USA Boxing

Apr 06 Athlete of the Week: Roberto Vega

April 06, 2009, 11:07 a.m. (ET)

Name:  Roberto Vega
Age:  17
Hometown:  New London, Conn.
Height:  5'4"
Weight class:  120 lbs
Coach:  Kent Ward
Club Name:  Heavy Hitters

A senior at New London High School, Roberto Vega devotes his days to studying.  But when the final bell rings, this 120 lb. boxer only thinks about the going to the gym. 

Vega's father first brought him to the gym when he was about 11 years old, and through the six-year journey, he's never left his son's side.  His father has not yet missed a bout, and always finds an aspect of his son's performance to critique.  "He finds a lot of things to make me a better fighter," Vega says. 

The rest of his family, including his mother, brother and sister, also shows their unconditional support.   Vega plans to repay them when he becomes a professional boxer.  Right now, Vega's family lives in an economically depressed area.  He hopes to move his family to a better neighborhood with the money he earns from boxing.

And it seems as though this young man has the drive and determination to make his professional dream come true.  Vega learned the age-old lesson of self-discipline through the sport of boxing, and employs the attribute daily.  Vega's greatest strengths in the gym are his stamina and conditioning; two assets he strengthens through running and mitt work.

Until he turns professional, Vega will continue to focus on his schoolwork.  He didn't plan on attending college until he learned about the boxing program at Northern Michigan University and the various boxing scholarships awarded to USA Boxing athletes, so his plan of boxing on ESPN may have to wait four years.