Team USA’s Carlos Balderas: “It’s a long road but eventually we’ll get there.”
“It’s a long road but eventually we’ll get there.”
said amateur standout and new Team USA member Carlos Balderas.
Standnfight’s Dominic Serna recently caught up with the fighter from Santa Maria California who was coming off big win in Reno Nevada.
DS: You just won the gold medal in Reno, in the Elite Men’s division and in that division there was 19 kids but not just 19 but the top 19 from around the nation. Tell me about the semi-finals.
Balderas: That kid that I fought, it was my fourth time fighting him and he had beat me twice, I had beat him once and it was a hard fight. The night before I had trouble sleeping. I was thinking a lot about the fight and I had heard that they hadn’t lost in like 6 years but I knew we could beat him. I took advantage because he’s was a little slower than me and I just started using my speed and beat him.
Now even more Determined to put his hometown on the map, Balderas will make the move to the Olympic training facilities in Colorado Springs where he will prepare for international competition and the 2016 Olympics.
DS: You just made Team USA, tell me how it feels to win that achievement?
Balderas: It was something that was really special because I’ve never been too good at other things. I’m not good at school or other stuff but boxing was my thing and to accomplish that, not just for me but I know it makes my family proud and makes my dad proud. He’s spent a lot of money on us and my uncle who spends a lot of time on us, family who supported me, it shows them that everything they’ve helped us with is not in vain.
DS: You’ve followed tournaments for years but financially you just couldn’t get there. What is it like now that you’ve made the team and know that all that is behind you?
Balderas: We’ve been in a couple situations where we would advance in tournaments and my dad or my family didn’t have enough money to support us and we weren’t able to go sometimes. To be in that position now, I have to take advantage of it. Not too many get this opportunity and a lot want to be in this situation.
DS: You’re heading to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic training center, tell me a little about how that feels.
Balderas: It feels great because it’s something that I’ve never done before. I’ve won big tournaments but never something this big. Training somewhere else and without my dad but it’s something that i’m looking forward to.
DS: Now you have Team USA preparing you for international experience and taking you to different countries, do you feel any added pressure?
Balderas: Just a little. Beside the fact that it’s in another country, I know they have a lot of experience but we’ve been training really hard and for a really long time and I know my dad is counting on me.
DS: A lot of kids your age drop out of the sport, what kept you motivated to stick with boxing?
Balderas: My family and everything that my dad has done for us. There would be times when my dad would come straight from work to the gym to help us out. I know that he would be tired.
DS: Now that you’ve come this far, do you feel even more motivated?
Balderas: Yea because there was times when I was winning tournaments but it was just out of state and nothing too big. Now it’s starting to change a little.
DS: Fighting out of the Central Coast, the 805, right here in Santa Maria, you here 805 and most think of Oxnard. What is it like to be one of the first out of Santa Maria to do something of this magnitude?
Balderas: It’s something really big. I haven’t heard of any fighters coming out of Santa Maria. I’m one of the first and I’m not taking that lightly. I know there are a lot of kids who want to be in my position.
When kids see me leaving to Russia or China they say “oh you’re lucky I wish I was in your shoes” but they just see the part where I leave. They don’t see the part where I’m in the in the gym just training and training. Sometimes going to sleep hungry and tired because I have to make weight.
I don’t complain because i know that eventually it’s going to pay off but there’s time when I want to go out with my friends or go to the beach or something or just take a little break from boxing but you know you can’t. This is a hard sport, you can force someone to play soccer or play football but you can’t force someone to box, this is one of the hardest sports.
DS: Is there Anything you’d like to say to your friends and family?
Balderas: It’s a long road but eventually we’ll get there. I have God on my side and I have a lot of faith that he brought me this far for a reason and I’m sure he won’t let me down.