I have been a long time reader of the Hood River News and never felt more compelled to write a letter to the editor after reading a letter regarding my 6-year-old son "Xavier's" introduction into boxing titled "Vicious Mentality" by Ms. Vanessa Miller (Feb. 6). I would like to start out by saying boxing is not a form of self-defense, but it is a sport.
The Hood River Boxing Club does not condone nor promote to children or the community that it is acceptable to teach how to "beat people up" as stated by Ms. Miller. "That kid" referred to in the article as Xavier is not learning that it is alright to "harm another human being." As a matter of fact Xavier has never thrown a punch outside of the boxing ring and has never displayed a violent attitude at home or at school. In short, Xavier is a loving, caring, respectful 6-year-old, and not a kid "with a mindset to pick fights and brag how they hurt others."
In Ms. Miller's article, she misquoted Xavier as saying "it still kind of hurts to get punched in the head," which was really stated by another club member. Don't worry, Ms. Miller, I've already explained the risks of head injuries and taken safety measures in wearing head gear when "that kid" (Xavier) spars with another opponent. I appreciate the advice by Ms. Miller to not let Xavier "get slammed in the head," "or at least allow him the right to grow up so he can choose to get knocked around," as these are not my intentions and Xavier seems to have interest and dedication to the sport.
Ms. Miller's article is contradictive when she stated that she is "not against boxing" and "since he is only six I will not judge his character" but her statements fail to support anything different.
The Hood River Boxing Club's values are not to teach violence, but to teach boxing and to promote good health through physical fitness.
The only thing that deeply saddens, offends, and disgusts me is when someone asks for the community "to take a step back" on something that can greatly benefit all walks of life in the community.
In closing I would like to say that I am proud and impressed by Xavier's passion and dedication and encourage him and others to pursue their dreams and not let criticism get them down.
Proud father of Xavier Mariscal