NORTH CAROLINA BOXER CARLOS OLMEDA’S TOUGHEST FIGHT IS OUTSIDE THE RING
Professional Boxing prospect facing November deportation
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – October 9, 2017 – Carlos Olmeda (2-0, 2KO) is ready for his fight on October 19th versus New York’s Vinnie Denierio (2-2, 1KO) at Durham Armory. He has put in the miles of roadwork, the hours training and sparring in the gym, and has eaten his lean protein and vegetables. Preparing for a fight is nothing new for the 27 year old featherweight. This fight, however, holds a special significance. A sensational win could save Olmeda from being deported from the country that has been his home since childhood.
Olmeda was fifteen when his mother brought him and his brother to live in the United States. The fourteen day trip from Mexico City, Mexico, and across the desert was fraught with danger, and would test both mother and sons. At one point, Olmeda recalls tearfully, his mother asked her boys to leave her in the desert. She couldn’t go on. Olemda cries as he remembers encouraging her to go just a little bit further. He wasn’t going to leave her alone to die in the desert. The men who his mother had paid to get them to the states scared them, threatening their lives should they leave the safe house that housed them. Eventually the trio would make it to North Carolina, where his older brother was established and awaiting their arrival.
During high school, Olmeda would step into a boxing gym for the first time. It was housed in a reformatory program meant to keep troubled teens off the street. It was at Safehouse, Second Round where he’d meet the coaches that would change his life, and teach him about life and the sweet science. Coach Santos and Coach D became his adopted family, and to this day remain his coaches and father figures.
Olmeda was the first in his family to graduate high school in the United States. It took a bit longer, because he was held back so he’d be able to learn English, but at 20 years old, he walked across the stage, and made his mother the happiest woman in North Carolina. It was a pivotal moment for Olmeda, who had a grueling schedule as a high school senior, working a full time graveyard shift at Dunkin Donuts, while attending school to help his family. All the struggles he’d experienced during his formative years culminated in that moment of pride for him and his mother.
Following high school, Olmeda would win three Golden Gloves titles, and a Gold at the Junior Olympics. He qualified and applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which allowed him to remain in the United States legally. Eventually his DACA status expired, and, facing the death of his mother from cancer, and unable to afford his DACA renewal, his status lapsed. No longer able to apply for DACA, Olmeda and his lawyer began to seek out other avenues for legal residency.
His fight on October 19th weighs heavily on him when he trains, when he attends church, which he does regularly, when he works, and when he can’t sleep. The visa for which he wants to apply requires him to be making a productive life for himself in the states. He must demonstrate that the path he’s taking will lead to success. Boxing coaches, promoters and fans agree – Carlos Olmeda is world champion material, and on October 19th, he must show everyone watching that he will indeed eventually wear a championship bet.
It isn’t an easy fight. Denierio has faced other fighters in Durham, and Olmeda is acutely aware of the outcome of those very competitive fights. “My plan is to knock him out. He fought Marko [Bailey, the main event fighter on October 19th], and they went the distance twice. Marko is now fighting for a championship title. I have to do better than that. If I can knock him out, that sends a message to the other fighters, to the other promoters. I want to show that I’m better than the other fighters who fought Deneirio.”
Olmeda faces the immigration judge on November 16th, but in his mind, his first battle in his fight to stay in the United States is October 19th at the Durham Armory, where a win isn’t just a win. A win is an opportunity for Carlos Olmeda to remain the country he loves – the country calls home.
Carlos Olmeda’s fight is part of Thursday Night Fights – a ten-bout card featuring talent from Raleigh-Durham, and throughout North Carolina. The card is topped by Durham fighter Marko Bailey versus Charlotte’s Stevie Massey for the North Carolina Lightweight Championship Title. Tickets for Thursday Night Fights are priced at $30, 50 and 75, and are available online at ragingbabe.com, by phone at 919-584-4849 or by visiting Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Doors to the Durham Armory, located at 220 Foster Street in Downtown Durham, open at 6:00 p.m. First bell is at 7:00.
For Press Credentials or More Information:
Michelle Rosado, Promoter
Emily Pandelakis, Media Relations