Boxers Recall First Trophy or Title They Ever Won



For almost every fighter who has ever stepped into a ring, the first knockout victory is one of the most meaningful moments of their career. The first time they won a trophy, medal or title is a similarly memorable experience. For some, it happened when they were kids or competing as amateurs. For others it was as professionals. For others, it happened in a completely different sport.


ESPN spoke to a number of fighters -- including Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford, Avril Mathie, Xu Can, John Riel Casimero, Jerwin Ancajas and Cecilia Braekhus -- about those key moments in their lives and their feelings at the time.


What was the first trophy/medal/title/sports award you ever won?


Terence Crawford: I won my first tournament, the Ringside nationals in 2002. I had just come back to boxing after taking a five-year break. I had only been back for a few months and I still won. They gave me a belt for winning that I still have.


Shawn Porter: I have the trophy right here with me, I'm looking at it, right now -- the very first boxing match that I had back in Cleveland, Ohio. I believe I was 65 pounds, I was 8 years old. It was the very first fight of the night. At that point you'd only see people win things on TV, the medals and trophies. I remember two things about winning the trophy: When I walked into the gymnasium, you see all the trophies sitting out, and that trophy was the biggest one, and I just remember thinking, "Oh, I want to win that."


And the other part of it is, when I won the fight, I held the trophy up over my head -- and it's almost as big as I am. I remember thinking, "These people are going to root for me and cheer for me like they do on TV." And that absolutely did not happen. It was awkward when I did that. I still have the very first trophy that I won in amateur boxing.


Cecilia Braekhus: It was in soccer, actually. It's funny because that's a team sport. It was with all my teammates in Norway in a local tournament, which was a big deal for me. It was amazing to win something with all my hard-working teammates, so that's a very fond memory.


More from ESPN's Steve Kim...

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