FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is the Las Cruces PAL/ Sammy Burke Youth Boxing Center for me?

The program is set up to assist youth and young adults, both male and female, to prepare for competitive amateur boxing. The program is structured and demanding -  it requires discipline and participants are required to join the structured exercises. We push our fighters to and beyond their limits, while remaining safety conscious. This is an excellent program to teach youth the importance of fitness, confidence, discipline, integrity and respect for others.

What age levels can participate?

The Las Cruces PAL Boxing Club allows boxers ages 8-17 years old to participate in the program. Adults 18-years thru 34-years old (USA Boxing’s cut-off is age 34) may also participate at the Sammy Burke Youth Boxing Center but additional fees will apply. Adults (up to age 34) must also be registered/insured through USA Boxing AND show proof of own health insurance. See “What is the Fee to Join” for more info.

What is the fee to join?

Participating with the Las Cruces PAL Boxing Club is free to those 8 to 17 years old. Youth and adults wishing to take part in sparring or competition at the amateur level must be registered and insured through USA Boxing. The insurance cost is $78 per calendar year. Adults must also pay $10 monthly or $1 daily and show proof of health insurance.

How do I join?

We recommend first visiting our gym during practice hours to see how things work and to speak to one of the coaches or gym manager. Practice is held Monday – Friday, 5:30 PM – 7 PM. at the Sammy Burke Youth Boxing Center (SBYBC) at 700 N. Solano Ave. 

Youth may participate at the center free of charge, but may only take part in sparring or competition if registered through USA Boxing. To register, you will need a copy of you or your child’s birth certificate and two 1”x1” face photos Adults, 18-34, wanting to compete as ameteur boxer will also need to be registered through USA Boxing and either pay $10 monthly or $1 daily. All ages will need to complete a club application and USA boxing application.

Registrations may be submitted during practice hours. New participants may start participating in the gym conditioning as soon as all the documents are submitted and fees are paid.

What equipment will I need?

We provide gloves and headgear if needed. Each boxer will need to have his or her own mouthpiece, hand-wraps, and gym clothes

Do you have different programs for fighters with different levels of experience?

Everyone, regardless of age or experience, goes through the exercises and technique drills together. Each boxer’s development and experience level will determine how we push them through these drills. 

There are also specific drills for the boxers based on developing skill level. Boxers will not be put into the ring to spar or compete until the coach and boxer are comfortable with the preparation level.

What is practice like?

Beginner classes are from 5:30pm-6:30.pm, Monday thru Friday. Advanced competitive classes ed at 7:30 p.m. Only the coaches will determine who stays for the competitive classes. Otherwise, kids must be picked up no later than 6:30 p.m.

Warm-up/Cardio (20 – 30 minutes):  All boxers are instructed in about 30 minutes of high-level cardio workouts (to include running). The workouts may differ daily based on the coach’s agenda.

Boxer Circuits (10 – 20 minutes): After the warm up cardio, boxers retire to the gym and start a structured circuit workout according to the coach’s agenda.  Examples include cardio circuits, medicine ball ab workouts, and plyometrics.  

Shadow Boxing Circuit (6 – 12 minutes): Boxers who know how to shadow box participate in this drill; those who are learning will be taught this drill.

Bag Drills (9 – 30 minutes): Boxers hit bags on 3-minute timed intervals for a designated amount of time. Coaches will delegate different training instructions for the boxers based on their skill level.  


Advanced boxers may be placed into the ring to spar.  Advanced boxers also have the freedom to do their own training routine following the completion of the group structured circuit.

Who are the coaches?

The coaches at LC PAL Boxing are 100% volunteers. We have a group of coaches that can be at the gym at any given time based on their schedule. Participants are not assigned to a specific coach. All participants will work with all coaches.

What kinds of youth are in the program?

Las Cruces PAL Boxing is known for its programs to take ‘at-risk’ youth off the streets and teach them discipline through boxing.   However, all youth of all backgrounds are welcomed at the Sammy Burke Youth Boxing Center. The PAL/ SBYBC gym is located in the heart of Las Cruces, where many youths can participate.

Are there actual boxing competitions?

The LC PAL program is designed for preparing and developing boxers to compete at a high level.  Coaches will determine who will compete and fight based on gym participation, development, skill level and gym ethics.  Boxers will compete against boxers from other gyms during basic boxing events (“smokers”), and tournaments on local, state and national levels. 

Boxers will be asked to participate in fundraisers to help cover travel and registration fees.  Boxers not willing to participate in fundraisers WILL NOT be considered for travel.  USA Boxing sanctions all competitions. 

Is boxing dangerous?

Youth amateur boxing has always ranked low in injuries in comparison to other sports. Like most sports, however, boxing can be dangerous. Injuries such as cuts, broken noses and hand injuries can occur. Though uncommon, concussions and head trauma can also occur. We provide headgear and gloves to try to prevent these injuries.

Can I join just for the work out and not compete?

Yes. Las Cruces PAL Boxing is dedicated to accepting all.  You will still be expected to participate in all organized workouts

Can I volunteer to be a coach?

Yes, Las Cruces PAL Boxing is in need of more coaches for approximately 30 – 60 youths we have.  All volunteer coaches must first meet all the coaches to make sure we are a good match philosophically, so that the program continues to progress.   All volunteer coaches must also pass the USA boxing coaches’ test.

Is this a good program to teach my child self-defense?

This is an excellent program to teach your children the importance of fitness, confidence, discipline, integrity and respect for others.

Can I have my own trainer?

Only the coaches dedicated to the LAS Cruces PAL program, and certified by USA boxing to this gym will be able to train boxers at this gym.

Do you train for the professional level?

LC PAL is an amateur focused program, but professionals that came up through the Las Cruces PAL Boxing Club may be allowed to work out at the gym and serve as a mentor to the youth boxers. Professional boxers cannot bring in outside trainers and must be in good standing with the PAL coaches and PAL Board to continue participating and they must still pay adult fees.