Ryan Santana works out in preparation for an upcoming boxing match. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Ryan Santana works out in preparation for an upcoming boxing match. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

OTTAWA — When members of the Putnam County Boxing Club meet to practice, it isn’t just about throwing punches with gloved hands. Staying physically fit, being disciplined, and learning respect for others are also skills the members learn.

The Putnam County Boxing Club was incorporated in 2005. Open to members ages 8-18 the group meet Tuesdays and Thursdays and take part in matches about 25 times a year.

Members of the Boxing Club are from Ottawa, Continental, Leipsic, Pandora, Columbus Grove, and Ottawa. Walt Lathrop is the coach.

Ryan Santana, 18, said he has been boxing for three years.

“It builds character,” he said. “I’ve also learned not to judge a book by its cover.” Santana said someone who looks really strong and confidant may not be the best boxer, while someone who may look ‘nerdy’ may be really skilled at boxing. “You just never know,” he admitted.

Santana also said the discipline you learn while training teaches a good worth ethic.

Waylon Lathrop, 15, has been boxing for five years, “I’ve learned how to be fit,” he said. “I’ve also learned the importance of having respect for others.

“We have a lot of club rules,” Terry Docker, 16, said. “We know we have to maintain good grades and things like that. Docker has been boxing for two years.

“There are rules like no fighting outside of the club and we learn about anger management.

Kyle Lathrrop, 8, said he has learned how to protect himself and stay physically fit.

Dockery said he would encourages to take up boxing because it is a good time.

Santana said it is a sport where you have to give your all. “You can’t go into the ring with just half an effort,” he admitted. “And you have to be okay with getting hit.”

The Putnam County Boxing Club is located on the second floor at 110 North Walnut Street, Ottawa. Anyone who is interesting in boxing should call Walt Lathrop at 419-302-8041.

The fourth annual Black Swamp Romp is May 10 at the Putnam County YMCA. Come out and watch some great boxing. Pre-sale tickets are just $10 and are available by calling 419-302-8041