Hard hitting New Yorker Pablo Valdez opens up on his battles in boxing, in life and his story of redemption
Pablo Valdez has one of the most unique stories in New York boxing today. New York has always been the city of opportunity and one where legends are made and dreams come true.
Valdez has had a rollercoaster ride to the pro game, which included 8 years incarcerated within the New York prison system.
Valdez opened up about his upbringing in boxing and talked working with figures that went onto become New York greats, and are emerging greats within the New York fight scene.
Valdez stated, “I grew up in boxing with Jordan Maldonado, who trained the Serrano sisters, he got me started and then took me to Gary Stark Sr and Andre Rozier at Starrett City. I learned so much from those three not just about boxing, but about life as well. I didn't always listen as well as I should have but I was a lot younger back then and we all make mistakes in life, it's all about how you come back from them.
“When I was coming up we had fighters like Curtis Stevens, Marcus Browne, and Danny Jacobs around in the gym who were younger than myself but it was great to see them emerge and it is even better to see how successful they have been in their own careers.
“The Starrett City Boxing Club was a special place and those are memories I will cherish forever. I am grateful that I still spend a lot of time around the people I was around all those years ago.”
Like so many New York fighters, Valdez' story wasn't a simple one, as he ended up incarcerated for eight years, spending most of his prime years behind bars. The Manhattan native opened up about what led to him being behind bars, his time spent locked up and his redemption.
The 2-0 super lightweight said, “I got mixed up with drugs and made mistakes that led to me doing eight years in prison. I admit what I did was wrong, I don't deny that, but I did learn my lessons in prison and the combinations of the lessons I learned from being locked away for that amount of time, and from boxing, have made me begin to redeem myself in life.
“Prison is no joke, I got stabbed in prison, I spent nearly four years in solitary confinement. The reality of prison is there are wars going on inside there, and if you can't fight you could end up in a worse way, so you have to do what you have to do. Being stuck in solitary destroys you mentally, but it was boxing and my family that kept me going when I was in there, so that is what I have done from when I was released.”
Valdez is now a successful businessman in his own right whilst also amassing a 2-0 pro record with both wins coming via way of knockout. The super lightweight discussed his current life and his plans within the sport of boxing going forward. “I'm very grateful to have amazing people around me. Andre Rozier and Gary Stark Sr have always been loyal to me, as has Curtis Stevens and the best conditioner in the game Dave ‘Scooter' Honig, and these people are still around me today.
“I may be in my 30s but the reality is I have no miles on the clock and I am still getting better. I want to work my way up and go as far as I can go in boxing and make up for the time I spent in prison whilst also showing people you can come back from tough times and be a success in your life. That's the legacy I want to leave on this world.”
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