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Oxnard’s Aguiniga wins in return to ring

Oxnard’s Aguiniga wins in return to ring

Oxnard fighter keeps perfect record
By Francisco Salazar

Hugo Centeno Jr. hits Octavio Narvaez in the face during the boxing card at OceanView Pavillion in Port Hueneme on Saturday night. Centeno won the match by decision. Photo by Juan Carlo, Ventura County Star


In his first fight in five years, Oxnard’s Jose Aguiniga won an eight-round unanimous decision over Juan Ruiz before an overflow crowd at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme.

Most of the action was fought in close, but Aguiniga landed the more effective punches. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Aguiniga.

Aguiniga, a 2000 graduate of Channel Islands High, improves to 32-0, with 14 KOs. Ruiz, from Santa Clarita, falls to 23-9, with 7 KOs.

Lightweight David Rodela, of Oxnard, scored a devastating second-round knockout over Baudel Cardenas.

Rodela, who was winless in his previous three bouts, was on the attack from the beginning. He knocked Cardenas down to the canvas with a left-right combination to the head halfway through the round. Toward the end of the round, Rodela dropped Cardenas again with a right uppercut to the head. Cardenas stood up and was saved from further punishment by the bell.

Cardenas attempted to apply pressure to Rodela in the second round. However, Rodela landed a vicious left hook to the body, immediately dropping Cardenas to the canvas. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth counted Cardenas out at 1:21.

Rodela improves to 16-5-4, with 7 KOs. Cardenas, from Los Mochis, Mexico, falls to 19-24-2, with 7 KOs.

Super welterweight Hugo Centeno Jr., of Oxnard, won a sloppy, one-sided unanimous decision over Nicaraguan Octavio Narvaez.

Both threw wild punches in the opening round, with Narvaez landing punches to the back of Centeno’s head. Although Centeno had bent over, referee Jack Reiss admonished Narvaez for the illegal punches.

In the third round, Narvaez landed a low blow to the 2009 Oxnard High graduate. Centeno winced in pain and was allowed time to recover. Reiss deducted two points from Narvaez.

Centeno was in control throughout the rest of the fight. Although Narvaez pressed forward, Centeno attacked the body with left hooks. Narvaez was noticeably tired in the sixth, but was able to survive until the final bell.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Centeno with scores of 60-52, 60-52 and 59-53. Centeno improves to 12-0, with 6 KOs, while Narvaez falls to 7-11-1, with 4 KOs.

Rogelio Romo, the younger brother of former world champion Fernando Vargas, won a four-round unanimous decision over Thomas Turner.

Romo was effective from distance, landing piston-like right hands to the head of Turner. Undaunted, Turner, from Caldwell, Idaho, pressed forward and found success by landing an occasional hook or cross to the head. However, Romo consistently landed the more effective punches to the head. Romo won by scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37.

Romo, who hails from Oxnard, improves to 5-0-2, with one knockout. Thomas falls to 1-1.

Oxnard’s Steven Rodriguez improved his record to 3-3 with a decisive four-round unanimous decision over Edgar Flores.

Rodriguez landed the better blows throughout the bout with Flores, who dropped to 0-5. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Rodriguez with scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37.

In the opening bout of the card, Jose Garcia stopped Santa Paula’s Indian Banuelos in the second round of a scheduled four-round bout.

After an even first round, Banuelos, who was making his professional debut, dropped Garcia with a counter right hand
to the head. Later in the round, Garcia wobbled Banuelos with a combination to the head, battering him against the ropes until referee Wayne Hedgpeth stopped the bout at 2:38.

Garcia, from Bakersfield, had lost his first five professional bouts.

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, trainers Robert and Danny Garcia, and unbeaten super middleweight prospect were at ringside.

Robert Ortiz’s bout against Manuel Del Cid fell through when Del Cid weighed in three pounds above the contracted weight of 132 pounds.

Steven Rodriguez (left) hits Edgar Flores at the OceanView Pavillion in Port Hueneme.
Rodriguez won by decision.
Local fighter Indian Banuelos gets hit by Jose Garcia at the OceanView Pavillion in Port Hueneme. Banuelos lost in the 2nd round KO.
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Air National Guard Band of the Southwest to perform

Air National Guard Band of the Southwest to perform
Honoree served country, won Grammies

* By Alicia Doyle

The Air National Guard Band of the Southwest will perform “A Tribute to Sammy Nestico” on Sunday at Oceanview Pavilion’s Performing Arts Theatre by the Beach in Port Hueneme.

