Three members of the Silver Boy Boxing Club have posted impressive records this year, and Coach Silverio Garcia says Rocky Montanez, Alfredo Valendicana and Yaviel Zapata have what it takes to be national champions. The Great Bend club is registered with USA Boxing (USABoxing.org).
Montanez, age 13, now has a 9-3 record but Garcia says he didn’t really “lose” three fights because he has faced opponents from some of the top boxing clubs in the nation. This summer at the Las Vegas Convention Center, he faced an opponent ranked 5th in the nation in the junior welterweight division.
“There were people from big boxing clubs – world champions come from those clubs,” he said. “They were the cream of the cream.”
Great Bend has boxers who are just as good, he said.
“I think they can be national champions,” Garcia said. To make that happen, he needs more youths to get involved in the boxing club, creating more opportunities for everyone to improve.
Another member of the Great Bend club, 9-year-old Yaviel Zapata, is a natural athlete, Garcia said. “I named him The Cat because he’s so fast. He won his first fight on Oct. 28 at Kansas City. Alfredo Valenciana, 12, won his first fight on Aug. 19 at Garden City.
“They’re really working hard,” Garcia said of his club members. “There is a lot of potential in Great Bend.” To fully realize that potential, he said, the club needs more youths to get involved so everyone has more sparring opportunities.
He added that boxing is a sport that builds character by teaching discipline.
“My goal is to keep these kids out of trouble and they keep me out of trouble, too.”
The club is located at 8th and Jefferson and is open from 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.