YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – 26 year old Jesus Saucedo has a set of keys to get inside the Lincolnway Sportcenter. The gym normally opens at 5, but he usually arrives an hour early, especially on a fight week.
“This is my life.”
Saucedo has trained with the gym’s owner and coach Julio Alvarez since he was 13. He’s originally from Juarez, Mexico. Once he arrived in the states, boxing was it.
“It’s boxing, but at the end of the day he (Alvarez) always says to you, ‘You’re ready to do this.’ I feel like I’m ready.”
Alvarez has been involved in boxing and martial arts since he was a child. Now 65, he’s committed himself to training the next generation of fighters, and it’s his hope to spark interest in the sport in York again.
“It’s not just about punching anybody. It’s about coming together, to exercise and do something positive for the community.”
It’s part of the reason why Alvarez has organized “Summer Lightning” a boxing showcase being held inside Grumbacher Gym at York College Friday night. The card includes Saucedo and other local fighters, as well as professional fighters from Puerto Rico. From booking the venue, to staging the ring and picking up fighters at the airport, Alvarez is a busy man leading up to the show.
“Boxing has always been a passion for me. I only promote fights because I want the local people to see the product.”
The gym is hot the day before weigh ins, no air conditioning, just one fan blowing. Fighters are cutting weight, mentally preparing for another chance to prove their worth. It’s all in hopes of being the fighter who puts York on the boxing map.
Will it be Saucedo? “You never know, that’s the purpose man. But you never know.”