Turlock native and Dutcher Middle School student Marques Tovar is officially a two-time National Silver Gloves winner, taking home the boxing title for the second consecutive year over earlier this month in Independence, Missouri. Competing at 95 pounds, Tovar competed in two fights, winning both by unanimous decision to once again clinch the championship at the nationwide tournament.
“It just feels nice winning it twice and it being back-to-back,” said Tovar. “I did what I needed to do and it just feels really good.”
Becoming a back-to-back National Silver Gloves winner did not come without its challenges, though, particularly in his first matchup against Fabricio Orocio of Texas. Facing the southpaw, Tovar was cut open on the bridge of his nose by an inadvertent elbow, nearly causing the match to be halted.
“In the middle of the third round, they went after each other pretty good and he was a tall kid and a lefty, and it he caught a pretty nasty elbow, man,” said Tovar’s father and trainer, Jeff. “He had a small cut on his bridge that caused bleeding The ref called time and I just started praying to the Lord, ‘Please let him be OK and let this go,’ because we came so far and we didn’t want it to end like this. He eventually let the fight continue and he ended up winning.”
The cut and the bleeding that came along with it was something that Tovar was admittedly bothered by in the hours leading up to the title fight against Adrian Vazquez of Florida. Nevertheless, he persevered and came away with another unanimous decision victory.
“He fought through that little cut, and man, he put it on that kid pretty good,” Jeff said.
Tovar explained that, as the scorecards were read at the conclusion of his bout with Vazquez, he felt no sense of doubt that he did enough to secure the victory.
“The championship fight, I just came with a lot of pressure,” he said. “In my mind, I pretty much knew that I got the win because I was making him back up and connecting on most of my punches.”
In classic Tovar fashion, he is already looking forward to his next challenge, which is to become a four-time national champion, this time in the USA Boxing tournament. The road to a USA Boxing title will start next month in Detroit, at the National Qualifier from March 25-28.
“I’m already a three-time national champion,” Tovar said, referring to the two Silver Gloves titles and a 2021 National Junior Olympics championship. “My mindset now is to keep training and running hard and do as much sparring as I can.”
Competing out of his family’s gym, The Truth Boxing, and under the new trademark of Tovar Boxing, the family will be holding a drive-thru food fundraiser on March 8 ahead of their trip to Michigan. The fundraiser is a partnership between the gym and Neto’s Catering of Turlock.
With the purchase of a prepaid $20 ticket, supporters will be treated to a to-go order of chicken, beans, salad and a roll. Half the funds will go to the Tovar family while the other half will remain with Neto’s to cover the cost of the food and manpower. For additional details and to purchase tickets, supporters are encouraged to contact Thelma Tovar at ThelmaTovar67@gmail.com or by calling (209) 622-7702.