PECOS, TX (KWES) - At 8-years-old, Abel Mendoza fell in love with the sport of boxing and had a dream to win state. He lost his first two tries at state, but since then, nothing has stopped him.
"The following year I didn't give up. I didn't give up and I worked really hard. The next year, I won nationals so that goes to show never give up, believe in yourself and anything's possible," said Mendoza.
A few years later, Abel's boxing gym closed. He had to travel to Odessa and Midland every day for training.
"It was frustrating at times because sometimes I had to do homework. It would be hard to try and write on the way driving. It was frustrating, it was really frustrating but I got through it. There was a lot of obstacles we had to get through to get to where I'm at," said Mendoza.
At 20-years-old, Abel has developed into a professional boxer and with that he holds 8 wins and 6 knockouts. Inside the ring, his mindset is the same, but outside, the training has been different.
"It's a good and a bad thing but now professional, it's a serious game. The gloves are lighter. They're 8 ounces. I remember when I first tried them on my first pair of professional gloves, it's almost like bare fist. It was crazy compared to the amateur gloves. I'm running every day at 5 a.m. for 5 miles. Then I go to my conditioning coach, my strength and conditioning coach at 1 for an hour. Then my boxing is from 6-8. It's hard, but I got to do what I got to do and I want to become a world champion," said Mendoza.
Abel is currently training for his next fight on January 27 in El Paso looking to get his ninth win.