West New York boxer Jean Pierre Valencia scored a win in Pennsylvania this weekend as he eyes a Golden Gloves title this year.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I know that hard work beats talent and I just want to keep working. We are going to the top,” said Jean Pierre Valencia, 23, who was born in Esmeraldas, Ecuador and began boxing as a teenager in Barcelona, Spain.
He defeated Deron Elias by decision at the Must Fight Boxing Club in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania yesterday. Valencia pressured the switch-hitting Elias from the opening bell, landing hard body punches which opened Elias up for hooks and right hands to the head.
The third round was all Valencia, with Elias drawing several warnings for holding as he tried to survive to the final bell in the bout contested at 156 pounds.
With the win, Valencia improves his boxing record to 12-1, while Elias of Wilmington, Del. falls to 10-5.
The bout was Valencia’s first since November, as he worked to improve his skills and conditioning following a breakout year in 2022 which saw him win the N.J. Diamond Gloves novice title at 165 pounds.
Now Valencia is setting his sights on the N.J. Golden Gloves tournament, which runs from March 10 to April 15. Competing in the Golden Gloves title gives him the opportunity to win the state title in North Bergen, just walking distance from his home.
Valencia’s trainer Ryan Songalia says the goal for 2023 is to stay as active as possible, setting an audacious target of competing in at least 20 fights in the year.
To prepare Valencia to face the best amateurs in the country, Songalia has tested him against some of the best professional boxers in the region, having him spar with former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey, plus undefeated pros like Jahi Tucker and Ismael Villarreal.
Valencia is hoping to remain busy leading up to the Golden Gloves, with another bout tentatively scheduled for February 10th in Kenilworth followed by a return to Upper Darby on Feb. 25.