TULARE COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – While many will be in bed asleep early Thursday morning, one Valley family is waking up to watch boxing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Boxing star Richard Torrez Jr. of Tulare is taking on Algerian fighter Chouaib Bouloudinats in the preliminary round around 2 o’clock in the morning.
His family has their alarms set, ready to watch Torrez Jr. live out his Olympic dream.
“You always hear you don’t want parents to live vicariously through your kids you know, but I can’t help it, I know the process,” said Torrez’s father, Richard Torrez Sr.
As Torrez Jr., known as Kiki, steps into the ring at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, his father won’t be physically in his corner.
Instead, he will be across the globe cheering on his son through the screen.
“I am going to be in the moment. I am going to be there and telepathically I am going to send some thoughts and stuff. I am just excited for him to stand on the world’s stage and show his skill,” said Torrez Sr.
A skill that Torrez Sr. is no stranger to, his father Manuel was a Southwest United States Golden Gloves champion.
And he himself chased an Olympic dream, fighting in 1984 at the Olympic trials.
“I know the process, I know the pains, I know the ins and outs,” Torrez Sr. said.
It isn’t Torrez Jr’s strength or footwork that sets him apart, it’s his mind.
The Olympian is one of the top students from Mission Oak High School, graduating as valedictorian in 2017.
“I am just a science teacher, I’m not a boxer, but that makes me wonder why he is so good. Because he is always wondering, ‘What can I do better what can I do differently, and if that guy got that hit in how can I use that against him?” said Mission Oak High School teacher, Michael Conn.
No matter win or lose, Torrez Jr’s family is behind him 100%.
“There is not one thing that you could do to make us love you or make us any more proud of you than we already are,” said Kim Torrez, Torrez Jr’s mother.
“Hey, you are the best around just remember that whatever happens, you have the capability to think on your feet and move to the next level to be a winner,” said Torrez Sr.