Life, Loss and Destiny of Boxing
August 22, 2017
Anthony Saldana (19 articles)
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Life, Loss and Destiny of Boxing

By Anthony “Stack” Saldaña

Recently Supreme Boxing sat down and interviewed local fighter Roger “El Puas” Gutierrez. During our conversation, Gutierrez spoke about his life, his family and boxing.

As a child Roger Gutierrez never thought he’d be a professional boxer. Gutierrez who is the youngest of five children was born in Los Angeles, but when he was a year old, his mother moved his family to Mexico. Gutierrez spent the first six years of his life there and loved playing soccer. Then at six years old his family moved back to Los Angeles. Gutierrez continued playing soccer, until one day seeing a flyer for a boxing club. “I was 14 and I was at the park, I seen a flyer for the Pacoima Boxing Club, so I decided to check it out” said Gutierrez. That day Gutierrez would leave the soccer field for the boxing ring. Gutierrez began training and soon became an amateur fighter. As an amateur boxer Gutierrez would go on to fight nine fights before his short career would come to an abrupt halt. “I had a real bad shoulder injury, I was 16 and I had a dislocated shoulder. The doctor told me and my mom that I could never fight again,” stated Gutierrez.

Although Gutierrez was extremely disappointed about not being able to box again, he focused on school. Gutierrez went on to graduate from San Fernando High and enrolled at LA Valley College. “I was majoring in psychology. I wanted to help kids that had been mentally and emotionally abused” stated Gutierrez. At 22 and one semester away from his degree, life for Gutierrez and his family took a turn for the worse. “My family had a really bad tragedy, my mom got cancer and passed away. I couldn’t focus on school, I was worried about my family” said Gutierrez. “I failed that last semester of school. I had plans to transfer and to get my bachelor’s degree, but I decided to take a break.” Roger’s mom Maria Chavez was 52 when she passed away and her sudden death not only took an emotional toll on the family but also left the family with the cost of a funeral. With the burden of a burial at hand, Gutierrez turned back his old coach for help. “I remember the boxing clubs would help people with funerals and stuff, so I went back to ask my old trainer Ismael Coronel for help.” Said Gutierrez. Coronel didn’t hesitate to help the Gutierrez family, besides the funeral expenses, Coronel was there help Gutierrez with guidance in his life. Gutierrez began spending more and more time at the gym, and decided to again take up boxing as a hobby. Boxing was a way to keep his mind distracted, and after several months of being back in the Gym, coach Coronel and Gutierrez made the decision for Gutierrez to box full time and turn professional.

Despite his shoulder injury, a six year layoff and the sudden loss of his mother, Gutierrez had turned professional. “If it wasn’t for boxing, my coach and the team at Coronel Boxing Club, I don’t know where my life would be right now,” said Gutierrez. “I knew turning professional after nine amateur fights wasn’t going to be easy, but life isn’t easy, and boxing isn’t easy. I got to have confidence in myself, believe in myself and never doubt myself. I mean if you’re going to doubt yourself you shouldn’t even get in the ring.”

Gutierrez (5-1-1, 4 KO’s) will be back in the ring on Saturday September 2, 2017 at the Westin Bonaventure as All-Star Promotions presents “Battle of the Rising Stars.” Doors open at 6:00 PM and Fights Start at 7:00 for tickets and info call (818) 387-5056

 

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Anthony Saldana