STOCKTON — Two of the biggest names in the sport of boxing, Top Rank and ESPN, will be coming together in Stockton this coming Saturday night.
It was easy to tell by the attendance at Wednesday’s open workout in Stockton just how big Saturday night’s championship boxing event means to the city.
At the age of 16, Stockton native Gabriel Flores Jr. became the youngest fighter ever to sign with the legendary Bob Arum and his Top Rank team.
“Yeah, I had a head start and it helped me out a lot,” Flores said. “And fight by fight, we’re getting better, we’re getting comfortable in the pros.”
Now, 12-0 and just barely two years into his professional career, Flores, who just turned 19, is part of boxing history in his hometown.
“I’m going to try to make it about my city. You know, other than me there’s two more Stockton fighters on the card,” he said. “I mean, I’m grateful because not even world champions get to fight in their hometown so soon like this. Right now, I’m just a rising prospect making great opportunities for myself and ready to perform.”
Saturday is also an opportunity for some of the lesser-known fighters from the 209 like Quilisto Madera, who has been a mainstay on the Stockton fight scene for several years while doubling as a local car salesman.
“There’s a big fight inside of me and that has been in me since I was a young kid,” Madera told FOX40. “It’s a fire that is never going to go out and I want to feed that fire back to my city.”
The event will be held at the Stockton Arena this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for the undercard and 7 p.m. for the main card. Tickets are still available but going fast.