EPHS graduate boxing first pro event atSeven Feathers, June 12

Some would call it luck, others will believe it was meant to be. Whatever one chooses to call it, a chance meeting at a local restaurant is paving the way for opportunity for a young man and his former coach.
Juan Almaraz and Wes Wambold just happened to be at the same place at the same time last year and that chance meeting will see Almaraz make his professional boxing debut June 12 at Seven Feathers.

Almarez, a 2005 graduate of Eagle Point High School, who lettered in
baseball and basketball,  boxed at the Cougar Boxing Club, which was
run by Wambold  in White City. Almarez was a national champion in the
13-14-year-old age bracket. The club closed in 1999 and coach and
student went their separate ways until last year.
When they
met, Almarez was working full time, not boxing, and weighed 177 lbs.
Today, he is a solid 147 lb. welterweight. And he has won the Oregon
Golden Glove Championship as well as the Silver Glove this year. Since
catching up with Wambold, he has had five fights.
is not the stereotype boxer. He is well groomed, polite, speaks well
and is devoted to his parents of whom he is very proud.  The White City
residents own two businesses in White City, a store and Casa Latina, an
authentic Mexican restaurant.
Wambold points to other
reasons why he is not the stereotype boxer. "What makes a champion
isn’t all talent, it is sacrifice and dedication," said Wambold.
"Sacrifice is the main thing."  Wambold says a boxer must  live an
entirely different life. "You’re  only as strong as the weakest part of
your body," said the proud coach.
Almaraz trains 1 ½ hours
a day and runs 45 minutes each day. But, it is the quality not quantity
of that training time that makes the difference in Almarez. 
been training for 10 months, preparing to go pro," said Almarez. "I
feel I’m ready. I have faith in myself, coaches, family and friends." 
He will go against Omar Nunez June 12. Nunez has one win and one draw.
has managed seven world champions, five have been on the U.S. Olympic
team.  "In my opinion, ‘Cocky’ has as much talent, or more, than
anybody I’ve coached in my lifetime."
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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