TULARE, Calif. – With every step, with every punch, Richard Torrez is working towards a goal he has had for more than half his life.
“I remember being eight years old, running around my school, saying, ‘I’m gonna be an Olympic champion one day,'” says the 2020 Olympic hopeful.
Eight-year-old Richard Torrez lives inside 20-year-old Richard Torrez. Boxing has taken him to eleven different countries.
“I am really confident in my abilities,” says Torrez. “I’m one of the top in the continent at super heavyweight.”
Torrez honed his skills in Tulare, California, where boxing runs in his family: 75 years of boxing, to be exact, spanning three generations. It began with Manuel Torrez, Richard’s grandfather.
“My dad was kind of a trailblazer for himself, the family,” says Richard Torrez, Sr. “He was Southwestern United States Golden Gloves champion.”
Torrez, Sr. followed in his footsteps.
Manuel’s son and Richard’s father was ranked in three different weight classes over a 20-year career. He also went to the Olympic Trials in 1984.
“I got as far as I did in the sport standing on the shoulders of my dad,” he said. “My son is standing on the shoulders of me and my dad.”
Manuel Torrez died in 2000 at the age of 72.
Richard Torrez was too young to remember his grandfather. However, Richard Torrez, Sr remembers, “about one-year-old, two-years-old, I remember my dad looked at (my son) and says, ‘that’s gonna be a fighter right there.'”