Chicago boxing coach lifts female fighters to new heights, motivated by tragedy

By Chris Cadeau
Medill Reports

Israel Gonzalez is a decorated Chicago boxing coach. He fought “semi-professionally” until his career suddenly ended on Christmas day in 2003. Once Gonzalez got back on his feet, his journey as a coach began at Northeastern Illinois University, while pursuing an education. Today, Gonzalez is regarded as one of the top female boxing coaches in the city. Medill Reports caught up with Israel to find out how his dedication to leading students, specifically women, has turned his boxers into champions.

Photo at top: Israel Gonzalez coaching boxers before a tournament in Chicago. (Chris Cadeau / MEDILL)