Yaqui Lopez/ PC Daniel Garza

Stockton Heroes: Yaqui Lopez

Yellow Line

Yaqui Lopez is a world known former boxer who is an inspiration to hundreds of kids he mentors and teaches boxing too. His story is life changing and is worth the watch. 


Transcript of Interview with Yaqui Lopez

My name is Alvaro Medina Lopez. But most of the guys they call me Yaqui Lopez. I'm an ex-boxer.

I fought in Italy, and in Copenhagen and Australia. You know, all over,  so I go by a lot of names in there. I like boxing but I liked to be a bullfighter when I was younger man in Mexico, I was 12. A bull get me in my ankle. And he broke my ankle and they said, no more bullfighter.

So my mother and my dad were bringing me here and then I  start boxing, you know. I met my wife and her father, but her father, he was a boxing promoter. And I asked my girlfriend, would you please ask your father and see if he can teach me…and she looked at me kind of funny and she said, “Really?” Yeah, this is how it started.

But then I tell my mother, one of the days I be somebody and my mother said, Oh yeah, you probably be a thief or, this and that just no, you know but I said no. And I'm here.

Then I started boxing the 1969 amateur fight. I turned professional in 1972. Her father you know he put me with lot of, a lot a rough, guys. But you know tough, tough. But I want to be somebody and I'm no one to lose my girlfriend and her father want to test me I guess you know. I fight for the championship of the world five times and tough fight. But most of the guys that I fight, you know, they're gone already.

I want to stay here at least another 5, 10 years I hope. But you never know. We're here today and tomorrow, who knows, boxing made me better, man. Boxing made me respect people. Boxing made me help somebody else.

That's why I have what I got the way I want to help the the young kids. You Know but it's hard I got a few youngsters they come real shy but then 10, 15 days, 1 month go by and they're normal and then the mother and father would coming and tell me, oh thank you their way different now. And, you know, the boys go to school, but no, come crying, no nothing.

No, we save a few, you know, they go to court and they charge him for this and that. And I'll talk to the judge and then the change was like, one work in San Francisco, another one working late, you know, they have a new car they come sometimes. And help me. Thank you to the guys the guys the help me here, if don’t have that kind of help you know I just be by myself and I'm an old man now, you know. But so far so good. I love I love the sport, you know, I, I like how I go down and get back up and, you know, I've never quit fighting you know, I learned a lot. You know. Respect people and be honest with people be loyal with people that it.

My wife she tell me why didn't you open a gym and then you want to open one and that's how I opened the gym you know, because I don't know what to do with myself or or my wife she don’t know what to do with me. And I want to teach the young kids what I know, I love it. You know, I've got a big family, as you know. I tell the boys, I want to treat you like you treat me, you treat me right. I want to treat you better.

The first thing that I tell the youngsters you education is first. No matter what you know, if you're good educated, you know, go to school, study if you want to be somebody to study, go to school and be somebody. My hope before I die, I like to see this Stockton, Stockton is nice place. But we make we make the city of Stockton to look bad because sometimes we do the wrong things and we're the ones that made San Joaquin County bad.

I just want to tell all the youngsters, they want to be somebody to go, go if you dream, to become a whatever you want to be in life. You can do it just no quit with reaching for your dream. Work harder. Work, Work, Work. And if you work, you get something back. If you dream that you want to be somebody and you dream, that you want to be a doctor or or football player or baseball player or whatever or whatever, whatever you want to be, you can be, just don’t quit dreaming and no quit working in your dreams, that is the bottom line

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