My name is
Lionel Omar Colón Santana. And I am training in boxing. (13 YEARS OLD) As a sportsman, my dream is… (BOXING
PUERTO RICO) ..to reach the Olympics
and win the Gold Medal. (LIONEL IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S
TOP YOUNG BOXERS) (HEROES OF THE FUTURE) (LIONEL’S DAD) I realised Lionel was good
at boxing almost immediately. His first match was a knockout.
Then he won his second match, they asked for a rematch,
and his third fight was against the same one from
his second fight, and he won. And he kept on winning,
one fight after the other. And I told him, “I think
that you were born for this”. (LIONEL COLON
13 YEARS OLD BOXING) Boxing is one of the most
popular sports in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s
greatest achievements, it’s greatest prizes,
have come through boxing. (LIONEL’S COACH) And, like everyone knows,
the Miss Universe contestants. Puerto Rico is the only
country with world champions in every category. We’re warriors.
We’re aggressive. We’re determined, we’re brave. (PRESIDENT PUERTO
RICO BOXING FEDERATION) I think we all like it.
Puerto Ricans like it. We like fighting, we like… We are hot blooded,
like they say. Boxing is all over Puerto Rico. This is an unrelenting passion. (MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO
LIONEL’S HOMETOWN I’ve been practising boxing
since I was eight years old. At first I wasn’t really keen
on him boxing, to be honest. (PERSONAL BEST) (GOLDEN BELT 2017
RINGSIDE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP) But little by little I started
feeling it and now… I’m his biggest fan.
(LIONEL’S MOM) Well, my strong suit
is that I punch a lot, I am a brawler. I have no weaknesses. My heroes are Vasyl Lomachenko,
and Floyd Mayweather. Lionel is one fiery fighter and he’s been training
since he was little. For his age, he’s really
advanced in boxing. This kid practices
because he likes it. He’s got great skills. His future,
his prospects are great. One of the key things
about Lionel is that he moves forward
while punching a lot with combinations
of five or six punches. That is his forte. He is also quite
strong for his age, and he has a strong dedication
to training hard. My training includes
hitting the sandbag, sometimes moving around. Sometimes, hitting the mitts, or hitting a tyre,
and crunches. He trains hard,
like a real man. But in his small body. Sometimes my dad trains me,
and sometimes it’s Papo, who’s my trainer here
at the gym. His gym mates and his trainer
decided calling him Taz, because they said he was
a very calm, humble boy, but as soon as he
entered the ring, he would transform into, like,
that Tasmanian cartoon. So now, everyone knows him
as Lionel “Taz” Colón. Hurricane Maria was
so devastating for us. For all of Puerto Rico,
not just for us. (SEPTEMBER 2017 WAS A BREAKING
POINT FOR PUERTO RICO) The people is suffering
this low blow by nature. Due to that hurricane,
now there are many closed gyms in Puerto Rico right now. This hurricane affected
the training of many people, of many gyms. But I decided… That my son
wouldn’t be stopped by that. I applied myself to it,
made some sacrifices lots of them. I built a gym inside my house,
and the toughest days of Hurricane Maria were
spent practising some boxing. Training hard… Sometimes crying about
the tough situation we were in. But sometimes quite happily, because we knew we were doing
the right thing. (SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
JOSE DAVILA BOXING TOURNAMENT) You know, sometimes,
at the most important fights, my whole family comes. They start shouting…
Sometimes they bring tambourines and all of that,
and they start playing. When I see them on the ring
I get this amazing thrill. I’m overcome by emotions,
I scream and cry and… Well, you get the picture. I get proud beyond words. When my match is coming up,
I think I need to win. I have to fight well,
to be stylish. Moving a lot,
putting my guard up, and giving it my all
inside the ring. Lionel’s dream is
that of every athlete. He wants to be
an Olympic champion. He wants to be the very best. As a sportsman, my dream is… to reach the Olympics and win
the Gold Medal. (HIS TIME IS NOW) (OLYMPIC CHANNEL
ORIGINAL SERIES)

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