Arturo Gastelum in His Own Words
It didn't matter that my father had taught me how to throw the jab as early as I
could walk. It didn't matter that my father (a professional singer who worked
out with pro fighters) learned Boxing basics from the great fighter/instructor
Kid Rapidez in Mexico City. It didn't matter that every Saturday my father
hogged the TV to watch fights from "El Coliseo" (Mexico's equivalent to Madison
Square Garden). It didn't matter that those fights were often more exciting and
dramatic than any of the Rocky films.
Boxing began to matter the night I saw the man they called the "hands of stone"(manos
de piedra) Roberto Duran beat Sugar Ray Leonard in Montreal. The man I saw
that night couldn’t have lost—I saw a ferocious animal who was also fighting
scientifically. There was a method to his madness.
It began to matter more when my 6th grade teacher announced that Jimmy Ford had
gone to Texas to compete in a national silver gloves tournament, and he was
ranked #1 in the nation. "You mean that innocent looking kid who I play hoops
(basketball) with in the morning before school?" Wow!
It mattered even more when I, son of one of the baddest bar brawlers I've ever
seen, son of a mother who threw the One, Two like Joe Louis, stepson of
notorious Hell's Angel Harry "The Horse" Flamburis , and the younger brother of
one of the baddest homeboys to come out of San Francisco's Mission District, I—a
proud, tough Mexican thug who'd already scored a number of victories with mostly
older kids—got completely outclassed by a nerdy, lanky kid named Josco Lucin.
Not once but twice. Ouch.
I even picked a third fight with him, which he rejected—ignored me even when I
threw a basketball at his face. I couldn't comprehend how this nerdy square
could pick me apart, but when I looked into his eye's I knew I was the stronger
one. I knew I was stronger in my heart and soul—still, he'd picked me apart. How
come? Well hell, I thought, I’ll just ask. Turns out his father had made him
box so he could defend himself from thugs like me. Suddenly I’d been blinded by
Science -- the sweet science of Boxing. And I've been hopelessly devoted to it
As a kid watching Roberto Duran on TV I never imagined I would one day meet
him—and be managed by his former manager Freddie Martinez who, along with Team
Freedom's Luis De Cuba, rallied Roberto Duran for his last big Hurrah against
Iran Barkley. Taking on the challenge of a professional Boxing career at the
late age of 36 I am now faced with some of the uphill challenges Roberto faced,
but because of the standard placed upon me by one of my biggest idols I will not
fail. I will not let Roberto down. He never let me down.
The challenges of Arturo Gastelum’s journey into prize fighting
will be chronicled by writer Mickey Disend, and will also be filmed
for a documentary. He fights under the name Arturo Coronado.