Taking the Fight from the Street to the Ring

A South Omaha boxing club packs a punch when it comes to helping youth in the community. But as a non-profit operating only on donations, their reach can only stretch so far.

"We want to make sure that they are champions in and out of the ring," Daniel Guardiola said. In an unassuming basement in the heart of South Omaha, something special is taking place. "They do about 400 crunches, 200 pushups, any where from 20 to 50 pull ups,” Guardiola said.

A boxing club meets in Coach Dan's basement. He's working on his third year at the helm of South Omaha’s DG’s Boxing Club.

“They come here, like I said, sometimes they are shy and timid, becoming part of this family helps them open up more,” Guardiola said.

And while the ring is a little smaller than typical, it still provides the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of boxing.

Between the three coaches including Hall of Famer Joe Baker, they're sharing about a century's worth of boxing knowledge with 15 youths between 8 and 25-years-old, who otherwise would or could be out on the street.

"If something bad happens, try to make the best of it, it truly all about these kids, we don't charge them anything,” Gaurdiola said.

Obviously the coaches are doing something right. Two boys at 10 and 15 are headed to nationals in a few weeks. But money isn't endless. In fact, Coach Dan has forked out more than $8,000 of his own money to buy equipment. Yet, isn't that the lessons of the ring? To persevere and overcome?

"If they can just take some of these qualities out of the gym and apply them to their normal life, become better productive citizens, positive role models for the youth as they grow," Guardiola said. And find ways to keep fighting, even when the odds are against you.

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