The Nevada Boxing club is one of the most successful sports clubs in university’s history with five national championships in its long history. In the thick of their season, Nevada boxing prepares for the homestretch of their season.
Nate Strother is in his third year as president of the club. He says this year the club has seen more people than usual show interest. It is difficult for the club to get athletes to join for two reasons. The first is because it is a club sport at the university, while at the academies — Air Force, Army and Navy — the sport is an official school sport. The second, as Strother says, is because boxing is such a grueling sport.
“It’s not for everyone. Most people show up and leave” Strother said.
For himself he credits his longevity in the sport to his mental toughness.
“You gotta be a little crazy, some wires crossed, gotta like getting punched in the face,” He said.
The 170 pound Strother lost his bout last weekend to the reigning national champion in the weight class, but heads into this weekend’s matchup against Alex Olajide of Navy with high hopes.
Another fighter, Davis Ault prepares for his match this weekend. Ault has won each of his first two fights this season, and hopes to keep his record spotless. His opponent this weekend is Kiel Hicks of the University of Washington — who won his last fight.
“I saw him [Hicks] in Washington and he’s a tough opponent,” Ault said. “It’s going to be a good fight.”
Ault, the grandson of legendary Nevada football coach Chris Ault, is trying to form his own path in his family history.
“The change to boxing was huge to my family, I’m the first one to do it. Once I started I fell in love with it,” Ault said. “I kept it going and going to keep it going.”
Ault will be the third bout on the card for the next fight.
With the national championships being held in Reno, there is a lot on the line for Nevada boxing. The team must has two more chances before regionals —hosted by UCLA in March — in an attempt to perfect their craft before nationals.
Nevada boxing’s next matches are against the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Eldorado Convention Center. The card will be the first time the team is back in Reno for an event since November. Tickets are free for students with a university student ID card.
Darion Strugs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @dstrugs.