Local boxer headed for St. Charles, La. to compete for a spot on the Olympic team

Olympic hopeful boxer David Navarro holds a certificate of recognition presented to him by the San Jacinto City Council. With him from left are his father and coach Salvador Navarro, Sonia Ramos, founder of Boxing for Christ and San Jacinto Mayor Russ Utz. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

Gloves are up for Olympic boxing team hopeful David Navarro from San Jacinto’s Boxing for Christ. He will arrive Saturday, Dec. 7, in St. Charles, Louisiana, to compete in the USA Boxing National Tournament.

Navarro, 19, is a bantamweight fighter from in Valle Vista and will be up against eight other boxers in his weight class, competing in the 10-day special event, according to Sonia Ramos, founder of Boxing In Christ.

The young boxer won his invitation to nationals after winning in the Elite National Championships earlier this year. Winning in St. Charles may put him on the American Olympic boxing team in the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Ramos glowed with pride while she announced Navarro’s invitation to nationals at the San Jacinto City Council meeting Nov. 12, and sought $4,000 in donations for airfare and expenses for the boxer and his two coaches, David Flores and his father Salvador Navarro.

The fundraising goal for airfare and hotel rooms for the trio had been met, and reservations made thanks to the San Jacinto Rotary Club and other community donors, Ramos said Monday, Dec. 2.

“Right now all we need is their food, a rental car and living expenses while they are there,” Ramos said.

When Navarro arrives, he will weighed in and be placed in the competing brackets for the day or days he will fight his first opponent.

“We won’t know who he will fight until after he registers,” Ramos said.

“I’ve been boxing since I was 5 years old. My dream has always been to make it to the Olympics, so here I am now and I’ve come a long way,” Navarro earlier said.

Ramos said it is the first time a Boxing for Christ boxer has had the opportunity to possibly go to the Olympics.

Boxing for Christ is a nonprofit agency that now supports nearly 1,000 young boxers from throughout the valley with the mission to use boxing to promote and provide a safe haven and healthy environment for youth and young adults.

Ramos said Boxing for Christ boxers can release aggression in a healthy way along with life skills to help them in their future.

Children from 7 years old and up can train with Boxing for Christ programs with group classes from $20 per month.

The Boxing for Christ, gym and boxing ring is located in San Jacinto at 180 Idyllwild Drive. The gym is normally open Monday through Friday from 3-8 p.m., but the boxing ring currently undergoing expansion to accommodate the new boxers. Call (951) 282-4945 for more information, or visit www.boxingforchrist.com.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.