How boxing champ Abner Mares is giving back and helping kids – Orange County Register

With all the bad stuff going on in the world, we should ever forget there are good things happening as well.
Abner Mares, a featherweight world champion out of Hawaiian Gardens, is one of them. Mares donates his time and money to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Century Boxing Gym in South Los Angeles, where as many as 200 boys and girls participate daily in an after-school program that includes boxing, tutoring and a place to do homework.
It’s a way of giving back for Mares, who will defend his title Oct. 14 against Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs) of Mexico at StubHub Center (on Fox).
Make no mistake, the Century Boxing Gym is located in a rough neighborhood. It’s not a place for the weak of heart. Neither is Hawaiian Gardens, where Mares got into his share of trouble.
Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) on Thursday was on hand at the gym. He recalled one incident that had a telling effect.
“I was in a rumble and I got harassed by the cop, I got beat up by the cop,” said Mares, 31. “He was going to take me to jail but he decided to take me home. He walked me into my house handcuffed, I was crying and my mom was there. She was crying, devastated.
“To see my mom’s tears and to see her broken down like that, it just really opened up my eyes a bit.”
Mares said he was 13 or 14 at the time. When he was 15, he was about to get initiated into the local gang. His parents got wind and moved him to Mexico, where he stayed until he was 20.
That could have saved his life, or at the least kept him out of prison. These days, Mares is 100 percent class. And he’s sharing it with a group of kids also living in threatening surroundings.
“It means so much to be involved,” said Mares, who has been doing this for more than two years. He’s been impressed with what he’s seen.
“They have over a hundred kids that come in here after school and work their butts off because they have that dream to become a world champion, to become someone in life,” he said. “It’s combined with…

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