Boxers from the Cross Box Fitness Club of Copperas Cove and other Texas boxers met in the ring last Saturday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

With his gloves laced up and a cold, steely gaze fixed on his opponent, Miguel Espitia rushed to the ring after the gavel struck the bell marking the start of the first round to greet Ferocious Boxing Club’s Ulysse Landeros with a flurry of punches.

Espitia is trained by Manny Morales of the Cross Box Fitness Club where Morales trains adult and younger fighters. Morales is originally from Austin, Texas, but came to Cove with his wife a few years ago.

“Taxes are much better here,” Morales said with a laugh.

For about two and a half years, Morales has been leading gym workout fighters of all ages and skills. Morales himself is a former boxer who started in 2005 and finished in 2010. His most notable fight was his 24-second knockout against Montreal boxer Stephane Desormiers, who was undefeated until he meets Morales.

Last Saturday was the first event Morales hosted for his fighters and it was the first time they boxed in front of a crowd.

“They did really well, but I think having the crowd there definitely made them a little nervous as well,” Morales said.

In order to host the event on Saturday, Morales said he must have at least five boxers in his gym registered with USA Boxing, which is the governing body for Olympic-style boxing events. Morales said he currently has 10 who are registered as amateur fighters with USA Boxing.

“I wanted to do this show because I knew it was going to bring more shows down the road,” Morales said. ” That’s what he does. I have officials who want to do different fights with different services, like army and navy and stuff like that. It’s just starting to expand. »

And Saturday’s event was a success as people filled the Copperas Cove Civic Center with crowds close to a hundred when the event kicked off around 2pm on Saturday. Morales said that as the event unfolded, more than 400 people came to the event. More than 20 boxing matches were scheduled in the afternoon and evening.

With the ringing of the bell ending the first round, Espitia regrouped in his corner with his trainer and rushed to the ring to greet Landeros with a right punch to the gut, but Landeros countered with a shot in the face of Espitia which brought the young fighter to the ground but only for a second. He stood up quickly with an icy gaze fixed on Landeros.

At the start of the third round, the fighters got to the middle of the ring and threw flurries of punches at each other as the seconds ticked away, but the hammer met the bell, ending the opening bout.

And just like that, the two shook hands and stood in the ring to see who scored the most points. The judges favored Landeros giving him the first win of the day.

While this may have been the first fight, it showed customers what kind of an event this was going to be.