TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Richard Torrez says he has been working every day towards a goal he has had for more than half of his life; becoming an Olympic champion.
With every step and every punch, Torrez has been moving closer and closer to that goal.
“I remember being eight years old, running around my school, saying, ‘I’m gonna be an Olympic champion one day,'” Torrez recalls.
He says that the 8-year-old that promised to become a champion still lives inside of the 20-year-old future Olympian.
“I am really confident in my abilities,” Torrez says. “I’m one of the top in the continent at super heavyweight.”
In a small, unmarked gym in Tulare Torrez puts in his work. The family boasts 75 years of boxing, spanning three generations beginning with Manuel Torrez, Richard’s grandfather and Southwestern United States Golden Gloves champion.
“My dad was kind of a trailblazer for himself, the family,” says Richard Torrez Sr.
Richard himself had an over-20-year career in boxing and was ranked in three different weight classes. He went to the Olympic trials in 1984.
“I got as far as I did in the sport standing on the shoulders of my dad,” Torrez Sr. explains. “My son is standing on the shoulders of me and my dad.”
Manuel Torrez died in 2000 at the age of 72. Richard Torrez was too young to remember him, but Richard Torrez Sr. remembers Manuel’s observations about the future olympian.
“About one year old, two years old, I remember my dad looked at him and says, ‘that’s gonna be a fighter right there,'” Torrez remembers.