David showed me the power of perseverance
David “Kido” Rodriguez Jr , was the eldest brother of four. He discovered his passion for boxing at the age of 4 years old. He started training at the age of 8 by his father, David Rodriguez Sr, out of the PAL Boxing Gym. He was destined for greatness at such a young age and showed commitment and dedication during his adolescence.
Not only was he a dedicated athlete, he was a devoted academic. He graduated midterm from Pomona High School class of 1980 and was accepted to attend Cal Poly Pomona. Some of his many achievements during his amateur boxing career were winning: The Golden Gloves four years in a row (1972-75), the 1977 National Championship with a Gold Medal at the age of 14, Empire State Championship 1979, and Pacific Coast Championship 1979 in the Light Flyweight Division were highlights. Not only did he represent the City of Pomona, he was invited to represent the United States of America to participate in the 1980 Olympics as a member of the boxing team. His dedication and commitment to his pugilistic craft was extraordinary and had over 200 amateur fights under his belt.
On March 14, 1980, he and 13 other boxers and 8 officials from the USA boxing team along with 66 others tragically lost their lives in a plane crash en route to Warsaw, Poland. They were traveling to compete in two international amateur boxing events. He was at the peak of his career and unfortunately, we were never able to see what a great champion he would have become.
Although his life was cut short, his life story is an inspiration to his family and others still till this day. His hard work and dedication to inspire young athletes were his legacy. Pomona High School presents a gifted athletic award in his honor annually. We will always love him and be proud of him, and he will always be “Pomona’s Champion.”
In Memory of David “Kido” Rodriguez
August 6, 1962- March 14, 1980
“Down but not out, Lost but not forgotten”