Puerto Rican boxer Kiria Tapia had just finished her training this Thursday at the Felix Pagan Pintor Gym in Guaynabo, when her coach Ivan Calderon received the news that he had been selected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Tapia, upon finding out, cried with emotion and celebrated the great moment with Calderon and others present in the gym.
“I feel extremely proud. It is an honor for me to have him in my corner. I say it and my hair stands on end.”Tapia shared with El Nuevo Dia.
When Tapia arrived at the gym, Calderon approached her and told her that she was going to feel very proud of him that day, without offering any further details. Then at noon they celebrated with a hug the news that the former boxer had been waiting for for the past seven years, after appearing on the ballot for the first time in 2017.
“And what else can I tell you? I am happy because every day that I train with him he continues to add to my summary of experience, from everything I learned in his career. “I am happy to be part of this moment and that he is my coach.”said Tapia, who debuted as a professional boxer in January of this year.
Tapia already has three victories in the same number of fights led by Calderon.
“He is always very serious with me and tells me ‘we are going to train as if you were fighting tomorrow, concentrate on what you are doing and we are going to divide one thing from the other’… those things are what I will always carry with me.” mind, in my heart. Because I know that’s what it worked out for him.”
The Guaynabeno will join the Puerto Rican boxers Miguel Cotto, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Herbert “Cocoa Kid” Hardwick, Pedro Montanez, Edwin “Chapo” next June at the venue located in Canastota, New York. ” Rosario, Sixto Escobar, Jose “Chegui” Torres, Wilfredo Gomez, Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez and Carlos Ortiz.
On the other hand, one of Calderon’s former coaches, Felix Pagan Paintercataloged the former fighter as “one of the most dedicated in the sport.”
Pagan Pintor confessed that at the beginning of the career, he had little faith in Calderon, who eventually became world champion in the 105 and 108 pound division of the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Today he accepted that he was wrong.
“I have to very humbly thank Ivan Calderon for doing such a spectacular job. I worked with him in 10 defenses and it was a very dedicated and very healthy job.”said Pagan Pintor.
For the president of the OMB, Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, this recognition of Calderon is more than deserved.
“Ivan is an example to follow as a boxer and as a human being… Ivan showed that with a lot of sacrifice, determination and will you can achieve success,” Valcarcel said in written statements.
Along with Calderon, Ricky Hatton, Michael Moorer and Diego Corrales were selected in the modern boxing category. The rest of the 2024 class was made up of Jane Couch, Ana Maria Torres, Kenny Adams, Jackie Kallen, Fred Sternburg, Wallace Matthews, Nick Charles, Luis Angel Firpo and Theresa Kibby.
“Not only was he a great champion, but he is a great trainer and manages what is perhaps the best gym in Puerto Rico. There he imposes discipline and makes the gym like an extension of the boxer’s home,” Valcarcel added.
Calderon’s professional career spanned from 2001 to 2012. He amassed a record of 35-3-1, with six victories by knockout.