(UPDATE NOTING AMATEUR CARD ON SATURDAY)I chatted recently with Gabriel Chairez, (above at right) the Utah and Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves 132-pound champion. Gabriel has had success at the national Golden Gloves as well, and this year scored a win prior to being eliminated. I asked him what it's like competing at the top amateur level and what the future holds for him.
Utah Fight Game: Tell us a bit about the difference of fighting at nationals?
Chairez: It's a great feeling because when you beat a fighter at nationals you know your beating the top fighters in the nation. It gets you pumped to fight the next day. It's a whole other environment, and different mindset when you’re fighting at nationals compared to states and regionals because you have to be prepared to fight for a whole week straight and every one of those fights are going to be wars with some of the toughest fighters in the nation.
Utah Fight Game: What does the future hold?
Chairez: I plan on making my pro debut at the end of the summer this year, there's no exact dates yet but it's looking like it will be toward the end of July or early August!
Utah Fight Game: What are you goals for the early portion of your pro career?
Chairez: For the first 18 months I want to work my way up the rankings by facing some tough competition and by that time I would hope I'm around 10-0. Once I'm in that range I'd like to be competing for some junior belts.
Thanks, Gabriel, and we wish you well. Gabriel's brother, Ignacio, is an undefeated professional. Both he and another undefeated Utah pro, Larry Gomez, fight on June 9 at The Complex in SLC. ... And Utah's highest-ranked pro fighter at this time, featherweight Jose Haro, goes for the NABF title on June 10 in Iowa, on a bout that will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. ... An amateur boxing card will be in Farmington on June 3, sponsored by All Heart and Lights Out gyms. ... UPDATE, There is a local amateur boxing card Saturday at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds, 320 N. 1000 West, in Tremonton, sponsored by Fractured Gym. It's called Fist of Fury and starts at 5:30 p.m.
Beginning next week, we will start publishing interviews with some fighters competing on the SteelFist card June 23 in Salt Lake City. Steve Chan and Miles Welk, who are battling in the co-main, will be interviews, as will Kaden Weston and Ben Guymon, who are matched in an amateur prelim. I have also interviewed main-bouter LJ Schultz, who is fighting for a SteelFist title, and I hope to interview his opponent, Anthony Miller. Card is here.
Locals pros Jordan Chandler, Sean Powers, and Rowdy Akers have out-of-state bouts in June that we will be keeping an eye on.