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Nation’s No. 1: Gary Salazar of Alemán Boxing in Fresnoavatar

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Sixth-ranked in the nation in the 112s, Gary Salazar.

No. 1-ranked junior amateur in the nation in the 112s, Gary Salazar.

Fresno’s junior boxer Gary Alexis Salazar surpassed many of the challenges to become the nation’s top-ranked amateur in the 112-pound division.

Remember my story on Salazar a year ago? He’s the young fighter who does not emulate any pro. Sure, he’s impressed with De La Hoya and Pacquiao, but does not follow their fighting style.

“I just want to pick up my own style,” Salazar once said.

Salazar sacrificed much to get to where he is: He traded the running shoes from track, the baseball glove, the basketball shoes, and the football pads to prepare himself for a career in boxing.

According to one of his trainers, Frank Alemán, Salazar, 13, is on a 22-bout win streak with three major titles last year. He won the National Silver Gloves, the International Desert Showdown, and the Junior Golden Gloves Nationals.  That’s too awesome!

Gary Salazar during his workout.

Gary Salazar during his workout.

He finished the year with the CCA Silver Gloves title and Cal-State Silver Gloves Championships, all before starting off 2010 with a victory at the U.S. Western Regionals! This tournament included bright stars from Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and the Golden State.

The victories granted Salazar a direct entry to the National Silver Gloves. One more hurdle: Salazar will compete against young competitors just like him, the country’s best on February 4-6 in Independence, Missouri.

Salazar wants a shot at representing the United States in London in 2012, but may not get a chance because he’ll only be 16. If not, then in the following Olympics.  It would be crazy if USA Boxing passes him up.

Here’s one good reason: Gary’s father, Gilbert Salazar competed in kickboxing in Guatemala.  The Salazars hail from Guatemala; And the Guatemalan Boxing Team is definitely interested in the talented Mr. Ripley: Gary Salazar for their Olympic Boxing Team.

Written by Daniel Cásarez

January 27th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Daniel Cásarez

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