ODESSA - A local teen won his division in this year's USA Boxing National Championship in Spokane, Washington. The teen now has his eye on a higher prize.
It's a reality he always envisioned winning. Many years of training have finally paid off, but this is only the beginning and he's getting his passport ready.
"Everything that I've been training for since I was eight years old. I mean I've always dreamed of earning that kind of title, USA title," Elite Men's 141 Pound Title winner, Joey Alday Jr., said. "It didn't sink in till, like after I was inside the room signing the papers to go overseas and to go to the training camp and stuff. That's when it sank in. I was saying I can't believe I won this."
It takes determination, endurance and a lot of sweat to reach such an accomplishment. He'll only home for a few more days and then he's off to Colorado Springs next week where he'll be training with the best of the best at the USA Boxing Training Center. That's only the beginning of his journey since winning the title.
"I'll be heading to Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Chile, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. I'll be all over the place," Alday said.
But one country he really has his sights set on is Brazil. He wants to qualify for the 2016 Olympics there and he believes he has a shot at it.
"The way I'm working out and the way things are going for me right now, I can imagine myself winning the gold medal," Alday said.
It's been years since Odessa has had a boxer win the National Championship. Alday says he'll continue to train seven days a week and make that sacrifice until the goal is met. He says he may even go pro.
"The model I live by is you gotta want to be more successful than you want to breathe, I mean that's it. That's how it is," Alday said.