Marc Castro won AMBC boxer of the month for September by a wide margin of votes on social media
Don’t be fooled by the happy smile: When sixteen-year-old Marc Castro speaks about his life and dreams, his thinking is hard-hitting and deep.
Last September, the Fresno, California native won bantamweight gold for the United States at the Junior World Championships in Russia, winning all five of his bouts in the ten-day tournament. In the semifinals, Castro stopped his opponent in the first round. In his final bout, he scored a perfect 10 on all the judges’ cards.
“My goal was to win the gold medal and I wasn’t going to stop until I got it,” he said. “All my hard work paid off.”
Castro is an honor roll student in the eleventh grade at Sunnyside High School. A’s are his favorite grades. He plans to go to college to study something related to law enforcement and people, inspired by the example of his oldest sister, who is a sheriff in Fresno.
Castro started boxing at the age of four and had his first bout at eight year old. Every year since, he has been the USA Boxing National Champion in his age category.
Tony Castro, his father and trainer, is a construction worker from a wealthy family in El Salvador who lost everything during the war in that country in the early 80’s. Although Tony works overtime to finance his son’s tournament travel, most of the time it isn’t enough, and the credit card debt keeps increasing.
Marc’s mother, Lorena Camacho, a kindergarten aid teacher, named her son after her favorite singer, Marc Anthony, and has tried to teach him to be a supportive and compassionate human being.
“I am very grateful to God for my parents and my family,” said Marc, who took the telephone interview while helping his mother to make her bed.
Marc is the only boy in the family of four children. He has a twin sister, Esmeralda, who is very protective of her brother and always aware of his moves.
“It is very good to have a twin at home, because you are the same age and can relate in lots of ways,” said the Junior World Champion.
“The three sisters help with Marc’s needs and training,” said Tony Castro. “They are very proud of their brother.”
Since Castro’s father had to close his gym, father and son train in the garage at home. During summer, temperatures can reach 120F; during winter, less than 30F, so they sometimes change the gym to the living room. Last Christmas, they trained next to the tree before Castro went to Reno for the USA Jr Olympics, where he won gold and the right to represent his country in Russia.
Marc said he has one goal and one wish in boxing. His goal is to compete at the Olympics in 2020, after which he will turn pro. And his wish is to be interviewed for ESPN Sports Nation.
The teen said that when he isn’t boxing he is spending time with his family, friends, or playing video games. But his priorities are schoolwork and training to be the best.
“Boxing is a mental game. I train my body and skills, but what makes me strong in the ring is the ability to adjust to any opponent,” he said.
Going to the Worlds, everybody told him that his style was going to cause trouble for his opponents. He knew it was going to be tough, but he had faith.
“I was sure I was going to do great because I went in the name of the Lord,” said Castro.
Photo: Dmitry Pirogov (Enjoy this Photo Album)