KINGSVILLE, Texas — The people of Kingsville enjoyed a sunny Sunday by attending the 8th annual Lil Oscar Day. It was created by renowned boxer Oscar Cantu
One of the constant things about this event is its always free to the community. And that's important to Cantu.
“Lil Oscar Day is about giving back to the next generation, the next champions out there," said Cantu. "Encourage them in whatever they want to do, so.”
Cantu said he had so much support from his hometown of Kingsville during his boxing career.
He won several championships and fought in Olympic trials. But, Cantu had to prematurely retire due to a medical diagnoses. He retired before reaching his dream of being a world champion, but the World Boxing Council recognized his talent and awarded him an honorary world title belt.
“I'm still going to give back to the community," Cantu said. "Still giving back to the kids who see me as a role model. I want to be the best role model to them. And let them know, hey once you achieve something, go out there and just give back. Give back to those who have helped you out.”
Lil Oscar Day was started at the beginning of his career as a way to give back to those who showed so much support.
Cantu’s father Jaime, has been his boxing coach since he was 8 years old. He said Oscar has had a tremendous impact on Kingsville.
“In the ring and out of the ring," Jaime said. "Him and his wife, they’ll come out and tutor. He does a Christian bible class every other Tuesday. And then with some of our boxers, be it from brand new 8 year old, never boxed. Oscar will stop and show him how to stand and how to keep his hands up. To our elite fighters who are now pro and Oscar's like watch these things, pay attention here."
Oscar has also started helping out at Texas A&M University - Kingsville where he's been serving as the chaplain in the athletic department. a few Javelina athletes volunteered their time at Lil Oscar Day.
To celebrate the community, three boxing clubs came in for sparring sessions: Kingsville Boxing Club, Higher Power Boxing and Zapata Boxing Club. There was various food and drinks, games, a bounce house and face painting
Each year, the event is able to grow with more attention.
“It’s great for people to see that," Oscar said. "We have some community people out here who believe in what I'm doing and believe in my cause in helping out the next generation. And again, games free food, popcorn, snow cones and on a great day like this you can’t beat it.”
Lil Oscar Day is held in March every year to coincide with the anniversary of Cantu's first championship.