EL CENTRO – Yells of victory and exhilaration permeated a fight for a good cause at a large “Lucha Libre” wrestling ring Friday evening at Joe’s Powerhouse in El Centro.
Lucha Libre, which translates to “free wrestling,” has become a well-watched sport in the local community. With high-flying kicks and masked wrestlers, Fridayâ€™s event promised an entertaining time.
Although the night was filled with excitement and fun, the Lucha Libre wrestling match also had a larger cause of raising funding to battle cancer. The literal feel of an actual “fight” was there, with wrestlers fighting in the wrestling ring, but standing on the sidelines was a family hoping and struggling for a cure for their son.
The wrestling event was organized to raise money for Gilbert Robles, a 14-year-old El Centro resident diagnosed last May with cancer.
Mayra Carboni, mother of Gilbert Robles, stood at a table fully stocked with shirts decorated with a “Fight Hard, Fight Cancer” logo. Carboni was selling the shirts for a $15.oo donation earmarked to finance her son’s health expenses.
“I am here today to help my son. We are just hoping for the best and trying to get all the help and support we can. He was diagnosed last May when the doctors at Rady’s Children Hospital found a tumor on his lower spine, and then they found a small one on his lungs.Â I just want Gilbert to be okay,” said Carboni.
Frank Valenzuela, the promoter for the event, spoke about why he put together the Lucha Libre match.
“I put this all together for Gilbert,â€ Valenzuela said. â€œHe is like family, and I wanted to do everything I could to help him and his family out. Fifty percent of the proceeds that are earned at this event will go to Gilbert and his family for expenses.”
For more information on the â€œFight Hard, Fight Cancerâ€ cause, go to Facebook under Fight Hard Fight Cancer or #TEAMJR3.