By Tim Kudgis
The sport of boxing and the city of Phoenix lost someone very special in Alexis Urbina. Alexis was a 2013 USA Boxing National Champion and USA National representative at 141 lbs. The 17-year-old national champion was found dead after being found severely beaten in his family's south Phoenix home and police are investigating the case as a homicide. Authorities say Urbina died of his injuries Thursday at a hospital.
Phoenix police say the teen was found unconscious and covered in blood in the family's living room about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. They say there was no obvious sign of forced entry into the house, but Urbina's family says some of his boxing memorabilia is missing. Police say it's unclear if robbery is a motive and they're waiting for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Urbina won the 141-pound Youth Men's Division at the USA Boxing National Championships in April at Spokane, Wash.
The following are some of the thing people had to say about the bright young star:
Ralph Velez Jr, of Fanbase Promotions: "He was one of the most well rounded and talented boxers I had ever seen. He was humble and very genuine and he will be missed. Thanks Alex."
Robert Vargas, of Iron Boy Promotions: "I had worked really closely with Alexis and Andy until recently. We talked before about Alexis going to the Olympics for the trials. He was accepted for the team. I think he had a great opportunity to represent the United States in Brazil, and we were hoping he'd be doing really good. I went to the hospital and I saw him laying there, and I felt really bad. He was a really quiet kid. I have always seen him very respectful with everybody. I have never seen anything negative on his part. He was very conservative. He was very supportive of his friends in boxing. He didn't hold grudges."
"I feel really bad that he was 17 years old and he wasn't able to accomplish his dreams and goals. Now nobody is going to know what he was going to be able to do because of this tragedy. We are all sad this happened. It's very difficult for anyone to go through what his family is going through. I saw him yesterday at the hospital and it broke my heart to see him after recently seeing him and congratulating him on his win at Nationals. He wasn't able to speak or say anything. I was heartbroken to see him laying there. He's someone who really never had any malice toward anyone. It's a sad situation for Arizona boxing. We try to support and help these kids and keep them off the street, and help them have something to preoccupy them. They are working hard to stay away from that stuff. He wasn't out partying. He was just inside his house. I'm hurt he's not going to be able to show his skills and accomplishments. He was a good kid."
Emily Pandelakis, of Athlete Evolution Public Relations: "I was fortunate to have known Alexis briefly before this horrible tragedy. He was very nice, and I truly looked forward to seeing him travel the world as part of Team USA, and take in all the amazing experiences he would have had. My heart breaks for his sister Sulem, his brothers, his coach and brother-in-law Andy, and for his mother. I know this has affected many of the young fighters who were his friends deeply and I ache for them as well. I really can't believe this happened."
Arlo Argueta, undefeated prospect (5-0): "Damn bro I really missed everyone in the gym but you leaving like that hurts bad. Like your bro said they cut your wings too soon man. I love you we had a grip of great times in the gym and outside you were like a little brother to me! I do know you are in a better place. You were such a great kid with great skill. You were the next little Mike Tyson with those powerful punches but you know what you were true to kept it a hundred bro. Watch over us homie. Love you little brother and see you soon!"
The has been a GoFundMe page set up to support the family of Alexis Urbina in their time of need: http://www.gofundme.com/46xnfs