For the second time in his young career, Turlock boxer Marques Tovar is a national champion.
The Dutcher Middle School student took home gold at the Silver Gloves Nationals in Missouri over the weekend, dominating two fights for his second national title in less than a year. Last summer, Tovar was also crowned champion at the National Junior Olympics.
“It felt really nice because this one actually came with a big belt,” Tovar said. “It meant a lot to me, because I trained a lot for these fights and sacrificed a lot for this tournament.”
He first began boxing when he was just eight years old, inspired by boxing roots that run deep in his family. His older sister, Turlock High School grad Sandra Tovar, is a five-time national champion herself, and their father Jeff Tovar has helped them train over the years.
Before he made it to Missouri, Tovar had to first win the Central California Silver Gloves tournament in November then the state tournament a month later. Making it to the Silver Gloves Nationals was made even sweeter given the fact that he had lost at the early Central California tournament the year before.
Tovar had to win two fights at the national tournament to earn the title of champion in the 75-pound weight class. Despite his first opponent putting up a battle with plenty of holding, Tovar was able to get in enough body shots to earn the win.
Then, the title match saw him go up against a competitor from Oklahoma with a similar fighting style. He fought through fatigue during the middle of the match to come out on top, 3-0.
“By the second round, I started to figure him out a little bit,” Tovar said.
The community rallied around Tovar to help fundraise his last several trips, so making it to Missouri and ultimately winning the tournament was his way of saying, “thank you.”
“I know that these people have all supported me so that I can do this, so it really means a lot,” Tovar said.