Fonseca starts Soccer House, Spartan Boxing Academy

Staff Writer

(Staff photo by Heather Cathleen Cox) Seen are members of Abel Fonseca’s Spartan Boxing Academy in Harlingen, some of whom won first place at a recent competition. Fonseca also started Soccer House inside the same facility.

(Staff photo by Heather Cathleen Cox)
Seen are members of Abel Fonseca’s Spartan Boxing Academy in Harlingen, some of whom won first place at a recent competition. Fonseca also started Soccer House inside the same facility.

HARLINGEN – Abel Fonseca has come a long way.
The owner of Soccer House and Spartans Boxing Academy of Harlingen, Fonseca, who hails from San Benito, where he began boxing at age seven, attributes his early fascination with boxing to his grandfather, Pete Treviño. “He got me into it,” Fonseca said.

Although he took a hiatus from his early-life hobby, by the time Fonseca graduated from San Benito High School, he said a move to Kingsville helped revitalize his love of the sport.

Having boxed around the country at the amateur and professional levels, Fonseca says he knew that his boxing career would not be the epitome of his love of boxing. The coach explained, “I always wanted to have my own team.”

Fonseca got his wish several years back when he worked at Fred Booth Elementary School as their After School Program Coordinator. Fonseca worked with the program for eight years, and in his second year, he said he “started a boxing program for the kids. That’s how we started showing kids the fundamentals of boxing.”

Fonseca reflected upon his time at Fred Booth Elementary, as he said, “They did a lot for me. I learned a lot from that program. That’s why I was able to open up here.” The coach noted that at least 8-10 kids from the After School Program followed him to Harlingen when he opened Soccer House, over two years ago. A humble Fonseca added, “If I didn’t work for the district, I wouldn’t be open now.”

Soccer House is the Valley’s first 3-vs-3 indoor soccer arena. Fonseca said soccer players of all ages come to his facility to gain “skill and footwork,” in order to step up their game. “It’s the fastest growing indoor sport,” he stated.

The game, better known to participants as futból rapido, is played with two teams consisting of three players each. Each quarter lasts only eight minutes, hence ‘rapido.’

Soccer House has something for all ages—from toddlers to adults—and new soccer leagues begin every two months.

Spartans Boxing Academy, however, has been meeting “for about a year,” Fonseca said of the boxing program which meets at the same Soccer House location.

At present, Fonseca has nearly 50 boxers participating in the academy. Of that number, “20 compete and are registered to compete with USA Boxing,” he stated. His boxers have competed in many area, state and even national competitions.

“We took three fighters to Golden Gloves, and everyone won their championship. We won the 2014 first place team trophy for the Novice Division,” Fonseca said, expressing pride in his students.

Fonseca, who said he competed at least 20 times in his own boxing career, has hung up his competitor’s gloves, at least for the time being. So what keeps him busy, besides all the soccer leagues and professional fighters he coaches each week? Fonseca said he enjoys attending professional training camps.

“I’m always learning something,” he said with a smile. “I like learning. I’ve trained in Los Angeles, South Texas, all over Texas really. I’ve (been a referee) in Mexico.”

Fonseca says he has traveled across the United States in an effort to bring the newest skills back home to his students. “I’ve slept in the gym for two or three weeks at a time,” he said.

To say this fighter loves continuing education would obviously be an understatement. He also loves the sport and his students. But of all he’s done and seen, Fonseca expressed, “The most rewarding thing is seeing my guy’s hand raised, that he won (his fight). It makes it worth it.”

Fonseca’s boxers, also known as “Fight Club,” or “Spartans,” will compete on Saturday, July 19, at the Livestock Show Grounds in Mercedes. Doors open at 2 p.m., and there is a small cover charge. The match is associated with Beto’s Boxing Club. This and a few other fights are preparing Spartans Boxing Academy boxers for the Ringside World Championship tournament in Kansas City July 27-Aug. 2. Fonseca expects to see over 1,500 participants at the four-day tournament, from over 20 countries.



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1 comment

    • Julio on April 5, 2015 at 11:53 am
    • Reply

    What a cool thing he is doing with these kids!
    I have always wanted to teach guitar, from rock to Classical, I know these kids will pick it up quick!
    God Bless you Abel for all your efforts, and especially what you are doing with the kidos!

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