Coachella Renames Boxing Club after Legendary Coach
COACHELLA- The city of Coachella renamed the boxing club after legendary boxing coach Lee Espinoza.
Espinoza is credited with bringing boxing to the Valley. He's helped train world champions and for decades worked to build the boxing club.
"I'm feeling like if we won another world championship, like if I won another world championship with my boys," said Espinoza at the ceremony honoring him.
Espinoza started getting donations to develop the club three decades ago and all the while he has been behind some of the Valley's biggest boxing names, including the Diaz brothers.
"He taught us a lot. In his own way, he taught us to be better people with our families and kids," said Joel Diaz, a boxing trainer and once fighter, who Espinoza trained.
The renaming comes just as the international spotlight hits the Coachella Valley boxing scene. Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia says Lee Espinoza is the cornerstone of boxing success in the Valley.
"We thought that they timing couldn't be better and we wanted to make sure we honored him," said Garcia.
The renamed gym has been 34 years in the making, during which time Espinoza secured donations from the Bob Hope Classic and other organizations.
"If it wasn't for this place right here, there would be a lot of kids on the street... for me this is my second home," said Randy Caballero, a professional boxer.
Espinoza says he doesn't plan on retiring any time soon.
"I love the sport so much that I continue, and stronger. The legacy is never going to stop," said Espinoza.
-Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.