This past Saturday at the Colorado Golden Gloves Gym, 6161 W. 44th Ave in Wheatridge, Colorado, Thunder Mountain IV (an amateur boxing show) endured misfortune and injury beginning with a group traveling to the event from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, (led by well-known Coach Isaiah Barela) having their van overturn and roll several times.
Thank goodness there were no serious injuries incurred, the group spending time in the Emergency Room in a Nebraska hospital with none able to continue the trip to Colorado.
Not as fortunate was 21 year-old Joseph Torres, Jr., a 178 pounder who was injured in his bout and taken by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken bone in his back, him now resting comfortably at home according to his dad, Joseph Torres, Sr.
Thunder Mountain IV was a huge success and showed just how amateur boxers, their families, coaches and officials value one of their own when showing support for Michael Anthony Espinoza-Martinez who passed away February 16, 2014, after the 11 years-old boxer was unsuccessful in battling injuries sustained when sparring late last year.
After $202 had been collected from a raffle helping the Espinoza-Martinez family with funeral costs, a wonderful thing took place.
The Colorado Golden Gloves then matched the raffle pool of $202, giving the family $404. Ringside physician D. Bradley then donated the $50 cash and $50 ‘Maggiano’s’ gift card allotted him for his services and now the entire effort seemingly took on a life of its own as the winner of that original $202 raffle pool then donated that money back to the family as well, making the amount $606.
According to E. Paul Kelly, Jeanne DePriest, Beau Campbell, Coach Bernie ‘BernDog’ Aragon, C.C. Edwards and Jesse Mora of the Colorado Golden Gloves, “It was like money fell from the sky in a seemingly endless rain of cash as spectators, officials, coaches and club representatives showered money into the ring”, the final tally of $2,098.00 amassed a generous, spontaneous contribution from amateur boxing supporters showing their love for a fallen warrior.
The phrase “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” was never more visible than this past Saturday, the tragedy of young Espinoza-Martinez indeed horrible, seeing the amateur boxing community come together and recognize just how precious and fragile life is being quite the beautiful thing.
Visitation for Michael Anthony Espinoza-Martinez is Tuesday from 5-8PM at Romero Funeral Chapel (303-433-3333), 4750 Tejon St. in Denver, with funeral services Wednesday at 1PM followed by a reception at His Love Fellowship, 910 Kalamath St. in Denver.
**CORRECTION: Michael Anthony Espinoza-Martinez was NOT the young boxer John Espinoza (him recuperating) hurt in a sparring accident late last year but the kid killed by a hit-and-run (now incarcerated) driver on Colfax & Federal on February 16, 2014. Apologies for those who were adversely affected by this mistake and thanks for those who advised me of the needed correction.