BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
PACOIMA, CALIFORNIA - Boxing has produced some of the most famous athletes in the world, including Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Rey Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, George Foreman, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and so forth. Their names are synonymous with the blood-thirsty sport of boxing. For millennials, boxing has become a popular method for both men and women to get into shape at their local LA Fitness, 24 Fitness, or UFC gym, but for Saul Sanchez, and Emilio Sanchez, it's their job. The Sanchez brothers have been bobbing and weaving inside of a roped square ring since they were kids. They know what it's like to return home with cuts and bruises, only to wake up the next day to ask for more. Today, these men are professional athletes, prize-fighters with astonishing punching power and footwork.
The Sanchez brothers started at The Los Angeles Police Department’s Jeopardy Program, a gang prevention/intervention program for boys and girls ages 8 through 17, on Glenoaks Boulevard and Arroyo Street in San Fernando, California. They got acquainted with the sport and switched gyms, namely, Pacoima Boxing Club, known as the "University of Pacoima Boxing" in the neighborhood, before they became professional athletes. Saul Sanchez stands 5′ 5″ in an orthodox stance, and competes in the bantamweight division. Saul penned a five year contract with Thompson Boxing Promotions, and is training with Joel Diaz, in Indio, California. Emilio Sanchez stands at 5' 6" in an orthodox stance, and competes in the super bantamweight division. He is currently signed to Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, and is preparing for his next bout on August 10, 2018.
"I was 8-years-old when I started boxing at Jeopardy. I watched Emilio train, and saw how happy my parents were, so I gave it a shot. I trained there for four years, and then made the transition to the Pacoima Boxing Gym to hone my boxing skills and trained their for five additional years before turning pro at 18. I trained in Carson, California with Manny Robles for three bouts, then came to the conclusion that I needed Joel Diaz to help me perfect my craft," said Saul Sanchez.
Jose "Jo" Sanchez, The Sanchez' brothers father, said "Saul fought Danny Andujo, 2-0-0, a Thompson Boxing Promotions fighter, at the Omega Products International in Corona and won. That caught the eyes of Thompson Boxing Promotions. They called Joel Diaz and we came to an agreement that Saul would fight for their organization. I am very proud of both of them!"
"I started training with Lupe Jimenez at The Los Angeles Police Department’s Jeopardy Program in San Fernando when I was 11, and have been been boxing ever since. Lupe was an excellent coach. I won two national titles with him. I won one of the titles at the 2009 Silver Gloves. It was held in Kansas City. Eventually I made my way to Pacoima Boxing Gym, and trained with Fidel (Fidel "The Bull" Briseno, co-founder of the training facility, mentor, and former professional boxer). He took me to Tahiti three times to compete. He got me to the 2012 Olympic trials, and got third place, I didn't make it, but after that [expletive] I turned professional. I worked with Fidel and Marcos (Marcos Murillo, one of the best trainers in the U.S.) for three professional bouts. From there, I started working with Manny Robles in Carson at The Rock. Manny got a hold of Golden Boy Promotions, and we sat down with Roberto Diaz (Match-maker and cancer survivor) to sign a contract. I've had 11 professional fights with Golden Boy. I lost to Eugene Lagos at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio on March 22, 2018, and am returning to the ring on August 10, 2018. In total, I've had 16 professional fights!" said Emilio Sanchez.
Jose "Jo" Sanchez said, "Yeah, Eugene Lagos won that fight, but check this out! Emilio didn't eat for two days prior to the fight. Why? To lose weight. I wasn't aware of it, but that's what he decided to do. He shouldn't have starved himself, ya know? Some athletes do it, especially, in boxing, but not him, he shouldn't have done it. It costed him the fight. And that's to say the least. To be quite honest, I don't think Manny trained him properly for that bout."
"Manny was a good trainer. Fidel, Marcos, and Manny made me who I am today! I made a mistake on my previous fight, and am monitoring my diet day-to-day to ensure I make weight when it's time to fight on August 10, 2018. I was eating too much and have to make certain sacrifices to ensure I remain unbeatable. Now I am training with Joel Diaz. I'm at his camp house and am more focused. We eat, sleep, box six days a week," said Emilio Sanchez.
Jose "Jo" Sanchez said, "They (Joel Diaz' training camp) have a tighter hold on them. The fighters. Joel knows who comes and who leaves, which keeps the fighters in-check."
Joel Diaz, world class trainer, said "Saul came to me with one fight and 9 months of inactivity. I know the talent he possess. He's strong and well-disciplined. I gave him an opportunity. I took a risk with him. His first fight was a four-rounder and his second was a six-rounder. He is one of Thompson Boxing Promotion's top prospects. He has the potential to become a world champion. Emilio is a good kid. He has been with me for three weeks. I've known him for a long time. I've known his former coach, Manny Robles, for a long time too. Manny is one of the best trainers in the sport, but Emilio was neglected; he wasn't given the hand-mitt work and many other things. He was never the priority! Manny has Jesse Magdaleno and other elite fighters to train. Who was following up on Emilio's nutrition? Antonio is my brother, and we are working with the Sanchez brothers to make them world champions. They can be world champions. Emilio has a lot of anger and hits hard! He was born for this sport. He just needs guidance. They need guidance. I am a true believer that if you tell them, Saul and Emilio, 'Your going to be world champions,' they will walk tall. They will be champions one day."
"Emilio will now test the waters at 126lbs to see how he feels. He is young and growing, maybe making the 122 limit was too much for him, we will see on August 10th. He works really hard, but the question is how he bounces back from a KO defeat," said from one of the best match-makers in boxing history, and Golden Boy Promotions, none other than Roberto Diaz.
Two days ago, Saul stepped inside the ring at Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Ca. to compete against Leonardo Torres, 4-10-0, and won after knocking his opponent to the canvas.
Shawn W. Anderson