It was Isidro Ochoa Day on Monday at Romain Playground, where the 19-year-old boxer and product of the Fresno Police Department’s Police Athletic League was honored as he turned professional and looked to his first pro bout, Dec. 2, at the Save Mart Center.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Ochoa could have been just another troubled inner-city kid before he discovered a love and a talent for boxing when he was 7 years old at Romain, on First Street between Belmont and Olive avenues. There, under the tutelage of former police Officer Pete Santellano, Ochoa discovered he had a special talent in the ring. Now 19, Ochoa has 110 wins behind him, 12 national titles and a contract with Top Rank, an elite organization at the top of the boxing world. He can also tout wins against two members of the U.S. Olympic Team.
Dyer was with Ochoa on Monday for the event, where he credited Ochoa for representing “the Fresno Police Department across the world. He has become a very respectful young man and continues to serve as a great role model to our youth.”
110Number of wins by boxer Isidro Ochoa
Ochoa’s adviser, Rick Mirigian, was also at Romain, where he recounted a recent trip to the ultra-competitive Southern California boxing scene. Ochoa, said Mirigian, did workouts in front of boxing luminaries Freddie Roach and Robert Garcia, both of whom were asking where the Fresno kid had been hiding.
Santellano credits Romain for being the impetus for dozens of success stories like Ochoa’s, and is an advocate for more parks and playgrounds for Fresno’s youth.