Hola mis amigos and Happy February to you all…OMG, it is almost my favorite time of the year…SPRING BREAK!!! Actually, sometimes the way me and my crew roll around town…it’s always Spring Break…lol :)! It is also the month of Saint Valentine’s Day for all you couples…and speaking of knockout couples, did you hear about the amazing husband and wife combo of Javier Carrera and Linda Soto Carrera? They are our local celebrities in the boxing arena and have the charm to carry our city on their backs. I recently sat down with them after BOTH of them were victorious in their recent boxing match held right here in Rocky Point which included boxers from all around Mexico and America.
Marco: Hola amigos! Felicidades on your recent victories! When did you start boxing?
Javi: Linda started boxing at the age of 13 in Phoenix. Her brothers had gotten into boxing but the coach they had wasn’t teaching properly and they were doing sparring with kids with far more experience than they had so her dad decided to take classes to become a coach and made a gym in their back yard. At that time, her dad was very strict and didn’t like her staying after school for dance practice, so she started training with her dad in her backyard, which is where we met, and started dating. I used to visit her sometimes during training and I would wait for her to be finished but I never got into boxing until the age of 20 after I got deported and came to Rocky Point. At first, I only started to train to kill time since I had nothing else to do since Linda was still living in Arizona. At that time, we had our first two boys and I fought in 7 amateur fights in one year and then I jumped right into professional boxing!
Marco: Wow, that’s quick…talk about Speedy Gonzalez! What was the recent event in Rocky Point that you both fought at? I was bummed I missed it, but I was traveling again.
Javi: After some time off, both Linda and I decided we still wanted to fight so we started organizing a boxing event which was on December 14th. When we started to organize the event, we let other Rocky Point fighters who train with us know we were hosting the event in case they wanted to get back into boxing and two of them started training again. Originally, it was five of us training from our gym, so we decided to call the event “The Night of Warriors” since our gym is called Warriors.
Marco: Nice! Where were all the competitors from?
Javi: At first, we had 7 local boxers fighting in our event but as time passed, we only had 4 local boxers ready to fight. We added Linda’s brother who trains in Phoenix because every time we make boxing events, he fights as part of our team. When we added him to the card, his trainer asked us if we could add more of his fighters to the card. So, we ended having boxers on our team from Arizona and California. All the opponents came from different places in Mexico. We had boxers from Obregon, Tijuana, Agua Prieta, and Nogales.
Marco: I heard you won in the first round!? Did you give kick the &$%*! out of him like I asked you to?
Javi: (chuckles) Yes, I won in the first minute of the first round! I’m not really sure the exact time. My opponent had more than 30 fights so I was expecting a little more competition but when the fight started I realized I could knock him down quick.
Marco: Way impressive, mi amigo…I now know never to mess with Javi…sheesh, KABOOM! And how did Linda do?
Javi: Linda went all 6 rounds and won by decision. Her fight was almost canceled since her opponent didn’t make it to the weigh in because of a family emergency. We talked to the boxing commission and they told us if she was able to make it to Rocky Point before a certain time Saturday (the day of the fight) and if she was in line with weight, they would let them fight. Her opponent took a bus from Nogales and arrived Saturday around 2pm. The boxing commission had to get Linda’s ok to still fight since her opponent was 67.5 kilos and Linda was only 65 kilos! Linda readily agreed and on when the fight!
Marco: Wow, impressive…still won and being down 5 and a half pounds! Talk about a heavy hitter! What’s next, what are your next plans in the sport?
Javi: Our plans for this year are to get as many fights as possible. Personally we are planning on organizing 4 events through the year in Rocky Point but we are working on getting our passports because we already have a few possible fights outside of Mexico such as in Canada. Our next event will be March 21st. Linda’s brother will be fighting for a championship belt while we are still in negotiations on which place we will fight. If we get enough sponsors, then Linda and/or me will also be fighting for a belt the same night. We are working hard and trying our best so on the event of March 21st, there are 3 championships fights in the same event. Our goal is to have enough fights this year so by the end of 2020 or early 2021, we have an opportunity to fight for a world title.
Marco: That’s just incredible…front to back! I am totally stoked for both of you! What are your records?
Javi: My record, in 19 fights, total is 15 wins…11 of those wins are by K.O.! And, of course 4 losses.
Marco: Waaaaa, waaaaaa, waaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! 🙂
Javi: Linda’s record is, 14 fights total with 8 wins 4 wins by K.O. and 6 lost by decision.
Marco: What is the best thing you like about the sport?
Javi: The best thing I like about boxing is getting paid to hit people. I always like fighting, so the best thing I like is hitting people and feeling the adrenaline when getting hit. When I was in high school, I used to fight a lot and get suspended. My counselor even told me I should get into boxing but my head was in other things at that time so I never got into boxing. Linda is the opposite…she really doesn’t like fighting, but she likes the competition of hitting without getting hit. She likes the hard training to stay in shape and since she is already doing all the hard training, she doesn’t mind the training as well as getting paid.
Marco: What other things do you for fun?
