ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–One of the most accomplished amateur boxers in Rockford history is making a comeback. Angel Martinez is working his way back into boxing shape downtown at the Patriots Boxing Club.

As a youth, Martinez was a USA National Junior Champion, a National Junior Olympic Champion, and a National Silver Gloves and Golden Gloves champion. He appeared to be on a path that might lead to the Olympics, but in 2018, shortly after graduating from Auburn High School Martinez walked away from boxing to focus on college, and he joined the National Guard.

Now at age 22, he will have his first fight in four years. He’ll fight Saturday night in downtown Rockford outdoors at the Rockford City Market Pavilion as part of the Rockford Boxing Classic. That will be one of up to 18 fights that night.

So is he coming back for the fun of it to explore whether or not he really wants to box again, or is he diving head-first back into boxing?

“It’s definitely fun, but I’m not doing it for the fun of it. I mean, I love the sport. I’ve always loved the sport.”

“It’s exciting to have him back,” said Patriots Boxing Club director of the Patriots Boxing Club and head trainer/coach. “I want the best for him. If he wants to come and box, I want to be in his corner to box.”

Martinez will face a fighter from Champaign Saturday night. The first fight will begin at 5 p.m. The bouts are expected to last until about 9 p.m. Admission is free. Spectators simply need to bring a lawn chair to sit in.