Gulfport teen heads to national boxing tournament, dedicates fight to late coach
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - From state to nationals, one Gulfport teen is heading to Florida to compete in a boxing tournament while honoring his coach who guided him along the way.
Remi Hopkins created a home in the Gulfport Boxing Club two years ago.
“I put my heart in this sport every day. I’m here every day,” said Hopkins.
After long hours in and out of the ring, he’s earned the title of the Mississippi Junior Golden Gloves Champion under his coach Warren Miguez. He currently holds a record 8-1.
“My first time walking in this gym, he believed I was the best from day one,” said Hopkins.
Sadly, Miguez passed away in April. Now, the 16-year-old heads to Orlando, Florida to compete in the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament.
“I wish he was around a little longer so I can actually show him how far I’ve come,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins is dedicating his fights to his former coach.
Whether it’s his strategic hits, his quick feet, or training up to six days a week, Hopkins believes he’s ready to take on his competitors.
“Every day I don’t feel like doing this but I have to do it if I want to meet my expectations to win every time I do,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins’ father, John, sees potential in all boxing athletes.
“Mr. Miguez didn’t get a chance to see it but it’s very important. He’s been a leader showing the other kids there’s other things to do. We try to keep them in the gym and it’s real special,” said Hopkins, Remi’s father.
He’s eager to cheer his son to a national title.
“He’s also ROTC. He’s nonstop you know. He works harder than anybody I know. He deserves to be there,” said Hopkins.
It’s also an opportunity to guide younger athletes down a successful path.
“This gym has historically saved a lot of kids from worst places so we’re just trying to keep it going and keep the kids coming in,” said William Dreis, volunteer coach.
“Kind of put Gulfport on the map, the gym on the map. There are people who work hard here. A lot of people have expectations for themselves and they can meet them but they don’t put the effort in to meet those expectations. Work hard and you’ll get what you need,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins also plans to attend the Silver Gloves and Olympic Trials later this year.
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