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9-year-old boxer hasn’t missed a beat

The Indio Boys & Girls Club boxing gym might be closed, but that's not stopping one local athlete from getting his work in. Thanks to some help from his dad, he has the gym right at home with him.

“My biggest goal is to be the most professional boxer in the world and earn a lot of money,” said Abel Valadez Godinez.

Valadez Godinez would normally be boxing at the Indio Boys & Girls Club, but since the pandemic, he’s been training in his garage.

“It's special to me because it reminds me about the Boys & Girls Club gym and just like it just inspires me, because it just seems like it's my gym,” he said.

“His passion, his work ethic is incredible for his age. I mean he's only 10-years-old, he’s about to be 10-years-old, and he’s running miles, he’s jump roping, he’s working out like an adult and he’s loving it. He’s not complaining about it. He’s full-force and I’m very excited for him,” said his dad, Chris Navarro.

He was inspired to start boxing after watching the pros on TV with his dad.

“I pretty much told him it's a hard sport and once you start you can't stop, and if you're dedicated, I’m going to be dedicated with you," Navarro said. "The next day I went out and I bought them all this equipment and we start working out of the garage for about six months before I decided to take him over to the Boys & Girls Club.”

“I started boxing because I wanted to challenge myself and like I just wanted to do a sport and like not just sitting around the house is playing video games all day,” Valadez Godinez said.

Now, he’s back to the spot where his journey began over a year ago.

“It allows us to keep working and not stop,” Navarro said. “We try to stay busy hitting the punching bag, we have a speed bag, we have weights, we have pretty much everything that the gym has, besides the sparring and the knowledge of the coaches of course.”

But the coaches have stayed involved, hosting Zoom workouts three days a week and giving him at-home workout plans.

“I think my job is just to keep him motivated and keeping him excited and looking forward to the next big step,” Navarro said.

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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