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Denver boxing coach known for keeping kids off the streets dies

raymond romero.jpg
Posted at 11:38 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-01 01:38:05-04

DENVER — A former Denver boxing coach that dedicated more than two decades of his life to coaching and keeping kids off the street died on Friday.

Raymond Romero was known in the boxing community as “Monk.” He began his boxing career when he was 10 years old. He boxed in the Golden Gloves tournament, a prestigious match, when he was 18 years old. Romero boxed in the first class division for two years.

Jesse Mora, a former boxer and the interim chairman for the Colorado Golden Gloves nonprofit, met Romero at a boxing match.

“He was slick. He had a good solid attack,” Mora said.

Raymond retired from boxing and began coaching later in life. He launched a boxing program and coached the Our Lady of Guadalupe team, with help from other coaches, and won two championships.

“He was one of the greatest. He had a heck of a coaching manner,” Mora said.

Adrian Romero sifted through dozens of photos of his father. He can still hear his father’s voice instructing boxers in the ring.

“Double up on the jab, and get in there and work his body,” Romero recited what he thought his father was saying in the photo he held.

Raymond was 83 years old when he died. He battled years of dementia, but the legacy he left behind for many lives on.

Adrian says his dad was a father figure for many young kids who didn’t have dads or came from a broken family. He says his dad helped countless Latino kids from the west side stay off the streets and stay out of gangs.

“He got them back into school, started doing homework,” Adrian said.

Raymond didn’t allow his boxers to train unless they attended all of their classes. He taught kids discipline and leadership skills.

“It meant a lot to these kids,” Adrian said.

In 1988, Raymond was chosen to coach the U.S.A. international team and won the championship in Moscow, Russia. In 2012, Romero was inducted into the Colorado Golden Gloves Hall of Fame for his dedication to the boxing world and his community.

“He was a tough coach, but he was a respectable coach and a lovable coach, and he cared for his boxers,” Mora said.

Romero's funeral will be held at Saint Catherine of Siena off Federal Boulevard. The family plans to announce a date and time in the coming days.