Winning championship belts as a youth doesn’t guarantee titles as an adult, but Rockford’s Angel Martinez is proving his boxing talent has no limits. The multi-time youth champion just won a National Golden Gloves Championship in Louisiana taking his career to an even higher level.
Martinez has spent countless hours in the Patriot’s Boxing gym working out refining his skills with coach Jimmy Goodman. All those hours have paid off big. Martinez is the first National Golden Gloves Champion the club has ever produced. Something rare for not just the club but for all of Illinois.
“A Golden Glove champion, he’s the fifth one from IIlinois to do it in the last 20 years,” says Martinez’ coach and Patriots Boxing Club coach Jimmy Goodman. “To put Rockford and Patriots’ boxing club on the map it’s a big feather in our camp!”
It’s not just the fact that Martinez won the title that’s impressive, but he won all four of his matches in Louisiana last week by unanimous 5-0 decisions. Not bad for a 17 year old fighting men for the first time.
Did he expect the fights to be that easy?
“I didn’t,” says Martinez, “but after the first fight I was thinking about the guys I’m fighting. I’m fighting grown men. They’re going to have grown men power, so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I had to be more cautious, but after the first guy I felt his power, it wasn’t too bad.”
“I know Angel’s strong, but he just exceeded all the expectations that I had,” says Goodman. “Man 5-0 every fight…20 scorecards. Boy it’s pretty impressive!”
Martinez beat Texas Gold Gloves champion Xavier Herandez for the 108 pound championship. What went through Martinez’ mind when the fight ended?
“I was elated!” There was no words for how I felt. It was amazing!”
Martinez’ work in Louisiana has him in high demand now for other fights.
“He’s got a bigger target on his back, so I know people are going to want him even that much more.Guys are already calling up want to fight him again,” says Goodman.
Martinez’ goal has always been the next Olympic games in 2020. This championship cements in his mind that that goal is attainable.
“It’s just makes me more clear. More clear 2020 that’s the goal.”
Martinez is a student at Rockford Auburn high school the same school that produced 1988 Olympic bronze boxing medalist Kenny Gould. Gould did not win a national Golden Gloves championship. The last Rockford boxer to do that was heavyweight Earl Suddeth in 1950.
At age 17 Martinez is the second youngest boxer to win a National Golden Gloves Championship. Second by a couple months to the great Floyd Mayweather who also won a championship in 1993.