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Tampa teenager garners national boxing acclaim

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Tue. July 10, 2012 | Laura Keeley | Email

Tampa teenager garners national boxing acclaim

While boxing may not be a school-sanctioned sport, that hasn’t stopped Hillsborough High’s Mark Reyes Jr. from making a name for himself on the national circuit.

In June, the 5-foot-8, 145-pound 16-year-old won his division at the USA Boxing Junior Olympics in Mobile, Ala. His career record, according to his trainer, Joe Ponce, is 26-4.

“He’s just got supernatural strength,” said Ponce, who trained other local fighters such as Winky Wright, Antonio Tarver and Jeff Lacy and has trained Reyes since he was 6. “When he was a kid, he’d do 250 push-ups, and as he got older, like 12, 13, I used to put a dumbbell on his back. We started with 10 pounds and then moved up to 100. He’ll do 100 push-ups with 100 pounds on his back.”

Up next for Reyes is the National PAL Championship in October in San Antonio, Texas. 

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