Rebuilding Team Old Skool
Story and photo by Jose Leon Castillo III
On February 26, the Old Skool Boxing Club in Deming, N.M., suffered a devastating fire that destroyed all of the club’s boxing equipment. The club, founded a year-and-a-half ago by Coach Pepe Montoya and wife, Assistant Coach Frances Montoya, was home and training camp for 11 young athletes, ranging from 8 to 16 years old.
Recently, Coach Montoya talked about the devastating fire and its effects on the youngsters, now without a home.
“Boxing can show a kid all aspects of life,” says Montoya. “I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for my boxing coach.”
Montoya’s drive and coaching experiences are derived from his history as an amateur and pro boxer. With over 76 amateur fights, he was the Southern California State Golden Glove Champion in 1998, and was the victor of the Blue and Gold Invitational Boxing Tournament in 2001. Montoya went on to his pro career of six bouts with five wins under his belt, with one loss. For Montoya, the pro boxing allure wasn’t as strong as in the amateur circuit. Pepe is now a five-year veteran of the Deming Police Department.
“The sooner we get back to work the sooner we can get back to competing,” says Montoya, determined to rebuild. “We are prepping our fighters for an upcoming amateur card in El Paso March 30th.”
The last tourney Old Skool participated in was “Gloves To Glory” in February by TNT Boxing Club of Los Lunas NM., a USA Boxing sanctioned event. Montoya brought four fighters, where his own daughter, Simplicia Montoya, 11, was named Outstanding Female fighter of the night.
“I can’t thank the NM boxing community and the Deming community enough for keeping us going.”
How can the New Mexico boxing community help Team Old Skool?
The Tapia Boxing Academy in Albuquerque is currently holding a boxing equipment donation drive for the kids of Old Sckool Boxing Club. Local gyms and fans are encouraged to help by donating any boxing equipment new or used, like gloves, headgear, speed bags and heavy bags.
On Sunday March 24th 2013, a fundraising car wash will be held at the Tapia Boxing Academy, 2500 San Mateo Pl NE Albuquerque, NM 87110, where all proceeds will go to Old Skool Boxing Club. For more information contact Chris Chaves of Team Tapia at 505-804-7938.
A 501.c3 non-profit account has also been set up for donations to Old Skool Boxing Club at the Chino Federal Credit Union in Deming, NM (575-546-0459).