Hartford Courant: “Home Town Hero”

Coach, father figure, mentor. Those are a few of the titles that Johnny "Coach" Callas has collected over the past 28 years.

"I made a gut decision to go into boxing and I made a gut decision to go into social work," Callas said. "They were the two best decisions in my life."

Those gut decisions created COBA (Charter Oak Boxing Association & Youth Development Program). Callas is the CEO/founder of COBA, boxing coach at Trinity College and is a 25-year veteran with the DCF (Department of Children and Families). He is also a 2013 Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, a referee and has a master's in social work.

Trinity's Orosco Fights Thursday In National Collegiate Boxing Tournament

Trinity College sophomore, Joseph Orosco, Jr., 19, is the Eastern Collegiate Boxing Association junior middleweight (156 lb.) champion. Orosco has been boxing for two years under the guidance of his coach Johnny Callas at the Charter Oak Boxing Academy (COBA) in Hartford. Orosco will compete in the National Collegiate Boxing Association tournament in Lawrenceburg, Indiana on April 6-8. He is hoping to reach the finals on April 8. Orosco is from Pomona, California, and plans a double major in Urban Studies and Mechanical Engineering.

The Trinity Tripod - Watch the Boxing Team’s First Home Match

The Trinity College Boxing Club is proud to celebrate the success of team member Joseph Orosco ’19, who placed first at Regionals in the East Coast and competed in the National Championship in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Orosco, who was fighting at the 156-pound weight class, entered Nationals as the Regional Champion from the East Coast, following a three-day fight to victory in the Regional Competition. On the day of Nationals, Orosco advanced to semi-finals, received an All-American Certificate, and was awarded with the 2017 Sportsmanship Award. Orosco remembers it as a tough battle, as he was paired up to fight against last year’s National Champion.


Richard Walker stood before the Fountain of Youth and watched pensively as an unforgiving auburn sun began to set on his childhood and his age of innocence. It was the night of his senior high school prom. "It means the end of the old," Walker sighed, his eyes as big and brown as chestnuts, and glimmering with a mixture of wonder and regret.

Trinity College Boxing Club Builds Community Connections

New connections are being made in the ring at 1055 Broad Street, where the Trinity College boxing team works out alongside younger local boxers from the Charter Oak Boxing Academy (COBA). "This is an inaugural approach to see a Trinity team connect with the community and create mentoring opportunities that will benefit both groups," said Kathy Kilcoyne, assistant director for recreation at Trinity College.

Pin weight champion Conard boxer wins silver, ranked No. 2 in nation

Conard junior Aiyana Callas took home a silver medal Saturday from the 2013 Junior Olympic National Championships after losing the title bout in a decision to Caitlin Orosco, of California.

Boxer Sergio Martinez reaches out to Middletown bullied teen

The Sulaiman Family, and WBC Word Boxing Cares are announcing a new program, World Champions Against Bullying. WBC President Jose Sulaiman, newly appointed Ambassador to the Non Violence Founda- tion, called for immediate action and support.

BULLYING NIGHTMARE: Middletown teen 'used to love to go to school'

An ongoing campaign of bullying at Woodrow Wilson Middle School has left one student off school property and with severe mental trauma. And despite the fact that two of the original antagonists have moved out of Middletown, the harassment persists, according to Alexa McClain, grandmother of 13-year-old Monique McClain.

A Call to Action: Do You Want to BE the News or MAKE the News?

I wish each of you could have been there to hear Alexa McClain and then Monique McClain speak before the board. The utter helplessness of the moment can't be captured by mere words, and I still shudder to recall the horror that griped me.

Sergio Martinez dedicates championship event to bullied Middletown teen

At a press conference announcing one of the biggest fights of his career, middleweight boxer Sergio Martinez on Thursday promised viewers they would see “the best Sergio Martinez.” Then, pausing, he added, “This fight is for you, Monique,” and invited 13-year-old Middletown resident Monique McClain on stage.

Boxing As Social Work

Building on strengths to overcome challenges is the essence of our work. So this story about Johnny Callas, a Department of Children and Families (DCF) manager whose big heart drives his commitment to helping underprivileged Hartford youth learn to succeed through learning to box, is a metaphor for all our work.

Johnny Callas inducted into Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame

Sweet Science aficionado Johnny "Coach" Callas has just about done it all in boxing, ranging from being a collegiate boxing champion, to longtime coach of amateur boxers, World Boxing Council referee, and more. The highlight of his career in boxing, however, came on November 9 when he was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF).

Jerod Gaskins finds peace in boxing

Life could have been much different for Jerod Gaskins. His boxing gloves could have easily been handcuffs and the boxing ring he spends countless hours in could have been a jail cell. It's a fate that has become all too common among troubled youths today, and it is one that Gaskins is thankful he turned away from.

Andre Berto donates tickets to Saturday's “East-West Showdown” to Connecticut kids from the Champions of Life boxing program

Taking time out of his fight week schedule, WBC welterweight champion, Andre Berto, spent part of his Thursday night making sure some aspiring pugilists had a very special Saturday night. Berto joined a group of forty children, coaches, and parents from Middletown, Connecticut's Champions of Life boxing program for pizza and soda and presented them all with t-shirts and tickets to Saturday night's “East-West Showdown” from the MGM Theater at Foxwoods, which will be headlined by Berto defending his title against WBC #5 ranked, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.