Gabriel Felix Flores Jr.

Weightclass: Lightweight

  • 6wins

  • 0losses

  • 0draws

  • 5kos

AGE:
17
Birthplace:
Stockton, California
Height:
5'8"
reach:
69"
Managers:
Gabriel Flores Sr.
Trainers:
Gabriel Flores Sr.

fighter feed

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Gabriel Felix Flores Jr.

Just 17 years old – and a member of the Class of 2018 at Cesar Chavez High School in Stockton, California – Gabriel is a sensational prospect at 130 pounds. Before his debut, he was an amateur standout and a member of the U.S. Junior National Team in 2015 and 2016.

He signed a promotional contract with Top Rank in 2017, and fought six times in his first nine months as a pro.

In his last fight on February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he won by first-round TKO against Alex Solorio.

Boxingscene.com’s Keith Idec reported [excerpts]: 17-year-old super featherweight prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. needed just 2:31 to dispose of Alex Solorio in a fight that was scheduled for six rounds.

Flores, of Stockton, California, landed several combinations during their short, one-sided fight. He stopped Mexico’s Solorio with Solorio still standing, because Solorio wasn’t throwing punches back at Flores. [End Idec item]

Gabriel made his pro debut on May 5, 2017 – only four days after his 17th birthday – in Reno and won by second-round knockout against Devon Jones.

The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Jim Krajewski reported from ringside [excerpts]: It was not his hometown, but Reno felt like home to Gabe Flores.

Flores, from Stockton, made his professional boxing debut a stellar one….

Flores had a huge crowd roaring for his every move. Promoters said Flores sold at least 400 tickets, more than any other boxer on the seven-fight card.

He wore a t-shirt with a photo of his mother on it after the fight.

His mother, Juanita Maldonado, was shot while attending a child’s birthday party in Stockton on March 17, 2013. She died the following day at age 35. [End Krajewski item]

In an earlier interview, Gabriel said, “I train at the Los Gallos Boxing Academy in Stockton. It’s my dad’s gym.

“I’ve been to a few training camps, too. I went to L.A. to spar Oscar Valdez, Jessie Magdaleno, and Emilio Sanchez.

“I spar a lot of pros. Sometimes I get in the ring with Andy Vences – I’ve known him since I was an amateur, probably since I was 11. He’s like my big brother, he trains at Los Gallos, too. I also spar with Tino Avila.

“I’d say I’m a pure boxer. I like to keep my distance and use my jab and my straight punches, but if it comes down to it, I can fight on the inside – I can do anything it takes to win.

“My favorite boxer of all time is Roy Jones Jr. Sometimes I’ll do a little showboating like he does, and sometimes I do that little jump-in hook.”

AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Gabriel said, “I was born and raised in Stockton, California. I have four sisters and one brother. My father is a full-time boxing trainer. He owns a couple of rental houses and has his own gym – Los Gallos Boxing. I’m the only boxer in my family, but my brother used to fight – he’s the reason why I got into boxing. He was my dad’s first national champion. His name is Rogelio Gutierrez. He’s four years older than me.

“I was seven years old when I first started boxing. I was watching Rogelio in the gym when I was about five. A year went by and I just got really interested in it, and I was wondering if I could be good at it.

“I was 91-7 as an amateur. I won 12 national tournaments, and I was on the U.S. National Junior Team for two years in 2015 and 2016. When I was on the team, I did all my training at home. I never went to the training camp in Colorado Springs.”…

From the Stockton Record, by Sports Editor Bob Highfill [Feb. 8, 2015 – excerpts]: Gabriel Flores Jr. and his father are almost inseparable.

When Gabriel peppers a speed bag with crisp jabs at the Central California Youth Academy in Stockton, his father stands watch. When Gabriel steps inside the ring, his dad is in his corner. And when they find some quiet time at home, they share thoughts and ideas while watching videos of Gabriel’s fights.

Gabriel’s mother is there, too. She just isn’t there physically. Her son’s biggest fan, Juanita Maldonado was shot while attending a child’s birthday party on March 17, 2013, at a Stockton residence near Stribley Park and died the following day. She was 35. Four others were shot, reportedly by three men, including 22-year-old Juan Augestine Sarraraz Jr., who died at the scene. No arrests have been made.

The tragedy hasn’t stopped Gabriel nor his dad, 35-year-old Gabriel Flores Sr., from working toward their shared dream of competing in the 2022 Summer Olympics.

“I got to stay strong because my mom is looking down on me,” said Gabriel Flores Jr., a 14-year-old freshman at Chavez High. “I know she wants me to live my dream.”

Gabriel took a huge step in his development by winning the 125-pound weight class at the USA Boxing Youth National Championships and Junior Open last month in Reno, Nev. He won four bouts over five days and earned the national title with a 2-1 decision over Rommel Caballero of Coachella. Gabriel retained his No. 1 national ranking, which he has had for three years, and earned a spot on the junior national team that will compete in September at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. Before taking his first trip outside the United States, Gabriel will compete in the USA Boxing Junior Olympic National Championships this summer in Charleston, Va.

