in this year’s U.S. Championships. Terry Gladden defeated LeShaun Blair. Gladden lost to Tyrone Polk via disqualification at the 2000 PAL. Ricky Alexander put in a workmanlike effort to dominate Jason Miller.

Second Round: Rashiem Jefferson again looked excellent in defeating Ricardo Alvarez. Terry Gladden won a close decision over Jeff Leohr. Mike Oliver looked sharp in stopping Jacob Feaster.

Quarterfinals: Rashiem Jefferson looked impressive in easily defeating Mike Oliver. Oliver previously had looked strong and fast, but Jefferson’s constant pressure with rapid fire punches had Oliver confused. Terry Gladden defeated Jorge Carrasco. Francisco Urrabazo defeated Brian Battease in a good battle. Mickey Bey defeated quick Ricky Alexander. Bey lost the first round, but once he nailed Alexander with some good shots in the second, he owned the bout the rest of the way.

Semifinals: Rashiem Jefferson again impressed in defeating tough Francisco Urrabazo. Mickey Bey lost a close decision to Terry Gladden.

Finals: Rashiem Jefferson utilized speed, punch volume, and good body punches and uppercuts to defeat tough Terry Gladden. Arguably, Jefferson was the most impressive boxer of the tournament in terms of his ability and quality of fighters he had to defeat. However, Jefferson needs to better pronate his punches and a strength program would be advised if he intends to win at the international level.


First Round: Aaron Garcia looked sluggish in defeating Jose Orozco, but this could be because Orozco was the 2000 PAL champion. Orozco lost in the semifinals of this year’s U.S. Championships and lost to this year’s U.S. Champion Andre Dirrell 32-8 at the U.S. Challenge. Garcia lost to Clarence Vinson 9-4 in the 2000 Olympic Box-Offs at 119. Top ranked Andre Dirrell was entered but was a no show so John Santiago won on a walkover. Antonio Espinosa defeated Allan Litzau.

Second Round: John Santiago defeated Antonio Orozco. Aaron Garcia defeated Cesar Olmedo and looked a little better than his first performance.

Quarterfinals: Aaron Garcia defeated Bernard Davis. John Santiago defeated Travis Hartman.

Semifinals: John Santiago defeated David Evans. Aaron Garcia looked strong against Joe Gentile.

Finals: Aaron Garcia defeated John Santiago in a war. It was the fight of the night and the crowd gave them a standing ovation. You could hear the thud of Garcia’s body shots from ringside.


First Round: Strong Juan Suazo defeated Hilario Lopez, Jr. Lamont Peterson defeated Rickie Torres. Curtis Meeks defeated tough Lionel Madrigal.

Second Round: Juan Suazo defeated Ricardo Delgado. Lamont Peterson defeated Jeremy Drapal.

Quarterfinals: Lamont Peterson defeated Ross Anderson. Curtis Meeks defeated Marshall Christmas, the 2000 PAL runner-up. Juan Suazo defeated Antonio Cervantes.

Semifinals: Lamont Peterson defeated Backlin Medrano. Juan Suazo’s strength defeated Curtis Meeks.

Finals: Lamont Peterson defeated Juan Suazo in a controversial decision. Suazo’s punches appeared harder, cleaner, and more effective. The crowd booed vehemently.


First Round: Southpaw Chad Aquino defeated Gabe Morris. Aquino lost to Juan McPherson 13-6 in this year’s U.S. Championships. McPherson just won the U.S. Challenge by defeating Rock Allen 12-5 and stopping Larry Gonzales. Tiger Allen defeated Bernard Davis.

Quarterfinals: Chad Aquino defeated Jesse Feliciano. Tiger Allen defeated Rodney Jefferson.

Semifinals: Chad Aquino defeated Kampa Koroma. Tiger Allen’s strength defeated slick boxing Omari Lowther.

Finals: Chad Aquino outhustled Tiger Allen.


First Round: James Parison stopped Robbie Adamson with body shots. Parison lost to Yuri Foreman in last year’s tournament, and lost to Anthony Little 20-17 at this year’s U.S. Championships. James Kirkland defeated William Johnson. Kirkland lost to Juan McPherson 20-8 at 139 pounds in this year’s U.S. Championships. Napolean Cleveland outboxed Sean Wilson. Cleveland defeated James Parison 9-9 (57-44) in last year’s PAL Championships.

Second Round: James Parison defeated Jack Cohen. James Kirkland defeated Steve Ham. Jorge Gonzales upset Napolean Cleveland.

Quarterfinals: Jose Moreno defeated Jorge Gonzales. James Kirkland defeated Shamone Alvarez. James Parison defeated Mike Alvarado.

Semifinals: James Kirkland defeated Jose Moreno. James Parison defeated Armando Larios.

Finals: James Parison had a tough one with James Kirkland, but did just a little more to win a narrow decision.


First Round: Andre Berto looked strong in defeating Byron Tyson. Berto won the 2000 PAL Championships, and lost to eventual runner-up Walter Wright 19-17 at this year’s U.S. Championships. Jimmy Gonzalez defeated John Roper.

