The Taft High of Woodland Hills gym usually is a place where some of the most competitive basketball in the Valley takes place. But Friday night there no was no sign of the hardwood. “This is for my brother – he’s in jail,” said Taft’s Luis Ramirez, who wants to make his older sibling proud. “This a challenge, and it takes a lot of guts.” Each fighter entered the ring accompanied by music from a disc jockey, who had a large turntable set up at the south end of the gym. The boxers hoped to gain a sense of individual achievement, whether it came in a win, loss or draw. Crespi’s E.J. Woods, who is a top-100 football prospect for the class of 2008, according to rivals.com, is using boxing to help his footwork for his safety position. “This is not going to be career; I’m a football player,” Woods said. “But this a great experience, and I’m definitely getting something out of it.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Pierce, the dean of students, first thought about starting a boxing club in September. He approached principal Sharon Thomas about the idea. “I knew she respected me, and she has an open mind,” Pierce said. “I knew she would hear me out.” Most principals would probably dread the idea of having a boxing club, but Thomas was different. “Some of these kids are at-risk students, and this gives them motivation,” Thomas said. “They have to maintain a C-average to stay on the team, and I love how (Pierce) makes them wear a suit on the day they have a fight.” The Toreadors and Celts slugged it out in the middle of the ring, each with different reasons for slipping on the gloves and lacing up the boots. A large squared-circle with a red apron, blue side skirts and red, white and blue ropes lay at center court, surrounded by a crowd of 500-plus spectators. Boxers from club teams at Taft and Crespi of Encino gathered for their first event – the brain child of Taft administrator Mark Pierce.