Stockton native and Prominent Top Rank boxer Gabriel Flores Jr. is returning to the 209 for his upcoming match on May 13.
The ‘Stockton King’ will take on Derrick Murray in an eight-round lightweight bout at the Stockton Arena in his first fight in his hometown since 2019.
“It makes me feel so alive being back like it’s not breathtaking it’s more like it gives me life,” Flores Jr. said at his media day on May 10. “I’ve been trying to get back here since 2019 since we had that historic night in the Stockton Arena. The pandemic and COVID-19 happened so it was tough to get back but we finally made it happen.”
The Chavez High School grad’s first time in the ring was in Stockton and since then he has climbed his way up from amateur boxing to 20-plus bouts as a pro. He currently holds a professional record of 21-2, knocking out seven of his opponents so far. His newest foe in the ring has a professional record of 17-8-1 and six knockouts to his name.
Flores Jr.’s match against Murray will be a chance at redemption following his unanimous decision loss to Giovanni Cabrera on July 23, 2022. Since then he’s spent time sharpening his game with his coach and father Gabriel Flores Sr. both in the 209 and in Las Vegas.
“It’s just the little details and just staying focused at all times because this is a professional game,” Flores Jr. said. “Amateur boxing to pro boxing it’s almost like different sports so you got to stay locked it.”
Getting back on the winning side isn’t the only thing Flores Jr. hopes to accomplish on Saturday, he wants to put on a show for his hometown like he did in 2019.
“Big fireworks,” he said. “ The last time it was a third-round knockout and hopefully we get something similar to that.”
He is also hoping that his return to Stockton will help motivate any future 209 boxers who share a similar background as him.
“Growing up, I never had somebody to look up to so to now have everybody coming out to see a young kid from Stockton, California coming out and performing it helps gives the community hope,” Flores Jr. said. “You just got to keep your head up and believe.”
Record reporter Shannon Belt covers sports. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShannonBelt3. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.
Read More: Stockton King Gabriel Flores Jr. returns for fight in Stockton Arena 2023-05-10 22:29:32