Merced's Haro punches way to Ringside World Championships

slynch@mercedsunstar.comJuly 21, 2013 

Jesus Haro always loved boxing as a child.

But growing up poor in Livingston, he knew it wasn't something he could really pursue.

Haro, who now lives in Merced, vowed that his kids would have the opportunity to participate in the sport if they were interested.

That vow has sparked a multi-generational love for the sport and a trip for his son, also Jesus Haro, to the Ringside World Championships in Independence, Mo., on July 29.

"He'd been wanting to box since he was young," the older Haro said. "I started teaching him the basics when he was 6.

"When he decided he really wanted to start competing and it got a little more advanced, I called my friend, Marcos Padilla, and he started training him."

The younger Haro lost the first two bouts of his amateur career and has gone 8-0 since then. Included in that run was a 4-0 showing and title win at the 2013 National Silver Gloves Tournament, which also was held in Independence in January.

The younger Haro's victory in the 10- to 11-year-old, 50-pound bantam class qualified him for the upcoming event.

The Ringside World Championships is a four-day tournament featuring 1,500 boxers from all over the world and more than 1,000 bouts at the Independence Events Center.

"I thought I could win, but it was still a little surprise," the younger Haro said of his January performance. "I've just always wanted to box. It's a sport that gets you off of the streets and lets you have lots of fun.

"What makes me good is, I'm quick and my best punch is my overhand right."

Padilla, the owner and head trainer of Dethrone Base Camp in Fresno, said Haro's talent has been apparent since the beginning.

"I started boxing when I was 10. I'm 36 now, so I have a pretty good idea of what to look for," Padilla said. "Boxing isn't for every kid. Some just don't want to get hit in the face. Since he was six, Jesus has shown he can take a shot and just keep going.

"He's in the gym all the time and he works hard. His success is no surprise because he's someone who wants it."

With the bouts consisting of three one-minute rounds, Padilla said there are very few knockouts. That leaves little time for defense, forcing fighters to attack.

"You don't really have time to dance," Padilla said. "In a fight like this, I want a lot of punches thrown."

Safety is always a concern, but the elder Haro said USA Boxing has made it as safe as possible.

"At this age, it's just three one-minute rounds," the older Haro explained. "USA Boxing is very strict about the equipment. It's a top-of-the-line head gear and groin protector and softer gloves.

"This is something he thinks he wants to make a career of, so I'm going to support him and see where it goes."

'I've just always wanted to box. It's a sport that gets you off of the streets and lets you have lots of fun. What makes me good is, I'm quick and my best punch is my overhand right.'

— Jesus Haro, who will compete in the Ringside World Championships in Independence, Mo., on July 29

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