Valley youth learning skills in and out of the boxing ring

Posted: Updated:

Getting in the boxing ring may not seem like the way to solve some of life's problems, but a Valley man who knows the ropes said he's using the experience to keep good kids from going bad.

“I cleared out my garage and I put up the bags and I started it here with my sons and one or two guys and now it's blown up,” Robert Aceves said.

The new place to hang out in Buckeye is Aceves’ garage.

“What I wanted to do was boxing, it’s my passion boxing, but use that as a way to try and redirect life,” Aceves said.

He started West Valley Boxing Club a couple months ago in hopes of giving kids a chance to learn some basic skills in and out of the ring.  

“In boxing you have to be disciplined,” Aceves said. “You have to have determination. You have to have all of these things and I think if we can teach them that while they’re boxing, they can use all those to any life lessons that come up.”

 He knows all to well what can happen if you choose to go down the wrong path.
 “I was a gang member from Southern California,” Aceves said. “I did two prison terms and later after getting out of prison you know, I had four kids and I started to realize if I didn't do something to change, my kids would more than likely follow in my footsteps.”
 Aceves did turn his life around and started using boxing in California to keep young ones off the streets. When he moved to the Buckeye area back in 2007, he knew his work in this arena was not over.
“When they see someone like me that's gone through all of that and living a clean life, I think they start to think twice about making some bad life changing decisions,” Aceves continued.

He sets an example by all the hardships he's went through and shows us no matter what happens, you can always achieve something as long as you don't give up,” David Garcia said.

Garcia, who is a Buckeye Union High School graduate, is hoping to take what he learns from Aceves and use it when he enlists in the Navy and hopefully as a professional boxer one day.
“You can get more than boxing out of this,” Garcia said. “It's self-discipline. We get to set a better example for the little kids. It keeps all of us out of trouble and away from drugs and alcohol.”

The boxing club is definitely picking up steam these days. And while Aceves is in desperate need of a building, his garage will have to do for now because throwing in the towel is not an option.

“I think God has given me another chance at life and I think maybe this is what I'm supposed to be doing,” Aceves said.

Besides in need of a building, the boxing club also needs equipment.

If you would like to donate space, equipment or money to West Valley Boxing, you can call Robert Aceves at (602) 723-9994 or email