Jairo Gonzalez squares up with future


Photo courtesy of Jairo Gonzalez.

Boxing runs in the family, at least for Gonzalez (pictured above left in a match at the Brownson House) and his siblings. His older brother inspired him to start in the first place and his sister, Sandra, boxed for a while, too.

As their high school education comes to a close, many seniors prepare for the next steps in their lives. Some choose to attend four-year universities, others enter directly into the workforce and still others, like Senior Jairo Gonzalez, seek a different path: professional athletics. For Gonzalez, that means pursuing pro boxing, a long-term goal that he has spent many years working toward.

Gonzalez first started boxing five years ago, after watching his brother engage in it and wanting to try it out for himself. He joined a youth boxing league through the Brownson House in Washington and fell in love with the sport soon after, especially the rush of adrenaline he got from being in the ring.

The Brownson House boxing program is part of the United States of America’s Boxing Association and offers both youth amatuer boxing and professional club boxing. Members of the local novice league like Gonzalez train at the Brownson House and have some matches there but also travel to other facilities around the state and country. 

In the amateur division, he has previously won states and currently has his goals set for this year’s states and, hopefully, nationals.

Gonzalez is currently a member of the amatuer league, but he fully intends to join the professional league when he turns 18. 

There are some significant differences between amater, or youth, leagues and professional boxing. For one, pro boxers wear protective gloves and a mouthguard, but amatuer fighters additionally wear head gear to protect themselves from common boxing injuries. 

Additionally, the matches in each group are scored and executed differently. In amatuer boxing, victors are determined by the fighter with the most legal punches as determined by an electric counter and five judges, and there are three three-minute rounds in a bout of amatuer boxing. 

Professional bouts, however, are scored on a ten-point, four-criteria, three-judge system. The criteria are defense, effective aggression, clean and hard punching and ring generalship (that is, which fighter takes control of the ring and the round). These fights also have a three-round standard but can last for up to twelve rounds. 

While there are many stars in the world of pro fighting, Gonzalez is especially inspired by Mexican boxer Saul Canelo Álvarez. 

“From a very young age he also boxed and did all the hard work that he has pushed through to reach to where he is now,”  he said. 

Gonzalez’s ultimate goal is to, “make it to the big screens,” but after he can no longer compete professionally, he would like to coach the sport and help inspire younger students to become interested in boxing. 

If anything, Gonzalez would tell his younger self to, “just don’t be ashamed of trying something different.”

Overall, Gonzalez looks forward to his future and finding success and satisfaction in professional boxing. “The Hiller” staff wishes Gonzalez and the rest of the class of 2022 good luck as they take the next steps in their lives!