OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – South Omaha boxer Johnny Montalvo made it to the finals of this year’s Golden Gloves of America National Tournament.

Montalvo fought five matches over the six-day event in Philadelphia, with the championships on Saturday. The tournament brought out some of the best boxers in America, all eyeing a spot on the USA Olympic Boxing Team.

Montalvo made it to the finals but fell short in the Olympic qualifying event, bringing home a silver. He joins Terence “Bud” Crawford as the latest male Nebraskan to make it to the finals of a Golden Gloves National Tournament, which was in 2006, according to Omaha franchise delegate Steve Pelster. Crawford also took silver.

“I mean, to be on a list that Terence Crawford was the last person to do it…That’s one of the best to ever box, ever. I mean to be on a list with him, that’s a great accomplishment,” said Montalvo.

Still, he said he was disappointed to have lost the final match.

”Every dog has their day,” said Johnny Montalvo. “I feel like I gave him a really tough fight…I thought I had a really good first two rounds. Third round he definitely dominated. But it’s all a good experience, and I hope to see him in the future.”

Montalvo spars at Bud’s gym and trains at Victory Boxing Club.

Eleven years ago, it was either football or boxing for young Johnny. And since he hated football, boxing it was.

“It became, ‘Aye that’s Johnny. He’s the boxer. That’s Johnny, the boxer,’” said Montalvo. “And I embraced it, and I really enjoyed and came to love the sport.”

“You couldn’t ask for a better student than him,” said John Glatgakos, Montalvo’s coach since he was 10 years old. “He comes in. He goes right to work. Doesn’t mess around. You can’t ask for more than that.”

“He’s always one to accomplish a task that he sets up for himself,” said Montalvo’s father, George Montalvo.

Now his eyes are set on a professional career. The 21-year-old works and helps support his family too, all while staying grounded in his Omaha roots.

“I wouldn’t be here today without the people of South Omaha,” he said.