5 area boxers punched their way to the Junior Olympics

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Boxing is a growing sport here in the Panhandle and five athletes from one gym have proven their place already, ranking and competing in the Junior Olympics.

Champions Boxing Gym has produced some worthy talent to compete against the best in the nation. The coach loves seeing his own passion shine through his athletes.

“Bringing these kids up, trying to get them to national tournaments, reach their goals like I have my goals. Says Coach Nieves Portillo. “I’m speechless about it.”

Two of the five athletes who competed, ranked in the national bracket. Javier Meza and Giovanni Miranda. Meza, who won the title said it made him...

“Emotional. I was emotional, I started crying.” Javier Meza, winner of his weight class, said. “I was jumping up and crying. "

Despite not ranking , the other athletes who punched their way through the Olympic bracket felt...

“Accomplished.” Jessie Estrella said. “Just having the chance to qualify in the Junior Olympics, it made my day”

“I was happy and excited.” Sevein Portillo said.

“It was kind of unexpected because, I thought I was too old to go fight, they told me I could so I took the opportunity.” Ashton Barreras said.

With boxing wins and titles, a lot of hard work and preparation is needed as a coach and an athlete. Coach Portillo believes his team has done just that.

“They’ve put their hard work in everyday, they’re here every day.” Coach Portillo said. “They’re here before everyone else, they leave after everyone else. just hard work and it pays off.”

“Waking up early in the morning, five in the morning.” Meza said. “I start running by 5:15, went to work and came straight to the gym, here for two hours every day.”

The celebration hasn’t stopped, and the hard work hasn’t either. Champions Boxing Gym believes there is even more work to do to become even better in the ring.

“I’m training harder than I was before” Estrella said.

“Train hard. Push myself every day.” Portillo said.

“Keep working on my technique.” Said Barreras. “Getting better at what I’m doing, getting better at my craft.”

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