This kid is ready to rumble!
Ra-leek Born, the 10-year-old boxing sensation from Springfield Gardens, is already turning heads and winning tournaments at such a young age.
Born began boxing a little over a year ago and has quickly excelled at the sport, winning the Metro Junior Olympic Championship, his father Ra-tru Born said.
Most recently, Ra-leek came away with the championship belt in the 8- to 10-year-old, 75-pound weight class during the Ringside Worldwide Boxing Tournament, which was held in Independence, Missouri, on July 27 to 30 where boxers from around the country and from around the world came together to vie for championship belts.
Ra-leek currently holds a record of 5-0 with two TKOs (technical knockouts) in his young career.
It wasn’t that long ago that Ra-leek wasn’t even interested in boxing, his father said. He was looking to get into karate or mixed martial arts, so his father took him to an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gym.
“While there he took a boxing class and he fell in love with boxing,” the elder Born said. “The coaches there told me that he was a natural. They said that he catches on very fast.”
Ra-leek now spends five to six nights a week training in the Eastern Queens Boxing Club gym and while at home watching YouTube videos of old fights of some of his favorite boxers like Pernell Whitaker, Tommy Hearns and Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
The young boxer has high aspirations for his future in the ring.
“He’s already talking about boxing in the Olympics, which he can’t do until 2024,” Born said. “He also talks about his plans on going pro after the Olympics. I always tell him that those are great goals to strive for but to achieve those goals calls for a lot hard work, focus and dedication.”
Ra-leek is using the traits he has learned in the ring and applying them to his schoolwork at P.S. 37 Cynthia Jenkins School, where he is in the fifth grade.
“As a result of boxing his grades in school have improved,” Born boasted. “He has different certificates from his accomplishments in school like student of the month in December. He has a certificate of excellence in mathematics, certificate of excellence in overall academics, and a certificate of excellence in reading.”
As a way to take his training to the next level, Ra-leek asked his father if he could become vegan since he heard many boxers and trainers say that going vegan was great for boxers. After agreeing to change up his eating habits to support his son’s wishes, there was an unexpected benefit for the older Born.
“After doing research about vegans I found out that many people become vegans for health issues that they have,” he said. “So by me becoming diabetic, and given medication by my doctor in December and having high blood pressure I decided that we would go vegan on Jan. 5. My life has completely changed. I lost 60 pounds and I no longer take any medication. I feel great now. I give all the thanks to my son for pushing me to let him be a vegan. I tell him all the time that he may have saved my life!”
The future is bright for this young competitor. Only time will tell how far he makes it inside the ring.