Growing up in Sacramento as an undocumented immigrant, Jose Morales faced numerous challenges on his journey to success. Yet, despite being exposed to traumas at a young age, Jose found solace in the sport of boxing, which allowed him to channel his feelings in a healthier and more productive way. After competing in 58 amateur bouts, a broken hand ended Jose’s competitive career, but he found a new passion in coaching.
As he entered adulthood, Jose left the world of boxing behind and pursued a career in the corporate world, working his way up to manager at a car dealership by the age of 23. Despite his financial success, Jose knew this was not his true calling, and he longed to return to the industry he loved.
“I started with nothing. Not even a social security number. I was practically alone since the age of eight. Regardless of all the reasons not to do something with my life, I always defined the odds,” Jose shared.
In 2015, Jose was given the opportunity to purchase a struggling boxing gym in the suburbs of Sacramento, and he jumped at the chance to turn it into something special. He established the Warrior Program, a tiered system that allows more serious boxers to advance their skills and knowledge in areas such as technique, personal development, and business. Over the past six years, the gym has grown exponentially, with multiple boxers competing at amateur and professional levels and hundreds of members discovering their passion for fitness through boxing.
Jose’s vision for the future of the sport includes creating more financial stability for those who wish to pursue careers in the industry, establishing protections and structure for boxers, and fostering a diverse and community-based environment.
“I was determined to bring the community together and show them what this sport had to offer,” says Jose. “Now, I am equally determined to make long-term changes to the sport and to create a better future for those who are passionate about it.”
Jose Morales is among the few inspiring individuals who are making an impact in the community through his passion. As he strives to create a better space for all, he also reaches out and touches more lives, one person at a time.