Fri Jan 5th, 2018
The Southern Ute Drum
In 2016 Anthony and Maria Archuleta decided to take the leap of faith and follow their dreams of having a family owned boxing gym. They named their business The Ring of Champions (ROC). The gym sits in the heart of Ignacio and has been in operation since May 2016. It is the only boxing gym within La Plata County.
Archuleta has always had a love and passion for boxing. He boxed at a young age with George Manzanerez’s Boxing Gym, “If it wasn’t for George bringing boxing to Ignacio, I don’t think I would be doing this, I also had some great role models in my father, Elco Garcia and my older brother,” Archuleta said. “I opened the doors for the kids, I don’t do it for the money, because let’s face it, we aren’t going to get rich.” The main focus is to give the community an outlet and another option to get into shape. ROC is all about family and community, they wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for all the positive support they have received. There were times where he has housed boxers who had nowhere to go, he is passionate about helping people succeed not only in boxing, but in life as well. “When people think about Ignacio they think about all the bad things around here, I hope that we can slowly change that,” he said.
In boxing, winning and losing aren’t everything; every day you learn something. The sport builds confidence to motivate individuals to work hard in and out of the gym. Strict rules run the gym because the primary focus is the youth and bringing them into a positive environment to succeed in school, boxing and life. Archuleta’s biggest rule is to be respectful and no bullying in or out of the gym. The Archuletas’ are working with the school counselors and probations officers to give those with troubles an outlet that also teaches self-discipline. The program will include a six to eight week evaluation to develop a plan on why, when and how to not get in trouble. “It’s dangerous, they have to have the right mentality. We don’t want them to start fights, it’s a violent sport, but it can bring out a certain element in each individual. Everyone deserves a second chance, a person must be able to discipline themselves before you can be disciplined by someone else,” Archuleta said. “I take a stand against bullying, it is never ok.”
Prior to the boxing gym, the corner location was an auto body shop. “In 2009-10 I tried to get this building, but Dub beat me to the punch and there were no other places in town that would offer the boxing environment that they need to put in work. We needed space for a cardio room, weight room and boxing area,” Archuleta said. Construction of the building started in 2015, the time and patience it took to get the building in legal working order was a long process. In order to open the doors to the public, the building had to be remodeled to fit the needs of patrons. Previously it was two separate buildings, now the building and gym are one fully functional boxing facility. ROC has everything a boxer needs in order to be successful in the sport. The building is equipped with a boxing ring, heavy bags, speed bags, double ended bags, cardio equipment and a weight room. The gym offers boxing apparel as well as sporting goods for the community.
May 2016 the gym held tryouts and had 20 people attend, of the 20, eight are still with it. Now we have 18 members from ages ranging from 8 years old to their 30’s, althletes from Pagosa, Hesperus, Durango and a handful from Ignacio. “I wish more of the local families would take advantage of the gym. There is no favoritism here and there shouldn’t be in any sports. You do what you have to do or you don’t. Everyone who is a member gets one-on-one time from the coaches,” said Archuleta. “We have had coaches come in and out, but Ernie Trujillo has been my right-hand man and my better half. He is here for the kids and nothing more, I couldn’t have done all this without him.” ROC is currently looking for boxing coaches with a positive and supportive attitude.
When members start they cannot step foot in the ring or compete until they complete six to eight weeks of training to be disciplined, in shape and learn the fundamentals of boxing. You cannot learn how to box overnight, it takes years, and you must practice a minimum of three days a week. In order to turn pro you must have at least five to seven fights.
The gym has several payment options for the Amateur Boxing Training as well as Boxing Fitness and Self-Defense. The prices are very affordable and based on what you are willing to commit to. You are paying about a little over a dollar a day for a month to have access to a full boxing gym, weight room, cardio and one-on-one coaching. If you are interested in training to become an amateur boxer, the coaching staff teaches you all aspects of the sport, provides room and board for travel, one-on-one training, access to the gym and a USA Boxing Membership. ROC has a program where they offer six to eight kids free training if they cannot afford it. All they have to do is write a two page essay to prove that they want it. “We try to help out as much as we can, but bills do need to be paid unfortunately, if not we would let all the kids join for free,” Archuleta said.
The amateur boxing training is for athletes looking to train to travel and compete in fights and eventually go pro. Boxing Fitness and Self Defense is a 30-40 min boxing exercise that gives you a full body work out for people who need a good, quick fitness regime. It is a tough sport and in order to survive the whole fight you have to be in the best shape that you could possibly be. The doors are open for ages five and up and anyone interested in coaching (must pass background check). If you are interested call or stop by The Ring of Champions Boxing Gym and register you and/or your child for Amateur Boxing or Boxing Fitness and Self Defense. You must come with a positive and hardworking attitude from coaches to athletes, “It takes one bad player to ruin a team and one bad coach to ruin a player,” stressed Archuleta.