Six days a week, Chris Sanchez can be seen through the windows at 543 North 3rd Street.
The senior finance major at Temple University is one of many young adults who train at the Joe Hand Boxing Gym.
The Bridgewater, NJ native has been boxing since his freshman year of high school but came to the Joe Hand Gym in Philadelphia about a year ago.
“I was always interested in boxing,” Sanchez said. “I used to watch it with my dad when I was younger, and I thought, hey maybe I want to try this.”
Sanchez’s career started when a family friend told his mother about a local trainer in his hometown that was starting up. From there, Sanchez grew as a fighter, and decided to also pursue a college degree.
When he arrived at Temple University in 2012, Sanchez researched and tried several different gyms around the Philadelphia area before sticking with the Joe Hand Boxing Gym.
“The reason I stay here is because I see a lot of my heroes here,” Sanchez said. “You’ve got Bernard Hopkins, Chazz Witherspoon, Jesse Hart. They’re all my idols and I get to train alongside them. It’s very motivating. Clearly this place is doing something right.”
Assisting him is his trainer Stanley “PeeWee” Dawson, who has been on the boxing scene since 1968.
Although Sanchez is a pretty capable fighter already, Dawson says there is definitely room for improvement.
“We’ve been working on jabs, keeping the opposition off balance, things like that.” said Dawson. “He has the power but we have to work on his footwork a little bit, but all of that stuff will come. It will come in time.”
Sanchez says that days in the gym can alternate between working together with Dawson and doing exercises on his own.
“We have a good relationship. I trust him and he believes in me,” said Sanchez.
As the Fox School of Business senior rapidly approaches graduation, he hopes to try his hand at professional boxing if the opportunity arises. If not, Sanchez promises that boxing will always have a place in his life, in one way or another.
“I would absolutely love for my sons to box, if I had a daughter, well, I don’t know if I would want her getting beat up, but if I have a son and my future wife is OK with it, I would love to see him box.”
-Text and images by Breland Moore