BUILDING A LEGACY
JUNE 27, 2017
When Victoria’s Heart of a Champion Boxing Club made its mark four years ago, that’s when Jesus Ventura made his.
Heart of a Champion was formed in the summer of 2013 when Rey Perez became the head coach of the boxing gym.
Since then, Ventura has compiled an 8-1 record with three knockouts, including a 5-second victory to win his Junior Olympics debut in May 2014. “Coach Perez has trained me really well,”
Ventura said. “I’ve been dedicated, and if I’m not playing football or running track, I’m here in the gym training.”
Ventura recorded three standing eight counts in the novice division during the Golden Gloves at The Valencia Event Center on Feb. 2-4.
His recent victory came against Harris County Golden Glove Champion, Roy Knight on June 17 at the Fellowship of Nations Gymnasium in Houston. Ventura handed Knight two standing eight counts in the second round before finishing him off in the third round.
“My coach didn’t tell me he was undefeated at first,” said Ventura, who is a four-time Golden Glove Champion. “But I trained really hard because he was a Golden Glove champion. With me being our Golden Glove champion, it ended up being a good match.”
What started as a visit to Heart of a Champion with his friend Sampson Holt, turned into a life long commitment for the 17-year-old Victoria West senior. Holt, a classmate at Patti Welder Middle School, introduced Ventura to the boxing scene.
“Sampson brought me to the gym and I would always hide in the back,” Ventura said. “As time went by, I started working towards boxing.”
Ventura was the first boxer Perez trained by himself. Perez has coached the promising boxer for the past four years.
“As Jesus has progressed, he’s turned into a more dedicated boxer,” Perez said. “He plays football and runs track, and excels at both. But what you see in the ring is far different than where any ordinary boxer starts off as. What he’s shown in his young boxing career is by far separate from a lot of other people.”
Ventura, who fights in the 165-pound weight class, has a different approach than most boxers when it comes to preparing for upcoming fights.
“I like to have fun,” Ventura said. “I like to mess around with the team and our coaches. You don’t want to walk into a fight serious; you want to have fun.”
Ventura has remained undefeated in the ring since 2014, when he had his only loss by points.
“Ever since then we’ve been undefeated,” Perez said. “I always tell him to stay dedicated, humble and motivated. We want to always make sure his weight is on point because we don’t want him dehydrated or affect his well-being in any way.”
Heart of a Champion Boxing Club is a nonprofit organization that is open to ages 8 and up at the price of $20 a month.
The gym has 15 members, with six competing.
Ventura’s next match will be July 15 at Victoria’s Jaycee Hall. An opponent has not been announced.
“I know everybody wants to see me grow,” Ventura said. “Everyone tells me I can go far, and I just want to prove them right.”