Pro boxers train with kids class in North Bergen

Two professionals from Newark offered tips and inspiration to the youth

Top professional boxing prospects Emmanuel “Salserito” Rodriguez and Anthony Johns took time out of their fight preparations to give helpful tips and inspiration to the next generation of boxers at State of Fitness Boxing Club in North Bergen.

Rodriguez and Johns, both of Newark, came to the township before they were set to fight in separate bouts on May 14 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark as part of a boxing event promoted by Rising Star Promotions. Both went on to score dominant wins in their fights.

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The two professionals shared their experience with the gym’s kids class. The class is held every afternoon from 4 to 5 p.m. where children from elementary school age to high schoolers can learn how to box under the tutelage of coaches Mike Pacheco and Michael Carvajal.

“I felt humbled to give back to the kids,” said Johns, a 5-time New Jersey Golden Gloves champion and 2019 National Golden Gloves champion at 108 pounds. “Doing things like this makes it feel like I’m fighting for all the right reasons.”

Anthony Johns observes a young boxer’s punching form.

“Everything that has to do with kids is always a blessing,” said Rodriguez, a three-time N.J. Golden Gloves champion. “They’re basically the future, not only for boxing but in the world. It’s always a blessing to give them the positivity that they need.”

Emmanuel Rodriguez speaks with children at the gym.

State of Fitness Boxing Club is located at 508 73rd Street in North Bergen. The gym first opened in 2016 and is owned by Desmond Boyle, senior firefighter at the North Hudson Regional Fire Department.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at 

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