GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Life has a way of ruining even the best laid plans—just think about all the unexpected delays you've ever had to deal with on your morning commute.
Sometimes life's surprises throw you for more a loop. You lose someone you love and suddenly have to turn around and pick up the pieces. It's a lot to ask of a person, let a long a teenager—just ask Avel Morales, who in tough times turned to boxing as way to deal with his father's passing.
“Truly what I believe boxing is is an art, and it's a very and you know, it's a violent art, but it can be a beautiful art as well,” said Avel Morales.
The beauty of this art isn’t necessarily in the product. It's in the process, transforming Avel Morales' life when faced with some tough times.
“When I lost my dad I was lost, and I needed that guide in my life and someone to inspire me and empower me and when I walked into 8th Street Gym I really did find that,” said Morales.
It's been three years since Avel found boxing and his coach, Miguel Navarro.
“Avel's had a long journey. When Avel first came to us he was in bad spot, gangs, failing classes, alcohol, all these different things that kids get into these days,” said Miguel Navarro.
“I knew truly, deep within myself that I was better than what I was doing,” said Morales.
Avel says boxing taught him hard lessons in the ring that have allowed him to completely turn his life around.
“It’s a total lifestyle. I like that lifestyle of being a young man out of the ring, being a hard fighter inside the ring, and being able to teach other of my other teammates,” said Morales.
His attitude and drive has proven to be quite infectious, inspiring his younger teammates of the too strong boxing club to be just like their captain.
“I’m glad he's we found him, and he trains us really hard. He's the hardest person ever,” said Alex Sanchez, Avel’s teammate.
“He’s just that person that is always there for you and if you're struggling he'll help you out,” said Jaime Sanchez.
When you ask Avel how he feels about boxing, he’ll tell you he's grateful for the experiences, and excited for what's to come.
“You know, I could only set a goal about it and and achieve that, but I know boxing will just bring me so much more. Going into the military, I hope to keep competing in boxing and 2020, Japan that’s where I look forward to be,” said Morales.