Weather can’t stop Brothers’ Boxing event

For Brother’s Boxing director John Hoffman, a little wind and rain couldn’t stop the club’s second boxing event in eight months.

A full 10-bout card at CR Sports Bar in Coon Rapids drew the same number of boxing fans as did the program’s first Golden Gloves event to the parking lot in downtown Anoka near Serum’s and Billy’s in September.

Jordan Meulners and Matt Mason tangle during the Brother’s Boxing-sponsored match under the tent at CR’s Sports Bar May 19.

Jordan Meulners and Matt Mason tangle during the Brother’s Boxing-sponsored match under the tent at CR’s Sports Bar May 19. Photo by Bill Jones

Fighters out of Brother’s Boxing went 4-4 and Hoffman categorized the afternoon as a success, given it was only its second time hosting an event. “I could call it a complete success, given the conditions,” he said as much of the $5 admission profit went to renting a tent to keep the area dry. The rest of the money raised will be used to upgrade equipment at the gym.

“All in all we had a good time,” he said as 500 estimated people to the free show with plenty of sunshine in September translated into about 400 paying customers for the rainy show.

“We’re very happy with that,” Hoffman said. “If we took away the conditions we could’ve easily exceeded those expectations.”

Hoffman, a 1990 Anoka High School graduate, and Jason Tintas, a three-time Upper Midwest Golden Gloves champion and former all-Army champion, established Brother’s Boxing. The pair competed in Golden Gloves bouts together in 1988-89 and reunited five years ago.

Hoffman retired after a 17-year professional boxing career and a stellar amateur career boxing out of Anoka and was a two-time Upper Midwest Golden Glove champion. Now he manages 11 professional boxers and started to work with amateurs after friends asked for help. “Anytime someone has a friend or kid looking to get into boxing they look for [me],” Hoffman said. “Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse.”

Hoffman admitted he doesn’t search out boxers to work with. “They find me if they want the help, otherwise we put in a lot of work for nothing,” he said. “I love boxing and have three teenage daughters who don’t box.”

His daughter’s boyfriend was on the card for his third amateur match. Jordan Meulners, a senior at Anoka High School, recorded the win after a third-round stoppage by the referee in the 160-pound match to improve to 2-1. He has five Mauy Thai fights under his belt for which he trains at The Academy (formerly known as Minnesota MMA) and plans to enlist in the Navy (Great Lakes, Ill.) after graduation with the ultimate goal of being a Navy SEAL.

Meulners said an uncle who served in the Navy influenced his life and it was something he always wanted to be a part of. “It’s the type of lifestyle I would like to have,” he said.

The second card for the club featured a variety of ages and abilities from ages 11 to 30-plus competing. “Our team is young, various levels of boxing, but definitely competitive,” Hoffman said.

Salvador Moreno, right, lands a punch against Ricky Johnson during their Brother’s Boxing-sponsored match under the tent at CR’s Sports Bar May 19. Photo by Bill Jones

Salvador Moreno, right, lands a punch against Ricky Johnson during their Brother’s Boxing-sponsored match under the tent at CR’s Sports Bar May 19. Photo by Bill Jones

The co-main event saw Shelby Packard defeat Mary Stewart by a judges decision, much to the chagrin of the pro-Stewart fans who were hoping the third meeting of the two would result in a win for Stewart.

The other main event ended quickly when Rich Miller earned a first-round technical knockout of Matt Hellinsberg of St. Cloud. Miller, a teacher and assistant football coach at Anoka High School, climbed back into the boxing ring for the first time in 14 years to win the heavyweight match-up.

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