February 15, 2008

Junior Robles was a promising amateur boxer has a street named after him

In the 1950s, Junior Robles was a promising amateur boxer, who used to headline the golden gloves tournaments put on by the San Diego Union at the San Diego Coliseum downtown. Junior was regarded as the pride of Logan Heights and National City. He had a very successful pro boxing career, leaving the fight game, as he was approaching world rank status. In the late 60s and early 70s, he started an amateur boxing program in National City, which proved to be very successful. He was supported by many volunteers like Louie Camacho, Manuel Portillo, Louie Natividad, Charlie Vas-quez, Herman Baca, Richard Enriquez, Gloria, Jimmy, Victor Nieto and so many others too numerous to mention. He pioneered many events in the Chicano community including a Sunday softball league, Barrio Tennis Invitational, the first Barrio Run and of course the Boxing program. Junior was able through his personality to gain support in many quarters; even Mayor Kile Morgan arranged for Junior Robles to take over the old speedy mart building on 8th and Palm.

In 1978, junior was named to coach of the American Boxing team competing in the world games in Poland. This was supposed to be a tune up before the Olympics. Sadly, the plane crashed over Poland killing the entire team and coaches.

In the last twenty years some of his old friends have been trying to get him the recognition he so justly deserves. Unfortunately, the San Diego Hall of Champions had denied us twice.

Finally, with the cooperation of the City of National City and Pacific Scene Builders, a street in their new subdivision at the foot of Rachael Street, behind Granger school, will be named after Jr. Robles. It is scheduled for February 19 at noon at the corner of the 2600 block of Rachael Street and Blueridge Drive, National City, the site of the new “Sunridge Development.”

Augie Bareño

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