Cooperative News

PEC employee trains son, amateur boxers in the Hill Country

A passion for boxing brings a son and father together

When PEC SCADA Specialist Sylvestre Quinonez clocks out for the day, he’s ready to rumble. He laces up his boxing gloves and slips beneath the ropes and into the ring as an assistant coach to his son, Sylvestre Quinonez Jr., and 20 other amateur boxers at Texas Wolverine All-Stars gym in San Antonio.

Quinonez Sr. has always been in his son’s corner, on and off the ropes, and their love of boxing seems to run in their blood — thanks to his father.

“[My father] always took me to fights in the area and watched televised fights with me,” Quinonez Sr. said. “I was just always around the boxing scene.”

Growing up, Quinonez Sr. trained in boxing gyms before he came to Johnson City. He hadn’t been to the gym in 12 years, and when his youngest son, Quinonez Jr., expressed interest in the sport, it was music to his ears. That’s when Quinonez went from being a fighter to a trainer.

“I’m in love with the sport and know a lot about it, but I never really competed,” Quinonez Sr. said. “I got into [coaching] because of [Quinonez Jr.], and there’s a big difference between the two roles, specifically not getting hit as much. It’s also a plus that I get to see my kid participate in the sport that we both love.”

Quinonez Jr. began training with Quinonez Sr. and his head coach, Art Garcia, when he was only 14 years old. Today Quinonez Jr., 17, competes in the welterweight class. Boxers train at their own pace, Quinonez Sr. explained, and after a short six months of training, his son was ready to roll with the punches in the ring.

This past June, the Quinonez family made a trip to Las Vegas for the Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Invitational competition. And while Quinonez Jr. lost his championship fight by decision (meaning two out of the three judges chose the winning fighter), Quinonez Sr. is proud of his “good ol’ Johnson City boy.”

“It was a big stage and an even bigger opportunity for him,” Quinonez Sr. said. “Even though he was disappointed, we are all still very proud of him and his accomplishments.”

Las Vegas is only the beginning for the Quinonezes. Together, their goal is for Quinonez Jr. to become nationally ranked, and he’s more ready than ever to pursue boxing professionally. He even hopes to compete on the U.S. Olympic team.

With Quinonez Jr.’s determination and Quinonez Sr.’s commitment to preparing his son for the big leagues, there’s nothing this rough and tough duo can’t conquer.

“There’s no other sport like boxing,” Quinonez Sr. said. “It’s a hard sport, and it takes a lot of courage to enter that ring. I’m proud to lead my son into the professional boxing world, and I have a lot of faith in him and our students at the gym.”