JJ Mariano

Professional Boxer  |  Reno, NV

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About JJ

I was born May 12, 1994 as a first-generation Filipino immigrant descendant in Reno, NV. My parents worked hard so that my siblings and I might have a comfortable life, live in a safe neighborhood, have a quality education, and someday go to college; the American dream. They provided all of that and more, when I got accepted into the University of Nevada, Reno I discovered what I was born to do. People often go to college to get a degree in a subject that they’re passionate about, a subject that piques their interest. Then, after 4 years, they go off and find a career in that field in which they studied. Well, I studied two different subjects at the University of Nevada, Reno, have no degree, but I gained a life-long passion and love for boxing and am looking to advance my professional boxing career to new levels.

In 2012 I started my freshman year of college and my first year of collegiate boxing. I was introduced to Coach Dan Holmes, a previous UNR collegiate champion. He invited me down to the gym the summer before the fall semester of 2012 and I immediately became infatuated with the sport. Later on I was introduced to my current head trainer, Pat Jefferson, and teammate, Jarred Santos (who would later on become my mitt coach) and the next thing I knew four years of college boxing blew by. I received a bronze medal in the 2013 NCBA National Championship as a freshman, in 2014 I received a silver medal, in 2015 I won the gold medal at 139-lbs, and in 2016 I won the gold medal at 147-lbs.

After my eligibility for college boxing came to an end, I set my sight on elite open amateur boxing and on the Golden Glove Tournament. In 2017-2018 I won the state and regional Golden Glove Tournament. In March of 2019 I decided to compete in the Western Elite Qualifier for a spot in the Olympic Trials. I made it to the semi-finals and lost to #3 in the U.S. At the end of the tournament my national ranking was #7 in the United States.

Shortly after the Olympic qualifying tournament I decided to get my professional boxing license and had my professional debut June 8, 2019 in Reno, NV (Aired on ESPN+). I won via TKO in the fourth round. On October 26, 2019 I won my second professional bout via unanimous decision also in my hometown of Reno, NV. For my third professional bout, TopRank flew me down to Las Vegas, NV and I won via TKO 1:27 into the first round.

I’m looking to build a career about something I’m passionate about. There is no easy way to climb the ranks, and I have not chosen the easiest of routes to get to the top, but I have the grit, the passion, and the mentality to attain what I want. I am looking to pave the way to becoming an icon in the sport and to become a world champion.

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