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Student boxers train for matches and EPGG

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05

box

Aaron Montes / The Prospector

Junior philosophy major Alex Balandran sparring at the Carolina Recreational Center, Feb. 11.

   It’s a Wednesday morning at the Student Recreation Center and graduate student, Amanda Ramirez, and senior philosophy major, Alex Balandran are hitting the heavy bags, focused on their next match.

Ramirez and Balandran participate in the competitive sport of boxing.

For Ramirez, the drive to compete in boxing began at Texas A&M where she completed her undergraduate studies.

“I just started off exercising, doing a cardio kick-boxing class when I was going to Texas A&M and someone just asked me if I was interested in fighting and it took off from there,” Ramirez said.

For Balandran, boxing became an integral part of his life at an early age. He said applying the fundamentals of boxing into his life had a profound effect.

“Of all the physical sports, boxing was always the one that was the most interesting to me,” Balandran said. “Also because it is applicable to the real world. But I always knew if anything ever happened, like any kind of physical altercation, I always know to throw the double jab.”

The training aspects for fighters like Ramirez and Balandran can vary in time and form. From doing one-hour boxing sessions a day, to street work or lifting weights, each gives up their free time to prepare themselves for matches. Along the way, Ramirez and Balandran’s trainer, Herman Delgado, has helped guide each of them in their training exercises and success in the ring. Delgado, who has 35 years of experience as a trainer and boxer, knows what the expectations of his trainees are.

“The responsibility lays on them,” Delgado said. “And when we go to the gym they’re the ones that are going to feel whether they worked out hard enough or whether they didn’t run enough.”

Ramirez and Balandran are gearing up for the upcoming EL Paso Golden Gloves tournament at the El Paso County Coliseum that will be held from Feb. 15-17. Ramirez has made an appearance in the tournament before. This time she feels she will be better prepared.

“Be more aggressive, definitely,” Ramirez said. “I’ve worked on that and I’ve worked on a lot of leg work, leg movement and moving around a lot, lot of bobbing and weaving and counter punching.”

This will be Balandran’s first time competing in the EPGG tournament.

“I feel pretty confident in my training,” Balandran said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that will make you walk in there confident, is how hard you train.”

Balandran is also enthusiastic about the prospect of continuing to compete after finishing up his studies at UTEP.

“It’s something I really enjoy,” Balandran said. “It’s something that I wouldn’t mind committing my life to.” Watching his fighters compete brings up memories for Delgado, who has had plenty of experience as a boxer. He competed in the same tournament in 1979.

“When I meet these young fighters that want to come and fight, I don’t ever ask them about the Golden Gloves,” Delgado said. “I just take them through the first step and see how they do in training. Once they get into training and I see potential, then I’ll mention the Golden Gloves.”

Paul Reynoso may be reached at prospector@utep.edu.

 

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