BETHEL — There are those who bully and those who fight back. Today we talk about one who fought back, someone who was born in New York City,  raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, far from the rural life here in Bethel. Now, if you watch the blockbuster movies, you may have heard bits of this story. It’s about Jose.

Now fast-forward to the days when Jose Colon of Waterford is fighting professional matches. Growing up, he’s training with the legends like Mickey Ward with Mickey’s brother Dickey Eklund training them. (see movie: The Fighter staring Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg). He’s fighting professional fights before he even knew he was fighting professional.

Rewind. As a kid, he was bullied.

“When I was little, I was born in New York, and I used to get picked on when I was a little kid,” says Jose. “I used to go home crying all the time, cuz there used to be like six kids against me. One day he [his dad] said you better fight back or I’m gonna do worse than what they’re doing. Then I did.”

As a child, he didn’t speak any English. The kids taunted him, telling him to say inappropriate things.

“When I was 10.5 years old, I got sick and tired of fighting in the streets,” he says, “and I skipped school for two weeks and they turned….and I opened the door and there was a police officer to take away my father and me to court saying they’re going to put me away for six months, and I behave and this and that, when they took me away they put me in a jail in Boston.”

Jose has been training since he was six-years-old to be a boxer. His church in Lowell owned a boxing arena. That’s where he practiced. Even while in jail he never stopped boxing. When he got out, he never stopped boxing.

Once, Jose was fighting a 6’5″ world-champion, and this guy hit him in the back of the head. General rule, you’re not supposed to hit in the back of the head.

“He was in my home town, this was when I was fighting pros, at first they boo at me, then after they see the way I was fighting they was cheering for me too,” says Jose. “In the end when we got through the fight and we was sitting in the locking room he says, ‘I hit you with everything I had, and all you kept doing was coming and hitting me. To be honest, we woulda went another round I woulda quit.’”

Jose looks away where only he can see that fight.

“That’s cuz I’m a smart fighter, I know how to protect myself, how to save my energy,” he says.

His family lives in the Bethel region which promoted his move out here after many visits over the years. Whatever city Jose is in, he always finds a gym. That’s how he discovered Workout-24/7 in Bethel. It’s there he’s been training for 9.5 years off and on, and where he teaches private boxing lessons.

For those interested in taking boxing classes, Jose says you don’t have to take the classes only if you’re thinking of going professional.

“I tell people, I’ll train ya, but it doesn’t mean you have to fight,” says Jose. “But I teach like a real fight. You hit pads, you hit the bag – POM POM – and you have fun at the same time. I told them, I don’t want you using it in the streets. It’s for you to get in good shape, and it will built you up, too.

“I teach everything. I get cardio. Boxing is the best cardio for you,” says Jose. “It builds you in. But there’s all kinds of different muscles you never even knew you had under your feet. You use everything, your whole body.”

According to coachmag.co.uk, boxing burns more calories per hour than any other sport, with about 800 calories per hour burned.

“My next plan is to try and have my own gym,” says Jose. “But I’ll still come here [Workout-24/7].”

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