Gabriel and his father are excited about the opportunity awaiting them in Russia.

“It will be my first international experience,” Gabriel said. “Over there, I’m going to test my international skills. Hopefully, I can win the whole tournament.”

If they didn’t share a passion for boxing, Flores Sr. said he and his son would have bonded over something else. He didn’t want his son to make the same mistakes he made. Flores Sr. grew up in east Stockton with a father whose work often took him away from home. He said he had the freedom to run the streets. He fell into gang life and ran afoul of the law. He was incarcerated when one of his daughters was born. That’s when he decided to turn his life around.

“When I was in there, I missed my family. I missed my daughter,” said Flores Sr., who trains other fighters, including super featherweight contender Andy Vences of San Jose, who’s 10-0 with six knockouts. “I made the decision to not ever go back again. I didn’t like the feeling being away from my family.

“I decided that wasn’t for me and that’s not the life I wanted to live.”

Since Gabriel was born, his father has been a constant source of guidance and support. In a sense, the son is doing as much for his father as the father is doing for his son.

“I’m lucky enough to have my dad as my trainer because when I’m at home and I’m on a diet, he can help me out with that,” Gabriel said. “We can practice more stuff. We can practice at home. I don’t really mind that, either, because I love boxing, and me and my dad love it together. That’s all we talk about is boxing, boxing. We talk about other stuff, but mainly boxing because that’s our true passion.”

Gabriel began boxing when he was 7 years old and has earned numerous championships, including the National Silver Gloves 119-pound title last February in Independence, Mo., and two Ringside World Championships in Springfield, Mo. He earned his second Ringside World title in three years in the 110-pound open division shortly after his mother was killed.

“I know she loves watching me fight, so every time I fight, she’s watching,” Gabriel said. “And I’m imagining her in the crowd.”

Gabriel said boxing has given him confidence, helped sharpen his mind and helped him cope with his mother’s death.

“That’s one thing the sport has given me, confidence,” Gabriel said. “And it helps your mind. You have to think more in the ring. It makes you a smarter person because you can’t just go in the ring and fight. You have to think. It made me a calmer, more relaxed person. I could take a lot of things better than I used to.”

And he wants to take things all the way.

“If I can be the best boxer to ever live, that’s my goal,” Gabriel said.

His mom would like that. [End Highfill item]

fight history

  • 2017

    On 11-17-17 in Reno, NV, he won by TKO (2nd round) against Alexander Acuna (2-1): the scheduled 4-rounder headlined at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, and Gabriel quickly overpowered him; he staggered Acuna with a right hand in the 1st round, then scored two knockdowns moments later, the first with a left hook, the second with a right hand; he scored another knockdown with a left hook early in the 2nd, and the referee stopped the fight at 0:29…

    On 9-29-17 in Dallas, TX, he won by TKO (2nd round) against Donnie Reeves (1-0): the scheduled 4-rounder was on the undercard at Gilley’s, and Gabriel quickly overpowered him; Reeves gave a determined effort, but Gabriel consistently landed the harder punches and rocked him repeatedly; he staggered Reeves with a series of punches in the 2nd round, and the referee stopped the fight at 1:25…

    On 8-12-17 in Fallon, NV, he won a 4 round unanimous decision against Jorge Padron (1-0): the bout was on the undercard of the Fallon Rural Rumble, and Gabriel dominated the fight; he consistently out-boxed and out-worked Padron, landed the harder punches, and won by shutout scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards…

    On 6-30-17 in Dallas he won by TKO (4th round) against Jahaziel Vazquez (1-4): the scheduled 4-rounder was on the undercard at The Bomb Factory, and Gabriel dominated the fight – he consistently out-boxed and out-worked Vazquez, and landed the harder punches; Vazquez’ right eye swelled nearly shut by the 4th round – Gabriel rocked him with a series of punches, Vazquez’ cornerman stepped onto the ring apron to signal the end, and the referee stopped the fight at 1:59…

    He debuted at the age of 17 on 5-5-17 in Reno and won by knockout (2nd round) against Devon Jones (2-2): the scheduled 4-rounder was on the undercard at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, and Gabriel quickly overwhelmed him; he staggered Jones with a series of punches in the 2nd round, and the referee stopped the fight

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  • 2018

    Fight by Fight – 2018 – in his last fight on 2-3-18 in Corpus Christi, TX, he won by TKO (1st round) against Alex Solorio (4-2): the scheduled 6-rounder was on the undercard of the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed main event, and Gabriel quickly overpowered him; he rocked Solorio with a series of unanswered punches in the 1st round, and the referee stopped the fight at 2:31…

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