Boxing to success
Marcos Delgado built a future at The Salvation Army Modesto Red Shield.
By Emily Curiel –
Twelve rounds in a ring of strength, speed, reflex and endurance is another day at the office for Marcos Delgado, 23, who began boxing five years ago.
“I was straight out of high school,” he said. “I would have started a little earlier, but my mom, she didn’t like and still doesn’t like the sport of boxing. And I didn’t get into it until later on.”
Encouraged by one of his youth football coaches, Delgado pursued boxing but was not completely dedicated until he came across The Salvation Army Modesto Red Shield, in Modesto, Calif.
He met coach Juan Barrera, who started the boxing program at the Red Shield six years ago, at an exhibition fight held there in 2013.
“[Barrera is] a real nice guy. He said I was more than welcome to come and workout at his gym whenever I wanted to,” Delgado said. He took the opportunity, boxing a couple of matches here and there, but still without full commitment.
When Delgado lost the National Golden Gloves Tournament last year, he was on the verge of quitting boxing, until he met coach Andres Mariscal, who volunteers at the Red Shield. He stepped in just in time and has been working with Delgado for the past year.
Training six days a week for two hours a day, doing cardiovascular exercises, physical training exercises and sparring once a week, Delgado improved profusely and is now the top fighter in the 178-pound division.
“[Delgado’s] really friendly, he’s easy to work with, he never argues, he does everything I tell him, and he’s perfect,” Mariscal said. “He’s a very nice young man.”
Delgado acknowledges the opportunities the Modesto Red Shield has opened to him and enjoys serving as a role model to children at the center. “I like seeing [the children] achieve their goals and seeing them happy,” he said.
He represented the State of California at the National Golden Gloves Tournament May 11-16 in Las Vegas where he was favored to win. After making it to the quarterfinals, Delgado was eliminated in the third round.
“[Marcos] did good, he did really good; it was a close fight. And it went to a decision and the decision went to a young man from Chicago,” Barrera said. “It was a test of his skill level and he now knows that he’s up to the same level as all the other fighters in the nation.”
As for Delgado’s future goals, his coaches hope to have him box in a couple more amateur fights and eventually box professionally by the end of the year. Delgado said, “It’s going to be my career sooner or later, if it’s not right now.”