While most 18-year olds are anxiously anticipating their prom, young Hugo "The Boss" Centeno Jr. has a bit more on his plate.
The high school senior is being prepped and positioned as the next 'big name' in boxing. A former Junior Olympics Champion, Centeno is preparing for his professional boxing debut in both the United States and Mexico.
Under the guidance of his manager, Robert W. Lewis III and his father and trainer, Hugo Centeno, Sr., Centeno has quickly amassed an impressive list of boxing accomplishments.
His recent signing to a promotional contract with top boxing promoter, Roy Englebrecht, is perhaps his most impressive to date. Centeno will make his USA professional debut at the "Battle in the Ballroom" at the Irvine Marriott Hotel on Wednesday, April 8 in Irvine, CA.
But that is after he makes his Mexico debut first in Mexicali, Mexico under the auspices of fight promoter Alberto Vega on March 27. These are exciting times for the Oxnard High School senior who still has to prepare for graduation!
Hugo Centeno Jr., is a shining example of the importance the gym can play in one's life. The 18 year old boxer trains at Centeno's Champion Boxing Gym in Oxnard, CA and is being honed into an outstanding role model amongst his peers.
He is a teenage boxing phenomenon. Hugo Centeno Sr. and Robert W. Lewis III are two men who have responded to the needs of Ventura County area youth with the opening of the gym.
A state-of-the-art, 3000 square foot facility, the Centeno's Champion Boxing Gym offers boxing training to kids at no charge. In an area that has been impacted by the deadly violence of gangs, Centeno's Boxing Gym is an essential alternative to street life activity.
An arena of hope, the gym offers a wholesome environment for not only training, but self development, determination and respect. The emergence of Hugo "The Boss" Centeno Jr. is living proof.
"As a club promoter, you don't very often have the opportunity to sign a great amateur boxer, as they are normally swept up by the big guys," says promoter Englebrecht.
"But I feel very blessed to have Hugo under a promotional contract and to launch his pro career, plus to work with his manager Robert Lewis. Hugo has all the tools, both inside and outside the ring, to achieve greatness. A great work ethic, great amateur experience, a great smile, and a great attitude."
"The feeling is surreal and exciting all at the same time," said Centeno, about signing with Englebrecht. "I feel blessed because not a lot of people get to say that they are professional athletes.
"Being part of Roy Englebrecht's promotional company is a dream come true and the fight fans at Roy's shows can always expect a great performance from me. I will earn their respect and become the people's choice."
Hugo Centeno Sr. has trained his son since the age of seven. Centeno Jr. has since amassed an impressive record of 90 wins and 5 losses, while compiling a list of national championships and titles that comprise a virtual showcase of amateur boxing tournaments, including the Junior. Olympics, the National Silver Gloves, the National PAL tournament and the Diamond Best championship, just to name a few.
"These are exciting times for us; what we are accomplishing with Centeno, Jr. is serving as inspiration to other young kids at the gym," explains Lewis.
"Centeno Jr. is following in some great footsteps. Great fighters like Genaro Hernandez, Mike Anchonda and Sergio Mora also made their debut at Irvine Marriott's 'Battle in the Ballroom.' Centeno Jr. is definitely 'The Boss,' and we are all playing to win here!"
Centeno's Champions Boxing Gym is located at 1162 Industrial Avenue in Oxnard, CA , off Wooley Rd. The gym is funded solely by Robert W. Lewis with donations and receives no government help or assistance but all donations are welcomed. For more information call 805-487-4600.