Rehabilitation through boxing at a woman’s prison in Morelos

The Recreational Boxing Training program began two years ago for the inmates at the woman’s prison in Morelos
Rehabilitation through boxing at a woman’s prison in Morelos
Women boxers at a prison in Morelos fight for the championship - Photo: Mario Jasso/CUARTOSCURO
19/05/2018
16:39
Mariluz Roldán
Mexico City
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Estrella, Estrella!” Roared the crowd of female inmates when a woman in black shorts and a gray t-shirt went up to the ring, while on the other corner, her rival appeared wearing blue. Both women came close at the center of the ring and, all of a sudden, a chain of blows in boxing gloves amazed the audience.

20-feet tall barred walls surround the prison where the tournament took place. The former gymnasium of the institution was adapted to become an arena for three boxing matches of three rounds each.

The ring was right at the center of the gym. Sitting on the benches at the side were approximately 250 female inmates, most of them between 25 and 35 years of age, wearing a beige uniform. At the left side of their pants and blouses was their identification number.

The moist heat that characterizes the State of Morelos had its effect on the intensity of the boxing matches. The categories were of 52 to 55 kg (114-121 lb), 72 to 75 kg (158-165 lb), and 81 to 85 kg (178-187 lb). In the last 10 seconds of the third round, Estrella managed to corner her opponent and strike several blows to her face, which was covered by a headgear. At that moment the bell rung, marking the end of the match, and the judges declared her the winner.

At the end of the fights, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales Heredia commented that boxing can become an inspiration for the inmates to keep fighting because “it involves reconciling with ourselves and society.”

Sales Heredia explained that the Recreational Boxing Training program began two years ago, with the support of the National Security Commission and the World Boxing Council, which has been of great help in the certification of 111 inmates as box trainers.

Alfonso Ramón Bagur, the general commissioner to the Federal Protection Service, mentioned that the program has been implemented in six Federal rehabilitation centers located in Morelos, Guanajuato, Sonora, Jalisco, Durango, and Veracruz.

Mauricio Sulaimán, chairman of the World Boxing Council, said to the inmates: “You only get one shot. It is acceptable to get knocked down, but it is important that you get up again.”

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