By Gino Garcia
Every world champion was once a determined amateur. It is within the hearts of communities worldwide where these legends evolve from local gyms. On August 31, 2013, we found the very heart and soul of boxing life at Peraza Boxing & Mixed Martial arts gym.
Peraza gym is located in the heart of Glendale, Arizona. Peraza serves a community of over 250,000 residents, bringing hope to all members of the community. On this night the Glendale community responded back in force with hundreds of youth and family joining together to support Cesar Peraza and his efforts.
The fundraising event exemplified the highest standard of community service. Local sponsors such as Coors Light, and Ole energy drinks were on site to join in the festivities. 25% of all proceeds obtained from this fundraiser were said to have been redistributed back into the community for other projects.
The event consisted of amateur boxing and mixed martial arts exhibition bouts. Peraza also provided food, live music entertainment, and raffle giveaways. The true highlight of the night was the one-on-one interaction with the youth who dedicate their lives to the great sport of boxing.
Daniel Vallejos—a local youth amateur boxer—told Round By Round Boxing, “Everything in my life is great, I just do what coach Cesar asks of me. I couldn’t think of a better place that I would rather be.”
We also spoke with Luis Martin Montes who is a member of the gym. Montes expressed his gratitude by saying, “With Peraza, I have seen the biggest changes in my life.”
In speaking with several other youth, we heard nothing short of excellence in what they feel they receive from this gym—such as team, life, hard work, loyalty, dedication, pride, and hope.
Local gyms such as Peraza define the roots of boxing. It is within these walls where so many people of all backgrounds discover a dream and where they establish their vision.
Day in and day out people face their biggest challenge, pushing their ability to the limits, and fine tuning their skills.
Despite his hectic schedule while tending to his community, Coach Cesar Peraza took a moment to speak with Round By Round Boxing about his gym and about this event.
It’s all family out here; we want to focus on building self-esteem. We succeed by strength conditioning–all of our athletes need it. Everything in boxing starts from gyms like this. People come in for one purpose, to feel good about themselves. I want to make a positive impact in people’s lives, give them a chance at things I never had. I’m passionate about what I teach, it’s not watered down. You’re going to get the real deal in this gym.
Like so many other gyms, Peraza expressed that his biggest challenges are financial ones. Finding a way to fund local boxing gyms can certainly be a challenge.
It just shows the humble heart of Coach Peraza and so many other coaches, worldwide just like him. They give to the community and in return—by helping people—they get back.
It would be fair to say that anyone who has ever boxed will always remember their roots. They will always hold high the foundation of their success; the seed which was planted at their local gyms.
We would like to commend the Peraza Gym for all of their efforts. Within their walls they provide a door where hope is found; a place where dreams evolve into reality.
Check out the photo gallery from the Peraza Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Gym fundraiser.
Click or swipe the large photo to view the next image.
Photos by Jose Paez
Peraza Gym is located at 6830 N 55th Avenue, Glendale, AZ. For more information call 623-476-9004.