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Phoenix boxer uses her brother’s murder as inspiration to turn pro

Photo by Corbin Carson
LISTEN: Phoenix boxer uses her brother’s murder as inspiration to turn pro

PHOENIX — The Urbina family continues to persevere in the boxing ring, many of them carrying on the legacy of their slain brother.

“In 2013 my brother passed away, Alexis Urbina; he was ranked number one at 145 pounds here on Team USA,” said Sulem Urbina, who started boxing when she was 10 years old.

Photo by Corbin Carson

Photo by Corbin Carson

When her brother died after being brutally attacked during a burglary that resulted in two men being sent to prison for long terms, she had two options.

“I had a choice to either continue boxing, or just hang up the gloves and just leave it all,” Urbina said.

“I decided to keep on going.”

Now she has just signed with one of the biggest boxing promotion companies in Latin America Sanford Promotions, with her pro debut set for July 30.

“You don’t have a choice in what comes at you, but in the way you confront things … that’s all you,” Urbina said.

But the passion to train through exhaustion, she said, still comes from her brother.

“I remember the times when him and I were training and we would touch gloves and push each other,” Urbina said. “I remember him telling me to not give up, and I keep going.”

Urbina still trains at Knockout Boxing Gym in Phoenix.

“Even though he’s gone, he motivates me to wake up, run, exercise [and] to train hard,” Urbina said.

“Because I want his story to always be remembered, I want his name to live on.”

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