By: Natasha Perez
Gloves caress his cheeks. Their foam patting protects his face. He strikes. The punching bag jolts to the side. He counters with his left. A glaze covers his eyes. He focuses on his target. If you’re a stranger to boxing, you wouldn’t notice him constantly adding onto his technique. How he works on his speed and timing. If you’re a coach, this stern persona doesn’t seem foreign to you. He impresses with his perfectly timed counters and his ability to measure the distance between himself and the other fighters. Look out boxing world, Senior David Barajas is up and coming!
“Every single step you take and every punch you throw is gonna be a challenge,” says Barajas.
Daniel Parham knew this well. Parham was the coach of the former Jenks Boxing Club. He coached many boxers like Barajas and was impressed by his persistence to persevere.
“It was his perseverance,” says Parham. “When it got difficult he didn’t quit”.
Barajas started out from pure curiosity. Didn’t have many skills at first but he stuck with it. Since then he keeps working on his craft, doing a lot of self-study by watching youtube and mimicking what he learns on his own. His hard work has paid off! He’s now working in the field as a trainer for TITLE Boxing South Tulsa.
Barajas’s eyes light up talking about his love for boxing, speaking in a lowered voice. Many people search for true happiness, doing so many things to find that connection. Barajas found it. Boxing is what brings him true happiness. He enthuses how there’s always something new to learn and new people to meet, like his friend Amir Altwil.
Altwil met Barajas at the forming Jenks Boxing Club. Parham recommended them to spar together, being the only two who had more experience than the other students. They support each other to become better. That’s when their friendship started.
Since then they train together from time to time at the TITLE boxing gym. Barajas spars with Altwil, advising him on how to improve things like his footwork and teaching him new moves.
“He is my friend and also my coach,” says Altwil. “He knows so much about boxing if I ever have a question or wonder about something David has the answer for it.”
Altwil has nothing but respect for Barajas and wishes him a lot of hard work and many mature fights until he turns pro.
Boxing brings out another side of Barajas. He explains that everyone has this other side to them. The person who is always hungry for change, always hungry for more than what they have.
“Being hungry for more is something I’ve always had and never lacked,” says Barajas.
Barajas explains when he harnesses the other side of him, it allows him to reach where he wants to be. The other side of him is a fighter, an unstoppable force and can be used for good.
“That’s what keeps me here,” says Barajas, “He’s the side of me that doesn’t allow me to give up.”
Many of Parham’s boxers love the discipline of the sport so much, they join the Marines or the Army. Others go off to do 9-5 jobs, only seeing boxing as a hobby. Barajas never judges their decisions, knowing that everyone has their calling. He simply believes boxing is his.
“Just feel like this is mine,” says Barajas. “I can’t find this connection anywhere else.”
This coming December, there will be an amateur fight that can start his amateur career. The start onto the road of a professional career. He doesn’t know much about it but he has friends in his corner gathering information. For now, he’ll continue to work on his craft, build his experience with different fighters, and works harder than ever to achieve his dreams of going pro.