The boxing ring is leading to the Olympic Rings for Santa Maria High School’s Carlos Balderas.

The senior has earned the honor to compete for a chance to represent the United States at the 2016 Olympics. Balderas recently clinched the opportunity at the WSB and World Championships Team Trial in Chattanooga, Tenn., by defeating a National Golden Gloves Champion in the lightweight final round bout.

“This is something I have been working for since I was seven,’’ Balderas said. “I am excited to represent the United States.’’

The 17-year-old has been one of a dozen members of the Youth National Boxing Team since January. The team fights internationally and trains at the official Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

Balderas, 5 foot 8, has a record of 127 wins and about nine losses.

With the help of his father, Zenon, uncle Emilano and coach David, he’s practicing and training daily at the family’s home gym.

When he is not boxing, he enjoys “school and family”.

Assistant Principal of Student Affairs Pete Flores, staff and students know Balderas will make America shine.

“We are extremely proud to have someone like Carlos representing SMHS at the National level of the U.S. Olympic Boxing,’’ Flores said. “His character and determination like his boxing skills and his record, are unshakable.’’

SMJUHSD Media Contact: Public Information Officer Kenny Klein

805 709-1454 or kklein@smjuhsd.org

SMJUHSD Contact: Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson

805 922-4573 ext. 4202 or mrichardson@smjuhsd.org