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Local Competitor Places At Junior Olympics

USA Boxing

Local Competitor Places At Junior Olympics

Prior to his fight on Saturday, Alex Gutierrez posed with his trainer Coach Leo Pagaliuagan of The Boxing Development Center in Oakdale. Gutierrez went 2-0 over the weekend. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

POSTED April 25, 2018 10:10 a.m.
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Alex Gutierrez is an 11-year-old who is not afraid to try new things. Earlier this year Gutierrez signed up to train at The Boxing Development Center in Oakdale. It didn’t take him long to develop technique and passion for the sport. A background in wrestling has helped him with his discipline and balance. The trainers at The Boxing Development Center then helped turn him into a Team USA Junior Olympic Novice Champion.

This past weekend The Boxing Development Center hosted the 2018 Central California Junior Olympics at Oakdale High School. Both Saturday and Sunday boxing fans from across the state of California witnessed the future of boxing and cheered on the young talent. Gutierrez was the lone representative to battle from The Boxing Development Center and made the most of it.

“This was my first time boxing against an opponent and in front of a large crowd,” said Gutierrez.

The youngster wrestles locally for Escalon Wrestling Club but found out about The Boxing Development Center and wanted to give it a try.

On Saturday he won his debut, going all three rounds. On Sunday he followed up his impressive performance with a unanimous decision.

“It felt so good to get my hand raised in front of everyone. I could not have done it without my coaches, trainers or family,” said Gutierrez.

Coach Leo Pagaliuagan had encouraging words about the talented young resident of Riverbank.

“He came into the center and was ready to learn. His progression is impressive and he listens. I am very proud of him,” the coach said.

Officials at The Boxing Development Center were very pleased with event.

“We wanted to thank everyone who helped support the event,” coach Leo added. “The volunteers, the fans, the parents, the fighters, and our sponsors; Basi Insurance and Oscar Martinez Bail Bonds amongst others. The community support has been great and we look forward to continue working in the Oakdale community and bringing boxing back.”

At the event young boxers from Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties as well as Fresno and Bakersfield battled it out for a chance to qualify for the USA Junior Olympic team. Those who did qualify will continue their journey in May.

Gutierrez did not qualify due to his novice status but will continue to pursue boxing.

“I want to be a professional boxer. I feel confident in my abilities and my goal is to someday be boxing professionally,” Gutierrez said.

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