In this Corner

Meet some local students who have benefitted from the strength, discipline and focus they’ve learned from boxing.

Meet Team 1 (2019-2020)

Team 1: Adam, Andrew, Aaron, Julio, Alejandro

Adam, 9
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A boxer.”

What do you like about boxing?
“The whole sport.”

Andrew, 14
What are your favorite subjects in school?
“Coding, game design and algebra.”

What do you like about boxing?
“I like training and getting stronger. I also like staying fit.”

Aaron, 13
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A construction worker and then work in court as an attorney.”

What do you like about boxing?
“Hitting the heavy bag.”

Julio, 15
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Work in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.”

What do you hope to learn from Fight For Chicago?
“Better techniques, overall becoming a better boxer.”

Alejandro, 12
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be a chef because I like to cook and also I want to cook for myself over the years as I grow up.”

What do you like about boxing?
“I like to do sparring because when I spar I want to see what I need to improve on.”

Michelle, 18

Michelle has been training with Sam Colonna for three years. She grew up in a single-parent household in the South Side of Chicago and says she has gained strength and inspiration from her relationships with Sam and the other trainers and boxers at the gym.

Michelle says the gym provides a tight-knit community that supports young people who would otherwise be vulnerable to gang associations, violence or crime. “The way this generation is set up, there are so many kids that are out in the streets not reaching their goals. They’re growing up to be mad at the world. But with boxing, as soon as you come in, you’re part of a family. It’s the family you least expected.”

Michelle is in college studying criminal justice and wants to become a police officer. “Boxing has made me the person I am now,” she says. “It’s taught me to never give up on what you want to do in life.”

Jovanni, 14

“Boxing has kept me off the streets and kept me in school,” says Jovanni. His training at the gym has made him feel happy and energized, and connected him with friends and positive adult role models.

“Even when I’m in the ring, I feel safe,” he says. “They’re always there for me.” Jovanni plans to keep boxing, and in the future wants to join the Secret Service or serve as a member of a SWAT team.

Mohamad, 18

Mohamad says he has learned respect and discipline from his boxing training. “It makes you humble and makes you an all-around better person.” Many of his friends don’t have that same drive. “They focus more on the streets than they do on themselves. I try to stay away from that, stay away from distractions and bad influences.”

Mohamad, who is training for a professional boxing career, says he wants to serve as a role model for younger boxers coming up in the gym. “I want to show them that you can come up from nothing, and if you put in hard work, believe in yourself, and have right people around you, you can do anything you want.”

“Even when I’m in the ring, I feel safe.”
-Jovanni
“The gym itself won’t take away your problems, but it motivates you work hard in everything you do.”
-Michelle