Pasadenan Marvin Gomez started boxing when he was eight because he wanted to learn how he could defend himself.
Eventually, he fell in love with the sport. Now 15 years old, Gomez is fighting in the 188 class division in the Centennial Square Boxing Show taking place in front of the iconic City Hall at 100 N. Garfield Ave. on Friday, August 25.
This is his second time competing in the Centennial Square Boxing Show. He competed for the first time last year.
“It has really helped with my physical condition, my mental condition, because it takes a lot of discipline and hard work and training. So it’s really helped me grow as a person overall,” he told Pasadena Now.
Gomez is excited about his upcoming fight. He is thankful for the support he is getting from the community.
“It’s nice to be able to go into the ring knowing I have my whole city backing me up, hoping that I pull out a win. The support system is really nice. It feels good. So it helps my mental health and helps me mentally. I know that I have a whole city rooting for me in the back, no matter the outcome.
In the future, Gomez hopes to win state and national titles and participate in the Olympics in 2028.
Adriana Nuñez started boxing when she was 13 after seeing her brother enjoying the sport. Seeing women such as Fatima Martinez and Asia Eng dominate the sport also encouraged her to try boxing.
“Fatima was the first female boxer I met while I started here. Right now, she’s ranked number two, and she is competing and fighting all types of women that are tall, short, big, small, and still manages to dominate. It inspires me to be just like her,” said Nuñez.
“Asia, she’s a mom of two, and she manages to make time to come to gym practice, and then also winning competitions, taking belts, home and trophies and everything. So the fact that she’s able to do all that while being a mom and a wife inspires me.”
Throughout the years, Nuñez has learned that to excel at the sport, you have to have dedication and patience.
While this Friday’s Centennial Square Boxing Show is her first fight, 18-year-old Nuñez is more excited than anxious to compete.
“We train really hard to do this, and it’s really special to us, since we’re competing here in Pasadena, it is our home. This is where we train. We were born and raised here, and to be able to compete in City Hall in our home, it’s amazing.”
Nuñez is also preparing for the Golden Gloves which is happening next year.
Fausto De La Torre, head of Villa-Parke Community Center’s boxing program said numerous youth participants who initially joined the boxing program experienced bullying while some lack self-esteem.
He said through the program, they aim to develop among the youth strong character, self-esteem, self-control, commitment, dedication, sacrifice and good sportsmanship.
“These values can transition to their everyday life in school, work and home life by showing them the necessary discipline to understand daily life can be a struggle in and out of the ring,” De La Torre said.
“Through discipline and self-control inside the ring, an athlete learns to cope with any obstacles outside of the ring,” he added.
To know more about the Villa Parke boxing program, visit: https://www.cityofpasadena.net/parks-and-rec/athletics/adult-athletics/adult-boxing/ or contact De La Torre at (626) 744-6531, or by email email@example.com.