Punch’s Boxing Celebrates Anniversary
Story by Gerardo Martinez
Photo by Christina Begaye
Some would say that being in existence for one year is not much to celebrate about, but according to Herman “Punch” Buck it is. A little over a year ago “Punch” received a bonus from his job in the oil industry and instead of taking a family trip to Hawaii he decided to follow his dream of opening up a boxing gym.
This past Saturday “Punch” invited all the San Juan County boxing community to the gym to celebrate a successful year and to thank all of those who offered their advice and experience.
Amongst those in the crowd were long Farmington area coaches Jose Herrera (11st Boxing Gym) and Daniel Martinez (Martinez Boxing). Both coaches have ran successful programs in the area and helped out dozens of kids stay out of trouble by staying in the gym.
“I’d rather they sweat in the gym, than bleed in the streets” said Jose Herrera after receiving a plaque of appreciation from Punch’s Boxing. In fact, one of his former pupils is now part of the coaching team at Punch’s, that being Josue Monge.
Monge is one of New Mexico’s most decorated amateurs who tallied a total of 178 amateur fights and competed throughout the country. The other team member is Carrol Ellington, better known as Coach C, a former fighter and coach from Bloomington.
Also present were current professional boxers Joe Gomez and Victor Barela.
One of the reasons to celebrate was the fact that the gym gained non-profit status recently through the help of Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Darnall by way of the San Juan Safe Communities Iniative. Punch’s Boxing was originally established as a for-profit gym and had to charge their students for use.
They will now be transitioning to a non-profit organization and their goal is to gain sponsorships and donations from local businesses so that the children do not have to pay to learn about discipline, dedication and wellness through boxing. Punch’s also receives funding through Bloomington PAL, who donated the ring where the young men and women practice and spar on a daily basis.