Sulem Urbina Wins Gold in Mexico

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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.”

Photo Credit: Team Urbina
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Sulem Urbina Releases Statement on Brother Alexis Urbina’s Death

PHOENIX, ARIZONA, U.S.A. – On September 5, 2013, seventeen-year-old Alexis Urbina, a 2013 USA Boxing National Champion and USA National representative at 141 pounds, died from injuries sustained in an attack at his home. Authorities continue to investigate his case as a homicide. His twenty-three-year-old sister, Mexico’s amateur boxing standout, Sulem Urbina, would like to share the following statement:

Many of you know that my brother, Alexis Urbina, was found beaten last month in my family’s home, in Phoenix, Arizona. It has taken me some time to gather my thoughts, but I am ready to speak out about this tragedy. I would like to thank everyone who has supported my family in this time of crisis. Many friends and members in the boxing community have helped with fundraisers and made donations to cover funeral costs. Some brought over cooked meals. Thank you to all the media who covered this tragedy, and for continually asking the public to help find who may be responsible. I was not prepared for something like this to happen. My brother and I trained together at Knockout Boxing Club in Phoenix,Arizona, with my husband, and coach, Andrews Soto. We were all extremely close and spent a lot of our free time together. My brother Alexis was always smiling, telling jokes, and trying to make everyone laugh. He had a large group of friends, but he did not associate himself with a crowd that could get him into trouble. I am not aware of any problems he had with any groups of people or any individuals. On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Alexis stayed home from school, because he was planning to enroll in an online school program. The online program would have allowed him to attend more national and international boxing competitions, while still allowing him to get his schoolwork completed during his boxing trips. My mother, Consuelo Ochoa, came home from work and found my brother badly beaten, lying on the living room floor, gasping for air. From there, he was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital. I rushed to the hospital with my husband, and we both soon realized the severity of his injuries. I was devastated, and there wasn’t anything that I could do to help my brother. The doctors at the hospital said that my brother had severe swelling throughout his entire brain from the attack. On September 4, 2013, Alexis was pronounced brain dead. His body was still alive,because he was in great physical condition, but doctors told us that it was only a matter of time before he would expire. The hospital staff allowed us to remain at my brother’s side until he passed away. On September 5, 2013, my husband and I left the hospital to return home to shower and change clothes. While at home, I received the call from the hospital that my brother died. We drove back to the hospital, and said our goodbyes to my brother. My initial thoughts were that the people who had killed my brother should be brought to justice. Our family doesn’t know anyone capable of doing something like this. If anyone knows anything, please contact our local authorities, Silent Witness in Phoenix,Arizona, with your tips or leads. The number to call is (480) 948-6377. A few days after my brother’s funeral, things began to slowly get back to normal. I’ve returned to my college classes, but at times, it is still really hard to concentrate. Homework takes longer to complete, and studying can be difficult. Life keeps going, and I’ve been taught that maintaining a strong work ethic is the right way to handle adversity. I also returned to training again in the gym, but it doesn’t feel the same without Alexis there. He encouraged me to work hard, because it would help increase opportunities for myself, and my sport. We had plans in place to make all of our dreams a reality. We wanted to be the first brother and sister boxing duo to qualify for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Alexis would have represented Team USA, and myself, Team Mexico. We knew exactly what needed to be done to achieve our goals. It was just a matter of putting in the work needed to get there. On October 5, 2013, I traveled to Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, where I competed in my first amateur fight since my brother’s death. I won the fight with a second round TKO. Although my brother is not here physically, I still have him here with me, spiritually. I want to accomplish everything we promised we would do together. Every victory from this day forward will be dedicated to Alexis. Take care of your loved ones, and each other, because we aren’t promised tomorrow.

Sulem Urbina: Amateur Standout With Eyes Set On 2016 Olympics

Brandon Stubbs speaks with Phoenix, Arizona resident and Mexican amateur boxing standout, Sulem Urbina.  We talked about her love for boxing, the relationship she has with her husband who is also her coach and how she is focusing on the 2016 Olympics