Local boxer in pursuit of first professional win, and much more
Lincoln native Ginno Montoya will fight Jose Camacho in Topeka, Kansas on Saturday.
Ginno Montoya has big dreams.
“I want to become a world champion,” Montoya said. “That’s my goal.”
This Saturday, Montoya (0-1) will square off against Jose Camacho (0-0) in Topeka, Kansas in pursuit of his first career win as a professional boxer.
The super featherweight turned pro in 2019 after competing in 20 amateur fights over the past four years. He first became interested in the sport watching boxers like Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao when he was younger. He decided to give boxing a try several years later. Once he scored a knockout 20 seconds into a match against the first opponent he got in the ring with, he was hooked.
Montoya’s first professional bout was on November 15, 2019, a loss to Rayshaun Thomas by unanimous decision.
That match took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. Montoya says it’s been a challenge to train the way he would like to ever since.
“There was a certain time where all the places in Lincoln were closed and that just kind of kept me training at home but it was still difficult for me to get the same amount of sparring and training that I would get if I was at Southside [Boxing Gym].”
In the meantime, he’s been training at home as often as possible with a few of his sparring partners from his gym, working a construction job, and spending time with his fiancee, Danielle, and his daughter, Laya. Montoya says that his family is his biggest motivation for pursuing a career as a professional boxer.
“I look up to my daughter,” Montoya said. “When I see my daughter, I want to make her happy. I want her to know that she’s got a dad that is actually doing something good so she could look up to it. Because of them, this is what I’m doing.”
Sparring partners who have trained with Montoya describe him as a dedicated and compassionate person.
“Ginno, he’s dedicated,” says Logan Pollard, a local MMA fighter who Montoya trains with regularly. “He’s a hard worker, puts in a lot of effort. Caring. Takes care of his family.”
Tyler White, another one of Montoya’s sparring partners, says that when he watches Montoya fight, it feels like he is in the ring with him.
“I’m just really excited for him every time he progresses,” White said. “Every match, it’s a great experience. It’s just amazing.”
His uncle and grandmother made the decision for Montoya to move to Lincoln from Santa Ana, California when he was ten years old. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that Lincoln is his home and he wants to make the city proud.
“They support me,” Montoya said. “There’s a reason I want to do it for my city. Because the support that we have in this city is so big. Other places out there want to see you not succeed, and that’s one thing about Lincoln, Nebraska.”
Montoya’s boxing match against Camacho will be broadcast online this Saturday at 8 PM. While his first career win would be a huge accomplishment, Montoya has greater ambitions.
“If I could become the first world champion of Lincoln, Nebraska, I would be proud to be the first person,” Montoya said.