This past week saw a busy couple of days for the sport of boxing in the city of Blythe, as born-and-bred WBA (World Boxing Association) super featherweight champion Andrew Cancio was recognized at a community celebration event April 2, and the local Adrians Boxing Gym team hosted the training center’s inaugural “Competitive Sparring” weekend event on April 6.
Of note, former standout two-time Desert League boxing champion Richard Serrato brought his 45-years’ worth of experience to the event as the evening’s referee. Additionally, the competitive sparring matches were provided with the according safety equipment and medical personnel for the eager youth and adult boxing competitors.
“We’re looking to bring boxing back to Blythe,” noted Adrians Boxing Gym owner Adrian Melendrez to the crowd of attendees.
The former Joe Wine Recreation Center ring used for the evening was purchased by Adrians Boxing Gym through monetary donations and support from sponsors and locals, with the expressed mission of keeping the historic squared circle in Blythe.
Competitors from both California and Arizona came out for the event, held in the gym’s outdoor open lot. Music, tacos, raffles, prizes, friends and family added to the evening’s entertainment as the participating boxers would compete center stage. Though no winners would be named for the night’s competitive sparring bouts, the crowd showed their Blythe appreciation for all who stepped up between the ropes.
Sponsors for the event included Courtesy Coffee Shop; City Cruisers (Blythe, Calif.); State Farm Insurance; Ma’ias Comida Mexicana; Rudy Garnica; Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant; Cali Top Team; La Casitas Dos; Alan & Patsy Hale; Tailored; CB Plumbing; and DeConinck Farms.