TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Olympics are fast approaching. Two capital region boxers from Next Bunch Boxing in Troy hope to one day be on that stage. Driven by their love for the sport, 15-year-old Jadah Robinson and 13-year old Devonce Harvey are collecting medals along the way.
It began at a young age for Robinson. “It’s just like, when you see a toy,” said the Troy native. “It’s like, ‘oh I want that toy.’ So in my head at the time it was like, ‘I want to hit the bag.'”
Instead of a toy, Robinson found her joy in boxing at just 5 years old. That joy quickly turned into a passion. “As I got older, as I started learning it more, I’m just like, ‘oh yeah, this is something I want to do forever,” Robinson said.
By 11 years old, she went to her first Junior Olympic Final. Robinson said, “Me not knowing, barely knowing what that was, I’m just in there like, ‘I’m just gonna fight her right? That’s just what it’s going to be.’ So I got in there, did my thing and I brought back the gold, and I was just like, ‘wow, I did that?'”
Jadah’s mother, Sheba Brown, says, “Her uncle Samuel Bunch, her trainer, trained her to be a champion. She just kept coming. She wouldn’t quit.”
Jadah won another gold at age 13. This weekend, at age 15, she went up a weight class, bringing home the bronze. For the first time, Jadah’s mom Sheba was in her corner as her coach.
Jadah’s proud of the result, but she’s also using it as motivation. “I’m not a person who is going to lose and go sit on my butt,” Robinson said. “I’m a person who’s going to lose and watch the fight over and see what my mistakes are and just get back in the gym and do what I have to do.”
Also by her side was another boxer from Next Bunch Boxing: 13-year old Devonce Harvey.
Just like Jadah, Devonce started boxing at age 5. “I was staying at home, and me and by little brother were play fighting,” Harvey said. “Then my mom was like, ‘you should go to boxing because you kick too much.’ So then she put me into boxing and I fell in love with it ever since.”
In his first Junior Olympics this past week, Devonce took home bronze, both validating his hard work and pushing him to improve. “It was like a life lesson, to push forward and not give up but I knew I could have done better,” Harvey said. “At the same time, I just told myself after I got the bronze, I’m going to go to the gym and work harder.”
Now, both boxers have their eyes set on the same goals. “My overall goal is to go to the regular Olympics and win gold and then go pro,” Harvey said.
Robinson is aiming for the same. “I definitely want to go to the regular Olympics, the real Olympics. I want to bring home the gold, and then after I definitely do want to go pro.”