Fresno boxer Marc Castro continues on path to 2020 Olympics
Fresno is - and has been - home to a number of great boxers, both amateur and professional. 17-year-old Marc Castro has a bio that's as impressive as any, and an incredible work ethic inspired by love for his family.
Castro recently won his 14th National Championship, and improved his career record to 145-6. He's also a 2x amateur world champion, and one of only two Americans to ever win back-to-back Junior and Youth World Championships.
Castro trains morning and night, running as the sun comes up, and hopping in the garage-turned-boxing ring at his house as the sun sets.
Marc's dad, Tony, says, "He's got what it takes. Be disciplined, be hungry, to want something. Fight for something that you love, that you want."
What the younger Castro fights for is love. What he wants... "I want a better future for my family, that's the most important thing," says Marc. "Financial security, well-being for all of my family is important."
Castro comes from an immigrant family. His dad grew up in El Salvador, and is the only boxing coach Marc's ever had.
As Tony Castro explains, they did not train in some world class gym. "He became a 2x world champion in a garage. And part of this living room. His Christmas tree was a light sometimes, because he used to train over here because it was too cold out there."
Marc says, "My dad always taught me, as a young kid to never try to take shortcuts in life, because they'll ultimately catch up to you. He taught me to always give 100%, whether it’s doing something minor or doing something major; doing the minor things, it'll come out to a major goal."
Goals accomplished just this summer include graduating valedictorian from Sunnyside High School, and capturing another national title, in West Virginia. Next up - win an Olympic gold medal. Just like every single boxer adorning his bedroom wall.
There's an expectation Castro will be at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, based on his incredible success as an amateur fighter. Tony says, "in over 70 countries, they know who this kid is. He's a target. Every tournament you go, Marc Castro, Marc Castro. Everybody."
Sunrise, sunset. Marc Castro is working. He's sacrificing for a family that's sacrificed immensely for him.
"It's like mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter. Just keep pushing forward, and it's all going to pay off in the end."