Las Cruces’ Samantha Ginithan climbed through the ropes and into the ring on Saturday never having lost a boxing match.
She still hasn’t.
Ginithan, a 2022 Golden Gloves amateur national champion, punched her ticket to the 2023 nationals with a victory by second-round TKO over Heather Cirka during Saturday’s Colorado-New Mexico GG regionals at FIT-NHB gym in Albuquerque.
Saturday’s winners – six for Colorado, five for New Mexico – all qualify for Golden Gloves nationals, scheduled for May 8-13 in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Three other New Mexicans, unopposed at regionals, also qualify for nationals.
Ginithan, a former college basketball player and an MMA fighter, at 33 is a latecomer to boxing. She’s wasted no time in establishing a footprint.
Saturday, Ginithan relentlessly bored in on the much-taller Cirka – giving the Colorado boxer no respite until the referee stepped in to halt the one-sided bout.
Ginithan, yet another New Mexico southpaw in the tradition of Holly Holm, Austin Trout, Fidel Maldonado Jr., et al, is 13-0 as a boxer.
“Still pretty new at this,” she said.
She said the plan against Cirka, a defending Golden Gloves regional champion, was to “get the body early and then cut off the ring and get her in the corner and do some work there.
“… It took a little bit, but I thought we did pretty good today.”
The task for lanky Albuquerque 203-pounder Leroy Clark was the opposite of Ginithan’s: how to keep a shorter, aggressive opponent – in the person of Colorado’s Marcus Good – at bay.
Clark’s plan, and its execution, were more than good enough. Clark, who fights for Albuquerque’s Power Plant Boxing Club, defeated Good by third-round TKO.
As the bout wore on, Clark consistently caught Good coming in with a variety of punches. When Good managed to get inside, Clark gave as good, if not better, than he got.
“The great thing is, I’ve got people in my gym that give me a lot of different looks,” Clark said. “Nobody in this ring can bring me anything I haven’t seen before, because I’m surrounded by a lot of talent.”
Clark made it to the quarterfinals of last year’s Golden Gloves nationals.
“I’m trying take it all the way this year,” he said. “I know I can do it with the team that I have behind me.”
No fighter from either state won more decisively than Hobbs 165-pounder Kevin Whitaker, who twice floored Colorado’s Michael Pineda en route to a victory by first-round TKO.
“I’m a strong individual, so every time I go out there I’m stronger than a lot of people,” said Whitaker, who trains at The Works Mixed Martial Arts in Hobbs. “I’ve proved it before. If you have the power, why not use it?”
Albuquerque 155-pounder Marcelino Delgado accomplished what New Mexicans in the past had found virtually impossible: defeating a fighter from the U.S. Army team that trains at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.
The key to his victory by split (4-1) decision over Creighton Holmes, Delgado said, was “Heart. I feel like heart won the fight for me.
“He was quick, he was sharp and he was snapping (punches), but no matter what I kept throwing, no matter how tired I was.”
Delgado trains at Madrid Sports Performance.
Albuquerque/Power Plant 147-pounder Ivan Barragan found himself in a boxing match with Colorado’s Prikasa Sunuwar – a match Barragan might have lost had he allowed Sunuwar to dictate the terms.
He did not, forcing Sunuwar out of his comfort zone and pounding out a victory by unanimous decision.
“In the first round I knew that fighting him on the outside wasn’t going to work,” Barragan said. “He was catching me too much with his jab, and he had a longer reach than me.
“Second and third (rounds) I made the adjustment of applying more pressure towards my opponent, and that seemed to work a little better.”