Boxer Eddy Guillen talks community outreach, pandemic’s endgame in The Pitch Questionnaire

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Eddy Guillen with his students. // Courtesy of Eddy Guillen

Eddy Guillen has been boxing for 12 years and has been teaching and mentoring the youth of Kansas City since 2015. In that time he’s fought and won the Golden Gloves four separate times and touched the lives of many children that have stepped into the ring with him.

While his career has taken him across the United States for bouts, Guillen calls Kansas City home. When he’s not boxing, you can find him teaching techniques in the ring at Whatsoever Community Center in East Blue Valley.

Social handles: Twitter @eddytheg; Instagram: @eddytheg

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Current Neighborhood: Independence, MO

How did you get into boxing?: My friend was a boxer at Whatsoever boxing club, and the weekend after we both graduated high school in 2008 he invited me and a group of mutual friends to go and get a workout in.

How did you get into working in your current capacity with teaching/instructing boxing?: I boxed for Whatsoever for about 10 years before I was offered the head coaching job in 2015. I was then offered the youth director position after a year and transitioned with youth directing and head boxing coach.  

What values/lessons have you learned through being around the sport?: I learned the real definition of dedication and hard work. In order to be successful in this sport, you have to always be ready, always training, and always prepared. It takes sacrifices and tests your will to succeed when you want to quit so badly.  

What do you like to do when you’re not working?:  I love to play soccer. I play on about 3-4 teams a week from outdoor and indoor. Spend time with the family and do activities around the city. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?: I wanted to be an architect and design buildings, but I found out math is not my strong suit.  

What challenges do you face working with kids of all ages?: The challenges you face working with youth in the inner city come in many different forms from home life, school life, and social life. A lot of the youth I work with come from single-parent households that adds a layer of difficulty trying to keep kids off the street and not go down the dark road of gangs, drugs, and violence. 

What’s the best advice you’ve given to someone?: I would say the best advice I given to someone is, “the door to success is always there it’s up to you to walk through it.” 

What’s your favorite KC (professional) sports team?: Chiefs all the way. Any Kansas City-based teams from Sporting, Royals, Comets to KC NWSL.

What does Kansas City need more of in your opinion?: They need to have more boxing gyms for the youth and actually put effort into keeping them, not just start them and then forget about them. 

Where/what’s for dinner?: Good ole Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with ice-cold lemonade. 

What’s your favorite spot to go out to eat?: That has to be Texas Roadhouse.

What are you watching?: Big fan of Rick & Morty, 30 for 30, and The Big Bang Theory.

What are you looking forward to doing that you haven’t been able to do in some time? Going to a full stadium with full crowds. Having fans able to go to boxing matches is what I’m really excited about, just having people cheer us on in that type of atmosphere.

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Eddy Guillen with his son. // Courtesy of Eddy Guillen

Categories: Questionnaire