"I woke up at, I’ll say, 6:30. Got ready. Went to my weigh-ins. Went out. Ate some Mexican food. Rehydrated. Took a long nap," says Edward Ortiz, "Now I'm here, just ready to fight."
And fight he did. Edward Ortiz, the 6-foot, 2-inch 20-year-old representing Zarzamora Gym, who only last year went out in the first round of this tournament, won the novice middleweight category over Lamin Kamara from Champion Fit Gym. In front of a crowd of over a thousand, Ortiz rained blows on his adversary till the referee called the contest in the second round.
The choice to move the event from the Municipal Auditorium to the Scottish Rite Center downtown, which is less than half as large, was a good one, according to boxers and coaches interviewed. The theater seating allowed for a much closer viewing, which is great — unless you know you don't like boxing. Alison Roberts is one of the 250 volunteers Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio enlisted for the week of events.
"Hitting human flesh isn’t my cup of tea, and that is why I chose to be at the very back,” she said.But enduring the spectacle is worth it to help out a worthy organization she says. The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio estimates 6,000 hours of work from staff to volunteers went into producing this week. And, unlike Alison, for the people who came to actually see the fights, tournament director Cleveland "Skip" Wilson thinks people will be happy with the Scottish Rite Center.
“I’m looking at the layout for our VIPs, and I think it is going to be a very intimate showing tonight,” said Wilson.
The winners of the open categories will automatically be advancing to the state level. At this time, it is undisclosed who of the novice champions will continue to the state contest this week, February 29 through March 3.
As for Ortiz, who only a week ago was trying his hardest to shed two pounds, he knows exactly what he is doing next.
“I’m gonna go eat some burger, man. I gotta eat.”
For a complete listing of winners go to sagoldengloves.com.