A split decision in the finals went the other way and the local 14-year-old boxer had to settle for second best. Brownsville native Gilbert Vasquez won the PALS national title at 125 pounds in a fight that many felt could have gone either way.
Almaguer won two earlier fights against top ranked opponents. On Wednesday evening, the local boxer defeated the defending national champion from California, John Casaca, in a unanimous decision in the three-round bout of amateur boxing.
Friday’s semifinal bout had Almaguer back in the ring against another title holder, the six-foot, 125-pound Ringside World champion Gra-Kwon Pettis from Ohio. Almaguer, again, won all three rounds in a tough match with the gangly fighter from the Buckeye state.
The win against Pettis advanced the BCBC fighter to face Vasquez in the finals. Vasquez made his way into the championship bout via a much easier route. An opening bye sent the young Texas boxer into the semifinals and then he had no trouble at all in the prelude to the championship fight.
Vasquez stayed outside on Almaguer and refused to mix it up. The split-decision went to Vasquez, however, and Almaguer was left to take pride in boxing his best and wait for another opportunity.
The Bee County Boxing Club has a busy schedule over the next two to three months. The club will take a contingent of young local boxers to Victoria on Saturday for a tournament and will be in Kingsville on Nov. 7 for another meet.
The biggest upcoming event will be during the second week in December when the club will take three or four boxers to the Silver Gloves in McKinney.
All that travel takes money. The BCBC is holding a benefit barbecue on Nov. 14 at the club on West Hefferman Street. Brisket plates will be $5. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated to help defray the upcoming travel expenses.
Tentatively, the second annual Eric Walker Memorial Boxing Tournament is scheduled for Jan. 9 here in Beeville. More information confirming the date and times on that event will be forthcoming.