Published : Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | 4:52 AM
Sacrifice and hard work paid off for Art Martinez and Howard Trevino, who won their boxing matches on Friday night at the fourth annual Centennial Square Boxing Show at Pasadena City Hall.
“It was a beautiful night and I’m very proud of our boxers,” said Coach Fausto De La Torre specialist for the Villa-Parke Boxing Program within Pasadena’s Human Services and Recreation Dept. “These fighters have made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. They come to the gym every day, day in and day out and they have to cut weight and stay focused.”
The City of Pasadena and the Human Services and Recreation Department annually hosts the match under the moon, which this year drew contenders from as far as Kansas City.
“The Kansas City club got wind of how great this event is and they came,” de la Torre said. “The event is very competitive and our guys showcased their talents and were victorious, each in three 3-minute fights.”
Martinez won against Kansas City opponent Matthew Quintero in the 125-pound division and Trevino defeated Sammy Cosio from Kansas City in the 123-pound category. A third boxer from Villa-Parke, Eric Alvarado, a 14-year-old at 106 pounds did not fight because his scheduled opponent got injured.
Olympic hopefuls Martinez and Trevino, who De La Torre called “two young superstars,” are getting ready for Olympic qualifiers. They will fight Oct. 5-12 at the Eastern Elite Olympic Qualifiers at the Great Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.
“The fight is the easy part,” De La Torre said. “People may think getting in the ring is the hardest part but that’s the fun part. It’s the behind the scenes, the sweat the aches the pains and the physical conditioning that’s difficult. These young people have a lot of heart.”
De La Torre said the Villa-Parke program has tremendous support and more people turned out this year compared with last year.
“It was boxing in the heart of Pasadena, in one of the most prestigious landmarks in Los Angeles, under the lights, under the moon,” he said. “We had more people than last year and it’s continuing to grow. We had 12 boxers from Southern California, bringing family and friends. Last year we had 24 boxers but we had more people this year.”
De La Torre said Pasadena and Los Angeles in general is the place to be for aspiring boxers.
“Our advantage is so we have so many clubs in the area,” he said. “We’re the biggest local boxing destination in the nation, aside from New York and Texas. LA is the capital of boxing. There’s so much more competition here in Southern California and that helps our kids. And we have great weather and that plays a role because we can train outside. We go to the mountains, the beach and the desert.”
Also in the audience for the Friday night matchups were promoters, managers and some scouts, De la Torre said.