Sometimes, the heart of a boxing champion isn’t measured by what he does inside the ring but by his actions outside.
José Ramírez, the WBC super welterweight champion, has proven his love for his native San Joaquín Valley by campaigning for more water for farming and standing up for immigrant rights.
Last month, the Avenal boxer with a 23-0 (16 KOs) delivered once again by donating one of the gloves he used in his successful Sept. 14 title defense against San Diego’s Antonio Orozco at the Save Mart Center.
The glove was auctioned off on Fresno radio stations KMJ 580 AM and MEGA 97.9 FM to benefit the family of Gavin Gladding, a Fort Washington Elementary School vice principal who was killed by a hit-and-run driver about 6 a.m. on Sept. 16. Gladding had been on a training run near Friant Road and Old Friant Road in northeast Fresno when the accident happened.
When Ramírez heard about the accident, he decided to step in and auction off one of the gloves he wore in the title defense to raise fund for Gladdings’ wife and two children.
“My luck was going good, you know, it was a big relief on my shoulders, making my first world title defense here in Fresno, making the people proud,” said the 26-year-old boxer. “And coming across a really negative story in Fresno, I wanted to share some of my glory with that family, and that’s why I chose that glove from that specific fight.”
The 26-year-old boxer delivered the glove to Romeo Garza, owner of Ro’s Precise Painting in Sanger.
The cost: $6,500.
Or, $812.50 an ounce.
“I was blessed to be able to give back,” said Garza, who showed up at the Fresno Coin Gallery on Sept. 21 to collect the glove.
The fact that Garza also works for the Clovis Unified School District made it easier for him to bid for the glove. “I thought it was my time,” said Garza, who boxed in his younger years.
Garza said he is not much of a sports memorabilia collector, but will hang the glove “up on the wall.”
“It’s a little, but not much,” said Garza about the money going to the Gladding survivors.
The owner of Limo For You pitched in another $1,000 to help the family.
“Thank you. On behalf of the family, thank you so much,” said family friend Kimberly Quigley, who accepted the money for the Gladding family.
Ramírez, acknowledging Garza’s generosity, said “two champions like that coming together, you can do some positive things.”
The boxing champ threw in a pair of red, workout trunks – which he autographed – and an autographed picture of him when he won the title at famed Madison Square Garden.
Ramírez took time to meet fans; autograph gloves, T-shirts, photos and other items they brought with them; and, pose for photos.