SAN DIEGO — A boxing gym in the South Bay attracts talent from all over the world.
JAB Boxing Gym in Eastlake is currently training two boxers with the same goal of becoming world champions.
“It’s my first love, it’s the only thing I ever did in my life. I never had a job or anything … Boxing is my life and I love it,” Femi Oyeleye told FOX 5.
From the moment he could walk, Oyeleye wore boxing gloves. Trained by his father, the 24-year-old produced a prosperous career in Africa, becoming a two-time Nigerian national champion and gold medal champion of the African games.
“My dream was always to come here and turn pro,” Oyeleye said. “I knew boxing was what I was going to take as a profession. I always wanted to come here and turn pro. In 2015, after the all-African games, I had the opportunity to get my visa. I was so happy to come here.”
Since coming to the US, Femi has shown potential in the 154-pound division, winning all nine of his fights — five of them by knockout.
“There was something about boxing that I always loved,” he told FOX 5. “I like the ring, how it looks, the gloves, the sound of the press box, it’s just something I wanted to do.”
Esteban Garcia, 28, hails from Mexicali, about a two-hour drive from San Diego. With a perfect 10-0 record with 7 knockouts, Garcia plans to move down from 147 pounds to fight in the 140-pound division, with hopes of one day challenging current champion and former Olympian Jose Ramirez.
Two boxers from two different worlds, in two different weight classes, are fighting the same fight in the same gym. It’s a battle to the top — working, training and achieving together.
Both boxers have their next fight at the Auditorium in Tijuana on March 1.