Cleto Reyes are the gloves of choice for punchers, Mexican boxing legends and pound for pound best fighter in the world Manny Pacquaio. What makes Cleto Reyes so special though and how did the brand that’s delivered knockout blows to thousands become the weapon of choice for fistic legends the world over?
The story starts on April 26th 1920 in Mexico City, where Cleto Reyes Castro was born. Facing extreme poverty the young Cleto started working at the age of 12 in a saddlery that manufactured baseball goods.
In 1936, while he was going to elementary school in premises across from the famed “Peralvillo Cozumel” ring, his love for boxing was born. In 1938, Cleto Reyes took part in his first amateur fight, however his performance was
so poor that the crowd rained down coins on him and he decided from that moment on that his future lay outside of the ring. He chose instead to mend the gloves he had used during the fight and this started his career in glove manufacture.
Subsequently his gloves obtained the approval of the local boxing commission (COMBOX DF), and in 1945 the Cleto Reyes gloves were used in a world championship fight for first time and “La Condesa Arena” was the setting of the fight between the second Mexican Champion Juan Zurita and Ike Williams.
In 1965, he had his first salesman in Los Angeles who began distributing his products in the most important cities of the United States and some other countries, the message spread from there.
In 1970, by which time Don Cleto’s health was ailing, his son Alberto Reyes joined the family company and with his entrepreneurial vision, decided to register the trademark Cleto Reyes in 1975 and to found Industria Reyes S.A. de C.V. in 1979.
What makes a Cleto Reyes glove special? Well that is something hard to define, the brand conjurs up imagines of Mexican warriors of the past – Julio Cesar Chavevz and Erik Morales. Some say they “hit harder” with a Cleto. Prince Naseem Hamed went as far as ordering a custom made pair in goat skin for his fight with Marco Antonio Barrera and having his brother fly on a private jet to collect them! Cleto Reyes boxing gloves seem to say “I am here to fight” and perhaps thats why boxers choose them to this very day.Follow @ispyer