Boxing is a sport in which both competitors are punched, pummeled and left bruised and bloody. But only one has his or her arm raised in victory in the end.
Luis Arias, a junior in the College of Communication, knows a thing or two about jabs and hooks – he’s currently competing for a spot on the U.S. 2012 Olympic men’s boxing team. Already on the U.S. traveling national team, Arias has his eyes on the ultimate prize – Olympic gold.
The tribune sat down with Arias to talk about life as a college student and Olympic hopeful.
What made you take up boxing?
I was always a hyper kid and wanted to be involved in all types of sports. I got tired of seasonal sports and needed something year round, so I chose boxing.
What do you enjoy the least about boxing?
Making weight is hard. I have to starve and run extra miles.
How do you handle training, school and a social life?
At times, handling school, practice and my social life can get difficult because they get in the way of each other. But luckily, I’ve been balancing all three since elementary school.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud I get to represent my country. Besides winning nationals and other competitions, I’m glad I can still make my parents happy by continuing my college career as well.
How many competitions are there?
I used to get on cards at local shows, but now I’m concentrating on the big national competitions, as well as the international ones I fight in for the national team.
What keeps you motivated?
My parents and the people I love. I hate letting people down, and that pushes me to work hard and fight hard.
What’s training like?
The preparation for the Olympics is a tough task. There’s an intense training camp and I’ve got to hit the gym hard every day.
Have you had any injuries?
I’ve been blessed to not have any serious injuries. I got cut once in sparring, but it healed perfectly.
What are your future aspirations in boxing?
I plan on making the Olympic team and medaling. After that, I want to join the professional ranks and become a world champion.