A 19-year-old from Fort Worth overcame COVID-19 and a bad car crash on the way to winning a national boxing title.
This weekend in Tulsa, German Lopez won the title belt in the 125-pound weight class at the national Golden Gloves tournament.
“It means all of my hard work paid off. It makes me want to go harder now,” he said.
He’s overcome a lot, including a bout with COVID-19 last June.
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“I had headaches in the beginning, and then slowly I started losing my sense of taste and my sense of smell,” Lopez said.
One week after he won the Texas Golden Gloves, in May 2021 - he survived a collision.
“A car was coming straight at me at 70 mph. I barely move out of the way, he still hit me, and I spun out of the road. It was bad,” Lopez said.
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Paulie Ayala coaches Lopez.
“I’m very proud of German. I think this is going to open doors, not only for him, but also for the guys that are on this journey with him,” Ayala said.
Ayala is a former two-division world champ, and the owner of the University of Hard Knocks, a fitting name for a Fort Worth gym that teaches life lessons.
Ayala is encouraging his boxers to get vaccinated.
“I hear all kinds of crazy reasons why people are not getting vaccinated, but we definitely try to encourage them to make the best decision,” Ayala said.
It’s a decision that could help in the fight against a global opponent.
As for Lopez, he said he hopes to turn pro after his amateur career.