Hands sweating from the warmth inside of his gloves, he fidgets his fingers the tiniest bit just to make it more comfortable. The crowd surrounding the ring becomes drowned out and the noise inside of his head becomes more of a flowing noise of the voices of his grandmother and coach while he concentrates on his opponent. The bell dings and everything in the train of thought is lost.
Tyreick Lewis, Longview freshman, went head to head in his first match as part of the All Comers Division and won on Feb. 2 at the 77th annual Golden Gloves boxing tournament. It was a tough fight for Lewis; the 18-year-old had only sparred before. He won the first match and got hurt in the second; however, he still medaled as a novice.
“Everyone has a plan until they get hit,” Lewis said. “It’s a great feeling when you come out of that situation; having someone try to beat you up and push you down, and you come out of it vict
orious. Yeah, I’m a little banged up but at the end of the day that’s what we train for.”
Lewis trains Monday through Thursday and occasionally on Saturdays before the tournament at the East Texas Boxing Club in Longview.
“I walked in the first day, my grandma introduced me to everyone, and they took me in with open arms” Lewis said. “They saw I wanted to box and they’ve been training me ever since.”
His workouts consist of a warmup (jumping jacks, arm rolls, rocking chairs and stretching), cardio (running, conditioning, three rounds of heavy bags and jump rope) and an ending session where he lifts weights or works on improving his speed and focus.
Lewis’s grandmother, who is a regular at the gym, plays a big role in his drive to succeed.
“Every time I fight I hear her, and then I hear my coach,” Lewis said. “She kind of developed me as a young man by just giving me knowledge of what’s right and wrong and the ends and outs of life.”
Lewis also found inspiration in the movie Creed. Similar to that of the main character, he hopes that his past will not define him and uses boxing as a medium to improve himself.
“At the time, I saw it, I was going through a lot of struggles on my own,” said Lewis. “I watched it in a different sense. I wasn’t watching it to see him fight somebody, but to see how he handled the situations he was in and how he built upon the chances he was given.”
Unlike the boxers in Creed however, Lewis has no plans to become a professional.
“I would love to make it to the Olympics,” Lewis said. “I know it’s a far shot because there’s been dudes that have been sparring since they were five or six years old and they still don’t make it, but that’s my dream.”