CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A group of local young boxers are taking their skills in the ring all the way to Witchita, Kansas.
The kids are training for a national competition that will put them head to head against other fighters from across the U.S.
At the Elite Fitness Gym in Ingleside, 9-year-old Elijah Velasquez is putting in hard work.
"I've been hitting the bag a lot, sparing, shadow boxing, pushing myself," Velasquez said.
He's one of 14 boxers who are training for the Junior Olympics in Witchita, Kansas.
"It means a lot, I love boxing get to nationals," said boxer Juan Valadez.
The young athletes range from eight to 16 years old. When the boxers step into the ring, their footwork is fast, and their fists do the talking. The boys and girls are part of the Mustang Boxing Club, a non-profit under the leadership of Coach Jordan Pinney.
"As amateur boxers, they are all building resumes right now," Pinney said. "Trying to make it to the pros one day and get signed, trying to get top ten in the USA. I have two boxers that are ranked top 3 in the nation."
11-year-old Mia Pinney is already making waves in the world of boxing. She's been climbing into the ring for six years now and is currently ranked third in the nation for her age and weight group. Jinna Adame with the club is also ranked third.
"It's taught me how to be disciplined and how to defend myself," Mia said.
Through hard work and focus, the young boxers were able to take what they've learned and apply it to their personal lives.
"There was one kid who was bullying me and that's another reason why I joined too," Velasquez said. "he stopped, he definitely stopped."
With discipline, growth and support in their corner when they head to nationals next month, the Mustang Boxing Club hopes to knock out the competition.
The competition will be held July 9-16th.
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