By Jeff Zimmerman
After a stellar career in the ring, former 2X World Champ Paulie Ayala is making his biggest impact outside with his Punching Out Parkinson’s boxing program. Ayala, who has been using boxing training techniques to improve the lives of patients for the last couple of years suffering from the dreaded disease, will host his biggest fundraiser to date on Saturday, January 25 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Joining Ayala at this knockout event will be former World Champion and Hall of Famer Terry Norris, who is a sufferer of Parkinson’s, and Dewey Bozella who was falsely imprisoned for 26 years and during that time became the light heavyweight champion of the prison. Upon his release he was given the opportunity to fight as a pro, something that was taken away from him upon his incarceration.
Ayala is excited for this upcoming event.
“I never thought this program would become so big. It started out with a few people to over 20 and it continues to grow. I am blessed to be able to do my part to help those suffering from this terrible disease, Parkinson’s.”
He is also happy to have some big names joining him at this fundraiser.
“My friend Terry Norris, a former world champion and Hall of Famer is suffering from the disease and helps himself by his training in boxing, so we could not get a better person to attend this event. Dewey Bozella has a tremendous story as he was falsely put in jail for 26 years, I am sure people will want to hear his inspirational story about life in general.”
Norris was happy to get the call from Ayala, but is also nervous at the same time.
“I was very excited to help out in any way. I was also nervous. I have Parkinson’s brought on by my boxing career and it causes me to speak with a slur among other issues.”
Norris knows first hand how boxing training can positively impact the disease.
“Boxing is amazing for hand eye coordination. It is a good workout to keep your brain sending signals efficiently to your extremities so that they remember how to work. Keeps the neurons in check and on their toes so to speak,” Norris laughed.
Norris also had some valuable advice for those, like himself, living with Parkinson’s.
“Living with Parkinson’s is rough. There are over 200 symptoms. If you feel a loved one may be showing early signs get them to a neurologist ASAP.” Norris added, “Take care of yourself. See a holistic doctor too and get your diet in check. No high metal foods. This is very important. My wife helps a lot with this part. No soda, sugars. Stay active, hyperbaric chamber really works plus Oxygen bar and Acupuncture. Stay active. Parkinson’s is not a death sentence.”
Ayala hopes to get a great turnout for the event.
“For a $50 donation, you get dinner, great speeches, a silent auction, raffles and drawings. It will be a fun event and most importantly it benefits a great cause like Parkinson’s. Even if you can’t attend, donations are always welcome. I hope to see you there.”