Acts of Kindness: Johnny Nunez - 8 News NOW

Acts of Kindness: Johnny Nunez

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LAS VEGAS - Johnny Nunez grew up wrestling in Idaho, but started boxing five years ago when he moved to Las Vegas.

"(It's) very challenging, especially being pigeon-toed," he joked.

Laughs aside, Nunez takes boxing very seriously because of the camaraderie and confidence it brought about in him.

He sees that same development in young kids who embrace the sport. Nunez is teaming with the non-profit Operation HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) to offer free boxing and wrestling courses for disadvantaged youth.

"It's kind of like, maybe, a martial arts, boxing, after school program. It's in the works," he said.

Nunez says he wants to target kids who face challenges like his nine-year-old autistic cousin.

"He watches me fight on TV. He gets picked on, a lot, so it's kind of hard, but he stands up for himself too," Nunez said.

When Nunez isn't working out at the gym, he's bussing tables at Encore Beach Club, where he told coworkers about his upcoming program and his plan to fund part of it.

"Everybody is like a family there," he said. "Once I said I'm doing a charity event, everybody is like, ‘I'm all in.' We've got cocktail waitresses doing some rounds."

He organized a Fight for Autism sparring event and raised $5,000 in one evening.

"He has the same DNA that our organization has - reaching out to others in need," said Operation HOPE founder Elliot Shin.

"The industry life isn't just night time, what it's perceived to be. We give back too," Nunez said.

8 News NOW decided to reward Johnny Nunez for his efforts, awarding him $800 as part of its weekly series Acts of Kindness.

If you would like to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website or e-mail us

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