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Golden Cobra fighters host Cornfest boxing

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Within the walls of the Camp Verde Community Gymnasium on Saturday, July 18, over 200 boxing fans quietly nestled into their seats before the event began with popcorn in one hand and yelling fists in the other.

At the sixth annual Cornfest Boxing Championships, boxing fanatics were treated to 19 fights Saturday which seemed to drag on forever in a maddeningly hot and musty gymnasium.

Despite evaporation coolers running at an all-time high and front doors propped open to 105-degree weather outside, fans needed towels from the fighters just to dry themselves off in between rounds.

Easily the best seat in the house was at ringside, where mini parent fights" could be seen outside the ring with disgruntled looks on their faces as if they were just robbed by some mysterious character out of a comic book.

No barrier separated the fans from the ring as all judges, bell ringers and announcers were subject to shouts of, "what the [expletive] were you thinking" and "I could have judged that better in my sleep."

The real boxers inside the ring did their best to ignore a few parents getting into pushing matches on the sidelines, which wasn't hard considering the other guy across the ring had gloves on.

Hosted by the Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, one of the best fights of the night didn't go the way everyone had hoped.

Knowing he fought well and was probably the victor, Golden Cobra boxer 12-year-old Andres Ponce began raising his hands with a big smile on his face while Moreno's Boxing Club fighter Jaime Luviano returned to his corner dejected.

A few minutes later with the pair shaking hands in the middle of the ring, a host of boos filled the gymnasium sound barrier after the announcer declared the winner.

"Out of the ... blue corner, Jaime Luviano!"

That feeling of being "robbed" came about again, but this time to almost everyone in attendance as Luviano took his belt and celebrated his victory.

"I fought hard. I wanted it so bad. I'm disappointed in the decision," Ponce said a few minutes after the fight while getting his hands cleared of all tape.

Golden Cobra boxers didn't fair well again Saturday with seven fighters going toe-to-toe with their opponents and only 14-year-old Jesse Duran coming away with a belt.

The 122-pound Duran may want to start calling his fists "hurtin' bombs" with the blows he delivered to Ricardo Del Son, a 15-year-old fighter of the East Valley Boxing Gym.

All of the Golden Cobra boxers fought well Saturday but came up short.

Marquez Mestas, an 8-year-old fighter weighing in at 61 pounds, did his best but lost to Akram Zerhouni of Barry's Boxing in Las Vegas.

Eleven-year-old Javier Mestas fought Rosario Real from the Hard Knocks Gymnasium and lost in a decision as well.

The other three fighters in Preston Whitmarsh, Colin Sage and Santiago Lomeli did what they could, but all lost in a decision.

Whitmarsh, a 97-pound 14-year-old for Golden Cobra, reflected on his effort at ringside after his fight.

"I hit him plenty of times and landed a lot of punches. I thought it was a good fight," Whitmarsh said.

Whitmarsh added he's been fighting for five months now and has compiled an 0-3 record but says each fight he was able to improve.

As for Richard Williams, manager of the Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, he says this was one of the best fight nights ever.

"We may have not gotten some of the decisions we wanted, but I still believe this was one of our better fight nights. Our kids put on quite a show, and we thank everyone for coming," Williams said.

Next up Williams and his crew will travel to Florida for the seventh annual International Kickboxing Federation World Classic on Friday, July 24, through Sunday, July 26.

"It should be a great time for everyone. We're going to see fighters from all over the world. We can't wait," Williams said.

Copyright 2009 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 22, 2009

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