Santa Barbara- S County

Balderas Falls to Cuba in Quarter Finals

Watch party held for Olympic boxer Carlos Balderas

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -  Santa Maria boxer and USA Olympic representative Carlos Balderas loses in the quarter finals.

Cuban boxer Lazaro Alvarez will now go on to fight in the semi-finals against either Uzbekistan or Brazil.

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Santa Maria boxer Carlos Balderas has won his second bout, this time he defeats Japan.

In an early morning bout the hometown hero won with a unanimous decision, similar to his victory on Saturday.

Next up for Balderas is the quarter-finals against Cuba, that happens Friday morning.

Stay tuned as Dave Alley continues to follow Balderas as he makes his run for gold.

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A watch party was held this morning in Santa Maria for friends and supporters of Olympic boxer Carlos Balderas.

He's a homegrown Santa Maria boxer who's competing in the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.

It was the fight of his life and over 100 proud supporters of Santa Maria High School's own Carlos Balderas were up bright and early Saturday morning to see it.  

"Me and Karlos go way back," friend of Carlos Balderas, Oscar Velasco said.

Friends saying they just wanted to cheer Balderas on in the first round of Olympic boxing in Rio De Jeneiro - and you could feel their energy.

"I met him when we were in middle school, we got into boxing," Velasco said.

Oscar Velasco has known Balderas since they were 12-years-olds.

"We trained at the same gym growing up," Velasco said.

He says the transition he's seen his friend make over the years - goes to show, that dreams CAN come true.  

"He's a humble and passionate guy, really determined and really focused energetic guy," Velasco said.

Santa Maria High School Principal Joseph Domingues says Carlos Balderas is living the American dream.

"He wanted to graduate from Santa Maria High," Santa Maria High School Principal Joe Domingues said. "He said I don't want to do this separate thing, I want to be a Santa Maria graduate."

Principal Domingues says Balderas worked just as hard in the ring as he did in the classroom - even while traveling internationally to qualify for the Olympics.

"He's the most wonderful young man you could ever meet," Domingues said. "And at graduation we actually had him stand up and we said good luck in Rio, 2016."

Saturday morning Balderas beat his Kazakhstan opponent. Principal Domingues gave us his Olympic predictions for the "Pride of 805."

"I think he's going to go for the gold, from what I saw today I think he'll get to the gold," Domingues said.

"He's a really good kid, you know, he laughs you know, but when it's time to box, he's serious," friend of Carlos Balderas, Justin Guaderrama said.

"It was really good to see so many people come here and support him," Velasco said.

YOUTUBE: Carlos Balderas - Olympics Team USA


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