The news that five Mexican amateur boxers were asking for money in the streets in order to fund their participation in the Boxing World Championship in Doha, Qatar, surfaced a couple weeks ago. It was shocking news, since the Mexican boxers were the national champions in their respective categories and the World Championship was one of the last opportunities they would have to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio next summer.
The news of the boxers somewhat faded after a week, but through some tweets and pictures posted yesterday, it seems like everything is gonna be alright – temporarily at least.
The five boxers were invited to train with Freddie Roach (if you don’t know who he is, just remember Manny Pacquiao) and Miguel Cotto at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
So what happened that led these boxers from having to ask for money in the streets to train with some of boxing’s elite fighters?
The story starts with Mexico’s infamous bureaucracy. Alfredo Castillo, a Mexican official who once called himself the Pep Guardiola of security while serving as Federal Security Commissioner in the state of Michoacán, is now the head of the Comisión Nacional de Cultura Física y Deporte (CONADE), which regulates all amateur sports in Mexico.
Castillo currently has beef with the Mexican Boxing Federation, and he is moving forward to take away their status as the governing body that regulates boxing in the country, so the five boxers have been caught up in the chaos and were left with no economic support for the World Championships in Qatar.
Castillo has been criticized for having no experience with sports, and it seems like his lack of experience is showing. Why not sponsor the athletes and keep the fight with the Mexican Boxing Federation?
So with this situation the five athletes had to take some time off from training and ask for money in the streets, which obviously made news, especially on social media. And like they say, the rest is history.
In addition to training with Freddie Roach and Miguel Cotto, they were also invited to Abner Mares’ gym and to sparring sessions with Brian Viloria.
Now that’s what you call proper training.