Chukchansi Park is the home of the Fresno Grizzlies and built to host baseball games, but on Oct. 23, knuckle balls and home runs where replaced with knuckled fists and gloved punches for the Golden State Championships boxing show.
More than 30 bouts were held in the ring atop the green outfield, including two amateur bouts featuring Turlock fighters – 14-year-old Sandra Tovar and 23-year-old Robert Vasquez—who both won their respective fights via unanimous decision.
Tovar (21-5) faced off against Desiree Garcia (33-11), a 16-year-old Texan representing the Irving Police Activities League. Both fighters participated in the 2016 USA Boxing Junior Olympics over the summer and both placed third in their respective weight classes of 101 and 110 pounds, but met at 106 pounds for this fight. Despite being younger and having less experience, Tovar held a size and reach advantage which she effectively utilized to win.
“Our strategy was to throw straight punches and not let her get inside. I felt like I was able to do that,” Tovar said. “Towards the end of the fight I could tell she was getting frustrated because I kept on catching her.”
Vasquez (3-0), who won the first two fights of his career via first-round TKO, earned his first decision victory against the more experienced Fresno Police Activities League Fighter Israel Castaneda (6-0). Vasquez, who represents the Fernandez Roots gym of Modesto, sealed his victory in the third round with his consistent left hook, straight right combination in what was a hard-hitting affair.
“The first round was kind of slow, you know getting the timing down and feeling each other out, but in the second and third (rounds) I dominated,” Vasquez said.
Though he has no fights currently scheduled, Vasquez is looking to get back into the ring sometime in November.
“My goal is to pursue a professional boxing career,” Vasquez said. “I’m trying to get at least 15-20 amateur fights before I have a pro debut.”
As for Tovar, she will be competing and representing the Stanislaus Police Activities League at the 2016 Open National Elite Youth and Junior Championships in Kansas City, Missouri from Dec. 4-10 in the 106 pound division.