LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Since 2002, the Crossroads Boxing Club at 1301 42nd street has been a fixture in the life of Johnny Melendrez.
“When we first came into this place, we built it up and we painted it and it was really nice,” Melendrez said.
Melendrez has mentored countless boxers over the years and led many of them to the highest levels.
Now Melendrez, along with Orlin Norris, has opened up a new facility called Boxing Kinetics Academy off of south Frankford Avenue.
But opening the new facility meant leaving the old one behind.
“As you can see, people broke in here and lived in here,” Melendrez said.
Johnny was excited about opening the new facility, but the old one never left his heart. But he knew if he wanted to start something there, the old building would need some serious work.
“I am positive that we are going to get back going again,” Melendrez said. “But my heart is still here, and my heart has been here. So, there is something in my heart that I want to reach the kids.”
Thursday afternoon, Melendrez and his business partner Orlin Norris met with an architect to learn more about the building and figure out their next step.
“We talked to Mr. Luke, and he told me ways that we could probably get grants. Hopefully, we can get grants to start building,” Johnny said.
They are still in the early stages of planning, but Melendrez has dreams of making the old boxing club into a community center for the youth of central Lubbock.
“In my heart, I want to have a community center,” Melendrez said. “We do boxing, but my main thing is to get the kids off of the streets. If they can come in here and have fellowship or we can have videos for them or maybe computers for them. Just to keep them busy.”
Melendrez told us that he would love to be able to expand the building and make it big enough to host events, but his main focus is giving the youth a place to go and to grow as people.
“My main vision is not about boxing, but it’s about keeping the kids off of the streets,” Johnny said.
Norris and Melendrez are still in the early stages of planning, but Melendrez told KCBD, “God willing, he will make away for this place to get back going.”