A Guadalupe County Sheriff’s deputy is making his debut in the professional boxing ring this weekend.
Jeffery Stern is set to face his first professional opponent during the Alamo City Fight Night presented by Davies Entertainment at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Alamodome.
“I’ve been working on this since my last amateur fight about three years ago,” he said. “It’s going to be a great night of boxing.”
Growing up, Stern said he was interested in combat sports and martial arts. He would even box around with friends, occasionally landing a good punch.
It wasn’t until he signed up for the Guns ’N Hoses charity boxing event that Stern got his first real taste of boxing. He trained for about six months before stepping into the ring. After, he was hooked.
“I got to meet a bunch of different people. That is how I met my current coach,” he said. “After my tournament, I hung around the gym, still training. I always had a desire, a bucket list, that I wanted to have a pro fight.”
After that first match, Stern continued to train but later set his mind to step into a pro ring after getting a nudge from a family member.
“I was kind of reluctant; then I listened to a Ted Talk that my aunt made me listen to, and it talked about vulnerability and how it goes hand in hand with courage and how you have to be willing to fail if you want to succeed,” he said. “But the main point was, if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know.”
Stern trained and worked out with fellow boxer Daniel “The Beast” Baiz, who is from the Southside of San Antonio.
Baiz said he participated in various sports growing up but became curious about boxing after watching a match on television.
“I was real active and always had to get my hands into something,” he said. “Once I saw boxing on TV, and I said, ‘I want to do that.’ Once I turned 18, I joined a boxing gym. As soon as I tried it, I got hooked. I’ve been through the ropes, and this helped lift me up.”
At first, it started as just working out and sparring, until someone suggested he set his sights a little higher.
“I would spar, and people would tell me I need to compete in tournaments,” he said. “Then they started telling me I need to turn pro. I eventually did, and this is where I’m at now.”
While working out at a gym, Baiz was approached by Davies Entertainment to join their team, he said.
“Clyde (Newton, manager) has taken really good care of me and keeping me on track,” he said. “I’m in a good position, and everyone around me is real positive.”
Not long after, Cameron Davies, founder of Davies Entertainment, saw Stern working out in the same gym as Baiz and approached him.
“Daniel got signed with Davies, and I just happened to be hanging around with him one day,” Stern said. “Me and my boxing coach were at the new gym … and my coach is holding the pads, and I’m just going to town, hitting the bag, and Cameron walked by and had this look like this guy hits kind of hard. It went from there.”
Now, the deputy is set to make his professional boxing debut thanks to the “golden opportunity” provided by Davies, Stern said.
“I’ve just been training ever since. I couldn’t be happier,” Stern said. “Just the support I’ve gotten from my family, my team. I’m ready. I get to train with my team, and they are the best guys around here.”
Stern is fighting in the catchweight class of 165 and is set to face Austin-based fighter Steven Orlando, he said.
Newton said both Stern and Baiz are part of a team that is working toward building the sport in San Antonio.
“We’re just trying to get awareness to it and to the fighters,” he said. “These are just regular guys; they’re from Texas. These are all really good guys. Jeffery is a sworn officer. Daniel Vias, being from the Southside, has a nice pro record. He’s going places. They all work hard and have a great energy. We’re just trying to build that fan base. San Antonio and Texas itself has enough fans to support these guys.”
Tickets for the event are available at alamocityfightnight.com .
“It’s going to be great,” Stern said. “The fact that I get my pro debut at the Alamodome with all of these great fighters, these guys who have had great careers, and I get to be alongside them, is incredible.”