The group is composed of civilian airmen whose jobs include professional musicians, music educators, computer programmers, accountants, engineers and law enforcement officers.

The band has 35 to 40 members, of whom seven new recruits have joined their woodwind, percussion and brass sections, said Sharon Kloeris, executive vice president at Oceanview Pavilion.

“Having so many members allows them to form many different types of musical ensembles,” Kloeris said. “The large groups are the traditional concert band, marching band and jazz ensemble. The smaller groups include a Dixieland band, Latin pop ensemble, a rock band, a brass quintet and a saxophone quintet, as well as a small jazz combo they can tailor for all sorts of events.”

On Sunday, the concert band will perform more than a dozen songs including “America the Beautiful,” “Basie Straight Ahead,” “Brassmen’s Holiday” and “Stardust.” The band also will perform seven original songs, which were composed by Nestico, Kloeris said. The highlight of this concert is the Veterans Day salute to Nestico, a military veteran. “He is a world-renowned composer, arranger and musician, and four-time Grammy award winner,” Kloeris said. “Sammy joined the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., as a staff arranger and subsequently became the leader of the famous Airmen of Note,” Kloeris added.

After a 15-year tenure with the Air Force, Nestico enlisted with the Marine Band in Washington. He served as chief arranger and director of the White House orchestra, which played for judicial and congressional social functions during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

The Air National Guard Band of the Southwest is part of the 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Islands Air National Guard in Port Hueneme.

Members meet two days a month to rehearse and perform, Kloeris said. They also participate in an annual two-week summer tour starting July Fourth in Santa Barbara.” The band’s performances at Oceanview Pavilion began in 2009.

This year’s event also will pay tribute to the men and women who have served in the military, past and present, Kloeris said.

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The Thrill of Victory

The Thrill of Victory
MMA fans flock to Port Hueneme for Muay Thai competition

By Michael Lopez 07/12/2012

Photo by: Michael Lopez, Brooks Institute
Coda Taylor in purple shorts lands a right roundhouse kick to his opponent, Isaac Molina. Coda won by split decision.

The Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme was jampacked with fighters from all over California last weekend for the Beach Bash Muay Thai Xtreme competition presented by UMC SportsNet. Many locals participated as well as fighters from San Francisco and elsewhere. Jonathan Puu, a local favorite, fought his heart out in three impressive rounds to come up short on the decision by the judges. It was a huge event that brought locals from all over the county, filling the venue from front to back to witness split decisions, hard fighting and, unfortunately, a dislocated elbow from one of the fighters who had to go to the hospital and lost with a TKO. There will be more fights coming up soon featuring local athletes — amateur and pro alike.

Story and photos by Michael Lopez, Brooks Institute


A fighter celebrates after the referee stops the fight.

Megan Nazareno reacts to her win against Marie Cho after three rounds of hard fighting.

Jonathan Puu (red trunks) launches a series of combinations against his opponent, Oscar Sanchez, in a gut-wrenching fight that went all the way to the score cards. Puu lost the fight by unanimous decision.

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Oxnard’s Aguiniga ready for return to ring

* By Bob Buttitta
* Ventura County Star
* Posted February 8, 2012 at 4:43 p.m.

Jose Aguiniga’s talent as a boxer didn’t prepare him for the internal struggle he was forced to deal with five years ago.

At the time, Aguiniga was one of the top ranked fighters in the lightweight division, a boxer who at 31-0 seemed destined to get a shot a world title.

But he was also the father of two children, and his wife thought at age 25 Aguiniga had chased his dream long enough and it was time to grow up and get a real job.

“I was torn between trying to make my wife happy and continuing to do something I love,” said Aguiniga, a longtime Oxnard resident who was born in Illinois. “So I started to stay away from the gym, which was hard, but I was trying to make it work (with his wife).”

The lack of regular training forced Aguiniga to pass on several potential bouts.

Little by little he got away from the sport and while he never officially retired, he hasn’t been in the ring since April 2007 when he won a majority decision over Joe Morales in Houston.

On Feb. 25, Aguiniga makes his return to the ring, fighting Juan Ruiz (23-8) as the main event of a boxing card that will take place at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme.

The card was originally scheduled to be held at Santa Paula Community Golf Course, but weather concerns moved the bouts to Port Hueneme.