Second Round: Jimmy Gonzales defeated Tom Wilt. Andre Berto defeated Patrick Thompson.

Quarterfinals: Andre Berto defeated Michael Pachall. Jimmy Gonzales defeated quick Demetric Tatum.

Semifinals: Jimmy Gonzales defeated ring general Yuri Foreman. Andre Berto’s strength was too much for tough southpaw Elvis Salas.

Finals: Strong and talented Andre Berto narrowly defeated Jimmy Gonzalez, who made it a close fight. Berto needs to improve his punch output and throw more jabs, but he is a raw talent to watch in the future.


First Round: Alfred Kinsey defeated Robby Hampton. Kinsey lost to Terrance Williams in the 2000 PAL at 178 pounds. Otto Holifield defeated Carlos Ross. Holifield lost in the quarterfinals to Terrance Johnson at last year’s tournament at 178 pounds. Ron Williams pounded on Jeremy Boyd. Williams lost to Eric Kelly 25-6 in the semifinals of this year’s U.S. Championships and national champion Andre Ward 20-8 in the U.S. Challenge. Donyil Livingston narrowly outpointed tough Johnny Torres, Jr.

Second Round: Otto Holifield upset Donyil Livingston. Alfred Kinsey defeated Paul Stevens. Ron Williams defeated tall Harvey Simms.

Quarterfinals: Hard punching Jason Aaker upset Ron Williams. Alfred Kinsey defeated Rubin Williams. Otto Holifield defeated Les Ralston.

Semifinals: Otto Holifield outboxed strong Jason Aaker. Alfred Kinsey pounded out Wayland Fraley with some wicked shots.

Finals: Alfred Kinsey was a bit stronger than Otto Holifield and that may have been the difference in this close fight in which Kinsey’s strength and counter shots won rounds one and two, but Holifield’s minimalist southpaw boxing won rounds three and four.


First Round: Cristobal Arreola defeated Amedo Ezzo-White. Former heavyweight Mike Word defeated Rafael Richards. Word lost to Terry Smith 29-27 at this year’s U.S. Championships at 201 pounds. Dallas Vargas defeated Dan Hall. Markus Varnado outboxed Marc Lafleche.

Second Round: Dallas Vargas defeated Aneudi Santos. Mike Word defeated Roland Bryant. Cristobal Arreola defeated Marchello Michaud. Markus Varnado defeated Sidney Muhammad Rogers, dropping him in the first round and outboxing him the rest of the way.

Quarterfinals: Cristobal Arreola defeated Bobby Anderson. Mike Word defeated Charles Kishbaugh. Markus Varnado lost a very close decision to Dallas Vargas.

Semifinals: Dallas Vargas defeated Omari Braxton. In an awesome fight, Cristobal Arreola outlanded Mike Word. Both landed excellent shots. Word landed the harder punches, but Arreola landed more and took them better. The fight was a war and one of the best of the tournament.

Finals: Cristobal Arreola again utilized his workmanlike effort to pound on Dallas Vargas to win comfortably.


First Round: Devin Vargas showed a strong right against James Phipps. Vargas lost in the finals of this year’s U.S. Championships to B.J. Flores 18-12 and Rydell Booker 21-13 at the U.S. Challenge. Vargas had defeated Lonnie Zaid in the semifinals and Rydell Booker in the finals to win last year’s Golden Gloves title. Terry Smith, 2000 PAL champion, defeated Sean McClure. Arthur Palac outboxed Alvaro Morales. Palac lost to Jeff Lacy in the 2000 Olympic Box-Offs at 165 pounds, and won last year’s Golden Gloves title at 178 pounds, defeating 2001 178 pound U.S. Champion DeAndrey Abron along the way. Charles Ellis defeated Dan Harvison.

Second Round: Devin Vargas defeated Mark Marero. Terry Smith defeated Joshua Durham. Charles Ellis defeated Anthony Reed. Arthur Palac defeated Malachy Farrell.

Quarterfinals: Devin Vargas had a war with Terry Smith and was stunned a couple times, but finally wore Smith down in the third. Charles Ellis upset Arthur Palac, who would probably be well served to move back down to 178.

Semifinals: Devin Vargas defeated Felix Stewart. Charles Ellis defeated Robert Jacobs.

Finals: Devin Vargas outclassed and outlanded Charles Ellis.


First Round: Tall Lonnie Zaid looked very good in dispatching Sergio Colmenero, Jr. with a vicious and well timed straight right. Mike Alexander defeated Mike Wilson.

Quarterfinals: Mike Alexander defeated Russell Felger. Lonnie Zaid defeated Jamal Gardner.

Semifinals: Mike Alexander defeated Jason Gavern. Lonnie Zaid stopped Clemon McKnight via a delayed reaction knockout.

Finals: Lonnie Zaid did the bare minimum to easily outbox Mike Alexander.

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