Javi: We like to spend a lot of time with the kids. Every time we have a little extra time, we usually end up going to the beach or to the movies since those are the two things the kids like the most. Linda and I don’t go out much since we are more focused on our business, the kids and now boxing. When we are in training we don’t go out to party, we don’t drink, we don’t stay up late we try to focus 100 percent on our training.
Marco: Sounds a lot like me…no drink, no party, no fun :). Well, ok maybe a little…Tell me about your food business.
Javi: After we stopped working at the bar, we decided to make our own business. We first started selling food, then we started to sell banana leaf tamales. We have been getting a lot of orders and we are focused mainly on the tamales and just making food for special occasions. There are times that we have to make up to more than 10 dozen tamales just to deliver and we have been getting a lot of good feedback and up until now, everyone loves our tamales and the word is spreading. We are working on opening up a restaurant around Springtime where we will be having tamales every day. At the moment, we make about 7 different types of tamales but there have been occasions where our customers ask for a specific tamale and if it’s not on the menu, we make it for them. The tamale business is a family business. We cook the tamales at home with the help of our kids. Anyone can place an order by calling me directly at 638-384-4428.
Marco: That’s awesome, I bet they learn great work ethic from mom and dad! The banana leaf wrapping sounds delicioso! Tell me about your family… do they box too?
Javi: We have four kids, three boys and one girl. They are 13, 12, 10 and 9. All of my boys were born in Phoenix and just the youngest one was born here in Rocky Point. All three of the boys are into boxing and so is my daughter even though she is very tough and hits really hard she doesn’t like to do much boxing as she is more into dancing. The two oldest have 5 fights each with only one lost each. The two oldest boys did box for about a year at the ages of 7 and 8 and when we stopped training so did they. Now they are 13 and 12 and just last week they started training again and then my youngest son, age 9, decided to get into boxing, but he still sees it as a hobby and having fun so sometimes he plays rather than trains. Both of the oldest boys are naturals for boxing as they have very good technique and they like it though sometimes they think is a lot of hard work. Our family is all into boxing, Linda and I, our three kids, Linda’s brother and Linda’s dad is our trainer/promoter.
Marco: Wow, the Boxing Carreras…I was going to ask what kind of dog you had…boxer? But, let’s move on…Where are you two from?
Javi: I was born in Acapulco, Guerrero and my parents took me to Arizona at the age of 5. I lived in Arizona and did all my schooling from kindergarten to high school there and came to Rocky Point in 2008 when I got deported. Linda was born in Chihuahua, Chihuahua and was also taken to the United States when she was about 4 years old. She lived back and forth in California and Arizona. She came down to Rocky Point after I got deported.
Marco: Do you teach or coach too?
Javi: For the moment, we are more focused on training rather than coaching boxing, but my father-in- law, who is our current trainer, is teaching us everything he knows about boxing so when he is not able to train us, we know what we have to do. We just opened up our gym to amateur boxers so we will be training young boys and girls for free of charge and taking them to competitions. We still need a lot of stuff in our gym as we only have the basic things to train with but we still consider ourselves to be one of the best boxing gyms. We don’t have much equipment since returning to boxing. We train in our back yard and we only have a boxing ring, 3 punching bags a few pair of gloves and a few jump ropes. We have a young boy and a young girl who just started training with us. They had been training at another gym here in Rocky Point but it was more convenient for them to switch gyms and after of week of training, they told us that our way of training was completely different them everyone else’s and that they felt like they learned a lot more in that week than in the entire year at the other gym so that makes us feel happy and more confident with our training. Even though we have very little equipment, we think we are training at a very high level of competition.
Marco: What do you like best about living in Rocky Point?
Javi: I think the best thing about living in Rocky Point is the beach and that it is still a small town. We love eating seafood, so we are able to get it fresh. Since it is a small town there are more opportunities to have a business of our own and that is something we are teaching our kids to do so they can have a better opportunity as they get older.
Marco: Ahhhhh, the goal of any parent…Make your way, now get out! Just joshing…Anything else you would like the readers to know about you and Linda?
Javi: Our road in boxing has not been very steady after we did our boxing debut in 2008 we stayed in boxing for 8 years. In those 8 years we would only get 3 or less fights per year so we had to stop training and focus more on working more hours to be able to pay for everything. It has been a little hard working, training and raising 4 kids but we are also happy that we had awesome support from different people and businesses. We are the type of parents that don’t like to give everything to our kids. We like for them to learn the hard work it takes to earn something, so we encourage our kids to work for their own money. We just buy them the things they need but if they want something they have to work for it. We think that the more united our family is, the easier it is for all of us. With the help or our trainer Jesus Soto, I think we will make it big because thanks to him we have been able to accomplish so many more goals in boxing faster than our competitors.
Marco: Truly inspiring brother! I am dropping my kids off at your house tomorrow…oh wait, one is already at Ole Miss…too late. Thank you Javi for all of your insight. I wish you all the best in the world to such remarkable people…you and Linda.
Rocky Point Times readers…if you have anything you can donate to the gym for such inspirational people, please reach out to Javi directly at the number above and…if you want an amazing tamale, you know who to call…The Boxing Tamales with one, two punch!!!! Peace to all and best wishes for an amazing February. Be sure to catch the whales while they are here!!!!!