Local boxer goes professional, wins first match
18-year-old shows he has what it takes to compete with the best
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - An 18-year-old boxer from Yuma has gone professional and started off his career with a victory in San Luis, Mexico.
Erick Gutierrez won his first professional match via unanimous decision on February 25th and now he's officially moving on to the next round.
Gutierrez fights in the mini flyweight 112 division for Yuma Fight Academy.
He's been boxing since he was 12-years-old.
His record in amateur fighting is 8-1 and says going pro isn't easy.
"It takes a lot of discipline and to be honest you have to sacrifice a lot. Like you have to be in here everyday. Train hard," says Gutierrez.
He says it means a lot to represent Yuma.
"I want to show everybody that they could do something that they like doing like any sports," continues Gutierrez. "To push themselves and to know that anyone can do it you know? They can make it as a career."
In the first round of his first professional match he knocked down his opponent with a solid left hook.
"When I saw he dropped to the floor I got really excited and I was trying to calm myself down because I wasn't trying to go for the kill right away," explains Gutierrez.
Gutierrez says it felt good to take the win but now it's time to fix his mistakes and get ready for the next one.
"Like dropping my right hand. I noticed I dropped a little of my hand and I feel like I took a little bit too much time. I think I want to push myself more to throw more punches and dig a little more to the body," says Gutierrez. "Chase him down cause I think this opponent, he runs a lot so I'm going to have to cut the ring more and double step my way into him, and I want to land my hook again, same as the other guy because this is my power punch."
Gutierrez gives a lot of credit to his coach Gary Diaz.
"Like he taught me a lot, like to stay away from trouble. Like stay away from a lot of things that's not gonna do you no good, you know?," says Gutierrez.
Diaz says Gutierrez has what it takes.
"He does what he has to do to work. He doesn't miss days. I guess he really wants to be a world champion. That's why he's here," Diaz says.
Gutierrez will be going against someone almost twice his age and Diaz says it's a mind game.
"I think his mindset again is going to finish the job. He's very strong for that division," continues Diaz.
Diaz says it's easier said than done, but Gutierrez has the power and youth to win.
Gutierrez says this is what he's been training for, professional boxing and is looking forward to his next match on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.
The match will take place in the Glendale Civic Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first bell rings at 7 p.m.
You can purchase tickets here.