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.

  • GTECH’s After School Advantage Program adds $16,000 computer lab to the Police Athletic League of Kansas City

    January 14th, 2015
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Police Athletic League of Kansas City has gotten a little more high tech.


    Dog park hopeful for 2015 in River Market

    January 7th, 2015
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Something residents in the River Market area have wanted for years might finally come to fruition in 2015.


    Fan rally.

    November 5th, 2014
    by

    By Kirstie Mulligan Northeast News November 5, 2014 James Shields, Billy Butler and Jeremy Guthrie, among others, thanked fans for […]


    Thank you, Royals

    October 30th, 2014
    by

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Oct. 30, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Even though they came up just short of winning […]


    Hang out with runners along the Cliff Drive

    October 28th, 2014
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 29, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – This weekend, runners are heading for the cliff. […]


  • 2014 Tour of Kansas City and bike race

    June 24th, 2014
    by

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News June 25, 2014 On Sunday, June 22, the Tour of Kansas City and bike race […]


    Grant to help bring more soccer to Northeast

    May 28th, 2014
    by

    By JOE JAROSZ Northeast News May 28, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Are you ready for some football Northeast Kansas […]


    Skateboarder goes cross country for good causes

    March 25th, 2014
    by

      By JOE JAROSZ Northeast News March 26, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – In 2013, Brian Zygmontowicz got the wheels […]


    Area youth getting the chance to ride

    March 25th, 2014
    by

      By JOE JAROSZ Northeast News March 26, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Inner-city youth are now able to go […]


    Mattie Rhodes combines health lessons with soccer

    December 25th, 2013
    by

    By LESLIE COLLINS Northeast News December 25, 2013 Missourians aren’t known for leading the most healthy lifestyles, but the Mattie […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Two Knuckleheads are better than one

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Every saloon needs a garage. That's why Knuckleheads Saloon is expanding, adding an additional venue, located across the street from the current location,

    Ginger Club Businesses offer Snappy Service

    Northeast News Hoping to bring more business to their block, merchants in the 300 block of East 12th Street organized a Ginger Club, using a Ginger Snap as an emblem.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

  • [Advertisement.]