Iconic female fighter Jackie “Aztec Princess” Nava (25-4-3, 11KOs) killed two birds with one stone when she announced her next bout and inaugurated the “Jackie Nava Gym” in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, at a press conference held Tuesday morning. Flanked by Zanfer Promotions’ Guillermo Brito as the master of ceremonies while her life long trainer Miguel Reyes and former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito took the roles of the gym’s godfathers, Nava shared her plans to challenge current WBA super bantamweight champion Chanttall Martinez (15-4, 6KOs) of Panama on Saturday, January 14th, at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium. The championship bout will be televised live in Mexico by the Azteca Channel and will mark the start of the 2012 boxing season for the channel as well as Fernando Beltran’s Zanfer Promotions.
“I am more nervous than when I fight,” the affable Nava said in her opening remarks as her voice cracked with obvious emotion. “I am confident that this gym will serve the kids as well as the community of Tijuana. I want to thank the state run organization Juventud BC as well as my promoter Zanfer who donated the ring. We look to form new talents for the city of Tijuana but most importantly, urge the kids to stay in school.”
The gym was founded with the help with a state run agency that provided most of the funds for the new space as well as a computer lab that will help the children of the neighborhood with their school work. All kids ranging from the age of 8-16 will be able to use the facilities for free as long as they stay in school with passing grades.
Nava also commented on her pending title bout with Martinez who is considered the number one fighter in the division and who in back in early 2010 suffered a loss to Nava via a unanimous decision, “We have been training for a month. We know that she is strong and lanky but we know that we can beat her like we have done before. This time I am going to go for the knock out. Together with my team of Miguel Reyes, my strength and conditioning coach Raul Robles and Mario Mendoza, we have been working hard and we are going to leave everything in the ring.”
Juan Carlos Pelayo, the Tijuana Boxing Commission’s executive director, also partook of the festivities and took the time to praise Nava for helping to bring the name of Tijuana to a world stage, “Tijuana is made up of people like Jackie Nava, hard working with dreams that don’t die until reached. She is a proud Tijuanense and she reminds every one of that wherever she goes and that makes the city and its people proud.”
Acting as one of the newly opened gym’s godfathers as it is customary in Mexico, former three time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito also had the opportunity to speak.
“She beat me to it,” Margarito said with a laugh. “Sometimes she beats me in our boxing careers too but she beat me at opening a gym and I am happy for her and the kids that are going to make use of it.”
Nava, who earned a degree in architecture while also becoming the first female champion to be crowned by the WBC, designed the interior space of the gym.
Brito mentioned that on the under card of the Nava-Martinez WBA super bantamweight bout, super bantamweight Alex Lopez (22-2, 7KOs), bantamweight Felipe Orucuta (22-1, 18KOs) and hard hitting welterweight Daniel “Galeno” Sandoval (22-2, 22KOs) will also be featured on the card.