Two local students place at boxing national championship
Raimier "Lungz" Walker is heading into the 8th grade at Syracuse Academy of Science; he's also the number one ranked boxer in his division in the country.
HW Smith Elementary 6th grader Nevaeh "Peanut" Anderson also competed in the national tournament, making it to the final four in her division and placing third.
After winning local, state and regional tournaments the two had the opportunity to box in the National Junior Olympics Championship in Charleston, West Virginia.
Both kids train with Ray Rinaldi Boxing at the West Area Athletic Center.
After defeating fighters from Hawaii, California, Michigan, and Texas, Raimier Walker took home gold.
Walker is the 10th champion to come out of the center in eleven years.
He says his passion for boxing started when he was eight years old.
"I had my first fight and something just happened," Walker said.
Anderson battled a boxer from Philadelphia and took the fight three rounds before a split decision.
"It was my first tournament and I think I did good for my first time," Anderson said.
Coach and educator Chris Burns has been boxing for most of his life. He says watching his students succeed in the ring is more satisfying than putting the gloves on himself.
"As a coach, doing well isn't winning a tournament. Doing well is representing the club and themselves - showing how they're responsible, they're mature, showing respect to their opponents, raising their hand up whether they win or lose," Burns said.
Both kids plan to keep working on their boxing skills and say they hope to become professional boxers someday.