Estrada credits faith for putting him on right path in life

“At first, I was looking for something to aspire to. To make me a better human being. God works in mysterious ways and he placed me here for a reason,” were the only words that Judas Estrada (1-0, 1 KO) could come up with when asked how he got his start in boxing and to tell us how he found himself training at Southwest Boxing Academy.

It is hard not to respect and admire stories of young people, in the early stages of adulthood, seeking a true sense of purpose and direction during an age when many young men and women, from towns on both sides of the Mexican-American border, can easily find themselves caught up in a seedy world that is almost certainly impossible to escape from.

Judas Estrada hitting the mitts at Guerra de Gallos Media Day at Boxing, Inc. East. Photo: Andy Morales

All those fighting in Guerra de Gallos on July 21st at Casino del Sol opened up to us about how a sport ignited a sense of passion and pride in each one of them.

How many of us have ever really been willing to risk everything in our lives to pursue a true calling? Or are even prepared to die in its pursuit?

We are honored to have had Estrada open up to us a little and allow us to share his story.

The 29-year-old junior welterweight, originally from Nogales, Arizona, got off to a comparatively late start in boxing. Seven years into his boxing career, Estrada only fought in the amateur ranks 8 times and turned pro in September of 2016, making Mario Garcia of Agua Prieta a victim of a first round TKO. Needless to say, Estrada has spent most of his boxing life in the gym and in sparring sessions. Which has led to the reputation many we asked about him to describe him as.

A true gym rat.

Judas Estrada spending some time on the speed bag after sparring with fellow Guerra de Gallos fighter Chris Gonzalez at Neutral Corner Gym.

The gym was a salvation. It proved to be the most effective place Estrada would find the profound sense of purpose, structure, pride and direction that he had been desperately craving.

Putting on the Everlasts at about 21 (most prize fighters who go on to fight under the Las Vegas lights get their start during elementary school) Estrada arrived at Southwest Boxing Academy with the influence of a cousin who had already begun working mitts and heavy bags with trainer Pete Quezada.

“He was more than sure Pete would train me,” Estrada said of his influential cousin. “Sure enough, the first day I went, Pete asked if he could train me. I’m so blessed to have met Pete.”

Trainer & head of Southwest Boxing Academy, Pete Quezada gives instruction to his fighter Judas Estrada during a sparring session at Neutral Corner Gym.

Estrada spoke about the path he’s been on with boxing verses the path he could have wound up on while growing up, “Down in Nogales, everybody comes across bad paths. If you don’t turn to one, you turn to another. And either one could be a bad road to go down. I was just looking for something to make me a better person and make me truly work to be a better person.”

“To be honest, God is the one that put me in this sport. He opened my doors in this sport and made everything fall in place for me.”

Along with his cousin, Estrada has always made sure to keep close, those who motivate him toward positive ends and inspire him to achieve whatever he has imagined for himself.

Tickets for “Guerra De Gallos” this Saturday start are going FAST, and are available online at Casino del Sol’s Web site, by phone at (520) 333-5150 or at the Casino Del Sol Gift Shop. The card begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

One thing we found that Estrada and all the fighters of the Guerra de Gallos card told us they realize, is the toll their life choice to practice the sweet science takes on their family and loved ones. The young men who will make their way to the ring on July 21st at Casino del Sol, know that they will not be taking home the enormous purses casual boxing fans associate with pay-per-view bouts. The glory may perhaps live only as long as that night does and only among those in attendance. These Southern Arizona warriors have found something in their lives that truly saved them.

Judas Estrada credits his girlfriend Yalitza Castro for a large portion of what is right in his life.

Their families and friends support that passion and put themselves through watching their loved one live their dream. Whether their fighters’ hand is raised or he’s being tended to on the canvas, many of the people in these fighters’ lives truly understand that the alternative, many times, could have been so much worse.

Win or lose on July 21, these Gallos will go home to their children, wives, families and friends as champions.

“My family has always (motivated me) to be a better me. To be the best version of myself. I always dedicate my fights to the people I love and hold dearly. The people that have helped me get ready for the fight. A big part of it goes to my girlfriend. She’s been through all the ups and downs with me and has helped me so much with this.”

Next Guerra de Gallo fighter we feature: Mike “The Cobra” Martinez

Tickets for “Guerra De Gallos” this Saturday start are going FAST, and are available online at Casino del Sol’s Web site, by phone at (520) 333-5150 or at the Casino Del Sol Gift Shop. The card begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.



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