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Flores first at Silver Gloves State tourney
La Rosa fifth-grader qualifies for Regionals
Andre Flores, 10, will compete at the Western Regional-* Championships this month in Compton. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Andre Flores placed first at the California State Silver Gloves Championships for the second year in a row.

Flores, a fifth-grade student at La Rosa Elementary School in Ceres, won the Pee-Wee 9-10-year-old 75-pound title on Dec. 3 in El Monte.

He claimed 65-pound crown in the same age group a year ago.

"I'm super excited," Andre said. "I had to win it again because I want to get back to Nationals."

Flores, 10, improved his overall record to 25-4.

"He's been all over the country fighting in bigger and different tournaments," said Damian Flores, Andre's father, strength and conditioning trainer, and nutritionist.

"When I'm in the ring, the only things I see and hear are my opponents and coaches," Andre said. "I block everything else."

Andre compiled a 1-0 record at the 2017 Silver Gloves Championships.

Flores topped Gael Villegas (Los Angeles) by unanimous decision.

The referee gave Villegas two standing eight counts.

"Andre fought tall and used his reach," Damian said. "He used a lot of lateral movement. He had quicker combinations. If there would have been a little more time, they would have stopped it."

"I was feeling confident because I won it last year," Andre added. "I got the job done."

Flores will compete at the 2018 Western Regional-8 Championships, Jan. 4-9, in Compton.

Andre trained at the Team Money Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas leading up to Regionals.

"We want to fight the best kids," Damian said. "They have eight national champions we can spar with."

Andre captured the 65-pound title at the 2017 National Silver Gloves tournament in February.

He also won Regional-8 and California State crowns.

Flores finished first at the USA Boxing Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championship in May.

He brought home the 70-pound Pee-Wee Ringside World Boxing Championships in July.

"Our goal is to qualify for the 2028 Olympics," Damian said. "He has the right mindset and fortitude. He's self-motivated and disciplined. He's very competitive. It doesn't matter if we're jogging or doing sprints, he's always got to be No. 1. He's always been like that."
Andre also excels in the classroom.

He had a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall trimester.

"He's doing his part as far as grades and competing," Damian said.