ITEM PHOTO BY HAROLD RIVERA
The boxers at Private Jewels pose for a group picture. Front row, left to right, are Alex Sepulveda, Daniel Marte and Frank Marte. Back row, left to right, are Charlie Espinal, Nelson Carrion, Jodie Adams, Furcy Ferreras, Adam Zorrilla, Zach Calmus and Eric Atebezi.
By HAROLD RIVERA
LYNN– Training for Saturday’s “Boxing For Hope” fundraiser at Lynn Tech is wrapping up and the group of boxers at Private Jewels Fitness is ready showcase its talent.
Private Jewels, on Summer Street, will see 11 of its boxers participate in Saturday’s event. Many of them are Lynn natives, but regardless of where they’re from, the opportunity to fight for a positive cause is one they all appreciate.
Charles Espinal, a 21-year-old Salem native, is ready to get back in the ring after a two-year hiatus.
“I took a two-year layoff from boxing,” Espinal said. “I really want everyone to know that I’m back in the game.”
Espinal, who attended Sisson Elementary School, said he’s excited for Saturday’s event. He views the fundraiser as a chance to box with some of his closest friends from Private Jewels.
“It’s not every day you get to box in your own backyard,” Espinal said. “It’s a huge opportunity. It’s a real big deal. I have a lot of my own friends and family coming to the event so I want to make sure I give them a good fight.”
Nelson Carrion, a 12-year-old KIPP student, is making his third appearance in the ring. Despite having two prior fights, Carrion will approach his match on Saturday as if it’s his first.
“It’s my third boxing match and I’m excited,” Carrion said. “I treat every boxing match like it’s my first.”
The positive message within “Boxing For Hope” is one that resonates with Carrion.
“It’s special because we’re boxing for hope,” Carrion said. “There are a lot of people around the world that need hope.”
Zach Calmus, a 25-year-old native of Marblehead, is also excited to flash his talents for a positive cause.
“Fighting here in Lynn is great because everyone loves it,” Calmus said. “The boxing interest is huge, especially when it’s for a good cause. It’s great to fight, but it’s even better to fight when you’re doing it for a good cause.”
Calmus has come away a victor in five of his last eight fights and is looking to ride that wave of momentum when he boxes on Saturday.
“I’m excited to showcase my skills in front of the community,” Calmus, who goes by the ring name “Shark Attack,” said. “I’ve won five of my last eight fights. My motivation has been at a tip-top level.”
Furcy Ferreras, a 28-year-old Peabody native, is facing a unique circumstance. Ferreras has yet to find an opponent for Saturday’s event but he’s staying on his toes in case a foe arises.
“I haven’t found a match-up so right now I’m on my even-keel mode,” Ferreras said. “Once I hear that I have a match-up my fight mode will come on.”
If he does get to participate in the event, the opportunity will be one Ferreras won’t forget anytime soon. Having spent countless hours training at Private Jewels with the group of fellow boxers and gym owner Alex Sepulveda, Ferreras knows the fighters have a special chance ahead of them.
“Lynn’s like my second home,” Ferreras said. “This is big for us. We started from the ground up. I’ve seen so many kids come through this gym. Some stay, some don’t. We have a great team of boxers now. This is the best we’ve ever been here.”
Daniel Marte also faces a unique situation in that he won’t be taking part in the fundraiser. That’s because Marte will be participating in a national tournament in West Virginia which kicks off on Friday.
“I’m excited,” Marte, an 11-year-old KIPP student, said. “One of my hardest fights took place in Missouri and he’ll be there so he’s one of the people I really want to fight.”
“My goal is to win as many fights as possible and advance to the next tournament,” Marte added.
Marte acknowledged his trainer, Sepulveda, as well as the rest of the staff and boxers at Private Jewels for pushing him to the level he’s reached.
“I’m really thankful for Private Jewels for making the boxer that I am,” Marte said, “and for helping me build progress.”
Saturday’s “Boxing For Hope” event starts at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at Private Jewels or at the door. The event is a joint fundraising effort between Stop the Violence Lynn and Private Jewels. with the goal of continuing to provide Lynn’s youth alternative activities to decrease gun violence, drug use and gang involvement.