At times and perhaps more often than not, the giant step taken towards combat sports is at the behest of concerned parents. The exception to the rule is seen from time to time, of course. There are some who enjoy the opportunity to hit something or even someone and not suffer any true consequences.
David "June Bug" Mijares doesn't fall into any such category, as he was practically, if not literally born into boxing. The Pasadena, California native had an interesting as well as refreshing tale to tell in regard to his earliest of brushes with the sport during a recent interview. The amiable and eloquently spoken young gentleman from Southern California was minutes away from entering the world with his own unique ring walk back in 1995.
"Boxing was always in my life", said the undefeated lightweight prospect. "My father was at the gym when my mom was pregnant and he had his own area. It started right from there."
He continued to tell his story with pleasant repose as he added, "My mom ran over to the gym in Santa Monica and my dad closed up his class. She drove herself to the hospital and my Dad jumped into his car and followed. At the hospital, my mom was about two to three minutes from the moment. Security wanted her to sit down but she refused and my dad likes to call it my first exposure to boxing "air"."
Mijares (4-0, 3 KO's) is slated to fight on Friday, February 3 at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles as part the "LA Fight Club" series showcased by Golden Boy Promotions. The stage is big enough for a young fighter and it serves even better for a local one who is able to essentially perform in front of a home crowd which includes family and friends. Humble roots laid the groundwork for the mindset which has served David well thus far in his blossoming career. "I grew up on the weekends in Pasadena so I could mess around with the neighborhood kids", he commented. "I attended school in Santa Monica. They're only thirty minutes apart but so many people from different areas were there."
The desire to fight was implanted early in David by way of his father and trainer, David, Sr. as well as the sight of large men hitting large objects. "My Dad was training some hockey players and I was just observing", said Mijares, Jr. "I saw some giant guys punching water bags and one of them hit one so hard that he broke it. I was enamored by that and I wanted to be strong enough to do it. It had a huge lasting effect, so my dad and I decided to turn the page and go into the amateurs. I placed seventh in 2014 and the following year I was tenth. I almost made the Olympic trials."
David turned pro in May of 2016 and his first bout in the ranks took place at a venue and event memorable enough to make a few knees shake. However his managers within Sheer Sports Management knew exactly what they were doing. This wasn't throwing him to the wolves as much as throwing the wolf to the masses.
Mijares made his professional debut at the newly opened T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip as part of the early undercard of last May's showdown between Mexican superstar, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Amir Khan.
Rather than seeing the chance to fight on the big stage as a given, David saw the world class facility as a mere glimpse of what awaited him, provided he put in the due diligence. He exuded confidence coupled with class when he commented, "that was an amazing experience. That was a taste of "what could be" by my management and Golden Boy. That'll certainly put you on the spot. The arena might be empty but you can feel the magic around the entire event. I looked to channel the energy and go from there. There's nothing like it unless you on day get the chance to fight for a title in front of people that support you."
On Friday night, David will find Thomas "El Animal" Herrera (8-16-1, 5 KO's) across the ring from him at the Belasco. "This next fighter poses a challenge and that's what we want", he said. "We don't to sit back and let things get moved around for us. We want to prove ourselves." He fought four times in 2016 and next Friday's contest will be the fifth of his young career. David hopes to keep active as he assesses the rungs of the professional boxing ladder.
"I would love to fight as often as I can because I don't like becoming dull", said the bilingual 21 year old from Pasadena. "You rest a blade for too long and it rusts. Breaks are good but if they're too long, then it messes with your mind. I ate too much over Thanksgiving and Christmas,so I had to work very hard to get that weight off."
A debut in Las Vegas on a grand stage proved to be a step in the right direction for David Mijares, Jr., but for now he's taking each day as a new one. Friday's contest at the Belasco will be his third consecutive contest at the venue, yet "June Bug" is once again relishing the chance to show his local fans that they'll never stray far from his heart. "That place is great because there's not a bad seat in it", he said. David continued fondly. "After my previous fights, I was able to head upstairs and see everyone who came to see me", he remembered.
"Just being able to fight in front of those I've grown up with and who have surrounded me during my career, it's almost like "they get it" and they understand what I've put in.
They realize how much I've put in and it's added up to my time in the ring. I'm in there representing them and they get to see fun fights and I want to make sure people have a good time.
The trust and admiration of family, community and fans are qualities earned by worthy individuals and David Mijares, Jr. certainly appears to understand the responsibility associated with such an honor. There's no indication that he knows of any other way. "LA Fight Club" will air in the United States this Friday, February 3rd on Estrella TV.