Group’s success keeping kids off the streets attracts sponsors from throughout region
■ Golden Era Productions / Contributed
There was not a dry eye in the place after Sonia Ramos, president and founder of Boxing for Christ told her story to the first Boxing for Christ awards banquet commemorating the programs sixth anniversary held at the Golden Era Golf Course last Saturday.
Sonia told guests how she pulled herself up through hardships and came to found Boxing for Christ in order to help the youth of the Hemet/San Jacinto communities to box in the ring and not on the streets.
This story was embellished by the director of her movie documentary, San Jacinto Mayor Crystal Ruiz. As they shared the details of everything Sonia went through to keep the program going, and to be able to reach not just to a handful of kids but to 500 youths this year, the tears kept flowing.
Boxing for Christ and all young boxers were acknowledged with certificates from State Sen. Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), who told a story about his carrying a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt in his wallet. His father had given him a copy of the quote to carry with him, and he had given a copy to his two sons to carry with them. He wondered if they would really take it to heart only to learn years later that his sons not only carried it with them but one quoted it back to him verbatim. Morrell handed out copies of the inspiring quote to everyone who wanted one to help them in their boxing careers and in their lives.
One of the highlights of the evening was boxing title holder Mikey Garcia who was the guest of honor and who had the advice to the up-and-coming Boxing for Christ boxers that no matter what, ”Keep the faith, keep going.” Mikey was voted number 6 in his weight category in The Ring Magazine. He went on to tell the young boxers and all the family and friends that is what you need to do and is what he did to get to where he is now. Garcia is a three-weight world champion, having held the WBC lightweight title since January 2017; previously he held the WBO and The Ring magazine featherweight titles in 2013, and the WBO junior lightweight title from 2013 to 2014.
Many of the young boxers in the Boxing for Christ program have boxed and have won championship belts from California to Nevada. Marta Doss was the first boxer from this program to go on to a pro boxing career, which may account for his nickname of “Mr. Unstoppable.”
All of the sponsors were acknowledged, from Golden Era Productions to Namerrs Signs Printing and T-shirts and many more, but when Sonia got to the titleholder sponsor, the Soboba Foundation, she said, “Soboba are our champions!”
After the awards, the treasurer of the Soboba Foundation said, “Boxing for Christ is one of the programs [we]… like to contribute to because they are really doing something for the kids.”
The evening ended with the tissues put away and the clear determination of Sonia who told everyone that she will never give up because her goal is to have a boxing academy right here in our Valley. She said, “I don’t know how long it will take me but I am going to do it.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring the Boxing for Christ program, or any young person interested in joining the program may call Sonia at 951-282-4945 or show up Monday through Friday at Sallee Park in San Jacinto and sign up.