Tacoma Boxing Club cleans up at local Golden Gloves tournament

Every year, each divisional champion at the annual Tacoma Golden Gloves boxing tournament receives a letterman-style jacket.

Jerrell Barbour is running out of closet space.

Barbour became the second boxer in the event’s storied 67-year history to win six career titles at the amateur boxing tournament by defeating Seattle’s Oscar Islas in the 132-pound finals Saturday at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse.

“It took a little longer to get here than I wanted,” said Barbour, a Stadium graduate and member of the Tacoma Boxing Club, “but better late than never.”

Barbour captured four consecutive local championships between 2007 and 2010 before adding his fifth title in 2012, but he lost in the finals the previous two years.

Title No. 6 came after he a unanimous decision over Islas. The scores were 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in favor of Barbour.

“This one definitely feels the best of the six,” Barbour said. “I fought the last couple years at 123 pounds. Now I’m back at 132 where I feel the most comfortable.”

Barbour joins former Tacoma Boxing Club member Mylon Watkins, who won six consecutive Tacoma Golden Gloves titles (1981-86) and was a two-time national Golden Gloves champion, winning titles in 1985 and 1986.

Barbour, who is 2-2 lifetime against Islas, relied on his superior quickness throughout the three-round bout.

Islas charged out from the opening bell, briefly exchanging blows with Barbour before the two became entangled and tumbled to the canvas.

As the bout wore on, Barbour frequently beat his opponent to the punch, using his jab to set up his arsenal.

“I was just trying to get into a rhythm,” Barbour said. “Every time I fight him, he switches up. So I just turned to what I do best and that’s box.”

Barbour, along with all the local champions, advance to the West Region Golden Gloves tournament March 21-22 in Las Vegas, with winners there heading to the national tournament.

Barbour was the 2007 West Region Golden Gloves champion in the 119-pound weight class.

Barbour’s teammates David Sandoval and Hector Rendon both captured their third Golden Gloves championships.

Sandoval defeated Yakima’s Austin Zambrano by second-round TKO in the 123-pound finals, while Rendon won a slugfest against Seattle’s Alan Luk at 141 pounds.

Sandoval, a back-to-back winner at 123 pounds, waited until the final seconds of the first round to go to the body.

One of his few body shots, a vicious left hook, sent Zambrano to one knee.

Zambrano beat the count and shortly after, the bell sounded, ending the first round. The damage, however, was done.

“(Tacoma Boxing Club) Coach (Tom) Mustin is always telling me to go to the body, double up with the body,” said the 21-year-old Sandoval, a graduate of Mount Tahoma. “I think I’ve always had it. I’ve just never committed to working the body before.”

Sandoval delivered a similar left hook midway through the second round and even though Zambrano again rose prior to the 10 count, the bout was waved off by the referee.

“David hits hard,” Mustin said. “I thought he got off to a slow start tonight. Once he went to the body, he started to pick things up.”

Sandoval also won the 114-pound title locally in 2010.

Rendon, who captured titles in 2012 (123 pounds) and 2013 (132), added his third title with a unanimous decision, appearing as the 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 winner on the judge’s scorecards.

The Tacoma Boxing Club notched its fourth championship on the card after Kevin Torres edged Spokane’s Antonio Tessitore in the 152-pound division finals by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). The club, which won its ninth straight and 29th overall team title at the tournament, ended up a perfect six-for-six in final bouts with Matthew Mollet and Elvis Garcia picking up titles in the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions, respectively.

Mollet, a senior at South Kitsap High, looked razor-sharp in his first-round TKO victory over the University of Washington Boxing Club’s Edgar Cortes. Cortes was floored early and later issued a pair of standing eight counts before the bout was stopped.

Garcia looked equally impressive, defeating UW’s Bryan Hougton by first-round TKO.

The UW club, which sent six boxers to the finals, won a pair of female championships with Jacqueline Ines defeating teammate Kellsie Pence (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) to win the female 119-pound title and Taylor Williams taking the 125-pound crown with a win over Lindsay Hanson (39-37, 39-37, 39-37).

UW’s Albert Ta and Nikolas Vasquez of Seattle both won 165-pound semifinal bouts and will square off for the division championship noon Sunday at the Al Davies Boys & Girls Club, 1620 S. 17th St., Tacoma.

At 178 pounds, UW’s Richard Vansiclen defeated Yakima’s Anthony Pleasant.

Additional champions included Seattle’s D.H. Nestor (114), Raul Garcia (132, out of state), and Nicole Chipman, who won the 132-pound title in the female division.