The event, which is being presented by El Dorado Entertainment, is being called “The Comeback.” It will feature seven bouts and include local fighters David Rodella, Hugo Centeno and Roger Romo.

“I’m excited about fighting again, but I’m more nervous because I’ve been away for five years,” Aguiniga said during a news conference Wednesday at El Dorado Restaurant in Oxnard to promote the event. “I’m training hard and feel good, but you never know until you get into the ring.”

Even after he left boxing the problems at home continued for Aguiniga. He and his wife eventually divorced, but he has a strong relationship with his son Angel, 7, and his daughter, Destiny, 5. Neither of his children were old enough to understand how talented a boxer their father was before he stopped fighting five years ago, This next stage of Aguiniga’s career may give his kids the chance to see their dad’s prowess in the ring.

While he worked as a machinist and helping a friend with electrical jobs, Aguiniga said he constantly thought about getting back into the sport Last February he finally got back into the gym and started working out under the tutelage of his brother Mario, who also helps train Ventura resident Victor Ortiz.

Aguiniga was supposed to have a fight last June but injured his ribs, taking him out of the gym again. Months later he was approached about being part of the card in Ventura County and decided it was the perfect avenue to make his return.

“He’s looking good in the gym and his sparring sessions have been strong, but we will have to see what happens in the ring,” Mario Aguiniga said. “Looking good in sparring session is a while different world from doing it in a fight, but I like what he’s been doing.

“Like everyone, I was surprised when he stopped fighting because he’s always had a lot of talent. At 30, he’s not young but he’s not old either. If he can do well in two or three fights, he could get some other chances because he was 31-0 before (quitting).”

As much he regrets giving up five prime years of his career, Aguiniga said he can’t worry about the past. He feels more mature than he was at 25 and believes that gives him an edge. And his passion for boxing is as strong as its ever been.

However, Aguiniga knows if he’s going to reach his ultimate goal of fighting for a title, it must start with a winning performance on the 25th. When he agreed to the fight, he did so under the condition that the promoters find an opponent who could give him a good gauge on where his skills are now.

“This guy (Ruiz) has fought some quality guys and he is a good fighter,” Aguiniga said. “I did not want an easy fight. At 31-0, I want to see if I still have it or not. I need to fight someone good so I can make a decision on whether to keep going or not. If I win, than I continue. But if I lose or get beat up, then I have to see what I do. I’m excited to be back fighting. I missed it. It was something I have done for a large part of my life and I missed it.”

Jose “Sweet” Aguiniga (from left) and Juan Ruiz pose for pictures during a boxing press conference held at El Dorado restaurant in Oxnard Wednesday afternoon. Aguiniga and Ruiz will be the main show during The Comback boxing match scheduled for Feb. 25. Oxnard, Ca., Feb. 7, 2012


Photo by Troy Harvey, Ventura County Star

David “Dangerous” Rodela (left) and Jose

“Sweet” Auginiga sit at a table during a boxing press conference held at El Dorado Restaurant located in Oxnard Wednesday afternoon. Oxnard, Ca., Feb. 7, 2012

Jose “Sweet” Aguiniga speaks to the media a boxing press conference held at El Dorado restaurant located in Oxnard Wednesday afternoon. Aguiniga is returning to the ring after a 5-year absence. Oxnard, Ca., Feb. 7, 2012

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Battle of the Badges III featured in the Ventura County Star

*By Alicia Doyle

Law enforcement officers and firefighters from Ventura County are training for Battle of the Badges III, a charity boxing event Saturday to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, which serve more than 7,000 youths a year.

“What makes the Battle of the Badges unique is that it feeds on the good-natured rivalry between cops and firefighters by pitting them against each other in the boxing ring,” said Rick Shimmel, executive director of the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and a licensed amateur boxing promoter.

The bouts will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission as amateur fights. Boxers will come from the county fire and sheriff’s departments, and Oxnard and Port Hueneme police departments.

Seven or eight of the 10 bouts on the card will be male and two or three will be female, subject to change, Shimmel said.

The fights will be at Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme.

The Battle of the Badges was the brainchild of firefighter Jason Hodge, now a Democratic candidate for the 19th Senate District, and Linda LeBrock, the former development director for the Boys & Girls Club, Shimmel said.

Event organizers hope to raise at least $18,000 to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard & Port Hueneme.