The Flores brothers, Andre and Damon, both claimed championships in their respective weight divisions at the National Silver Gloves Tournament on Feb. 2 in Independence, Missouri.
“Boxing is in our blood,” father Damian Flores said. “My grandfather (Louie) fought in the 1940s. My cousin (Leonard Davis) fights now. He’s a professional.”
Andre, a sixth-grade student at La Rosa Elementary School in Ceres, won all three of his matches in the 11-to-12-year-old, 85-pound bantamweight class.
He earned a split-decision victory over Dasea Garcia (Texas) in the finals.
“I stayed in the pocket, worked my angles, and tried to hit him and not get hit,” Andre said.
Andre topped Timothy Greer (Minnesota) and Abdin Lopez (Florida) by unanimous decision.
“Andre was nervous,” Damian said. “His brother won so he felt like he had to, too. Ring generalship was the key. He dictated the pace.”
Andre, a 2017 National Silvers Gloves champion, earned a measure of redemption. He placed second at the event a year ago.
“When I lost, it motivated me to train harder. I improved a lot.”Andre Flores
“When I lost, it motivated me to train harder,” he said. “I improved a lot.”
Andre improved his overall record to 41-6.
“I know I have to keep working hard,” he said. “This is just one tournament. There are going to be more.”
“Andre’s self-driven and dedicated to his craft,” Damian added. “It shows in the ring.”
Damon, a second-grader at La Rosa, followed in his older brother’s footsteps by claiming the 8-year-old, 65-pound division title.
The southpaw won both of his matches by unanimous decision.
“I’m proud of myself,” Damon said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my dad. He pushes me to work hard.”
“I’m very happy for him,” Andre said. “It’s like looking in the mirror. I won my first time coming out here.”
Damon bested Tyrese Anthony (Missouri) in the finals. Anthony was given a standing-eight count in the second round.
His first victory came against Leonarod Orocio (Texas).
“People already knew who he was,” Damian said. “He’s gained a lot of fans.”
Damon improved his overall record to 8-1.
“He’s athletic,” Damian said. “He’s got long arms. He’s got that killer instinct in him.”
Damon bounced back after suffering his first loss at the USA Boxing Nationals. He had to settle for third place in Utah.
“He was thinking a lot more and not rushing in,” Damian said.
The Flores brothers qualified for Nationals after capturing titles at District, State and Regional levels.
“The sky’s the limit if they stay focused, humble and keep working hard,” Damian said.
Added Andre: “I can definitely see us winning more national titles.”