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Youth boxing showdown highlights sport and nonprofit gym

Adobe Stock image for illustrative purposes.

An amateur boxing event hits the ring in Marble Falls on July 13. The first-ever Hill Country Summer Showdown is set for 1 p.m. that Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club of Marble Falls, 1701 Broadway. 

Fifty young athletes from across Texas will show off their fighting skills, competing for belts and raising money for local nonprofit IMR Boxing Gym.

IMR Boxing aims to share its mission of offering accessible training, mentorship, and skills development for Highland Lakes youths. 

“Sometimes, boxing changes a kid’s life, even if it’s just winning a medal,” IMR Boxing’s Karlene Escamilla told “It’s something to be proud of, something your family can be proud of.”

The gym is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, and all of the proceeds from the exhibition will go toward paying USA Boxing membership dues for local athletes, getting new gear and equipment, and ensuring the gym can remain open. Children under the age of 18 can train at IMR for free as long as they are attending school or are homeschooled. Those 18 years and older are asked to make a donation toward their training.

Admission to the Summer Showdown is $10 for ages 6 and older and free for children 5 and younger. A concession stand will sell food and drinks. 

The boxing exhibition will feature 25 bouts total, with both boys and girls competing for belts and medals. Three of IMR’s boxers will step into the ring, but the rest will come from across Texas.

This is a USA Boxing-sanctioned event, so there will be weigh-ins, protective gear, medical staff on hand, and physicals for all of the competitors.

Karlene and husband Freddy Escamilla started IMR Boxing Gym in January 2023, originally operating out of the Boys and Girls Club of Marble Falls. They recently moved to their own location at 1007 Broadway, Suite B, in Marble Falls, where Freddy teaches six nights a week. 

Karlene told that they currently have about 20 young boxers training out of the gym.

“It’s been very rewarding to see young athletes have something like (the gym),” she said. “It takes true dedication to even get in the ring. The kids really do put their hearts and souls into boxing.”

Karlene said boxing can seem intimidating from the outside, especially for kids, so she hopes the Summer Showdown spotlights the skill, dedication, and benefits that come with the sport.

“Anybody can be a boxer, no matter your size and strength,” she said. “It’s all about technique. I think being able to see an event in person gives you a chance to see what it’s really like.”

Learn more about the Summer Showdown or IMR Boxing Gym by calling 989-327-8499.