Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Matthew at 16: Boxing Is About to Become a Lot Tougher.(Final)

Byline: Rick Wright Of the Journal

At 16, Matthew Esquibel loves boxing the way other kids his age love Avril Lavigne. He does his roadwork without complaint, shows up at the gym even when he doesn't have to.

"I love everything about boxing," he says. "I enjoy it. I look forward to training all the time, staying in shape."

That's good. In the upcoming months, as the stakes grow higher and the competition tougher, Esquibel will need all the enthusiasm he can muster.

Esquibel and his uncle and trainer, Fred Esquibel, left Saturday for Alexandria, La., and the 2003 Junior Olympic National Championships. It could be the younger Esquibel's final tournament as a junior boxer. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.