For the second straight year, Turlock native and Dutcher Middle School student Marques Tovar walked out of the boxing ring victorious at the Silver Gloves west regional tournament. This time around, Tovar did it in spectacular fashion as he clinched his title with a technical knockout just 40 seconds into his final match.
Tovar, a 13-year-old competing in the 95 lb. intermediate weight division, had to fight twice in Compton earlier this month to officially claim his title. In his first appearance against Elijah Vashaw of Colorado, Tovar walked down his opponent enroute to a unanimous decision victory. In the title fight, he continued his classic approach of constant pressure against Nevada’s Kealotta Bankman, but multiple combinations to the body and head proved too much, with the referee quickly stepping in for the stoppage.
“The experience was really nice because of it being my first stoppage, so that felt pretty good. I just put a lot of pressure and threw a lot of punches,” he said.
Tovar will now turn his attention to the Silver Gloves national tournament, a title he also won last year. The tournament will take place in Independence, Missouri from Feb. 8-12.
“I’m really looking forward to it because it’s In Missouri and the trip up there is going to be really nice,” he said. “And it’ll be so much more memorable because it’d mean a lot to win it back-to-back years. I’ve been training really hard because there’s going to be so much more competition up there because it’s the finals and there’s going to be people from a lot more states.
In his preparation for the national tournament, Tovar has been sparring three times a week at his family boxing gym, The Truth Boxing, as well as with Team Trouble out of Hollister. It is also the first year that he, his family and teammates are competing under the trademark of Tovar Boxing.
Tovar’s father and head coach, Jeff Tovar, explained that it is essential for Marques to train at other gyms in order to give him new looks and take him out of his comfort zone.
“It’s important for him to travel to different places and experience new things,” Jeff Tovar said. “It’s not always good to stay in the same place and be around things you’re used to, so training up in Hollister with Team Trouble is really important for him.”
His father also gave praise to his son’s ability to consistently train and travel while continuing to maintain high grades in school.
As Tovar continues to collect hardware at the youth level and as he grows older in his, his family realizes that the travel costs will continue to rise. Under the new Tovar Boxing brand, the team is accepting donations, which can be made by contacting ThelmaTovar67@gmail.com.
“I can’t wait to compete and win it all again,” Tovar said. “I’m really excited.”