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Johnson City boxer overcomes the odds

Trey Williams • Feb 13, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Jose Burgos beat long odds to win three straight national silver gloves titles.

Indeed, he had to overcome San Francisco’s 6-foot-4 Suray Mahmutou to complete the threepeat on Feb. 4 in St. Joseph, Mo.

“By far, he’s the tallest guy I’ve ever fought,” said the 5-foot-6, 147-pound Burgos, who won titles the previous two years at 110 and 132 pounds. “I had to take a few jabs. He was pretty good.”

Mahmutou won the first round. Burgos (36-3) started working the body more, which was essentially his only choice at times due to the height disadvantage. Eventually, the body shots cut Mahmutou down to size.

“He (Mahmutou) was a monster,” Johnson City Athletic Club coach Roger Hensley said. “So we knew from the get-go that Jose was gonna have to get inside. The guy won the first round because the guy was so long and it was a feeling-out process for Jose.

“But the second and third round, Jose was just busting on the body. And once he started going to body, the kid left his head wide open.”

Said Burgos: “Then he came down to my height.”

Along with three Silver Gloves titles, Burgos, 14, has also won PAL and Ringside World national titles.

“Jose’s the only one besides Randy Bowman from this gym to ever win a national Silver Gloves,” Hensley said. “Well, Blayton Watson won one, but he was unopposed. Brad Austin made it to the finals. And Brads’ a guy who made it to the finals in the Olympic Trials in ‘96. He lost to Jeff Lacy in the finals.”

The JCAC’s Jordan Hensley, 11, also advanced to the national Silver Gloves, where he lost in the seminfinals.

“Jose and Jordan both got sick out there,” Hensley said. “I told Jordan ‘I’m just gonna cancel your fight,’ and Jordan kept telling me ‘No dad, I can fight.’ ? He looked pretty good the first round, but the second round he was pale as a ghost and came back talking about, ‘Dad, I’m sick.’”

Jordan has an impressive resume with championships in the Title tournament (twice), Upper East Tennessee Golden Gloves (twice), state and regional Silver Gloves, the state Junior Olympic and the Paul Murphy Invitational in Georgia.

“Jose and Jordan are the best that Tennessee’s got to offer,” Hensley said. “They’re the best that Region 6 has to offer. Jose’s the No. 1-ranked kid in the nation right now for his weight class. And like I told Jordan, ‘You made it to the nationals, where a lot of kids didn’t.’

“I’m really proud of both of them. There were probably 300 kids in the country out there, and we had two them from this gym.”

Johnson City Athletic Club head coach Scott Vance said Blountville’s Andy Murray is believed to be the only other area fighter to win three straight national Silver Gloves. He said Murray did it in the mid-1980s in Peoria, Ill., at 70, 85 and 125 pounds.

Burgos and Hensley are scheduled to box March 3. “It’s like pulling teeth trying to get Jose a fight,” Hensley said. “I understand why. He’s tough as nails.”

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