MERIDEN – Diego Bengochea is not one to shy away from a big fight and the 16-year-old has a full itinerary this summer including a trip to the 2018 Junior and Youth Golden Gloves Nationals in Nevada in the works.
Bengochea has totaled a 69-30 record as an amateur fighter over the last four-plus years. He’s made recent stops at Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and California. The incoming Maloney High School sophomore also nabbed a second-place finished at a Tennessee tournament last October.
“I just love fighting and getting in the ring,” Bengochea said. “There’s nothing like fighting in front of a big crowd and I love winning.”
Bengochea and his father/trainer Miguel will depart for a fight in Akron, Ohio this weekend and then another tournament in Illinois the following week. From there, the plan is to head to Casablanca Events Center in Mesquite, Nevada for the Golden Gloves. That event runs from July 18th to the 21st. The elder Bengochea set up a GoFundMe page to offset expenses for airfare, hotel accommodations and food in the trek to Nevada. The goal is to raise $1,700.
“On Saturday in Akron, he will be fighting the No. 1 guy in his weight division,” Miguel Bengochea said. “Once that show is finished we will drive to Aurora, Illinois for the Latino Boxing Nationals. We will be there for a week and if we raise enough money we will fly to Nevada for the Junior Golden Gloves.”
Bengochea said he’s not intimidated about fighting top competition.
“This is some serious competition,” Diego Bengochea said. “I’m just going to do my thing and just fight the best I can. I’m used to traveling and fighting. That experience can only help. I’m not worried about anything but doing my thing.”
The 106-pound righty is ranked sixth in his age and weight division by USA Boxing. Last year, Bengochea went to USA Nationals and the Junior Olympic Nationals. In total, he has earned 19 belts. Bengochea trains six days a week with his father, many times in the family’s basement. The father/son duo travels throughout the state as well as surrounding states to spar.
“He’s learning,” Miguel Bengochea said. “He’s hitting harder. He’s sparring against bigger kids. He’s gotten bigger and faster. He wants to do well. That’s what he told me. He really wants it.”
To donate, visit gofundme.com/junior-golden-gloves-nationals.