Mexican-American Amateur Star Sulem Urbina Signs with Zanfer Promotions
Amateur standout Sulem Urbina will not let tragedy mark her life.
In 2013 her brother Alexis, an amateur with a bright future in his own right, died from injuries sustained in a home invasion at their family home in Phoenix, Arizona. It was their dream to fight along side each other in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this year.
After her brother’s death Urbina promised her fallen brother she would win a gold medal at the Olympics and then become a world champion. Her first promise was on the right track but the Mexican Olympic Federation had other plans and killed that dream two months ago due to inside politics.
“My brother was part of the U.S. Junior team in the 141-pound division, he was 100 percent living a clean life and his life was taken away by some criminals that entered our parent’s home to rob it,” Urbina explained. “Life is hard, it was very hard for me to get over my brother’s death. His spirit motivated me to continue in the sport of boxing. I will fulfill our dream, for us both to become world champions, he will be with me.”
Now the 26-year-old Urbina, born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, will fulfill a dream as it was announced earlier this week she will be joining the professional ranks on Saturday, July 30th, in the flyweight division in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, under her new promoter Zanfer Promotions.
Urbina discovered boxing at the age of 10 when she followed her two older brothers to the gym. She then embarked on a very decorated amateur career with a total of nearly 100 bouts. She won the Arizona Golden Gloves in ’07 and ’09 while placing third in the U.S. Nationals in 2009. She’s a four time Mexican national champion and has represented her home state of Sonora since 2013, winning gold at the International Cup, silver at the Central American Games and bronze at Continental championships, all in 2014. In 2015 she participated at the Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada, and in 2016 made her bid for the Olympics losing in the quarterfinals.
With that kind of impressive amateur pedigree, it is no surprise Urbina was sought after by several promoters but Urbina, who is trained by her husband Andrew Soto, decided to go with the biggest Latin American company, Zanfer Promotions led by Fernando Beltran.
Zanfer also boasts of former WBC bantamweight champion Yazmin “Rusita” Rivas, WBA strawweight champion Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz and prospect Silvia Torres among their ranks. Zanfer is also known for promoting one of the biggest names in female boxing, Mexican senator Jackie “Aztec Princess” Nava.
“I had a lot of offers from both Mexican and U.S.-based promoters but chose Zanfer because of Fernando Beltran’s commitment to female boxing,” Urbina stated. “I truly feel Zanfer is the best choice to develop my career and get an opportunity for a world title.”
Beltran expressed equal sentiments about his new signing.
“It is an honor and a motivation Sulem chose Zanfer Promotions and the Azteca channel to help her in her career,” Beltran expressed. “We have followed her amateur career and she is a tremendous boxer with great boxing potential and her strong personality. She will be a huge star and of course a world champion.”