Former Golden Gloves champ opens Stephenville Boxing Club.


Elias Medina (right) and his boxing students.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Elias Medina is tough.


As a social worker for Child Protective Services, Elias has to be mentally strong, but it’s his gig as the owner of Stephenville Boxing Club where his toughness really shines.


The 36-year-old Stephenville resident opened the boxing gym in February. It’s located at 1510 E. Washington Street (in the same parking lot as Mac’s Meat and Seafood Market).


“We offer instructional boxing, but people can also come in to learn self-defense or to get in shape; there is a lot of cardio in boxing,” Elias told Beneath the Surface News.

Elias grew up in The Colony and moved to Stephenville to attend Tarleton State University, where he met his wife.


By day, he works for CPS, serving children in Erath, Hood and Somervell counties.


But in the evening, he slips on his boxing gloves and spars.

‘I ALWAYS LOVED ROCKY’


Elias began boxing at a young age after becoming inspired by the Rocky movies.


“I was obsessed with Rocky and I always wanted to be a boxer,” Elias said.


But his father wasn’t so sure.


Worried that his son would get hurt, it took some time warming up to the idea of Elias stepping into a boxing ring, but eventually it would happen.


And once it did, Elias was hooked.


After winning several big tournaments, his amateur career took off quickly, and in 2001, he became the Golden Gloves champion in the middle weight division.


Then life happened; Elias took a break from boxing to focus on school, his family and career.


“About five years ago I had surgery on my hip and I gained a bunch of weight,” he said. “I ended up having complete hip replacement.”

Determined to get back into shape, Elias began boxing inside his garage, and last October, learned that his longtime mentor had passed away.


“He was a great mentor and really meant a lot to me,” Elias said. “He didn’t just teach me how to box, he taught me about life, and I want to be that for others.”


So he saved some money and opened Stephenville Boxing Club.


Today, he trains several boxers for competition, and on the weekends, travels with students to “gym wars” for sparring competitions.


“The kids spar, and it’s kind of like bragging rights for your gym if they do good,” he said.


Elias is a certified amateur coach with USA Boxing.


He offers instructional training from 7-9 p.m. Monday, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday for $120 per month.


“The first class is free,” he said. “People can come and take a class to see if they like it.”


The public is also invited to an open house from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6.


You can learn more about Stephenville Boxing Club on Facebook.