Damon Flores improved his boxing record to a near-perfect 20-1 after winning a pair of prestigious titles in a two-week span.
“I’m happy,” the La Rosa Elementary School third-grader said. “I’ve been training hard.”
“He’s been on a tear this year,” said Damian Flores, Damon’s father and trainer. “He’s won everything. There’s a buzz whenever he fights. People want to see action. He’s entertaining.”
Flores finished first in the 9-10-year-old Pee-Wee 70-pound division at the 2019 USA Boxing Youth National Championships in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Flores earned a split-decision victory against Pennsylvania’s Cruz Cunningham in the finals on Dec. 12.
He won by unanimous decision versus Texas’ Christopher Valadez in the semifinals on Dec. 10.
Cunningham and Valadez were both given standing eight counts.
“The power he operates when he throws his punches is freakish,” Damian said. “He’s got a lot of strength. He’s like a bull.”
Leading up to USA Boxing Nationals, Flores and his family met and posed for pictures with unified welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr. on Dec. 7 at Neyow’s Creole Café.
“It was fun,” Damon said.
Flores captured the 70-pound title at the 2019 California State Silver Gloves Championships, staged Nov. 29-Dec. 1, in Compton.
He was awarded a bicycle for being named Outstanding Boxer of the tournament.
Flores won both of his fights by unanimous decision.
He beat Cal Border’s Gabriel Bojorquez for the championship on Dec. 1 and SoCal’s Alan Brizuela in the semifinals on Nov. 30.
Flores was the 8-year-old, 65-pound champion last year.
He has claimed four national titles during his brief boxing career.
“I train every day,” Damon said. “Sometimes it gets tiring, but I have to do it to make myself better.”
“It’s pretty cool to see how he’s grown,” Damian stated. “He’s having a lot of success. He’s learned how to control his distance. He’s not leapfrogging on his jab anymore and getting countered. We’ve implemented a lot of lateral movement into his boxing. He’s a versatile fighter.”
“A lot of the kids I fight are right-handed,” Damon added. “I’m left-handed. It’s an advantage.”