By Jerome Souza (@FirstClassBox)
Fresno, California is home to a young man hoping to become the United States’ first Olympic Gold Medalist in Men’s Boxing since Andre Ward. Marc Castro, 17, who holds an amateur record of 135-6 is hoping to campaign at 135lbs at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Castro has been boxing since the age of four from when his father, former amateur boxing Tony Castro, used to have him box for entertainment for him and his friends. However, Castro’s father did not want Marc to be a boxer, and Marc was not a big fan of the sport growing up. “I hated boxing, I did not like it. I was a soccer player”, Castro told FirstClassBoxing.com.
Tony Castro saw something in his son and decided to train him early on. But there was one stipulation according to Marc, “in order for me to go to soccer practice I had to go to the boxing gym and work out and then I had to go out there and play soccer”. The deal has paid off. In addition to an outstanding record, Marc is a 13-time USA National Champion and a two-time International World Champion which came from him winning the 2015 Junior World Championships and the 2016 Youth World Championships.
Marc has now gained a respect and appreciation for many of boxing’s current champions. Castro named his top five favorite fighters to watch: Mikey Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, Andre Ward and Terence Crawford. Castro told FirstClassBoxing.com that in the ring he resembles a professional style as well, “It’s a very unique style, I have my own style but for the casual boxing fans to know it’s like a Terence Crawford [in that] I like to switch up in the middle of fights with southpaw, I could box a little and GGG mixed together. I have a lot of aggression and most people say I don’t get tired in the ring”.
Castro maintains a friendship with former amateur standout Money Powell IV, who recently signed with Ringstar Sports. Along with his friendship, Castro has also been able to attend professional events and rub shoulders with boxing’s elite. After getting a taste of the pros, FirstClassBoxing.com asked Castro if he’s been tempted to turn professional early and bypass an extended amateur career, “Yes it gets me very anxious but there’s a ladder to climb, these guys have been fighting pro for a while they had to wait to get this huge spotlight. Most importantly if I want that huge spotlight I need to go to the Olympics and do great in the Olympics, win a gold medal that USA’s been wanting for a while”.
While Castro gets ready to graduate from Sunnyside High School in Fresno, CA in a few months, he reflects on the two biggest members of his corner, his parents. “It feels great to have them behind me because I see how it’s very grateful to have them and not many people have their parents support and I’m thankful for them. It’s the best and I wouldn’t want to do it without their support”.by