JJ Subia has been competing in amateur boxing tournaments since the summer of 2021

ATASCADERO — The California State Golden Gloves has a new champion, and he hails from Atascadero. On July 23 and 24 at McLane High School in Fresno, local boxer JJ Subia competed in the amateur boxing competition and beat out both the Northern and Southern California champions in the 125-pound weight class, becoming the California State Champion.

Golden Gloves tournaments are held all over the U.S. and are some of the most prestigious boxing events in the country. Many of the nation’s top professional boxers started off competing in and winning Golden Gloves before becoming pros.

“Everything that we’ve been doing and training super hard, seeing it all pay off to be able to compete at such a high level so soon is really humbling and just makes me think about the future and how if I just keep working hard and staying disciplined we really can achieve anything,” said Subia, who competed in his first tournament in the summer of 2021 after graduating from Atascadero High School.


On Saturday, July 23, Subia went up against the Northern California champion, Emilio Dimas, from Sacramento.

“The fight Saturday, it was a tough fight against Northern California champion. I was definitely a bit nervous for this one. I hadn’t competed since June 5. I knew the opponents were at a very high level, and this was my biggest fight yet,” said Subia. “The fighter, Emilio Dimas, who I fought on Saturday, he had a record of 7-1, and I knew he was a really good fighter, super tall, but I just put it all together Saturday and let my hands go really well and made it a tough fight for him. That fight went my way, and [it was] a really good experience. Didn’t get hit much. Felt good to fight again the next day.”

The next day, Sunday, July 24, Subia fought against the Southern California champion, Roger Villenuava, from Los Angeles. Villenuava trains at the famous Wildcard Boxing gym in North Hollywood and is coached by Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. Roach has produced numerous world champions in the boxing world. 

“I felt like the first fight Saturday was more of a warm-up for me and got me feeling good and loose and not as nervous when I stepped foot in the ring,” Subia said. “And then when we started to fight, I felt much stronger, faster, and just kept thinking to myself, I put in so much work these past months just for this moment, and I can’t leave any energy in my body after this, I need to leave it all out there.”

Subia came out on top during that match, giving credit to training at Knockout Boxing in Paso Robles and watching and studying his opponents on YouTube prior to his fights.

“I think I really need to build my own confidence now in the ring because [I know] I can hang with any of these guys and the best fighters in California,” he said. “I just need to trust myself and trust what my training has done for me, and it really will take me miles.”

Subia said he’s extremely grateful to the community and the local businesses that sponsor him, helping to pay for training and travel expenses. His sponsors are: Kenneth’s Heating & Air, Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge, Rob Davis Construction, Kennedy Club Fitness, and Jenni Cisco Realty.

Subia also added that his goals for the future are to get nationally ranked in the next year or two, and and competing in the Olympic qualifiers that start in January of 2023.