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Turlock youth boxer wins first amateur bout
youth boxer pic
Jose Gonzalez poses with his trophy after winning his first amateur boxing match in Modesto on Saturday. - photo by Photo courtesy of Ray Lopez

Jose Gonzalez got his first taste of competition and victory on Saturday when he faced Fresno’s Jonathan Garcia during Modesto Police Athletic League’s “Throwdown in Motown” event at The Maddox Youth Center in Modesto.

Gonzales’ road to his first victory began three months ago when inspiration drove the 13-year-old to take boxing seriously. Since then, the 90-pound Turlocker has been working tirelessly at the Delhi Boxing Club, preparing his mind and body for battle inside the squared circle.

“At first I didn’t like boxing,” Gonzalez admitted. “But my dad and coach Tovar told me I could be something big. I started watching boxing on TV and I realized I wanted to do it.”

With nerves in his belly and a hint of self-doubt on his mind Gonzalez stepped into the ring with Garcia, unsure of what he was about to experience. After the first exchange of punches Gonzalez settled in and turned to his training, eventually winning all three rounds for the majority decision.

“I felt like I accomplished something and when they gave me my trophy I felt even better,” Gonzalez said.

Saturday’s victory is only the first step for the soon to be Turlock High freshman whose main goal is to compete in next year’s Jr. Olympics. To do so, Gonzalez must compete in five amateur bouts before the December deadline. If he can find an opponent, he will fight again in Fresno this Saturday.

Regardless of when his next fight is, Gonzalez’ first taste of competition has sparked a new found desire to train harder and become better in the ring.

“Boxing helps me focus and keeps me off the street and now, if something happens, I can defend myself,” Gonzalez said. “Every time I box I keep thinking about famous people like Manny Pacquiao or Oscar de la Hoya. I want to be like them.”