Now, Delgado is continuing to indulge his passion for the sport as the owner of his own gym.
The 37-year-old Sandy Springs resident operates Delgado Boxing, located in Marshall’s Plaza on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.
The gym has come a long way since its inception in March 2009, with more than 100 clients working out and taking part in its various classes.
It is also the temporary home for professional contender Demetrius Andrade, who is training for his WBO light middleweight championship fight Nov. 9 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
It is that growth that prompted Delgado to move his business to its current location, a larger facility than its previous home at the Fountain Oaks shopping center in Sandy Springs, in August.
“It’s working out a whole lot better,” Delgado said. “We’re coming from 1,800 square feet to 5,500, with showers and multiple restrooms — more space, because we have a waiting list of people to get into our classes. So it was a needed expansion for us at that point.”
Delgado has been in boxing since he was 12, taking up the sport in his hometown of New Bedford, Mass.
He fought as an amateur in New England before moving to Atlanta in 1997 and then establishing a pro career that lasted from 1999 to 2012 — finishing with a record of 26-10 with three knockouts to his credit.
“I felt it went great,” Delgado said. “I took it as far as I could with the natural ability that I had and a lot of hard work.”
During most of his time as a pro boxer, Delgado also established a career as an electrical engineer for a number of companies.
However, he left the engineering field when the demands of that profession began to interfere with his boxing aspirations, and that’s when he decided to start a gym of his own.
“I was still in my boxing career and I figured I couldn’t be in a regular office space, 9 to 5, and come in and train at night,” Delgado said. “I couldn’t compete with the best out there or even get a shot at a world title. I figured that having a boxing gym would help to help me better prepare for fights and help subsidize my income while I pursued my dream.”
He went on to get some hands-on experience in operating a facility at the Gym of Buckhead before opening Delgado Boxing in March 2009.
The main focus for Delgado is the boxing classes for adults and children as well as cardio boxing, kickboxing and Brazilian ju-jitsu that he holds for the general public.
“We teach boxing as a means of fitness, also just showing the art behind it,” he said. “There’s more to boxing than what you see on TV. It’s great for self-confidence; it’s great for discipline. We have a lot of business owners who say, ‘Ever since I started training with you, I’m a lot more confident in the boardroom, a lot more assertive. I’m able to close deals, whether I’m selling this product or that product, and I believe in myself more.’”
Delgado is now beginning to bring in professional boxers to train at his facility with the arrival of Andrade.
The 25-year-old Providence, R.I., resident has been training at Delgado Boxing for the last couple of months in preparation for his fight with Vanes Martirosyan for the vacant WBO light middleweight title, which will be televised on HBO.
Delgado, a longtime friend of Andrade’s, invited the light middleweight contender to come down south to his gym for his title fight preparations.
“He invited me to come out here whenever we wanted to train,” Andrade said. “Our plan was to get away, get focused for the WBO fight that’s coming up and just to get away from all the distractions of home.”
Andrade, who fought in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, is excited about his shot at a world title.
“It means my whole life,” he said. “I started boxing at the age of 6. I fought in the Olympics and I’ve been undefeated in my pro career. It’s another stepping stone to where I want to go.”
For Delgado, Andrade’s presence is another step forward for a gym that has been selected as Georgia Fighters Gym of the Year in 2010, ’11 and ’12.
“It does a lot,” Delgado said. “We’re already recognized as a great location in terms of training the general public and we’ve been doing that for four years very, very well. Now, this is a different sector — training the boxer. That has always been a goal of mine. Of course, you can’t run a business if you’re training fighters. My goal was always to serve the general public, to promote the sport of boxing which I always loved and the fighters would be secondary.
“Now, having Demetrius training here really expands the fact that we have a good, equipped facility and we train the average individual who just wants a fitness workout out of it or a real professional career out of it as well.”
With his business now well established, Delgado is looking ahead to the next steps to take to further its growth.
“I definitely see myself continuing to grow here in Sandy Springs and then continue to branch off in some other locations — that’s our goal,” he said.