The fight is on in Hartford to help victims in Puerto Rico

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HARTFORD -- The hits keep coming at the Hartford Boxing Center and that's to be expected, but, outside the ring, the owner of the popular gym is fighting to help the victims of Hurricane Maria.

Tony Blanco is of Puerto Rican descent and has been collecting goods at the Hartford Boxing Center for weeks, but his toughest fight seems to be the shipping costs associated with getting the pallets of Goodwill sent to the people of Puerto Rico.

"We have about 7,000 pounds of stuff," Blanco said, "its going directly to the people in the town of Catano, it's one of the hardest hit areas."

Blanco has Alex Sogliero in his corner.

Sogliero, 32, from Colchester, is an accomplished amateur boxer who trains at the Hartford Boxing Center and also works for Fed Ex.

"I told him I'd be happy to help," Sogliero said.

With his employee discount, Sogliero is able to help bring down the shipping costs but he estimated that with the amount of goods they've accumulated, it would still cost around $4200 to parcel the pallets.

"Water, foodstuffs, perishables," Sogliero said, "each pallet is about 2000 pounds."

Blanco and Sogliero have a GoFundMe page set up to raise money to get the supplies to Puerto Rico and say they know a bit about winning the fight.

"That's one of the biggest things about boxing, Sogliero said, "it just teaches you dedication and diligence." Blanco added, "Life is all about fighting, we have to fight through obstacles and we've got to continue."