What role does boxing play in Last Summer of the Death Warrior and how does boxing affect Pancho's life, literally and symbolically?

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Karyth Cara eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Boxing at the orphanage is introduced to Poncho while he is helping D.Q. on his "assignment." A box in the supply room that they are resorting holds two pair of boxing gloves, three jump ropes and two sets of headgear. D.Q. tells Poncho that in times past at the orphanage, when the boys had a disagreement or a grudge against each other, "when two boys got angry," they could ask for the boxing gloves and literally take each other in the boxing ring with one of the Brothers of the orphanage refereeing. Poncho symbolically learns that anger can be handled in ways other than brutality toward innocent people or toward people unconnected to the root of his anger: his sister's unsolved death.