11-year-old Julian Hernandez of Idaho Falls is headed to a national boxing tournament in Independence, Missouri later this month. | Courtesy Holly Gregson
IDAHO FALLS — A local kid is headed to a national boxing championship later this month and he’s asking for your help to get there.
Eleven-year-old Julian Hernandez of Idaho Falls is headed to the National Silver Gloves tournament in Independence, Missouri Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 after winning a regional competition in Boise several weeks ago.
Julian is a member of Razor’s Edge Boxing Club, a nonprofit providing an outlet for at-risk youth. The club is affiliated with USA Boxing, the national governing body for Olympic-style amateur boxing. Some members of the club train to compete at the regional, state and national levels.
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Club President and Head Coach Holly Gregson tells EastIdahoNews.com qualifying for this event was completely unexpected for Julian.
“Most of the kids who go into the tournament bracket have (dozens) of fights” under their belt, Gregson says.
Julian just started competing six to eight months ago and has only competed in about half a dozen matches. Since joining the club about three years ago, Gregson says Julian has been a dedicated athlete who has worked hard to develop his skill in the ring and has become a mentor to other members of the club.
So, advancing to nationals is particularly special and meaningful for him.
“All of the kids in our club are great, but (this win) couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” Gregson says. “He’s always the one who steps up and helps other members out. We’re thrilled that he gets this opportunity.”
Julian Hernandez winning his championship bout at the Region 7 Silver Gloves tournament in Boise. | Holly Gregson
Julian says he could hardly believe it when he found out he qualified to go to nationals, but he’s excited about the opportunity.
“I’m grateful to my coaches and everyone who’s helped me get here,” says Julian. “Hard work pays off. If you want something, don’t stop going for it.”
The national tournament is a three-day event beginning Thursday, Jan. 30. There will be two tournament sessions Thursday and Friday and the championship bout is Saturday, Feb. 1. Julian needs to arrive the day before the event so he’s ready to weigh in at 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
“All the kids weigh-in and when they’ve made weight and are officially in the tournament, they do a draw to determine which kids fight the first day and who gets a bye. So, depending on how many kids are entered in the tournament is how many bouts there will be,” Gregson says.
The total cost of the trip, including travel, food, lodging and tournament fees is $2,500. Julian’s parents have already come up with $500, but they still need another $2,000.
Julian is asking for your support to get him there.
A GoFundMe account has been set up on his behalf. You can also donate to the Razor’s Edge Paypal account or deposit funds into the club’s account at East Idaho Credit Union.
“Everybody that can, has and will help me get there, I really appreciate that. Thank you,” Julian says.
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Razor’s Edge Boxing Club is open to anyone who wants to participate. There is a free open gym at the Idaho Falls Recreation Center at 520 Memorial Drive on the first Monday of every month. Read the document in the link below for more information.