CALEXICO ‑ The City of Calexico and Calexico youth have another reason to be exited, as a newly formed Calexico Boxing Academy has opened its doors, welcoming young fighters and athletes of all ages to train and hone their skills in preparation for official USA boxing amateur bouts, or any sport where they aspire to excel.
The Program is headed by former Mexican amateur standout and Calexico High graduate Bardo Gutierrez, who has two professional boxing victories, and has trained with some of Mexico’s best current professional fighters including Alfredo “Perro” Angulo, and Abner Mares, while in the amateurs prior to their professional careers.
“Never did I imagine I was training with future world champions. We were all dedicated and we knew we were there to do a job. That was our job – train, train and train some more,” said Gutierrez on being in the ring with future world champions.
Gutierrez began his boxing training under the tutelage of his father Ricardo Marin. After competing in amateur bouts throughout California, Battle of the Badges exhibitions, and even earning a Mexican National Championship, Gutierrez turned pro and won his two professional bouts before hanging up the gloves competitively. Since then he now has ten years of boxing coaching/training experience, including helping train at R and R Boxing in Calexico.
While the “focus” is on boxing, the overall goal is total fitness for kids of all ages, as boxing is a craft that mirrors nearly every sport.
“One of the kids we were training was a heavy set kid who was with us for a few months, never missing a day, never complaining. He stopped coming because he started playing football,” said Gutierrez. “Believe me we push them hard, get them ready for any sport.”
The Calexico Boxing Academy (CBA) program began in August of last year with help of Armando Real. With Calexico bordering the boxing-crazed country of Mexico, the CBA hopes to bring that spark across the border for the youth and communities of Calexico and the Imperial Valley.
“One of my goals us to get a bigger place so we can focus on more sports. I would like for the community, the city, everyone to get more involved with this program,” said Gutierrez of his hopes for the future of the CBA.
“This is not about politics, there are no hidden agendas, people need to understand that. We are doing if for the kids and their future, to help them become better athletes and hopefully improve their overall self esteem.”
With help from volunteer coaches such as Leo Ortiz and Nayra Martinez, Gutierrez and the CBA will host two boxing sessions a day. A kids’ class from 4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m., and an adult class (mainly high school and up) from 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
The Calexico Boxing Academy receives no monetary profits and all coaches and trainers volunteer their time to give back to the community of Calexico. All say they have been given much from past sport mentors, and these volunteers believe coaching boxing can be an effective tool at keeping youth out of trouble and positively goal oriented.