A new mural on the side of the House of Boxing Gym in Paradise Hills celebrates boxing champions Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez of Mexico and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, as well as the man who started the gym with his son 30 years ago.
This is the latest art installation by the couple who make up the Ground Floor Murals, a group behind the murals with San Diego Padres players like Fernando Tates Jr. and Mane Machado, who can be seen in different parts of the county.
The mural, which spans an entire exterior wall of the gym located on Reo Drive, is made with spray paints and took two weeks to make.
It’s a tribute to people who have won everything through sacrifice and effort, said Carlos Barragan Jr., owner of the gym.
“It is an example of two men from low-income countries, who devoted themselves to a sport that I also gave myself, and then made something of themselves and used it to better themselves and their countries,” said Barragan Jr.
In the middle of the photos of Alvarez and Pacquiao is a photo of the father of the businessman, Carlos Barragán, who in 1991 started the gym with only a boxing bag in his backyard in National City.
From there began the Barragan family’s dream of having a space to help young people in their community.
In 2008, Barragan Jr. said he was hit by a drunk driver, seriously injuring him. With the money he received as part of the settlement agreement for the accident, he opened what is now the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, in a space that was once a Filipino grocery store.
Carlos Barragán Sr. said he was honored to see how his image began to take shape on the mural, and was moved to remember how the gymnasium had evolved. He added that he hopes people passing in front of the mural will take time to consider that any goal is possible.
“We hope that people realize all that can be done,” he said. “When a person has an idea to do something, it can be done with sacrifice, dedication, and moving forward.”
A message that San Diego native artists Paul Jimenez and Sing Daytona can relate to.
During the pandemic, they both lost their jobs in the same week, not knowing if they could return. Jiménez worked in a restaurant and Ditona in a cafeteria.
At this time they found an offer in art. They started testing spray paint and the rest is history. Little by little they started to introduce themselves and formed the Ground Floor Murals Company.
Among his creations are murals of athletes such as Tony Gwen, Junior Seo and one of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.
They also painted murals of Padres players like Tates Jr., and now he’s iconic bat face in the postseason last year; Machado, and pitchers U Darwish and Joe Musgrove, the latter, after him no hitterWhich was the first in the team’s history.
For Jiménez, the most important thing about these murals is representation.
“If you look at it, a lot of athletes are people of color,” the artist explained.
“It was easy to do this year because our esports stars in San Diego were people of color, and it was great that we could put them on the walls. A lot of people feel like they haven’t seen it in a long time, or if ever, So it means a lot to us to have that representation.”
With this mural, they were both able to celebrate their roots, Jimenez of Mexican descent, and Daytona of the Philippines. As the couple states on their website, their motive is to “pay tribute to the cultures that have shaped us.”
“It is an honor to paint Carlos’s father, someone who has done great things for the community, as well as these two boxers who have been an inspiration to their people,” Daytona said.
“Canelo” Alvarez knows the gym well, having performed several open press exercises in it.
Barragán Jr. recalls. How neighbors on those occasions noticed the Mexican boxer and waited for him outside for a photo or autograph, which Canelo always came up with.
In November, Alvarez will face American Caleb Plant for the world middleweight title. For his part, Pacquiao announced his retirement from a boxer this week, noting that he will seek the presidency of the Philippines in 2022.
The mural will be unveiled on Saturday, October 2, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at a community event that will be attended by various artists and vehicles, as well as music and vehicles. Low And food trucks.
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