A Stockton boxer who is only 17 years old won his professional debut in Reno Friday night.
Gabriel Flores Jr. beat Devon Jones, 25, of Sacramento when the referee stopped the lightweight fight at 1:45 in the second round at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.
“I feel good. I feel blessed,” Flores told The Record of Stockton. “Don’t ever give up. Keep on working. Don’t take no for an answer.”
Flores fought in front of huge crowd, the newspaper reported. Promoters said Flores sold 400 tickets, the largest amoung on the seven-fight card.
The boxing world has been excited over the kid for a while. He became the youngest fighter ever to sign a pro contract by Top Rank Inc., but had to wait for his 17th birthday to fight professionally in Nevada. Also, he was ranked the No. 1 fighter in the world in his weight division when he decided to go pro.
The young boxer’s mother, Juanita Maldonado, was fatally shot while attending a child’s birthday party in Stockton in 2013. His father, Gabriel Flores Sr., trains him.