Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Barber by Day, Boxer by Morning

By Michael Galvan


For most people, Saturday mornings are usually spent sleeping in after a long Friday night or from a long week of hard work. Most people aren’t up as early as they would be on a Monday.

This isn’t the case for Javier Mendez, a full-time barber, boxer and father, who starts his day early at 6 a.m. training at La Habra Boxing Gym. Mendez, 21, has been training in boxing for many years and plans to fight amateur and pro.

“I’ve been a huge huge fan of boxing since I was a little kid,” said Mendez.

Inside the gym, there are several others committed to training at such an early time and love the sport of boxing as well. Shadow boxing, sparring, jump roping, and all sorts of activity is going on within the gym as trainers and coaches give advice and training tips. Mendez works out and spars until it’s 8 a.m. when he quickly gathers his things and says goodbye to his fellow trainees and coaches.

“Time for work,” Mendez said as he walked speedily to his car and changes in the parking lot into clean clothes. Apart from boxing, Mendez is a full-time barber at MJS Barber Shop in South Whittier and works 5-6 days a week there. His shifts range from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on training days, he goes to work straight from the boxing gym.

Mendez has been cutting hair since his early high school days and has really become an experienced barber with many clients throughout the week.

“Sometimes my appointments overlap because I have too many people coming in back to back,” Mendez said, “But I’d rather be overbooked than have only a few cuts a day.”

The barber shop is a fun place to hang out at and get your haircut. With six other barbers there, topics of discussion and debates are easily attained as there is always a conversation going on within the shop. This makes work more enjoyable for Mendez and it is his ideal work environment and his ideal job, he said.

“I do all this for my family,” he said, talking about his daughter. Amaru, who just turned 1 this past October, is named after the late Tupac Amaru Shakur who is one of Mendez’s idols and role models.

“I been listening to Pac since a young age,” he said,”His music is relatable and just real. Not like the music they make today.”

Mendez lives on his own with his girlfriend and daughter and works hard to support his family. Long days at the barber shop and early mornings at the boxing gym are just the start of what he has planned for the future. Professional boxing is in the picture and with his strong clientele, barbering doesn’t seem it will fade away from his life either.

“Just trying to work hard and give my family a comfortable life,” he said, “I wanna be the best father there is.”