|Saginaw's Ernesto Garza, Jose Bernal collect first-round wins
at National Golden Gloves
by Steve Kaminski and Jeff Chaney | The Grand Rapids Press
Wednesday May 07, 2008, 1:30 AM
Saginaw's Ernesto Garza celebrates his first-round victory at the National Golden Gloves on
Tuesday night. Michigan teammate, and fellow Saginaw native, Jose Bernal also won.
GRAND RAPIDS -- Ernesto Garza of Saginaw lost the rust and dropped his opponent, all in
the first round Tuesday night at DeVos Place. Garza flattened Syracuse's Joshua Perez in
his bantamweight bout at the 2008 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions. He
was one of two Saginaw fighters representing the Michigan Golden Gloves club to win
Tuesday Teammate Jose Bernal won his welterweight fight. What was unique about
Garza's victory is that he hadn't fought since competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials last
August. He was an uncontested winner at the regional and state tournaments. Garza said
he actually was hoping the bout with Perez would last longer than it did so he could work on
his skills. No such luck there. Garza, 19, forced two standing eight counts, then knocked
Perez to the mat with a left hook, just 1:42 into the opening round, which automatically
ended the fight. "I still want to lose weight, but I guess the punches came natural," Garza
said. "I wanted to box him and move him around. I was surprised I was able to end it so
quickly. You come into this tournament and you don't know anything about your opponents.
"I did a lot of hard work in the gym, and that kept me focused." The win sends Garza into
second round action tonight against Iowa's Zach Knox. Knox drew a first-round bye.
"We have been trying to spar with him a lot in the gym," said Michigan Golden Gloves
trainer Juan Garcia. "We couldn't get fights, but he has been getting stronger and stronger,
and we knew he would be strong for this tournament. "We were a little worried because he
was uncontested through the state and (regional) tournaments. But he is a hard worker, and
we sparred with him a lot." Saginaw's Jose Bernal, right, celebrates his victory over
Colorado-New Meixco's Arturo Crespin on Tuesday night. Bernal, 16, out-brawled
Colorado-New Meixco's Arturo Crespin. The judges scored it a 3-2 victory for Bernal. That
sets up a tonight's second-round bout with St. Louis' Jheritt Stansberry. "It was a good fight.
I didn't expect it to be like that," said Bernal, who has been fighting for the past five years. "I
was expecting more boxing and less of a fight. But now I know what to expect. "I relied on
my body shots early, but I thought my jab won the fight. That gave me a lot of extra points. I
was a little nervous. I know I need to run more. I always tell myself that after a fight, that I
need to run more."