The energy of the boxing scene in the Pacific Northwest can be felt in every city in the state. There is a significant vibe about the sport from the amateur to the professional level. The area is full of talent in coaches, boxers and of course the faithful crowds that follow the shows.
One of those well-known boxers is 19-year old Victor Morales Jr. from Vancouver, Wash. While he started as an amateur, Morales debuted as a pro in August 2016 in Anaheim, Calif. His boxing beginnings are not like others in the scene. As per a conversation OSN and Morales had, he learned about boxing watching his father while having fun.
A young seven-year old then, Morales would join his father at the Garden Home Community Center. “I kind of was just that kid running around, hitting the bag, hitting things not really knowing until when my parents told me that I could start, so it was on my birthday, 12 years ago, almost 13 now. I was just a kid. I just came in and stuck with it.”
Morales has certainly come a long way since that birthday. With an impressive record in the sport, Morales has represented Oregon since he was eight years old at national tournaments from the Junior to the Senior Boxer level. Morales made the US National Team later on, bringing home the Gold Medal making him the first International gold medalist for Oregon in boxing.
While boxing isn’t necessarily something he had planned on early in life; it is something his family became part of. Morales has three brothers, all boxers as well. All have, at one point or another, represented Oregon at national events.
As Morales got older, he certainly realized he was succeeding. “My record was running 1-18 & 12, so I went through all the regionals, all the states, all the nationals, I have fought everyone that was anyone. I mean I fight anyone.”
When it comes to his most memorable fight during his amateur years Morales refers to his final fight for the US championship. “Just knowing that I was going in there, just knowing that it was someone who was supposed to win already, it put a lot of pressure and just knowing it was going to put a lot more on me. So, I went out there and I outboxed him with one hand, I went out there with jabs, hooks and turning him.
It’s probably my most memorable one, just because it was the national championship and it was my birthday; I mean that’s the only time I ever fought on my birthday so that is probably my most memorable one” (2013 Junior Olympic).
In was that same year, Morales realized boxing is what he wanted to do the turning point he believes is when he started fight internationally, “At one point I thought I would become a pro closer to when I was 21 or turning early 20s, but last year I went into nationals my Dad said if I proved that I could fit in there and hang in there mentally, not just physically, but mentally just because everyone is going to be bigger than me, older than me, more experienced than that would be the time to win or lose.
I decided to go there, went to the finals, lost a really close one. It could’ve gone either way kind of fight, but that was a big turning point, so that’s when he was like, you know you are ready. I was supposed to go to another tournament that summer, but I got an opportunity to go pro right before then, so I turned pro and that’s why I didn’t go and that’s where we are now.”
From his beginnings Morales has been guided by his father, who happens to be his coach as well. As a professional boxer now, Morales has a team composed of his father (Coach Morales) and Coach Jason. “My dad is my head coach and he is doing everything with me. My brother too when my dad can’t. My brother has stepped up for my dad and he has been helping me. He is 17, he grew up with me boxing, but decided he didn’t want to do that, he decided to go to school.”
Morales is training for his upcoming fight at the PNW Professional Boxing Promotion’s Brawl in Lacey, Wash. Morales, so far has a 5-0, 2 KOs record under his belt. He is scheduled to box Kevin Davila whose record sits at 1-3-2. Saturday’s fight is Morales’ sixth fight as a pro.
Coach Morales is the right formula to have in his corner as his confidence on his pugilist is high: “Victor is focused and ready to go to war just like any other fight. Victor is Oregon’s hope to bring prime time pro boxing back to Portland and I’m not saying that as his dad, but as the Oregon Boxing Chief of Officials. He’s getting stronger and faster in every fight.”
As for Morales’ plan: “We are excited, we are going to go out there and show everybody what we can do. I am just ready to go and show everyone what we can do, I am just ready to go put a show like I always do. I prepare for every fight the same, as if it was a national championship or even a world title. I am going out there and I am not changing anything. The only thing we are really adding is rounds and more cardio, you know just the extra things to get ready for the extra rounds. But other than that nothing is really changing, we are going out there and we are training hard.”
A boxer comes in all shapes and sizes. Some have excellence in technique, while others are strong and fast. For Morales, he is very confident on his speed and footwork. “My footwork and my speed, that’s always something I rely on. Just to get in and out, just to get my punches off and clean, before getting out, so that’s always been my thing.”
If you want to witness his speed and footwork, you can be part of it all this coming Saturday, June 24, at the Brawl at Harmony Hall 4 (9101 Steilacoom Rd. SE, Olympia, Wash., 98513, in an event by PNW Professional Boxing Promotions. For details on tickets and full card, visit www.brawlatharmonyhall4.eventbrite.com, if you are interested on showing up to support Morales use Promo Code “El Tornado”.