PHOENIX, ARIZONA, U.S.A. – Amateur boxer Sulem Urbina, a Mexican born, U.S. resident, returned to the Knockout Boxing Club in Phoenix, Arizona, after winning four straight fights in seven days. She won the gold medal in the flyweight division at the Mexican Amateur National Championships, held November 30-December 7, 2013, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Urbina proudly represented Sonora, Mexico.
Urbina advanced to the finals by defeating Jessica Ortiz with a third round TKO, Zaida Enriquez by split decision, and Monserrat Vasquez with a first round TKO. In the finals, held on December 7, 2013, she defeated Araceli Nava by unanimous decision. Her amateur record now stands at 55-10.
Sulem spoke about her experience and what winning gold meant to her. She said, “I was confident that I was going to win this tournament, because Andrews Soto trained and prepared me well. I don’t believe there was another girl at this tournament that went through a tougher training routine. I work hard so that I'm a tough girl to beat in any competition. In Guadalajara, the event atmosphere was great. All the boxers from the tournament were staying at the same hotel, and you could feel the competitive tension as everyone interacted with each other. Everybody wanted to win. I knew the competition was going to be tough, but I was ready, and I had more than one reason to win this championship.”
She added, “Throughout the whole trip, I could feel my brother Alexis with me, which gave me strength, and made me more comfortable. Earlier this year, Alexis promised to win at the U.S. Nationals, and I promised to win at Mexico's nationals, so we would both be national champions together. After each fight, the ring announcer said my name as the winner, and I always pointed up at the sky, knowing that my brother was with me. I did everything for him. As soon as I got home, I placed my gold medal right next to my brother's. We had planned to qualify for the 2016 Olympics together, with Alexis on Team USA, and myself on Team Mexico. When he was murdered this year, I knew I couldn’t quit, because that’s not what he would have wanted me to do. I know now that I'm one step closer to fulfilling that promise that we made to each other. If the good lord above allows me to participate in the 2016 Olympics, I will be ready.”
Urbina concluded, “Now, I am finishing up my semester at college, and plan to enjoy the holidays with my family. I will stay in the gym, and start preparing for international competitions. I will continue with my community efforts and working with charitable organizations. There are lots of great plans for 2014, and I’m excited about them. I just want to thank everyone that continues to support my family and my team. I’m grateful for everything I have been given in 2013.”
Sulem’s trainer, manager, and husband, Andrews Soto, said, “I'm very happy for what Sulem has been able to accomplish this year. She has continued taking classes and is earning credits towards a college degree. She has been doing great things for others as a volunteer in the community. As far as boxing goes, winning nationals is a great way to end the year, because it opens the door for her to participate in international competitions. She needs as much international experience as possible, so that she can compete for a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. There are some really good flyweight boxers all over the world. We are ready to test Sulem’s abilities against the best.”