July 18, 2015
While most kids want to fight their brothers, 95-pound paperweight boxer Jesus Murillo steps into the ring to fight in his brother's footsteps.
Murillo competed at the Midwest Invitational Boxing Showcase, which was hosted by Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration on July 18, defeating Brian Frazier from Cincinnati, Ohio in an intermediate level match. Murillo's mother and siblings accompanied him to the event.
For the Murillo family, boxing is a family tradition. Jesus Murillo said boxing keeps him close to his older brother, Mario Murillo.
“I do boxing because of him. That’s my brother. That’s my idol,” said Jesus Murillo, while flexing his muscles to mirror his older brother’s.
The brothers have been boxing for five years at Top Notch boxing club in Louisville, KY. Although both boys agree that boxing is a bond for them, Mario Murillo said he is on edge when his younger brother steps into the ring.
“I don’t like it when he takes a punch. It gets me nervous, but it’s part of the sport,” Mario Murillo said. “I am always with him and it feels good to know that your brother is following in your footsteps.”
While Mario Murillo is on edge during his brother’s fight, Norma Rodriguez, the boys’ mother, said she is proud when Jesus Murillo takes a punch.
“This is [the boys’] dream and they’re doing it,” said Norma Rodriguez in Spanish, with Mario Murillo translating. “I know that they like [boxing] and I want them to do what they want.”
Rodriguez said that boxing is important to her family because it teaches them hard work and discipline. Mario Murillo said the sport has taught him self-reliance.
“[Boxing] is a sport where it’s just you and your opponent,” Mario Murillo said. “If you lose, you can only blame yourself for it. You can’t blame any of your teammates.”
James Dickson, who coaches at Top Notch, said boxing gives his students a sense of personal responsibility. Dickson said the lessons learned during a tough boxing match could also be applied to life.
“You train them and learn how to roll with the punches. It’s kind of like life in that way. Sometimes you have adversity or things that don't go your way and are unexpected and you have to learn how to overcome that,” said Dickson. “There’s no other sport that’s going to teach you to get knocked down and get back up.”
Dickson said his son Carlos also boxes for Top Notch. Dickson said he has been able to teach his son the “sweet science” of boxing and how to roll with the punches.
“It's just like football, [the pain] always looks worse than it is,” Dickson said.
Top Notch has participated in the Midwest Invitational Boxing Showcase since the event was reinstated at IBE Summer Celebration in 2013. The event was originally added to the Summer Celebration in 1972 but was discontinued almost a decade ago.
The boxing event will continue July 19 at 2 p.m. in the Indiana Convention Center.