EL CENTRO, Calif. – A homegrown young athlete seeks to take advantage of a newly broken barrier. Angel Munoz is an Imperial Valley fighter ready to put the area on the boxing map.
Munoz isn’t described as a common area athlete. The 14-year-old El Centro native has dedicated his life to boxing for the past seven years. His father and trainer Jorge Munoz says the dedication is already paying off:
“The way he moves his waists when he counters you. He has a real good fast movement. And that is what makes him dangerous.”
Munoz’s skill are not going unnoticed. Among his accomplishments, Munoz won the gold medal in the U.S. / Mexico bi-nationals and he’s the only male from the Imperial Valley to win a Ringside World Championship. Munoz is about to do something else no other male athlete from the Valley has ever done; compete in the Junior Olympic Nationals.
Munoz said, “I feel very excited and proud of myself to be able to do this and given a chance to be able to succeed and do this, what no one else has done in the Valley.”
Besides the inspiration he has from his older brother (who is currently an unbeaten professional fighter), Munoz credits his growth in the ring to the strong connection he has with his father.
“He’s always pushing me to my limits. Telling me you need to do this so that when I get older life is not easy to learn this. So, he’s always been a big part of my life.”
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing Munoz is where he is from. The Imperial Valley doesn’t have the boxing reputation and pedigree that outsiders recognize. For Jorge Munoz and his family, support may be vital to his future success.
“Obviously, in the Imperial Valley there isn’t too much money and that’s one of his problems. He wants to get better and go to the next level, but it’s hard to get him out there in the big tournaments.”
Munoz is slated to compete in the Junior National Olympics in Dallas, Texas; beginning on June 26th.
If you would like to support or sponsor Angel Munoz, you can contact Sparta Gym in El Centro at (442) 231-9692.