WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — At the Las Brisas Boxing Club in Weslaco, the only thing that outweighs a knockout in the ring is success out of it.
Noe Mendoza Jr. currently has roughly nine fighters training at his home gym.
The payment required to fight in the club? Passing grades on report cards.
“What we want to do is change the climate and the way people look at the sport altogether,” Mendoza Jr. explained.
He has been working toward that goal for a while.
During his time as an undergraduate student, Mendoza Jr. sought to revitalize collegiate boxing. He began by creating a boxing club at Texas A&M University, allowing collegiate boxers to compete across the country. Once a constitution was drafted and a board was approved, Mendoza Jr. had his club.
Other schools took notice, and soon Mendoza Jr. had the likes of the University of Texas and Texas Tech University contacting him to help create programs. The change was a sign of progress for the young boxer.
“[By] 2018, we had about five boxing clubs in the state of Texas,” Mendoza Jr. said.
One of the five schools includes the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where Mendoza Jr. developed a program while completing his Master’s degree.
The club competed in the USA Boxing National Collegiate championship this summer. Mendoza Jr. claimed the top spot, earning a medal while dawning his orange UTRGV uniform. The win was significant, but it marks just another step toward his ultimate goal.
“The ultimate goal is to finish this Master’s Program and get my law degree,” Mendoza Jr. said. “I want to, say in five years, come back after finishing law school, practice law for a bit, and fund the future colleges and careers of these athletes [in the valley].”
It is safe to say, Mendoza Jr. is well on his way.