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Wilson Elementary fourth grader ranked first in the nation in boxing

Dec 05, 2019 06:26PM ● By Anderson Brown

Every day after school, Wilson Elementary School 4th grader, Maxine Garcia goes to her family’s boxing gym to do her favorite things: spend time with her family and practice boxing. But it isn’t just putting on a pair of gloves and messing around. This 9-year-old girl from Payson is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 55-pound weight class.

According to Maxine, being ranked first nationally is her biggest accomplishment since starting boxing three years ago. And even though boxing can be seen as a mean sport, Maxine says that it doesn’t mean that you have to be a mean person to be a boxer.

“When you fight, you are mean in the ring, and after the fight is over, you can be yourself,” Maxine said. “I always hug my opponent after a match because we both are fighters and respect each other.”

This way of thinking has been taught to Maxine by both of her parents who run Maximus Boxing Academy in Payson. Her dad, Aaron Garcia said he wants to make sure that he keeps a clean family atmosphere at his gym as he teaches his children as well as other students. He also said that he wants to teach his children and students confidence, which is something Maxine said she really likes about boxing.

“My favorite part about boxing is building self-defense and confidence,” Maxine said. “Being a boxer has helped me be strong and confident.”

Maxine said she really likes seeing other girls try the sport of boxing, and encourages other girls who want to try boxing, to do it.

“If other girls wanted to try boxing, I would tell them to try it out because there aren’t many girls who box,” she said. “Boxing is a sport for girls too.” (Anderson Brown is a sophomore at Payson High School. He is an accomplished soccer player who enjoys learning about other accomplished athletes through his Student-Athlete of the Month column.)