By: Jorge Villalobos
EL CENTRO – It’s rare when a local club be it Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts or even Grappling travels out of state to compete but that’s just what Sparta Boxing did earlier this month. The El Centro based boxing club endured a 23 hour trip to Kansas City MO to compete in the 12th Annual Ringside World Championships which was held at the KCI Expo Center.
Sparta boxing took a total of nine kids (six girls and three boys) to compete in the event. But before they could step into that ring, they had to endure what most children won’t ever have to, a 23 three hour travel by road. “It was long, like, it was really long. We got to see different states and all that thing,” smiled Samantha Enriquez who took this time to bond with her teammates during the trip.
Once things got underway and Sparta Boxing made their way safely to Kansas, it was time to fight. “I was really nervous at first, but then as soon as I got into the ring I got over it and I didn’t pay attention to anything except my opponent,” shyly states Destiny Navarro who won her bout. “My opponent was big, she was tough. I was very, very nervous before the fight and even thru ought the fight,” states Clarissa Hernandez who lost her match by points. “It was complicated because he fought way different,” recalls George Munoz who lost his match but knows he needs to train harder.
Despite win or loss, the major consensus of the team is that they want to train hard and return next year and with the support of local sponsors in the Valley, they may just get a chance to do that.
”We raised close to $10,000 dollars,” explained Fernando Lara, Boxing Director for Sparta Boxing. “Some of the kids did most of their work, one of the things I like to teach here is the value of a dollar.” Lara exemplified to his boxers that you have to work hard to get something you really want, in this case competing in The Ringside World Tourney. “Each kid was taught to raise $600 dollars on their own and that being by fundraising.”
Between the kids raising their own money, the gym also helping to raise funds Lara states that one third of the proceeds came from local sponsors whom he is really thankful for. Along with thanking the sponsors Lara also extends his thanks to his coaching staff. “I’d like to thank George Munoz, Ignacio Sanchez, Juan Lopez and Diana Samora and Brenda Velasquez for going with us.”
Sparta Boxing is currently getting ready to compete in San Francisco later this month.