Pete Guerrero, student at Del Mar, works through his regular workout routine at the Neighborhood Boxing Center on Gollihar road. Photos by Sam Parris

Candus Garcia/Staff Writer

Violently one hand after another came in contact with the long black bag hanging from the ceiling. Covered in sweat from his workout, Del Mar College student Pete Guerrero, 21, said he trains for boxing every day with this equipment.

 . .    Boxing is a full-contact sport that Guerrero said he has been doing for over seven years. Boxing is an American sport that has been around since 4000 BC. Boxing began as a combat between the Greek and Roman empires and in 1888 evolved into one of the most popular sports in history.

Guerrero trains at the local Neighborhood Boxing Center located off of Kostoryz and Gollihar. He normally trains four to five days a week, but has increased his routine since planning to participate in the 69annual Golden Gloves boxing tournament on February 23.

Golden Gloves is a local tournament where amateur boxers get the chance to showcase their skills for the community. This year the Kiwanis Club of Corpus Christi will host the tournament. This is the club’s fifteenth year hosting the event. Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Alice and other surrounding areas will be given the opportunity to participate.

“We are doing this for the youth of our community, we want to help,” said Robert Gonzalez, leader of the Golden Gloves. On the Golden Gloves Facebook page, Maria Martinez, a member of the Kiwanis Club said, “These competitors are dying for the opportunity to advance to the state Championships and an opportunity at Olympic tryouts.”

Guerrero has been in a part of this tournament since he began his boxing career. “I am focused and determined to succeed at whatever comes towards me,” said Guerrero. “I am hoping to weigh in at 160 pounds giving me a higher chance of finding a match at weigh-ins.” With over 30 fights and about 6 loses, Guerrero said he is hoping to add his next battles to his winning record.

Guerrero said that while he is passionate about boxing he also must balance in school to his schedule as well. Guerrero said that he is hoping to get into Del Mar’s Respiratory Therapy program. The 21-month program offers a 67 credit hour Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy.

“With God willing I should be getting in by next semester,” said Guerrero.

According to the Del Mar College website, Respiratory Therapy is a health science that specializes in diagnosing and treating individuals with breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists provide therapeutic and diagnostic services for pediatric and adult clients within hospitals and in home care settings.

To get into the program, Guerrero has to complete his current coursework first. This semester Guerrero said he is taking chemistry, philosophy and speech. There is much study time involved in these classes, but said the load does not bother him.

“Boxing influenced my major, because respiratory therapy has to do with the lungs and the heart and in boxing these organs are very important,” said Guerrero, continuing, “I use this new knowledge to my advantage in the ring.”

According to Guerrero, his family plays a big role in his life. They have supported him the whole way through. His mother doesn’t necessarily like the fact that he is a boxer but loves that he goes to school. Like every loving mother she is concerned for her child. By contrast, his father supports and encourages his boxing career.

 “My dad has been the biggest motivation in boxing. He’s there at every fight, I can’t see him or hear him through the crowd, but in my head I can hear him cheering me on saying to give it all I got, he is my role model,” said Guerrero. He says boxing is a sport that will live forever in him, adding that he plans to go pro in the future.

South Texas has a wide variety of boxing gyms like the Neighborhood Center, including Baltazar Boxing Club, Gonzalez Center, Joe Garza Center and others. There are many fighters that train to be on top and with this knowledge Guerrero plans to continue to pursue his dream.

“Well it’s a funny thing, it’s kind of ironic because I hate fighting but I love boxing,” said Guerrero. “Sometimes I wish boxing was easier but if it was it wouldn’t be boxing.”

“It’s more than just a rush like most fighters say, it’s that feeling of achievement when I step in and out of that ring, win or lose I give it my all and I can honestly say there is no better feeling.”

Guerrero is reminded of a famous saying by famous boxer, Muhammad Ali, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing,” said Ali.

Pete will be competing in Golden Gloves February 23 at the Al Almin Shrine in Downtown Corpus Christi.

           

           

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