NEW HAVEN -- The funeral arrangements are now complete for accomplished New Haven boxer Luis Rosa, who died in a car crash in West Haven early Sunday morning.
26-year-old Luis Rosa, Jr. was 23-1, with 11 knockouts, as a professional fighter, but there’s not much more impressive than witnessing his parents walk into the boxing gym they own, immediately after having just come from the funeral home, to speak with the media.
At 3 a.m., Sunday, a parents worst nightmare: the police called to say one of their three children had been killed.
"I think it’s like an unbearable feeling," said Marilyn Rosa, Luis' mother. "It’s almost like at this point it’s numbing. You just gotta know that you’ve got to keep moving. You've got to keep walking. You’ve got to keep breathing."
His father, also Luis, was always in the ring with his son, who he calls a warrior.
"That’s my baby," Luis Rosa, Sr. said of his son. "He was 26, but when I used to see him, I see my kid."
West Haven police says Luis Angel Rosa, the oldest of three children, was driving a Honda southbound on Meloy Road, near the intersection with Baker Street, just after 2 a.m. Sunday, when his car crossed the center line and crashed into an Acura traveling in the opposite direction. The passenger in Rosa's car and the lone occupant of the Acura are both listed in stable condition in a local hospital, according to police.
Each one of the young boxers that train out of Boxing In Faith gym, on Grand Avenue, looked up to Luis Rosa. None more than one of his cousins, who is scheduled to fight in the Golden Gloves competition in Massachusetts this weekend.
"He’s the reason I started boxing," said Anuel Rosa. "I went to his first fights and then I got motivated and I just wanted to be like him."
Friends of the Rosa family have started a GoFundMe page, with a goal of raising $5,000 to help defray funeral costs. While the family will be holding private services on Wednesday, there will be a public celebration of his life at New Haven’s Career High School on Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"We want to get as many people as want to join us," Marilyn Rosa said. "We want them to be able to get in and we want everyone to come. No one is excluded. We are one big family."