Father and son throw a one-two punch for Richmond boxing

Ulises Soriano was inspired by his son, Ulises, to open D.F. Boxing Gym. The younger Soriano is now a professional boxer. (Photo by Tyler Orsburn)

Ulises Soriano grew up around boxing. Back in the 1970s, his father had a gym in Mexico City. Once he got to Richmond, he realized his eldest son had inherited passion for the sport, too. Thanks to God and family, the older Soriano said, the father-son combo was able to rent the their space on 13th Street, train, and help the community. For three years D.F. Boxing Gym has been rolling with the punches.

“The goal of everyone at the gym is to get in shape,” he said. “Later their goals are to get off the street, learn something new and excel in this sport. I have several kids that want to go pro.”

At 19, Soriano, the son, stands at 5’7″ and tips the scales at a chiselled 135 pounds. His precise 72″ jab has lead him to a pro record of 2-0 and one draw. He said he remembers when the gym started and it was just a group of four or five of his buddies. They’d run to the marina and after that they’d return to the gym to do some boxing drills, he said.

“This is a rough neighborhood,” Soriano said. “Luckily I had my dad around me. I told my dad, ‘I’m going to bring my friends and we’re going to charge them cheap so we can pay for the rent.’ So we started like that—bringing one friend, then another one, then another one.”

The gym is open Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is located on the corner of 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue, next to the gas station. The fee to work out and boxing lessons is $65 dollars per month. Men, women and children can put on the gloves. For more information contact Ulises Soriano at (510) 412-1090.

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