Longtime trainer Garry Raymond reconnects with former boxer

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Ardmore boxing trainer Garry Raymond, right, reconnects with former pupil Jesse Ramirez inside Gladiators Gym at 307 East Main St. The duo spent time walking down memory lane following their time together near Surprise, Arizona.

It's not always easy to remember the early years in life, but that time plays an important role in helping you grow and develop into an adult.

Jesse Ramirez knows that, especially since he was fortunate to have a role model in his corner during his youth in the early 1980s near Surprise, Arizona.

“It was amazing what he did for us,” Ramirez said of boxing trainer Garry Raymond. “He took a few of us and said, ‘Hey, you guys can be something. If it’s not now in boxing, you can do something (later) in life.’ That’s how much power that man gave me as a young kid – an 11-, 12- or 13-year old kid.

“He’s just powerful,” Ramirez continued. “He instilled (that work ethic) in me. And I had to come back and let him know what he did for me. It was just one of those moments where I told my wife, ‘Hey, I want to go see Garry.’ I had to come see the coach and enjoy some time with him.”

A newspaper clipping shows Jesse Ramirez and trainer Garry Raymond.

Ramirez did just that earlier this week as the duo and their wives walked down memory lane inside Gladiators Gym at 307 East Main St. Raymond used the time to share newspaper clippings of a number of boxers, including his former pupil.

And even after all these years, Ramirez isn’t surprised that his trainer is still helping boxers today.

“It just shows me that no matter what age, there’s no reason to stop what you’re supposed to be doing here on earth,” Ramirez said. “He’s inspiring. He never quit and there’s no reason to, in anything. There really isn’t, no matter what. It’s amazing.”

And Raymond enjoyed the experience just as much. His gym might be filled with other up-and-coming boxers, but he’ll never turn away a familiar face.

“It’s just like me going back in time, it’s a pleasure,” Raymond said. “I look at these kids and a lot of times with what’s going on in the world right now and how you get despondent and kind of depressed. This is something to feel good about. We went through it, lived through it and seen some good times. He was a good kid then and he’s a good man now. I can tell.”