Boxing promoter Blanca Gutierrez brought another exciting night of action back to Pacifica as she and Baby Face Boxing hosted their annual “Beautiful Brawlers” event from the local Moose Lodge on Saturday.
Since 2011 – the same year her famous boxing father Javier “Baby Face” Gutierrez was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame – Gutierrez has hosted four previous successful installments of her all-female amateur boxing event, showcasing the best young talent from the Bay Area and throughout the world as well.
Beautiful Brawlers V was no exception – especially since Gutierrez decided to do things bigger this year.
Well-known for her contributions to women’s boxing, Gutierrez – founder of Pacifica’s Baby Face gym – struck up deals that not only allowed the event to be streamed live on Pay Per View via the Competitive Fighting Sports website, but also feature some bouts that were contested for World Boxing Council (WBC) women’s amateur championships.
While the inaugural 2011 event will always hold a special place in her heart because of her father’s Hall of Fame induction, Gutierrez called Saturday’s Beautiful Brawlers event the biggest installment yet, once again expressing her gratitude towards all the media who came out to support the event and her cause:
“We love the media and I think the media really makes us. It’s the fighters and the media, that’s what it’s all about.”
Gutierrez also served as commentator on Saturday, calling the action alongside her good friend Edward “Big E” Feliciano of Big E TV and Competitive Fighting Sports.
They previously conducted interviews at the Battle of the Badges event in Folsom, Calif., on Aug. 29 and it was there that Gutierrez realized she and Feliciano have a bit of strong chemistry together.
She also acknowledged Feliciano’s humorous side, telling SFBay that such humor made it just a joy to call the fights alongside him:
“The guy makes me laugh! He’s funny and he’s got this giggle that just is amazing. He treats women fighters with so much respect that it’s amazing to me and I really respect him for that.”
Feliciano, who trains fighters at the Baby Face gym, also helped Gutierrez secure a deal with G3 Media Works owner and producer Glen Gorman to stream Beautiful Brawlers V live after she was amazed at Gorman’s expertise of Pay Per View streaming and video editing and production.
In addition to the Bay Area talent on display, Saturday’s event also featured fighters from throughout Southern California – including four each from the Jerry Ortiz Boxing Gym in El Monte and the Duarte Boxing Club in Duarte – as well as two from Las Vegas and even one from Oahu, Hawaii.
Bay Area native Tope De Pedro – the oldest fighter on the card at 24 years old – scored the sole knockout of the night with an emphatic fourth-round stoppage of 19-year-old Renata Ramirez.
Some notable female boxing champions – including current WBC women’s heavyweight champ Martha Salazar, former lightweight champ Eliza Olson and former welterweight and middleweight champ Gina “Boom Boom” Guidi – were on hand to present Beautiful Brawlers championships, consolation trophies and WBC amateur titles.
Many of the fights provided hard-hitting action, but Ariana Borrero – Pacifica’s own Beautiful Brawler and niece of Salazar – and Alexis Coultier may have earned fight of the night honors for their exciting and grueling three-round slugfest.
Both fighters came out swinging shortly after the opening bell and fiercely exchanged punches during the first two rounds. Despite the leather they ate within those four minutes, they refused to back down and continued unloading as many punches as they could.
Because of how close the fight was heading into the final round, Borrero and Coultier realized they had to seize it in order to emerge victorious.
Intent with winning and proudly representing their respective gyms, they came out guns blazing, fiercely hammering away at one another as the crowd inside the Moose Lodge cheered them on wildly until the final bell.
Both fighters received a huge ovation from the crowd and after the results were tallied, Coultier was awarded the close decision victory.
Despite the loss, Borrero told SFBay she was excited to compete in her first Beautiful Brawlers event.
When asked about her performance, she said she believed she did well, especially after taking the fight last minute and dropping 18 lbs. to make weight:
“My speed was still there. I thought I was going to lose it because of the fact that I wasn’t drinking or eating (Friday) night. But I did better than I thought I was (going to). My speed was there, my movement was still there. I performed as well as I can and I think I did well, so I’m not going to knock myself on it.”
