Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard are among top-ranked current and former boxers who started off as Golden Gloves champions and later became professional fighters.
Now, Salvador Jasso of East Los Angeles hopes to join the crop of fighters who have used the Golden Gloves as a springboard to the Olympics and to the pro ranks.
Jasso, who is ranked No. 8 in the nation by United States Amateur Boxing, defeated Joel Pulido of Sacramento by a unanimous decision to win the 132-pound division in the California State Championships of the 1993 Golden Gloves Tournament at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center on April 24. He improved his record to 54 wins, seven losses and six draws.
Jasso, 17, a sophomore at Roosevelt High, used a quick jab to stay out of trouble and won, 5-0. The victory qualified Jasso, along with 11 other California fighters, for the National Championships of the Golden Gloves, scheduled May 10-15 in Little Rock, Ark.
Jasso had to continually punch his way out of the grasp of Pulido, but was slowed by a wrist injury later in the fight.
"My wrist was hurt after the second round," said Jasso, who lost some snap in his punches. "(My) opponent used his head and pushed a lot to keep me off balance."
In other matches, Carlos Navarro of Los Angeles, currently ranked No. 7 in the nation by USA Boxing at 112 pounds, won a unanimous decision from Martin Quezada of Mendota.
Rafael Gutierrez of Los Angeles handed Andres Bravo of Sacramento his first loss, 5-0, in the 119-pound class. Bravo had an 11-0 record entering the fight.
At 156 pounds, Stennis Floyd of Long Beach defeated Kenneth Johnson by a technical knockout with 2:27 left in the third round.
In the most controversial fight, George Escobar of Bakersfield out-pointed Jorge Hawley of Pomona, 3-2, in the 139-pound division in a decision that brought boos from the crowd.
In the 147-pound division, Gabriel Gonzales of Sacramento out-muscled David Kalapaca of Redlands, 5-0. Javier Gonzales of Sacramento won for the second consecutive year, this time defeating Don Small of Long Beach, 5-0, in the 165-pound division.
Howard Douglas Fenske, a 44-year-old from Santa Barbara, was a crowd favorite, but lost for the second consecutive year at 178 pounds. Ahmad Hempstead of Sacramento won, 5-0.
In the 201-pound division, 16-year-old Juan Cruz of San Diego beat Laau Afuhaamango, 5-0, in a close fight. In the super-heavyweights, Lance Whittaker of Sepulveda upset Robert Geer of San Jose, who is ranked No. 5 in the nation by USA Boxing, 5-0.
Salvador Casillas of Los Angeles and Guillermo Moreno of Beaumont won in walk-overs at 106 and 125 pounds, respectively.