Redwood City played host to more than 40 amateur female fighters on Saturday in the third annual Beautiful Brawlers Boxing tournament, riding the wave of national popularity involving women and contact sports.
Turlock and the Delhi High Boxing Club were represented by Sandra Tovar in the very first match of the day as she took on Leila Gutierrez of Sacramento. Both fighters were originally scheduled to fight different opponents, but when they pulled out of the matches Tovar and Gutierrez were the only 11 year old fighters left in the 75 pound division.
In only her third match of her amateur career, Tovar (3-1) was pitted against a much more experienced Gutierrez (9-2).
“It was the biggest fight I’ve been in because the girl had 10 fights and we were fighting for a belt,” Tovar said. “I was kind of nervous.”
Nerves fell by the wayside once the match started, however, as Tovar’s height and reach advantage nullified Gutierrez’s experience. Tovar peppered her opponent with stiff jabs and controlled much of the action as Gutierrez kept her distance. When the two young ladies did exchange punches it was Tovar who walked away from the exchanges with the upper hand.
“I felt more relaxed. I wanted a belt really bad so I kept thinking about that,” Tovar said. “All my coaches—my dad, coach Tom, Sergio, Shawn, and all them—they worked me really hard for this fight. I wasn’t tired at all after three rounds.”
After three, one-minute rounds Tovar was awarded a split decision victory. She will fight again, this time in the 80 pound division, in Fresno on Sept. 14.