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Chicago Youth Boxing Club Brings Forth the Competition

Chicago boxer, Felix Gonzalez, age 11, advances to the 2013 National Silver Gloves Tournament

CHICAGO, January 18th, 2013— The nation’s premier junior boxing event, held this year in Independence, MO from 1/30-2/2, will witness the strength and discipline of Chicago Youth Boxing Club’s very own, Felix Gonzalez (age 11). For the chance at a national title, boxers fight their way to the top, competing in local then regional tournaments. This year’s 20th annual National Silver Gloves Championship, held every February for over 100 boys and girls, ages 10-15, will showcase one of Chicago’s most dedicated youth athletes.

Felix, a member at Chicago Youth Boxing Club (CYBC), has been training for almost 3 years and hopes to be crowned a national champion for his weight division. CYBC’s Head Coach Gabriel Navarro, a former professional boxer born and raised in Little Village, describes Felix as one of the most dedicated athletes in the gym and the City. “Even though he’s a kid, he acts like a professional. He’s a real good listener; he listens to everything his father coaches him on,” says Navarro.

Felix’s father, Mr. Gonzalez, an amateur boxer since he was a little boy in Puerto Rico, believes that boxing has been an opportunity for him to get closer with his sons, and goes on further to say that he believes Felix is one of the best boxers in the state. “He’s got a big chance at National Silver Gloves this year, it’ll be a great challenge, but I think he can be CYBC’s first National Champion.”

Felix, a 6th grader, has won the Junior Olympics twice, and spends many evenings studying the techniques of other boxers, watching videos and learning from them. Although becoming a future Olympian in boxing is one of his biggest goals, Felix shared that he would like to be Pediatrician when he’s older. His father completely supports his decision, sharing that he often tells his boys, “Boxing isn’t forever; you have to go to school. Boxing is temporary. Athletes who get hurt and don’t have an education, they can’t have a career. Prepare for your futures.”

Every Tuesday, Chicago Youth Boxing Club hosts a “Wrap Session,” where every coach and boxer gets into the ring to discuss goals, accomplishments, standards and expectations, and ways to be your personal best. It was during CYBC’s last Wrap Session, while discussing one of the gym’s core values, leadership, that Felix shared with the gym that he wanted, “to be a doctor for kids.” Felix recognizes that all things are possible for him, so long as he is dedicated and disciplined to achieve them.

Chicago Youth Boxing Club, a nonprofit organization centered on sports-based youth development and located in Little Village, provides an environment where the natural talents and abilities of youth participants, such as Felix, can be harbored and expanded upon. CYBC members prove that Little Village isn’t only a neighborhood with the discord of gang violence and drug activity, but a neighborhood where dedicated and disciplined youth can thrive athletically and educationally.

Boxer, Felix Gonzalez, age 11

“Any kid from 26th St. who works hard can be big. [CYBC], they motivate kids to do something bigger and better with their lives,” says Mr. Gonzalez, who doesn’t mind traveling about 45 minutes every day to the gym from the far south-side. “I like the atmosphere here, I’ve known the coaches for so long, and I trust them”

Chicago Youth Boxing Club challenges its athletes to perform above levels of mere mediocrity because each and every one of them is capable of personal greatness, through dedication and discipline. Our youth know what it takes to bring forth the competition, now the gym challenges you, the reader, to stand up and choose greatness for yourself by committing to a healthier lifestyle.

Membership dues for students 8-21 years old (with the submission of most current report card) are 15$ a month. Membership dues for athletes 22 and older are 30$ a month. CYBC’s boxing and wrestling programs operate Monday through Fridays, from 3pm to 9pm, for youth 8 years old and up.

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