"This used to be a welding shop.” Mark Lerma, Manager of Thermal Boxing club, said.
That was 14 years ago until a man turned it into a boxing a club.
"The old man came, Ralph Romero, cleaned it out, and he put in a ring and some bags,” Lerma said. “He was really inventive with making things.”
Ralph Romero ran the gym until he lost his battle to pancreatic cancer in March of 2016.
"He lived his dream,” Lerma said. “He had a passion for boxing and he loved kids in a sense of wanting better for them."
And wanting better for Mark and his son, Jacob. Romero gave the club to the family to manage before he passed as they had no place to live.
"It’s a gift,” Mark said. “It takes a special person. Ralph was a special person and he saw something in me. I still ask today ‘why’. I can never be a Ralph but I hope that I learned enough from him. Even though he’s gone, I have a picture of him hanging in the gym. I talk to him, we talk, and he teaches me still. Every day I talk to him. So, I just hope we do right by him and keep opening the gym.