As is often the case, every local boxing show has a pro debut somewhere on the card. Unlike the main event that usually features experienced professionals seeking to take one step closer towards glory in their chosen sport, the Debutante fighter, along with a legion of family and friends, anxiously waits for his first step into the squared circle as a newly minted professional. During the April 2, 2016 Boxing By The Beach show at Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme, California, Featherweight Oscar Mendoza will do just that. And that first professional bout will be engrained in his memory forever.
Born in Santa Maria, Mendoza spent his early childhood in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico before returning to Santa Maria at the start of the 2nd grade. Mendoza’s early loves revolved around sports, participating in football and track all 4 years at Pioneer High School. Mendoza went on to study Biology and Liberal Arts at Allan Hancock Community College in Santa Maria and then transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara, becoming the first in his family to be accepted to a University.
Growing up in a family that always watched boxing on television, Mendoza turned to boxing training after his high school sports careers were over. His father introduced him to Santa Maria trainer Jose Antonio Ojeda, a former pro boxer who fought over a dozen times in the Ventura County area from 2003 to 2008. Mendoza trained at the Minami Community Center and also volunteered each day to help train the younger kids before he started his own workout.
Upon moving to Santa Barbara, Mendoza found a second home at Duke’s Boxing Gym in Santa Barbara where he is trained and managed by the father/son combination of Oscar Gracia Sr. and Oscar Gracia Jr.. While a busy work and school schedule limited Mendoza to 9 amateur bouts over the past 6 years, he feels he is ready for the professional ranks and is focused on his dream of becoming a World Champion.
Mendoza remembers watching Julio Cesar Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya in his youth and looks up to recent great Mexican warriors Juan Manuel Marquez and Canelo Alvarez. He describes his boxing style as “forever changing and adjusting with a mix of Mexican pride, taking bits and pieces of my favorite fighters and making them my own.” And his future goals are as large as the achievements of his boxing heroes. Mendoza hopes his pro debut will be the first step towards making history in his entire family line in achieving great heights such as graduating from a University and winning a World Title.
Oscar Mendoza dedicates his first professional bout to his parents, who have worked hard and made great sacrifices to give Mendoza and his three brothers a better life. When asked what he hopes to accomplish with his education and professional career, Mendoza replies, “I hope to one day take care of my parents so that they can retire happy and never have to worry about any problem, as they have suffered a lot to try to and help their children achieve our dreams.”
BOXING BY THE BEACH takes place on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the Oceanview Pavilion, located at 575 E. Surfside Drive in Port Hueneme, California.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.boxingbythebeach.com
or by calling (805) 889-8162.
Tickets start at $40 for Theatre Seating and $80 for Ringside/Stage Seating.
Doors Open at 5:30pm; First Bout at 6:00pm. All bouts are subject to change.