Boxing may have saved Roderick Flores’ life.
The trim 13-year-old pugilist weighs less now than he did two years ago, when he began his weekday workout regimen at Boxing Inc., as a husky pre-teen.
But Flores’ last fight in Phoenix ended on a quizzical second-round TKO, after he knocked an older fighter around the ring.
“I was fine, so I have no clue why it was called off,” Flores said of the May bout. “A few days later we called to see how old he was. Turns out he was 16.”
The shiner on his record pruned him to 2-1. Yet he sweats in the gym Monday through Friday, preparing for an August match that could send him back to Tortolita Middle School on a high note.
Trainer Abram Espinosa says Flores is an adaptable fighter, a great counterpuncher who takes all comers. While Flores fancies a career in professional boxing, Espinosa said he’ll do just as well as a businessman or lawyer, thanks to his work ethic.
“He’s a better person and kid, even, than he is a fighter,” Espinosa said. “The kid won’t leave the gym without giving everyone a hug or a handshake.”