You would be hard pressed to find a boxer or the sports apparel company that sponsors him who is not in the business strictly for the money. Putting the bottom line above all else is the norm these days.
Frank Galarza, an undefeated junior middleweight from Brooklyn, has found a way to participate in the sport he loves and give back to the community at the same time. Moreover, Galarza’s apparel partner, LUTA, has taken on the same task.
Founded in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and launched in the United States in August, 2013, LUTA’s mission is to create socially responsible sportswear to help fund various boxing and martial arts programs around the world.
“We’ve worked with them for a year,” said Galarza. “Everything they do is for programs like ours. They take what they make to help kids in tough neighborhoods.”
As part of its charity campaign, the Life Changing Project, LUTA donates 50 percent of its profits to Fight for Peace, a global non-profit company that uses boxing and martial arts in conjunction with education to help young people in impoverished communities.
“It’s more than just about boxing,” said Galarza. “We want to get the mentoring and the proper education for kids…We just want to give them something better, so they won’t become just another product of their environment.”
LUTA’s Life Changing Project supports several gyms in the New York City metro-area, including Champs Gym in New Rochelle, the Brotherhood Boxing Club in Queens, the Fight Back Martial Arts Program in the Bronx and the Starrett City Boxing Club in Brooklyn.
LUTA, which creates apparel for boxing as well as MMA, will eventually expand its reach to other areas of New York, including Long Island.
Galarza, 28, trains at the Starrett City Boxing Club and has convinced several of his fellow boxers to join him in support of LUTA’s Life Changing Project, including Luis Collazo, Danny Jacobs, Sadam Ali and Curtis Stevens.
Galarza (11-0), who will fight on the undercard of the Paul Malignaggi-Zab Judah fight on Dec. 7 at the Barclays Center, feels LUTA has a great future in sports.
“It has a great feel to it. I’ve worn Under Armour and all that stuff,” said Galarza. “But the thing about LUTA is it isn’t for profit. It’s for a cause. That’s the best part about it.”
For more information on LUTA and its Life Changing Project and Fight for Peac, go to www.luta.us and www.fightforpeace.net.