ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Rockford has a long history of producing champion boxers. The latest one is Gavin Bernal, a teenager who recently became a two-time Silver Gloves National Champion out of the Patriots Boxing Club.
“I started when I was nine,” said Bernal, “And I just loved the sport ever since I walked into the gym. I want to take it all the way. As far as I can. Maybe even becoming a world champion.”
Bernal is off to a great start in achieving his dream. Fighting at 110 pounds, he won the National Silver Gloves Championship at a 3-Day tournament in Independence, Missouri, a tournament he also won last year.
“It feels good to win any time, especially when it’s bigger tournaments like these. Winning it back-to-back made me feel even better.”
“I’m telling you he’s learning every fight,” said Bernal’s coach Jimmy Goodman. “Every fight he has he learns, and he’s getting stronger and stronger. He’s getting mean in the ring. Nicest kid on the outside, but when he gets in the ring you don’t want to be in there with him.”
A championship of this magnitude doesn’t come from a lack of effort. It’s a direct result of all the hard work Gavin puts in in the gym.
“I train six times a week. Hitting the heavy bag, speedbag, jumping rope, shadow boxing, sparring. It takes a lot out of you, but you just have to push through it. It’s all in my head. I know I’ve just go to keep going through it.
Despite his young age, Bernal is already someone his fellow boxing Patriots can look up to.
“It’s great as a coach when you have kids who want to step up and go to the next level,” said Goodman. “It takes a little bit of extra work and Gavin’s putting it in. He’s a role model for the younger ones and even the older ones who are trying to get where he’s at. He’s motivation for the entire team.”