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Wilson Elementary fourth grader ranked first in the nation in boxing

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Every day afterbrschool, Wilson Elementary School 4th grader, Maxine Garcia goes to her family’sbrboxing gym to do her favorite things: spend time with her family and practicebrboxing. But it isn’t just putting on a pair of gloves and messing around. Thisbr9-year-old girl from Payson is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 55-poundbrweight class.

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

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

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This way of thinkingbrhas been taught to Maxine by both of her parents who run Maximus Boxing Academybrin Payson. Her dad, Aaron Garcia said he wants to make sure that he keeps abrclean family atmosphere at his gym as he teaches his children as well as otherbrstudents. He also said that he wants to teach his children and studentsbrconfidence, which is something Maxine said she really likes about boxing.

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“My favorite partbrabout boxing is building self-defense and confidence,” Maxine said. “Being abrboxer has helped me be strong and confident.”

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Maxine said she reallybrlikes seeing other girls try the sport of boxing, and encourages other girlsbrwho want to try boxing, to do it.

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

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