Lending A Helping Hand - Boxing
By Vikram Birring (Feb 20, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
At every Houston boxing event, the same stoic face, usually draped in an oversized Pueblo Boxing sweatshirt, sits a few feet away from the ring, watching the action intently with the wide-eyed look of a child in a movie theatre. His name is Juan Escutia, and like Toto of Cinema Paradiso, he has made a career out of his passion.

Escutia is a symbol of the American dream, a man with entrepreneurial vision who reached success with sheer will power. He dropped out of high school, but did not waste time loafing around. Instead, he used his truck to sell tacos.
Word spread and Escutia made a killing. But, like all successful businessmen, Escutia did not sit on his success, he used his taco truck to build towards a better future.

Escutia went from making greasy tacos to cleaning greasy clothing, as in his next venture he opened a successful dry cleaning operation. One small business became five and soon Escutia had profits soaring through the roof. Again, Escutia looked at the big picture, and he sold them and got into his next endeavor: printing.

Propaganda Solutions is Escutia’s printing business, and has given him enough financial stability to guarantee that he will never have to sell tacos in the sweltering Houston heat ever again. However, printing is simply Escutia’s day job. His true passion lies in the squared circle.

Though he never made it as a boxer himself, Escutia wields considerable power outside the ring. The difference is that unlike most people in his position, Escutia is using his power to give back to the community, children in particular. Along with local heavyweight Roberto “El Jefe” Flores, he opened a gym on Broadway Street, named after the legendary Mexican boxer Salvador Sanchez.

When Escutia dropped out of high school, there were numerous paths in life awaiting him, most unsavory. Escutia is one of the lucky few who made it out of what could have been a miserable existence, and he wants to use his experience to help others who could use such guidance.

Boxing is a craft that requires discipline, and with discipline there is no time for partying, joining gangs, and falling into the vicious cycle of drug addiction. The goal of Sanchez gym is not to find the next great Houston boxer, but simply to keep children off the streets and have them doing something productive when not in school.

In current society there seem to be less and less honorable people, everyone is looking for a quick buck, but Juan Escutia is one of the last of his kind, an honorable man involved in a sport whose history is filled with a dark history of exploitation, corruption, and greed.

Vikram Notes:
Ricky "Hitman" Hatton will fight Juan "Hispanic Causing Panic" Lazcano and Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi will fight Lovemore "Black Panther" N'dou on May 24 in the Manchester City soccer stadium. This doubleheader is meant to set up a Hatton/Malignaggi showdown in the fall, at Madison Square Garden.

Rumors are flying that Andrew ‘Fighting Pole’ Golota will face the winner of the long-awaited clash between Oleg Maskaev of Kazakhstan and ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ Samuel Peter. Golota is ranked #10 by the WBC, and King has a habit of putting his own fighters in against each other and giving men who some think are past their prime shots late in their careers, particularly Golota, as he brings Polish fans in droves to watch his fights.

Questions or comments,
e-mail
Vikram at:
vikram.birring@mail.utexas.edu







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