Westside boxer Kiwon Toney, 10, is proudly sporting the 2011 National Silver Gloves Champion belt after winning his fights in Kansas City to become the nation's No. 1 boxer in the 65-pound weight class.
"I competed in Kansas City against two people from Minnesota and Colorado," said Kiwon of his mid-March national win. "Nationals had three rings going at the same time with bells ringing."
Kiwon will next compete in bouts along with fellow Westside boxers in the 75th annual Chattanooga Golden Gloves April 15-16. The location will be announced soon.
"He was the only Westside boxer to make it to nationals," said Westside Boxing coach Andy Smith. "He's a good kid. He has done well in school and in boxing."
Kiwon is a fourth-grader at Brown International Academy.
He said in two years of boxing he has fought in the ring 28 times. His statistics are 25-3.
Kiwon won the state and regional championships before nationals.
He said he took his first airline flight to nationals.
A boxing team leader for his age group, Kiwon practices at Westside Boxing Club three days per week for two-hour intervals.
He said he likes to release a lot of energy in the ring and to run while practicing at Westside.
"It's not about what any one coach does," said Smith. "It's about teaching the kids to do the right thing. Once we get them to recognize the concept of doing what you're supposed to do, then everything else follows."
Smith said Westside boxers also punch bags, jump rope and spar in practices.