San Jacinto introduces first-time world boxing champion

One of Boxing for Christ’s youngest scrappers brought home gold at national competition

Photo by Kyle Selby / The Valley Chronicle
Left to right: San Jacinto City Councilman Alonso Ledezma, Mayor Pro Tem Russ Utz, Sandy Flores, Mayor Crystal Ruiz, Sonia Ramos and George Cortez, and Councilman Andrew Kotyuk.

■ Kyle Selby / Reporter

“This is something that has never happened in the valley,” said founder of Boxing for Christ, Sonia Ramos, during her public comment at the San Jacinto City Council meeting, Tuesday, March 20. “I’ve been here for six years, and there have been other boxing gyms, but we have never, ever brought back a national champion and a Golden Glove champion.”
George Cortez, 9-years-old and 55 pounds, won the champion title in his weight division, Pee Wee 9-10 Male, at the USA Boxing Western Elite Qualifier Regional Open Championship, March 6 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Ramos’ daughter, Sandy Flores, won the Golden Glove medal in her weight division, 152 pound Elite Female. She will be competing again in April in Sacramento.
“We’re proud because you have to earn this jacket to be a champion,” said Ramos, as she pointed to Cortez. “For him to get it at this age was amazing.”
Boxing for Christ, a local faith-based athletic program, has been active since 2012, and just celebrated their six-year anniversary last month. The idea behind the program was that kids could positively channel their fighting prowess in the boxing ring, rather than on the streets. As of this year, Boxing for Christ has reached over 529 Hemet/San Jacinto youths.
“I’m really proud of you, and I’m proud of these kids,” congratulated San Jacinto Crystal Ruiz, who has been a strong proponent of the program.
Boxing for Christ boxers are currently training for the Future Stars of Boxing tournament in Las Vegas, June 7-9. It will be their second time competing at the tournament.

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