Amateur boxing showcase coming to Kingsville
Approximately 140 amateur pugilists, from about 83 clubs, will descend here when the Kingsville Boxing Club hosts the South Texas Junior Olympic Amateur Boxing Tournament, for the third year in a row, Friday through Sunday (April 20-22).
“This will be our third year hosting this tournament,” KBC Trainer Jaime Cantu said. “It has really been wonderful for the community, as well as for our local boxers who get to compete here in town in front of their friends and family.”
The tournament’s first two stops in Kingsville proved to be win-win situations in many ways.
“The community has been very supportive of this event these past two years by coming out and enjoying the fights,” Cantu said. “In talking with Carol Ann Anderson from the Kingsville Convention and Visitors Bureau, she says the economic impact of hosting this tournament is tremendous for Kingsville, which is why they have stepped up in becoming one of the major sponsors for this event.”
Cantu’s Twelfth Street Gym has three amateur fighters currently hitting the heavy bags in preparation for stepping into the ring at the STJO.
Representing Kingsville will be Juliynn Trevino (11 years old, 80 lb. weight class), Eleazar Mendietta (13 years old, 90 lb. weight class) and Jesus Lopez Jr. (16 years old, 138 lb. weight class).
“This will be the second year all three of these boys compete in this event and they are ready to go, without a doubt,” Cantu said. “At last year’s tournament, we only had one out of the three win, but all of them were able to experience being put under pressure and the nerves that come with fighting in an advancing tournament in their hometown. Now they are more focused and relaxed headed into this tournament, while also hungrier, and with a lot more pride of wanting to have their hands raised in their hometown.”
Lopez, Mendietta and Trevino will trade punches with some of the best amateurs South Texas has to offer.
“The talent from everywhere that shows up for this event is tremendous,” Cantu said. “We have always had a number of fighters who begin in this area and then advance to the state tournament and make it to nationals. You have to take into consideration that South Texas has many very talented fighters, from Austin and all the way down to Brownsville, as well as in Victoria and Laredo.”
Kingsville’s three boxers, Cantu mentioned, plan on throwing plenty of punches from bell to bell.
“Our main focus for each of our guys is to stay busy in the ring, that is the bottom line,” Cantu said. “Amateur fighters are sometimes patient while looking for openings, but in this type of tournament which has shortened timed rounds (one and two minutes) they need to stay busy. I think all three of our boys learned that last year when they competed very well but were not busy enough.”
Admission for the event is $7. For more information, call 728-3955.