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Going the distance

Razo’s boxing career has helped her maturation

Posted: April 18, 2009 10:05 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
For Mayte Razo, boxing has been a way to mold her body, mind and life.

In search of a way to better her health and herself, Razo came to the Newhall Community Center more than two years ago when she discovered a love for boxing.

After adopting a rigorous training program, the 20 year-old Newhall resident has turned herself into the 2009 Southern California District Golden Gloves winner in the girls’ 125-pound novice weight division.

“She has been training much more intensely, and that’s helped her gain confidence,” says  Newhall Community Center Sports Coordinator Efren Galindo. “The time she has spent in the ring has helped her not only as an athlete but as a person.”

Razo has spent the last two years training with her coach Victor Rocha, who works with her at both the Community Center and COC.

A former competitive boxer himself, Rocha looks at Razo as his prized pupil.

“She was one of my first students here,” Rocha says. “At first Mayte joined my class because she wanted to lose weight, but she really got into it, and now she is someone that all of my students look up to. She has gone from a shy girl to a very confident and talented young woman.”

Razo’s work with Rocha has helped her lose nearly 60 pounds en route to the Golden Gloves victory.

“I love the workout I get from working with my coach and other boxers,” Razo says. “It was just something I did for exercise, but then my coach said that I was good enough to compete for real so I figured I would give it a shot.”

The Golden Gloves was Razo’s first tournament, and she won six matches to take the top honor.

She views the support she has gotten from the Community Center as a major reason she has been able to grow as a person and an athlete.

“The center has been so great for me,” Razo says. “I started as a volunteer there, and now with all the time I spend working out it is like I have a second family in the ring.”

Razo’s boxing family has grown over the past two years, while she has evolved into a figure that many of the girls who train at the center look up to as an example of the kind of dedication it takes to be a champion boxer.

“It has been so great to see her self-esteem grow, and just her grow as a person,” Rocha says. “She is in the gym every day, and there is no one that I have ever seen work harder.”

A typical day for Razo runs at least 12 hours.

She starts he morning with an hour run at 7 a.m. before heading to class at College of the Canyons, where she is taking physical education classes.

After class Razo generally spends an hour in the gym and then heads to her part-time job in the mall food court.

“It can be tough to juggle everything,” Razo says. “Boxing takes up a lot of my time, but I love it.”

Razo closes her day with a two-hour training session in the gym with Rocha at the center.

The owner of an administrative justice degree from COC, Razo actually finds her current schedule less hectic than the one she used to keep.

“I do pretty much all the same stuff I was doing before, but since I’m not taking any academic classes I have some free time because I don’t have to do homework right now,” Razo said.

Still, Razo is focused on her studies. She is hoping to enroll in college to study law enforcement with the goal of someday being a detective.

If that doesn’t work out, Razo still has a back-up plan.

“Sometimes people ask me if I ever think about fighting professionally, and I really don’t,” Razo says. “I guess it’s something I could maybe wind up doing at some point because I enjoy boxing so much. Well, I guess if I got crazy enough to do it, that is.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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