City of Coachella honors legendary local boxing trainer Lee Espinoza
For over 40 years, Librado “Lee” Espinoza has managed and trained young boxers in the Coachella Valley.
Espinoza started the Coachella Valley Boxing Club out of a cramped single room in Indio. The club moved to the former fire station next to Coachella City Hall in 1985. In 1996, Espinoza's gym moved to its current location at Bagdouma Park in Coachella.
He has helped train several boxing stars including Pancho Segura, Sandra Yard, Randy Caballero and four brothers – Joel, Jesus, Antonio and Julio Diaz – from Coachella.
Espinoza's latest standout trainee, Jocelyn Camarillo, a 17-year-old from Indio, recently won at the 2021 USA Boxing National Championships.
Decades of dedication to the local youth led to his induction into several boxing halls of fame, including the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005 and in October 2021, the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.
On Thursday, the Coachella City Council officially congratulated Espinoza on his HOF induction.
"The sacrifice of you giving to yourself has taken your dream international and has taken the city international," said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez.