Three Nation Boxing Club makes the sport a family affair

Submitted Photo Minot High School freshman Moroni Hale poses with his Silver Gloves Championship Belt Feb. 2 in Kansas City, Mo. Hale earned the belt in the 138 pound class for boys ages 13-14.

Three rambunctious boys are running around the house getting some training in at the beginning of the day while mom prepares a healthy balanced meal and dad speaks words of boxing wisdom. This is a typical day in the Hale household.

Brothers Moroni, Samuel and Kolden Hale train with their father and coach Thor Hale in the Three Nation Boxing Club in Minot and representing the Three Affiliated Tribes along with their cousins Austin Hale and Gracy Kennedy of Minot Air Force Base. They also receive support and organization from boxing moms Lisa Hale and Jeanita Kennedy.

Together, the family has been training and travelling for three to four years and continues to grow their boxing prowess not only in the region but throughout the nation.

Richard Calavera owns Calavera Martial Arts and Boxing Club located at 500 Central Avenue East in downtown Minot and has given TNBC a place to train.

“We travel to do a lot of tournaments around the nation,” Thor Hale explained. “From West Virginia to Nevada or Las Vegas so the kids see a lot of the country.”

Submitted Photo Members of the Three Nation Boxing Club pose with their coach Thor Hale, back right, after competing in Rapid City, S.D. Feb. 17.

From all of their travels over the past few years, Moroni and the family now recognize a lot of the same faces and families in the boxing community, but not many come from his own backyard.

“North Dakota used to have a lot of boxing when I was younger, because I used to box as well when I was about 10 until about 19 or so,” Thor said. “You look back at the history of boxing and our nation and our nation is a fighting nation. You look back in the ’30s, ’40s and ’60s all the kids knew how to box and boxing was a part of culture in their life.”

Thor has noticed that with the stigma of concussions and brain damage, boxing has been put on the back burner but he feels that amateur boxing is safer than gymnastics or cheerleading. To become a coach they have to go through background checks and training to look for concussions and work with children.

There are many skills to be learned from boxing itself. It builds confidence, resilience and instills discipline across all ages.

“You not only learn how to defend yourself but you have to learn how to respect,” Thor said. “You never want to underestimate any opponent.”

Recently, Three Nation Boxing travelled to Kansas City, Missouri to compete in the National Silver Gloves Championship. Representing Region 4 — made up of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin — after winning in their respective classes were Moroni Hale at 138 pounds for boys ages 13-14, Samuel Hale at 95 pounds for boys ages 11-12 and Gracy Kennedy at 114 pounds for girls ages 13-14. Both Moroni Hale and Kennedy advanced to the finals of the competition.

Kennedy entered her bout with heart and technique, but gassed out at the end and fell to Magali Perez out of Selma, California.

Moroni Hale entered the ring against Josue Valenzuela of El Centro, California for the finals.

“California is a tough state. California and Texas are really tough and earn a lot of titles,” Thor said. “So I just told him, ‘Do your best, you made it this far and you’ve fought everyday.'”

It was a close match, but Moroni prevailed to earn his first Silver Gloves title. In his win, he represents his state, his nation as a Native American and the ability to endure and overcome hardships to become a champion.

“This year, I felt good because everyone that was there in Region 4 were mostly Native Americans and I felt really good whenever I shook their hands,” Moroni said. “Some said, ‘You’re doing a great job representing Native Americans.'”

Whenever Moroni wins, he will remove his headgear and beanie, let his hair down and stand tall to represent the Three Affiliated Tribes. According to Thor, even people of other nations were there in Missouri backing him up, following him and congratulating him on the win and positive representation.

Currently, Moroni is ranked third in the United States at 138 pounds in the Junior Men’s Division. He also participates in cross country and track & field.

The next big tournament for the Three Nation Boxing Club will be taking place March 23-30 in Reno, Nevada for the Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

To stay up to date with all things Three Nation Boxing, visit them on Facebook @3NationBoxing.