Olympic boxing has been a springboard for numerous prizefighters to championship careers. Pugilists such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Oscar De La Hoya represented the stars and stripes in the Olympic Games before going on to change the face of boxing. Now, U.S.A. Boxing has a local boy with his own aspirations: South El Monte’s own Joseph Diaz Jr. Diaz’s motivation has been to help his family get out of the everyday struggle and win the gold in London. At 19 years old, Diaz is the youngest member of the US men’s Olympic boxing team. With his father coaching him, Diaz’s Olympic journey reiterates the idea that sports can be a way out from the troubles of poverty and unemployment.
How have sports helped you or people in your community overcome adversity? How has Joseph Diaz Jr.’s story inspired you?
Kevin Baxter, sportswriter for the L.A. Times
Tom Looney, host for Fox Sports Radio