ROCKFORD - Another domino has fallen into place for Rockford boxer Angel Martinez in his quest to compete in the 2020 Olympics. He won the Western Elite Regional Championship over the weekend in New Mexico
Martinez won three fights in all in New Mexico. Two by 4-1 decisions and the third by unanimous decision. He was fighting at the elite level, not the junior level.
"Second and third rounds they can't touch him. I don't think he lost a second or third round the whole tournament tournament," says Martinez' trainer Jimmy Goodman.
What was different about this event than his previous ones is this time Martinez moved up a weight class from 108 pounds at flyweight to 114 at superflyweight.
"I Wasn't worried about it too much," says Martinez of the jump up. "I was confident in my performance and confident in my boxing."
As Martinez gets older and continues to grow he and Goodman have to sort through what the best weight division will be for Martinez moving forward. Ideally they'd like him to fight at 108 pounds. This championship at 114 qualifies Martinez for the national tournament in December at that weight class. In October he could go to another regional qualifier in Chattanooga and attempt to qualify for nationals at 108 pounds. This regional title buys them more time until the fall to see how Martinez matures physically.
"That's what's the good thing about it. We've got our options open," says Goodman. "Nothing is set in stone. He can go to 114. He can go to 108. Whatever is best for him come the time come October than that's what we're going to make."
If Martinez can win at either weight division at the U.S. Nationals in December he'll secure a spot at the Olympic Trials.
Meanwhile Martinez leaves for Colorado Springs later this week to train with Team USA for two weeks. Then he'll leave with Team USA for an international competition in Bulgaria. This will be the third year in a row Martinez has gone to Colorado Springs.
"We get to train around the top guys in the U.S.," says Martinez. "I get to be around them in the atmosphere. It's just a whole different experience. We train three times a day. We get a couple hour intervals in between."
"He'll be able to focus straight on boxing," says Goodman. "He's going to be surrounded by boxing from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed he's going to be boxing."
Don't worry about Martinez missing out on his school work. His teachers will be emailing him his assignments and he'll have study sessions at night.
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