The Rio Grande Valley enjoyed some strong showings at the 50th Texas Silver Gloves State Tournament on Dec. 7-10 in McKinney.
Among the winners were three boxers from Brownsville — Raul Vallejo Jr., Sebastian Juarez and Daniel Garza.
Vallejo Jr., a freshman at Hanna, captured first place in the 132-pound division for 13-14 year olds. He was also named the fighter of the night during the competition as he went 2-0 at the tournament. The other two Brownsville fighters also went 2-0 at the Silver Gloves state event.
Juarez, a seventh-grader at Oliveira Middle School, was the winner of the 95-pound division for 11-12 year olds. It was his second time to fight at the Silver Gloves State Tournament.
Garza, a fourth-grader at El Jardin Elementary School, triumphed in the 95-pound weight class for 9-10 year olds.
Vallejo Jr. and Garza fought at the event representing the Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department and are coached by Raul Vallejo Sr. and Robert Campos. Vallejo Sr. was the coach with his son and Garza in McKinney as Campos, their primary coach, was unable to make the trip.
Juarez fights for RGV Elite out of Brownsville.
“It meant a lot to me to go back to the tournament and win because last year I worked hard, but I didn’t come out with the win, so that’s why it meant so much this year,” Juarez said. “This year I trained even harder than I did last year and I sparred some good fighters. I feel I came out victorious because of that.
“I want to do a good job of representing my city and the Valley at the regional tournament,” he added.
The Region 6 Silver Gloves Tournament involving fighters ages 8-14 from eight states is set for Jan. 11-13 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The winners at the regional competition advance to the national tournament, which is scheduled Feb. 1-3 in Independence, Missouri.
Brownsville fighter Sergio “Time to Shine” Perales didn’t get the result he wanted in last Thursday’s fight against Bryan “La Roca” De Gracia of Panama. Perales, coming off a long layoff, fought as a featherweight (126 pounds) instead of as a bantamweight (118 pounds), which is his usual weight class.
Perales (24-3, 16 knockouts) lost on a second-round KO against De Gracia (22-1-1, 18 KOs) in Panama City, Panama. De Gracia is ranked No. 7 in the world by the WBA.
“The people over there (in Panama) treated us great,” said Robert Campos, Perales’ trainer. “(As it turned out) Sergio was making too much of a jump in weight to fight this guy. We thought we might be able to beat him, but ‘ni modo,’ it just didn’t work out. The experience was great, though. Next time, Sergio can fight at his usual weight and we’ll see how things go.”
The STFC 45 mixed martial arts cage fighting show is scheduled in March at McAllen Convention Center. For more information, call (956) 562-2622 or (956) 414-8698.