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Sep 23, 2015

Championship Boxing Comes to San Ignacio this Weekend

If you are a fan of boxing, there is a treat for you this weekend. The Belize Boxing Development Council of San Ignacio is hosting a boxing tournament this Friday at the Victor Galvez Stadium in the west. The event will feature some eleven matches between amateur athletes from Belize and professional bouts between athletes from Quintana Roo and Tijuana, Mexico. The highlight of the tournament, which is scheduled to start at seven on Friday night, is a match-up between heavyweight athletes, Fres Oquendo and Pablo Gibran, better known as “El Ruso.” Oquendo is a heavyweight World Champion and prior to his big fight in October, he will be taking part in the tournament in San Ignacio. Today, he arrived in the Jewel and along with his colleague and trainer, Assad Frank Martinez of Cayo Lion’s Den; spoke of why Belizeans should come out to the event that will showcase the many talented local boxers.


Assad Frank Martinez, Trainer, Cayo Lion’s Den

“This event, you don’t normally have amateur fighters on professional cards, but we are granting our young amateur fighters an opportunity to get the exposure. So what we are going to have is six amateur fights and six professional fights but in between we are going to take an intermission so that it doesn’t conflict with how professional boxing goes globally. So we’ll have our six young amateurs, take a little intermission and then the first professional bout will start. We are bringing in five Mexicans from Quintana Roo and one Mexican from Tijuana for Fres. We are having in total ten or eleven bouts—five amateurs and six professional bouts.”


Fres Oquendo

Fres Oquendo, Boxing Athlete

“I started when I was twenty-three years old in Chicago…I won three championships from there. I learned it from my brother, who was with me; he inspired me and started boxing and winning a lot of trophies and I wanted to bringing trophies home to show my mother. One thing led to another and I won National Championships and I won the World Championships and here I am today as the number one heavyweight contender because I stay with my goal. It is a great honor to be here in this country and we talked about it so many times and here I am fighting like a professional.”



“Can you talk to us about your visit to Belize and what you intend to do while you are here?”


Fres Oquendo

“I am here for a great cause, to give the people of Belize my services. I am world class heavyweight, I am fighting for the championship next month and I am here to showcase my talent in front of all Belizeans. I hope they are going to enjoy it because I am here for a great cause.”


Assad Frank Martinez

Assad Frank Martinez

“This event is actually about inspiring the country because boxing in the country is at the lowest level. Most sports in the country get support, but boxing is downstairs. So I asked my buddy her Fres to come to the country to do an exhibition bout. This event is about inspiration, about the young people. I love Fres like a brother, but I tell people this is the country’s event. This is about inspiring the policymakers to invest more in our young people because once upon a time, Fres was an amateur and he came from a functional develop system. Like I said, we are trying to inspire the decision makers to start to invest in our young people. We have a lot of talent, a lot of human resources; we just need the investment in our young people.”


On Thursday night, there will be the weigh-in of the athletes and an autograph signing night at the Victor Galvez Stadium. That starts at eight p.m.  And on Friday, the tournament starts at seven p.m. also at the Victor Galvez with half time entertainment by Catwalk Fashions. Tickets are on sale for thirty dollars, eighty dollars and three hundred dollars.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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