WICHITA, Kan. At Hernandez Boxing Academy, you'll find a ring full of young boxers looking to follow Olympic Bronze Medalist and professional boxer Nico Hernandez's footsteps, to be the next name that puts boxing in Wichita on the map.
You'll also find Jaiden Hernandez and Selene Vasquez, who at just 11 are paving the way for girls in the sport in Wichita and beyond.
“They get in and spar with the boys and they rough the boys up,” said Lewis Hernandez, owner of Hernandez Boxing Academy. “They’re really competitive against the boys.”
They're both preparing to defend their titles as three and two time USA Boxing Youth National Tournament Champions at the end of January. In December, they both won their weight class at the USA Junior Open in Louisiana. This weekend they'll head to the silver gloves tournament in Iowa.
“We want more girls to get involved because we want the sport of boxing to grow. Boxing isn’t big in Wichita. It’s not known at all, the biggest thing it’s known for is Nico and the Olympics, which was a lot of hard work especially being where he came from and how it came about,” said Hernandez. “It’s even harder for girls just to come up in this area and for girls to make a statement, but they’re making their statement.”
And the statement Selene and Jaiden say they want to make, is to show other girls they can step in the ring, too.
“I want to tell them you can do whatever you want you just got to put your mind to it,” said Jaiden.
Nico is Jaiden's cousin, and inspires both of them to push to achieve their own goals, like winning their own Olympic medals.
Together, they know they can achieve anything.
“We motivate each other to push harder,” said Selene.
For more information on how to train, contact Hernandez Boxing Academy at (316) 806-0144.