Valley teen to compete in boxing world championshipPosted: Updated:
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A local athlete took to boxing after being bullied and she came back from the Youth National Championship with a gold medal.
Now, that 17-year-old champion has a chance to go to the 2016 Olympics, but first she’s heading to Taiwan for the world championship.
Her training starts after she wraps her hands and does a little stretching, warms up and then slips on her gloves.
Ariel Arismendez can pack quite the punch.
It's no wonder she's the youth national champion, but she said it's taken a lot of hard work, discipline and determination.
She’s ready to conquer the world.
"If I win in Taiwan, I’m going to be ranked No. 1 in the world, not only in the country, so that's my next goal," Arismendez said.
The 17-year-old started boxing when she was11 because she said she was getting bullied in school.
“When I was younger, I was shorter and a little bit chunkier, so I think that's why I was targeted," Arismendez said. "There were times when I just asked myself, 'Why am I going to keep going?' But that's why my motto is 'nothing bad lasts forever.'"
She said boxing gave her the confidence she needed to know she could accomplish anything she wanted to, and she ended up not only excelling in the ring, but also excelling in school.
"I graduated high school when I was 16 years old," Arismendez said.
She already has an associate degree and is working on her premed degree. She said she plans to become a pediatrician.
She hopes to be an inspiration for other youth and she hopes to help prevent bullying.