Whatsoever Community Center breeds boxers and champions

boxing1.tif

Whatsoever Community Center continues to breed champions and mold young minds through its Boxing Club. Whatsoever boxers have gone on to compete in the U.S. Nationals, the Junior Olympics, Silver Gloves, National Police Athletic League Boxing Championships, among others. Above, Isaias Perez, 15, throws a punch at 18-year-old Johnathon Petterson. Photos by Leslie Collins

By Leslie Collins
Northeast News
December 14, 2011

Music blared in the basement of Whatsoever Community Center, 1201 Ewing. The steady beat of the bass accentuated each blow to the punching bag. A jab here, a jab there. All was executed with fierce concentration. Whatsoever wasn’t just breeding boxers, they were breeding champions.

For six years, Tim Petterson has coached the Whatsoever Boxing Club, instilling in youth the fundamentals of boxing and life.

“I like the competitiveness of the sport,” Petterson said. “It teaches them a lot of self-confidence and it’s a really good sport to stay in shape all year round. It’s not like football or basketball season, it’s an ongoing sport.”

Five days a week, youth train at the center, perfecting their boxing skills and building up their cardio routine. Some youth arrive at 4:30 p.m. and don’t leave until 7 p.m. Some nights, as many as 35 youth show up and ages range from eight-year-olds to 20-year-olds.

“The biggest thing in this neighborhood is it keeps a lot of kids off the streets that have had problems or could get into problems,” Petterson said. “It’s rewarding to see the kids do something to keep them in the gym and keep them out of trouble as much as possible.”

Training to compete as a boxer isn’t easy.

“It’s a lot more than getting in there and fighting in the ring,” said Johnathon Petterson, a Whatsoever boxer and Coach Petterson’s son. “You’ve got to work for it to even be able to get into the ring. It takes commitment.”

That commitment includes staying within your weight bracket and intense cardio. Each youth is given a cardio routine, Coach Petterson said, which ranges from sit-ups to medicine ball workouts to jumping rope. One exercise involves a 311-pound tractor tire that individuals will flip or push back and forth to build up strength.

For some Whatsoever boxers, that commitment has led to professional boxing careers. One example is José Saenz, who was drafted for the L.A. Matadors, a world series boxing team.

“He uses his brain, too,” Petterson said of Saenz. “He’s gotten a scholarship to Rockhurst (University) through boxing and he’s worked on his accountant’s degree.”

Excelling in school is one of the things Petterson tries to instill in his boxers, he said. Homework and school always come first, he said.

For 15-year-old Andy Rodriguez, boxing is a “unique” sport that sets him apart from his peers. He likes the challenge, he said, and the sport has taught him self-confidence. Without Whatsoever Community Center, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to box, he said.

“There’s not many other gyms out there,” he said. “I can walk to this gym.”

Johnathon said a Northeast News article sparked his interest in boxing. While rolling newspapers, he noticed an article about Whatsoever boxer Jesse Rivera winning a tournament. Johnathan visited the Whatsoever Community Center and fell in love with the sport.

“I just like to fight pretty much,” he said with a smile. “I figured I might as well do it where it’s supposed to be done in the ring.”

Both Johnathon and Rodriguez have competed in the Junior Olympics and continue to excel in their divisions, Petterson said. On Dec. 16, Rodriquez will compete in the state Silver Gloves tournament in St. Louis.

“It’s a big tournament; there’s no novice division,” Petterson said.

“It’s exciting,” Rodriguez said. “It’s my last year fighting in the Silver Glove and I want to give this thing my all.”

boxing3.tif

Petterson and Perez continue to duke it out in the boxing ring.

boxing2.tif

Juan Nuñez perfects his punches on a punching bag.

 

Comments are closed.

  • Royals Charities to support locker room renovations at PAL

    December 6th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 6, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Police Athletic League (PAL) facility at 1801 […]


    Cliff Hanger Run 2016

    October 12th, 2016
    by

    On the morning of Saturday, October 8, the annual Cliff Hanger 5K and 8K run was held in the Historic Northeast. Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences served as the host of the race…


    NEHS grad Easley heading to Missouri Valley HOF

    August 30th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Former Northeast High School basketball star Jack Easley is one of six members set to be inducted in the 2016 class of the Missouri


    ‘Latinos and Baseball’ collecting initiative kickoff at Kansas City Museum is a hit

    August 16th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A new collecting initiative focusing on the importance of baseball in Latino communities was officially launched last weekend with a series of events at


    Royals Opinion: Injuries to Gordon and Moustakas are gut punches, but no death knell

    May 27th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News May 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Can one play really submarine an entire season? […]


  • Area youth have a P.A.L. this summer

    May 17th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Police Athletic League serves roughly 800 area kids annually, and they’ll be taking 50 more under their wings this summer as


    KC Royals Opinion: Right field is officially a problem

    May 17th, 2016
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Below, I promise a well-reasoned take on the issues that the […]


    City, MLB break ground on KC Urban Youth Academy

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City politicians, dignitaries, and even some Royals baseball players came to Parade Park on Wednesday, April 20, for the official groundbreaking ceremony of the Kansas City Urban


    KC Chiefs Opinion: don’t underestimate impact of lost 3rd-rounder

    April 21st, 2016
    by

    By  Paul Thompson Northeast News April 21, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Chiefs’ collection of 2016 draft […]


    KC Urban Youth Academy breaks ground

    April 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News April 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Kansas City politicians, dignitaries, and even some Royals baseball players came […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCPD turns focus to youth with new pilot program

      By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 7, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Gina English is heading into her new […]

    Wrapping up another year at the Northeast News

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 7, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – From the heartwarming to the heart-wrenching, the Northeast […]

    World’s most beautiful farm

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News December 7, 2016 Upon its opening in 1914, Longview Farm was hailed by many as […]

  • [Advertisement.]