By Teri Nehrenz
She’s only 14 years old and already has what it takes to get a slew of titles under her belts in both name and mind set. Faith Mendez is the number one ranked woman’s boxer in the United States for her age/weight class, 2017 Women’s National Golden Gloves Champion, 2017 USA Jr. Olympic Boxing Champion, 2017 USA Boxing Youth National Champion and Prep Open Champion.
Mendez was just one of the many boxers who competed in the four-day Junior Golden Gloves Nationals hosted by Barry’s Boxing and Mesquite Gaming.
Boxing promoter Dawn Barry was extremely pleased with the turnout, the boxers and most especially the CasaBlanca, which has hosted this tournament in partnership with Barry’s Boxing for the past 11 years.
“This is our 12th year here in Mesquite, thank you CasaBlanca, we just love it here, they are very obliging and we’ll just keep coming back,” Barry said. “The kids have been excellent and this is the first year we’ve had females in the tournament.”
She was especially excited for two things. Curmel Moton, a fighter out of Barry’s Las Vegas Gym, was there to defend his title and his 62-4 record and for the first time they allowed girls in the Junior Nationals.
“Usually the girls have a separate tournament,” Barry said. “But this year we got notice that we could do the girls so it’s very exciting.”
Mendez, who lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, was excited to be at the CasaBlanca and in the first tournament that allowed female boxers. She has high aspirations to become an olympic champion and says that getting the gold is what motivates her.
“I want to be that someone that any female can look up to and say, “I want to be like her, a world champion.””
When asked, “Why boxing?” The answer was simple, “My sister Sharline was a very good boxer and I looked up to her. I asked my dad, when I was seven, if I could box and the answer was, ‘No.’ I just kept asking until I finally got a yes; that was about three years ago.”
Sister Sharline stopped boxing to become a mother and is quite happy but Faith is keeping her eyes on the Gold.
Mendez is coached by father Carlos, who is no stranger when it comes to boxing having coached his older daughter who boxed for 17 years. He is also coaching an up and coming boxer, Xavian Ramirez, who hasn’t been ranked yet but the coach says, “Watch out.”
Right now coach Mendez just has the two boxers in the ring, so to speak, and they both have skills. His concentration is certainly working for his daughter and, as long as the talent and passion are there, will no doubt work for Ramirez.
It’s obvious to the nation that the two, dad and daughter Faith, make quite the duo as coach and athlete. Being ranked No. 1 female boxer in the United States puts her right up there in the ring with the best female boxers the world has to offer.
She’s presently on the Junior National Olympic team but is too young for the 2020 Olympics; she’s waiting on the 2024 Olympics.
Being ranked No. 1 at 14 is a great start and she’s got many more years to practice. Mendez has got both the tenacity and motivation to get there along with something even more important; she’s got faith.