Columbia Heights Firehouse Gym training boxers of legendary descent

Two new members related to boxing legends Stanley Ketchel and Canelo Alvarez

Two new members of the Columbia Heights Golden Gloves Firehouse Gym have famous boxing lineage.

Descendants of Stanley Ketchel and Canelo Alvarez are now training at the Firehouse Gym. Members Alejandro Ketchel and Johansen Alvarez are both carrying on their respective relatives’ boxing talents.

Columbia Heights Firehouse Gym coach Dave Skog, new members Alejandro Ketchel and Johansen Alvarez, and head coach Ludy Webster. (Sun Focus photo by Sarah Burghardt)

Stanley Ketchel was a Polish American professional boxer who became one of the greatest World Middleweight Champions in history.
Although Ketchel was murdered in 1910 at the young age of 24, his boxing career earned him fame and respect by many people and professional athletes.

He left home at the age of 15, moving from Michigan to Montana where he worked as a bar bouncer. He began getting into fights at his job, and the bar owner began to put the teenager in weekly boxing shows. His first official fight was in 1903, and his career took off. In four years, Ketchel won nearly 40 bouts without a loss. He then moved onto California where he took on a few historic professional boxers. He earned the middleweight title after defeating Joe Thomas in a 32nd-round knockout and a 20-round decision.

His most notable fight was against heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. With strong ticket and film sales, the famous fight earned Ketchel universal fame, although he fell short. In the 12th round, Ketchel floored Johnson with a right hand, Johnson then got up and knocked out Ketchel with a right uppercut.

Canelo Alvarez is a Mexican professional boxer and a two-weight world champion. He is ranked as one of the world’s best boxers by BoxRec, an organization that holds updated records on professional boxers. Alvarez is also one of the highest paid pay-per-view fighters to date.

Alvarez has a nearly undefeated record and is a popular and highly respected boxer in Mexico and around the world.