MILWAUKEE -- “Confidence-wise I feel like I’m the best out there, and that’s how you have to feel as a boxer."
Javier Zamarron, 20, is an up-and-coming boxing star from Milwaukee. In fact, he already won a national championship.
“My short-term goal right now is to win a national title in December for the USA Nationals, and then a long-term goal is to become a unified world champion when I turn professional," he said.
Javier began boxing when he was around eight. He did it on and off, but once he turned 14, he decided to pursue it with all his passion.
“Since March he’s 15-3 I think, something like that. He’s only lost to three national champions," his boxing coach Angel Luis Villarreal Jr. said.
For his only losses to be to national champs, that’s pretty good. Zamarron trains out of the United Community Center's boxing gym. There are about 20 other members of the gym. Some of the alumni of the gym have gone on to win national championships and competed for spots on Team USA at the Olympic trials.
"Javier is one of our top athletes this year. He has come along really strong this year," Villarreal Jr. said.
When he steps into the ring, he fights for more than just himself, though.
“I’m representing everyone. I’m representing my family, myself, the UCC, the Mexican culture, the Hispanic culture, all of them.”
His heritage is important to him. It’s why he wears the Mexican flag colors on his shirt.
“I wanted people to know that I’m Mexican because I really don’t look like I am.”
His mouth guard says "guerito" which he defined as "the white Mexican." Zamarron finds strength in his heritage and believes it has contributed to his boxing success.
“Mexicans love boxing. It’s always been around me ever since I was a little kid even before I started boxing, so I think it’s really big in the Mexican culture. It’s what everyone does.”
It’s this kind of pride and confidence that could potentially take Javier to the top of the boxing world.