Meet Our Silver Gloves National Champion!
The Downtown Boxing Gym has a new national champion. 13 year-old Josue won the Boys Open 12-13 year old title at the National Silver Gloves Competition in Kansas City, Missouri on February 4.
Josue defeated Isaac Strother of Houston, Texas by decision to win the title. The victory also earned Josue the number one national ranking in the 12-13 year-old age group.
“When they raise your hand after all that work put in, it all pays off,” Josue said about the moment he was crowned a champion.
This was just the teen’s 8th fight and he now has 4 belts to show for it. Not bad for a student who only started boxing 2 years ago.
Josue trains under Coach Sonic Luna at the Downtown Boxing Gym. He says Josue’s ring IQ is far more advanced than most 13 year-olds. He can also throw “punches in bunches,” according to his coach.
Perhaps most importantly, Josue wants to put in the work required to become a great boxer.
“If you can find a kid that listens to you and has great work ethic, you can make him a champion,” said Coach Sonic, who can now boast his first national champion after having two fighters make it to the semifinals.
Strong Boxing, Strong Academics
Josue is also making great strides outside the ring. In addition to completing his regular homework, he increased his math skills this summer with ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Space). He participated in workshops where he learned about health education and got to meet one-on-one with former pro boxer Tarick Salmaci during one of our many career exposure sessions.
Back in the ring at the Silver Gloves, Coach Sonic and Josue came up with a game plan to come out aggressive from the opening bell. The strategy worked as Josue won all three rounds clean.
“Going into the fight, I was a little nervous when I saw the size of the crowd,” Josue explained. “But that all went away when the bell rang. I told myself I got this.”
Josue trained 5 to 6 days a week for the fight and sometimes traveled out-of-state to find sparring partners.
“It teaches me that hard work will always pay off,” Josue said of his big win. “You’re going to be successful if you make the choices that you need to.”
Next up for Josue could be a trip to the Arnold competition in Columbus, Ohio in March. The Junior Olympics are also on his radar.
For now, he’s just happy to hang another championship belt in his bedroom.
“It feels good,” he said. “It feels like I’m unstoppable.”