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4 Bakersfield boxers travel to National Silver Gloves tournament

That's the most boxers to ever represent Bakersfield at a national championship
Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-02 15:29:01-05
  • Video shows boxers training at the bag, sparing sessions, and Daniel Alcala coaching
  • Coach Daniel Alcala leads 4 young fighters to the 2024 National Silver Gloves championship.
  • These four young boxers are dealing out some hard hits in Kansas, all with hopes of bringing home a belt.

Inside this gym, you’ll find the makings of champions and whether these fighters are training at the bag or in the ring… they’re putting in their all to represent Bakersfield at the highest level.
Powerful punches and knockouts are Daniel Alcala’s thing.

“Turn that left hand over,” Daniel Alcala, the head coach of Ambitious boxing directed.

But he’s not the one delivering the hits.

“Get busier,” he tells his fighters.

“I used to watch my dad coach. I fell in love with it,” Xavier Alcala's son said when asked about why he started boxing."

It's much more than that.

“You have to turn into your left hook. You understand what I’m telling you,” he said.

Alcala says he's pushing his fighters harder in and out of the ring.

It's a new approach this year to breed some of the best young boxers in Bakersfield.

“Never do I let them miss because 'oh, I’m tired' or 'oh, because of this' or 'oh, I want to go on a date.' Nothing like that. You’re gonna be here.”

That discipline inspires new athletes like Aubrey Tellez who started boxing 3 months ago.

“He’s very strict on me," she said. "He doesn’t let me play around.”

As well as experienced athletes like Estrella Valadez who’s already a three time national champion.

“I’ve been sparing a lot, national champs like Estrella. She’s pretty good, and she’s teaching me," Tellez said.

“Be quick. Be quick," Alcala tells the girls as they spar.

While Tellez learns from Estrella, Estrella learns from her coach.

“He doesn’t sleep like all he does is watch people’s sparing videos,” Estrella said.

Estrella and her sister Luna Valadez were Alcala’s first female boxers, and Luna tells me with him in her corner, she feels more confident to make moves in a fight.

“That’s why I really trust him a lot whenever he’s watching me because I know he knows what he’s doing,” Luna added.

Just like his athletes, he breaks a sweat at competitions too.

“I have two people fighting at the same time in two different rings, so I’ve ran back and forth to a ring,” Alcala recalled.

His tenacity and dedication are paying off.

Alcala's boxers have captured major victories at the district, state, and regional level, and Bakersfield is sending not one, not two, but four boxers to the National Silver Gloves Championships in Kansas.

“I’ll finally be on an airplane now going somewhere I’ve never been,” Xavier said.

Estrella makes her return to nationals for the fourth time, hoping to come back with another championship win.

“This week we’re just getting the finishing touches,” she tells 23ABC.

But the rest of her team, Luna, Xavier, and Aubrey will compete at the highest level for the first time.

“It’s my first nationals, and like I’ve done a lot to get to this point, and just thinking about it makes me really happy,” Luna smiled.

Alcala says he trusts his athletes have put in the work to come back victorious again.

“I’m expecting to come back with four belts," he said confidently.

The 2024 National Silver Gloves tournament begins on Thursday and lasts until Saturday and after four months of back to back fighting.


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