Forgoing the start of his professional career, 18-year-old amateur standout Tito Mercado of Pomona, CA has elected to seek the Gold Medal at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, it was announced today.
“I’m just turning 19 this week so I’ve decided to represent Nicaragua next summer in Toyko at the Olympic Games with the absolute goal of winning the Gold Medal and then turning professional after that,” said the highly touted Mercado who was rumored to be entering the paid ranks this past summer.
“My Dad and I sorted through the different opportunities to turn professional and we decided to fight in the 2021 Olympics first. He was born in Nicaragua so it makes the most sense especially with how cloudy things had gotten with Team USA,” said Mercado, who will compete in the 138lb./63 kg division.
“It’s a great opportunity for me, I’ll stay busy training, sparring and learning over the next few months.” Among the sparring partners Mercado has worked with include Nicaraguan Boxing Legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Azat Hovhannisyan, Ruben Villa and Adam Lopez. Tito has also spent a wealth of time sparring and training at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Boxing Gym.
Mercado is trained by his father, Ernesto Mercado at the G2G Boxing Gym in Pomona, CA. “This is the best plan for Tito, he’s a very smart young man who is getting better every day training. The timing wasn’t right for him to turn professional this summer but we look forward to him fighting in the Olympics in 2021 with an eye towards turning professional after winning the Gold Medal.”
Among the honors Mercado has received as an amateur include; First Places Finishes in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 National Golden Gloves, First Place in the 2018 Youth National Championships, First Place in the 2018 Youth Open Championships, First Place in the 2018 Eastern Regional Open, First Place in the 2016 Junior Open Championships and First Place at the 2019 Team USA Last Chance Qualifier.
Tito also earned the Gold Medal at the 2019 Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament. With over 20 National Championship First Place Finishes, Tito is one of the most decorated amateur fighters this century.