Pasadena Woman Leads Local Boxing Team to State Championships

Published : Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 5:49 AM

At left, Fatima Martinez lands a left to the chin of Zybree Haury. At right, Martinez wins bout by 2-1 decision, Photography by Kasper Tobias.

Fatima Martinez scored a stunning 2-1 decision over competitor Zaybree Haury of Wild Card Boxing in the Golden Gloves Southern California District Championships in Pasadena last week.

She and her teammates move on to the Golden Gloves California State Championships to be held in Pasadena on April 5.

In what was described as a “David versus Goliath” matchup, Martinez, at 5-foot-4 inches defeated the 6-foot-1 Haury in a roller coaster matchup on the final day of the regional championships on Saturday. Martinez won the first round, got knocked down in the second round, and went on to win the third round.

“Fatima fought with her heart in her hand,” said Coach Fausto De La Torre. “She had to dig down deep.

“I just focused on staying in the fight,” Martinez said. “It was such an electrifying fight, people said that out of 19 bouts it was the fight of the night.”

Martinez, Suzel Sanchez, 22; Asia Eng, 35 and Luis Marroquin, 18, comprise De La Torre’s roster. Sanchez advanced to the states unopposed and Eng got a bye to the next round. Marroquin lost in his semifinal matchup.

But the night belonged to Pasadena’s Martinez, a 20-year-old criminal justice major at LACC, who gave heart and soul to win.

“The second round it got a little tough,” Martinez said. “But Coach Fausto gave me wise words. I heard it was interesting to watch. I had a lot of people coming up to me that said it was a great fight. I was shocked as well. I had people coming up to me taking pictures. My coach was telling me people were standing up on their feet recording it.”

She said after a night like that, she’s ready for the state championship.

“It motivates you to work harder to improve,” she said. “I’m working on fixing mistakes. We have to dominate.”

De La Torre said the judges and everyone in the room saw in Martinez a champion who did not give up.

“It was like a championship fight,” De La Torre said. “After being dominated in the second round she came back in third round. I had to look into her eyes, I had to remind her of all the sacrifice,  everything she’s worked for, all the aches and all the pains. I had to touch her soul. I said, ‘Look around you, look how many people are here to support you.’ And that’s what made it such an electrifying fight. Everyone saw the comeback.”

As for the state championships which will be held in Pasadena on April 5, the boxers are getting ready.

“We’re gonna work on conditioning, and more combinations more than anything,” De La Torre said. “There are going to be some good boxers from The Rock Boxing Club, Wild Card and two kids from Duarte.”

About the regional championships De La Torre said: “We said it would be girl power and here we are the girls prevailed. The girls definitely go the extra mile. They truly work really hard. They stand out and prove themselves. They’re successful boxers.”