10-year-old Valley boxing champ heads to regional Junior Olympics

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Ray Maldonado is going for the gold in the regional Jr. Olympics (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Ray Maldonado is going for the gold in the regional Jr. Olympics (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Ray has many belts and medals (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Ray has many belts and medals (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Ray trains two hours a night, five days a week (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Ray trains two hours a night, five days a week (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Ten-year-old Ray Maldonado from Phoenix has more boxing title belts than any kid his age and this weekend he is going for gold.

"Hopefully, I win because I prepared for it with my coach and he trained me hard this weekend," said Ray.

"Once he gets in the ring and doesn't worry about nothing, his hands will go, his movements will go, and he'll stay focused on his opponents," said Jesse Gonzalez, Ray’s boxing coach.

Ray’s focus and determination are taking him to the regional Junior Olympics. Currently, he is training two hours a night, five days a week.

"We do sometimes sparing and then other days we do, we hit the bags," said Ray.

Ray has studied his opponents, watched their fights and is ready to take them out with his signature move.

"An overhand, right, a right overhand," said Ray.

He has six national title belts and countless medals, but his coach always reminds him of the basics.

"No matter what, they got two feet and two hands just like you, so be ready," said Gonzalez.

Ray's mom has a hard time watching but is at every one of his fights, cheering him on.

“I feel very proud of him. I’m happy that he is there and happy that he is enjoying every minute of it," said Aurora Maldonado, Ray’s mother.

And before every match, she tells him one simple but powerful thing. 

“That I love him," said Maldonado.

"It makes me feel happy, feel great that I have someone cheering me on," said Ray.

And Ray has big plans. One day Ray hope's to be one of the greatest boxers of all time.

"I’ll get money and take my mom to China where she always wanted to go," said Ray.

If he wins regionals, Ray will go on to nationals in Texas in June.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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