John Delperdang’s road to redemption
- Updated: August 13, 2015
On November 12, 2014, Ontario, California’s John Delperdang decided enough was enough.
The 23 year old had been in and out of juvenile systems and correctional facilities throughout the Southern California region for years on end and had lived a life on the streets for too long.
From sleeping in and engaging in nefarious activities in Ontario’s various public parks, Delperdang slowly began to grow tired of going in and out of correctional facilities, only to return to the streets and eventually end behind bars in what could easily turn into an endless cycle for impressionable youths.
Sadly, tragedy took a friend of Delperdang’s, which set the wheels in motion for him to make the changes needed in his own life so as not to meet the same fate.
“I had a friend that got killed. I sat at the funeral and told my friend that I did not want to live like this anymore. I asked him to tell God that I wanted a better life, and in a few days I met Bernie.”
In November last year Delperdang walked out of the street lifestyle into the doors of the Crossroads Boxing Gym on Euclid Ave and met owner Bernie Valenzuela.
“It is our goal to provide a sanctuary for youth, an environment characterized by positivity, leadership and the will to achieve personal growth,” said Valenzuela, who personally took Delperdang under his wing.
Delperdang was no stranger to boxing, having been forced by his uncle Julio into watching the HBO Emmy award winning series ‘Legendary Nights’ series, which chronicles some of the most historic fights in boxing history.
While institutionalized over the years, uncle Julio would visit Delperdang and encourage him to stop getting into trouble and turn his life around.
Delperdang’s uncle can now be proud because his nephew did just that, obtaining sobriety, notching a few amateur bouts and turning professional on July 31, 2015 at the Chino Fairgrounds under the guidance of former heavyweight titlist turned trainer, Moreno Valley resident Mike Weaver.
“I hit him with a few punches, and he went down. He got up, I hit him with a few more (punches), he went down again, and the referee stopped it,” said Delperdang, who stopped his opponent Francisco Soils in the second round and his earned his nickname ‘Bang Bang’.
Delperdang is proud of his sobriety, his newfound profession and is already looking forward to his next fight on September 18, also set at the Chino Fairgrounds.
Delperdang is the posterchild for a bad life turned good, and a positive role model for any teen out there who wishes to turn his life around.
For more information on the September 18 event, titled ‘Noche De Boxeo’, call (909) 851-3765.