Photos; Lina Baker IG: @seeyouringside/and GoldenBoy Promotions
This Friday Golden Boy Promotions holds its final LA Fight Club card at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles when Christian ‘Chimpa’ Gonzalez takes on Alejandro Ochoa in the main event on EstrellaTV. Opening the live telecast is South Central Los Angeles native Ivan ‘Striker’ Delgado 7-0-1 2KO’s as he takes on Jose Bustos 7-6-3 4KO’s in the televised opener.
A product of the streets Delgado embodies the essence of what makes boxing so legendary. The eternal rags to riches story, the kid who nears the brink of destruction in the street only to find his salvation between the ropes.
Delgado started boxing at five years old, training with fighters like Leo Santa Cruz at the famed LA Boxing Club near the Grand Olympic Auditorium, which was the scene of Oscar De La Hoya’s victory over Jimmy Brehdal for the WBO super featherweight title in 1994. “My Brother took me to the gym, and I loved it I fought in the amateurs and the Junior Olympics, all that stuff but, when I was fifteen I left boxing.”
Like so many who live in the streets of South Central Los Angeles, Delgado started down the path of gangs and drugs. “I started getting into trouble, I went to juvenile hall for a long time; I was doing drugs like smoking weed and stuff it was just all bad.” A chance running in with his former coach brought the young fighter back to the gym. “I was at Denny’s, I ran into my old trainer Hector Saldivia and he got me back into the gym, and I went pro after just a few months at 23.”
Now with a family of his own the once promising amateur fighter has dedicated himself to boxing and putting the past behind him. “I’m definitely focused on my family you know, everything happens for a reason. I think I was supposed to go through all of that stuff because; if I didn’t do it then, maybe I would have done it now and ruined everything I’m working toward. All I want to do is fight.”
With a loyal local fan-base Delgado has become a good seat filler for the intimate Belasco Theater, a fact that is sure to keep him busy as he continues his march to becoming a standout prospect. “I got a lot of family and just want to have good fights. People like my style and the way I fight and I want to keep getting better, every fight I learn more and get better. I want my fights to speak for themselves, I’m dedicated to the sport.”
Delgado doesn’t hide his past or sugar coat how he became the man he is today, he embraces it. “I think coming from where I’m from, it gives you an edge.” “I learned a lot from my mistakes and I’m grateful to Golden Boy, I know what I have to do and that’s fight my ass off.”
Delgado opens the televised event Boxeo Estelar on EstrellaTV at 7pm PST. The fights can also be streamed on estrellaTV.com.