Borrero previously defeated Coultier earlier in June when they squared off at Kings Gym in Oakland where Coultier trains. That fight produced the same back and forth action that Saturday’s did.
Borrero had success during early exchanges as she stopped Coultier in her tracks with body shots and her patented right uppercut.
But Coultier quickly adjusted to Borrero’s signature weapon and managed to defend herself well against it.
Borrero said her only regret during the fight was not sitting down on any other punches she threw other than her uppercut. She also said she plans to work on her speed and cardio in preparation for her next fight, which she said will not be at heavyweight.
Baby Face Boxing and Beautiful Brawlers were also represented by Sandra Magallon, Iris Contreras and Lupe Gutierrez (no relation to Blanca).
Magallon gave another game effort in losing a three-round decision to Peonny Vega Ochoa, while Contreras and Gutierrez both competed in WBC women’s amateur title bouts.
Four-time Beautiful Brawlers champ Contreras lost a tough four-round decision to Vivian Flores while two-time Beautiful Brawlers champ Gutierrez claimed one of the WBC titles via three-round decision win over Erika Sanchez.
Gutierrez said she was honored to win a WBC amateur title at a Beautiful Brawlers event and believes Blanca does her and the other female fighters a favor by hosting these events and getting them name recognition:
“We don’t get so much support out there and everything and I think she’s just putting on great shows as of Beautiful Brawlers for all the female fighters and then making us known.”
Borrero believes all female fighters deserve the same recognition as their male counterparts and that the Beautiful Brawlers events emphasize why Blanca and Salazar decided to take up the fight for women’s boxing:
“Women’s boxing has always been looked down on and we’re trying to make it at the top because we should be looked at just the same way as men. We work as hard, the fights are tough. Everything we do is just the same exact thing as men. We deserve the same recommendation and everyone should look at us the same.”
Beautiful Brawlers Tatiana Almaraz and Dalia Gomez were scheduled to face each other for a WBC women’s amateur title, but the bout was scrapped after Almaraz’ employer was unable to let her leave work early in order to make weigh-ins.
As disappointing as it was that the fight didn’t happen – especially since it would have pit the two best well-rounded female boxers Beautiful Brawlers has to offer – Blanca said both women will be featured on the Beautiful Brawlers VI card.
She even hinted at the possibility of Almaraz and Gomez fighting as professionals and not amateurs.
While she didn’t agree with some of the judges’ decisions, Blanca acknowledged all the fighters for laying it all on the line inside the ring.
She also said that win or lose, she was proud of her girls because she always prepares them for the best competition she has to offer:
“The one thing about what I do with the Beautiful Brawlers is I never give them an easy fight. Tonight it was (about) whoever came in and wanted it more – and that’s what won. So I’m not disappointed with any of those fights. I know that we trained them for them and if you put it all out there, you won. If you didn’t, you didn’t. That’s just the way it works.”
With another successful Beautiful Brawlers event in the books, Blanca looks ahead to the future.
She plans to host a Valentine’s Day show in February and has begun planning Beautiful Brawlers VI, which she said will feature amateurs and professionals – including Salazar and women’s flyweight champion Melissa McMorrow.
In addition to the world champions who were in attendance and the caliber of fighters who competed on the card, Blanca also acknowledged this year’s Beautiful Brawlers event as very special since it occurred on the same night that decorated former women’s boxing champion Holly Holm made history at UFC 193.
In the biggest upset in UFC history, Holm became the first fighter to capture titles in both boxing and mixed martial arts courtesy of her stunning and dominant second-round knockout of Ronda Rousey to seize the UFC women’s bantamweight championship in Melbourne, Australia.
Saturday was indeed a significant night for women’s combat sports and Blanca hopes someone the caliber of Holm, Rousey or UFC president Dana White will recognize her as a real deal because of her hard work and contributions to women’s boxing:
“I need their support and I want to show them that I’m here, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. Someone out there with a little bit of a higher reach towards TV come out and look at me, because I’m the real deal and I’m doing it for the right reason and I’m not doing it for the money. But I’ll tell you I can see it, it’s right there. I’m on the cusp and I’m going to be everything these girls want me to be. If people don’t see it the way I see it, I don’t care. But I see something real big for me.”