Turlock's Sandra Tovar has been boxing for as long as she can remember and she is only getting better.
The 13-year-old Tovar met the Junior Olympics silver medalist Angela Murillo for a third bout this past Saturday. This time it was at the Beautiful Brawlers Tournament in Pacifica and Tovar didn't disappoint.
Tovar, who had lost to Murillo in their first meeting, went on to defeat her rival for the second consecutive time via unanimous decision in the 101-pound weight class of the 13-14 girls division.
“I worked on a lot more to not let her get inside me and I tried to keep distance and it was more technical and I was smarter in there rather than just punching,” said Tovar. “I used the jab a lot more.”
Tovar also landed a lot more combos than her previous fights. Four to five punch combos and uppercuts.
“I realized the uppercuts could work against her so I used it when I needed it,” said Tovar about her approach to the third fight. She is now 2-1 against Murillo.
It didn't seem like there were any rounds where Tovar didn't dominate and she credits it in large part to her intense training.
Recently, she has been running three miles every day, and her sparring partners always consist of male boxers who are usually older than Tovar.
“My coaches Tom Fernandez and my dad Jeff Tovar, who is also a coach, are great trainers,” said Tovar. “They always prepare me for the next fight and I think it helps sparring with boys because they are usually bigger and stronger so I am ready for almost anything when I go out there.”
Along with the standing support of her family and friends, Tovar's self-motivation was as apparent as ever.
“All the support was motivating. A lot of my family was there supporting me so that was an extra boost along with not wanting to lose here,” said Tovar, who is now 3-0 at the Beautiful Brawler tournament.
Next for Tovar will be the 2016 Junior Open and Youth National Championships in Reno, Nevada from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9.