Young Stockton boxer fights to have a voice, encourage youth
16
August

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


KCRA 3’S MELINDA MEZA INTRODUCES US TO GABRIEL FLORES JUNIOR, WHO SAYS HARD WORK AND A DESIRE TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE HELPED HIM GET TO WHERE HE IS TODAY. MELIND HE IS JUMPING INTO ACTION AND GETTING READY FOR A FIGHT OF HIS LIFE. 16-YEAR-OLD GABRIEL FLORES HAS SIGNED A PRO CONTRACT WITH TOP RANK, MAKING HIM THE YOUNGEST FIGHTER TO SIGN.>>I’M JUST READY. IT’S HIM IS UNBELIEVABLE THAT I MET THIS POINT RIGHT NOW. ANOTHER STEP IN MY BOXING CAREER, AND HOPEFULLY, IT HELPS ME GET TO WHERE NEED TO BE IN THE FUTURE. MELINDA: HE IS TRAINING FOR HIS PRO-DEBUT IN RENO AND THEN HIS GOAL IS TO COME BACK TO STOCKTON AND FIGHT AT THE STOCKTON ARENA. FLORES HAS BEEN BOXING SINCE HE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD.>>I WAKE UP AT 7:00 IN THE MORNING TO EAT BREAKFAST BEFORE I TRAIN, AND I COME TO THE GYM TO JUMP ROPE, FOUR ROUND OF SHADOWBOXING, NUMEROUS ROUNDS OF MITTS. MELINDA: HE WATCHED HIS DAD TRAIN HIS BROTHER. HIS DAD, GABE FLORES SENIOR, WANTED TO KEEP HIS CHILDREN OUT OF TROUBLE OUT OF GANGS.>>I GREW UP IN GANGS AND DIDN’T WANT THAT FOR MY SON OBVIOUSLY , SO I BROUGHT HIM TO THE GYM AND KEPT HIM BUSY DOING SCHOOL WORK AND GYM, SO THERE IS NO ROOM FOR NOTHING ELSE.>>IT KEEPS YOU BUSY, KEEPS YOU GOING, SO YOU DON’T HAVE NO TIME FOR NOTHING ELSE. IT MAKES YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY. AND MAKE YOU THINK SECOND ABOUT THE CHOICES YOU MAKE. MELINDA: GABE JUNIOR’S MOTHER, JUANITA MALDONADO, WAS KILLED MARCH IN 2011 WHILE ATTENDING A CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY IN STOCKTON.>>YEAH, HE WAS ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD. THAT WAS REALLY HARD. DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH. HIS MOM LOVED TO WATCH HIM FIGHT. MELINDA: INSTEAD OF LETTING THAT STOP HIM, YOUNG GABE FLORES JUNIOR TRY EVEN HARDER TO DO WELL. HE SAYS HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE HE TALKS TO OTHER YOUTH ABOUT REACHING GOALS AND STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE.>>THIS IS WHY I HAVE FIGHTING. YOU KNOW, ANOTHER REASON I AM FIGHTING TO HAVE A VOICE, YOU KNOW, AND GO AFTER THE YOUTH AND HOPEFULLY, I CAN TALK TO THEM, SO I’M JUST HAPPY AND I CANNOT WAIT TO GET IN THERE.


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