Meet the Man Behind the Boxing Plan

Desiree Dylong

Photo by Desire Dylong

Returned student Israel Gonzalez’s 16 years of experience in boxing and seven years of self-defense  kickboxing started with self-determination. It began in his basement when he started training himself by watching videos of his favorite fighters and following their movements. In his twenties, he stepped into a gym and later went on to compete in the Golden Gloves and fought national fighters. Israel had hopes of being a champion, but that changed after being in an accident.  After his accident, Israel realized that his talent could be used to help others, “Before my accident I had the idea and the drive to become the champion of the world. After my accident, I realized that my gift was used to become a champion for the world.”

In 2008, Israel joined with campus recreation and later went on to form the NEIU Boxing Club as it is today. The centerpiece of NEIU boxing is Izzy Duz it Fitness (I.D.I.F.), a boxing fitness program that was created by Israel. Today, NEIU campus recreation contracts Izzy Duz it Fitness to lead students toward better health and wellness. Izzy Duz it Fitness is based on group workouts with a strong focus on teamwork. The program is a place where each individual is able to meet their personal goals. Whether those goals are to relieve stress, get toned, or lose weight, I.D.I.F is designed to help people of all levels accomplish success.

As for the demographic of fighters, the boxing club is not strictly male. Female students have taken on a strong role, “the trophies you see out there, 70 percent are women who won those fights”, Israel said when talking of the boxing trophies at the P.E. Complex.

Besides training in the gym, NEIU boxing is encouraging its members to take their work ethic into the community. Beyond the Walls, a program that promotes leadership and volunteerism teaches students the value of being involved in the community. “We’re not limited to Northeastern just because we’re here,” Israel said. “We spider webbed Northeastern into the community”.
NEIU boxing has experienced recent success by becoming a licensed boxing gym and will be able to put on NEIU’s first ever boxing show on Nov. 16th 2012. It will not only be a boxing show, but will also feature comedians and present Spin Box, a program that meshes spin and boxing into one workout. Doors will open at five and the show starts at 6 p.m.

As for the future, Israel also has goals of creating a scholarship program that will promote health, wellness and leadership skills. Encouraging these traits in future students and creating leaders that embody healthy living for future generations is part of NEIU boxing’s mission. Israel’s motto “Motivation, Dedication, Graduation” lies at the core of the way he leads the program. For Israel, it’s not only about physical fitness, but also preparing students to take what they’ve learned inside of the gym, and applying it to their everyday lives. Israel is also a part of bike4life, a non -for-profit organization that promotes health through cardio fitness programs.

For more information about Izzy Duz it Fitness go to To purchase tickets for the Nov. 16th show, go to the Northeastern box office or purchase online at