Whether you’re looking to have some fun, get in a good workout or train for a competition, boxing is a great outlet to get in shape and stay active, according to champion fighter Tony Hirsch.
After 10 years of boxing and having beaten the previously undefeated Australian boxer Wes Capper, he knows what he’s talking about.
As a young football player at McClymonds High School, Hirsch used sports as an outlet to take his mind off the different challenges and distractions he faced.
After high school, he coupled his love for sports with the desire to stay active and has become a boxing champ who has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, including Demetrius Andrade and Dmitry Chudinov.
In March, Hirsch, 31, won the title of WBC/USNBC Middleweight Champion against Capper. And, he hopes to show his fighter’s spirit in the ring again June 20 at the Oracle Arena.
Hirsch is also regular sparring partners with fellow Oakland boxing champ Andre Ward.
Raised in West Oakland, he says boxing for the past 10 years has changed him for the better and has been an exciting journey. “I learned there’s more to life than being outside and in the streets,” said Hirsch, who has a record of 18 wins (7 KO’s), 6 losses with 2 draws.
“(Boxing) has made me mature more as a person. It takes my mind off of everything,” Hirsch added. “I can’t really explain it. Getting up everyday boxing, you learn a lot, you get humbled…so I’m just trying to give back.”
The boxing champ heads the Boxing Program at Dogtown Athletic Gym, 3109 Adeline St. in West Oakland. He trains all levels in the science of the sport – from children to amateur fighters to advanced boxers.
Through a new youth summer program, Fighting for Peace, Hirsch hopes to curb the violence and work with youth in the community. He wants to provide them with the opportunity to have fun, stay out of trouble and release some aggression in the ring.
Hirsch said, “You can come here, stay out of trouble, and stay in great shape. You don’t have to hang on the streets and sell drugs to make money. You can do whatever you put your mind to.”
The message of the program is, “Put down the gun, pick up some gloves. Stop fighting in the streets,” Hirsch said. “Like I always tell my son, if you want to fight, come in here and do it.”
“We can be one, we can have fun without starting drama and people getting killed.”
For more information on Fighting for Peace, contact Shan at (510) 355-4627.