At just 10-years-old, Johaunna Martinez decided to follow in her family's footsteps.

You might say she was born to be a boxer.

"Well my mom was a boxer,” says Johaunna, “I also wanted to box. She kind of inspired me. So, I did too."

In November, Johaunna started boxing at Billings Elite Amateur Boxing. While some parents might be afraid to let their daughter's compete in the ring, Johaunna's parents couldn't have been more proud.

Kristina Martinez says Johaunna was a natural. "As soon as she put the gloves on you could tell she had a lot of potential."

Johaunna's father, Austin Schnizier, sees boxing as a good lesson in life. "I was excited you know. When it's not a team sport and it's something like boxing you have to rely on yourself, you know. You're all you have. So, in order for her to get in that ring and do that, I was happy."

Johaunna's coach Stewart Strever said he knew right away Johaunna was tough, a quick learner, and the sky was the limit.

"First time I ever seen her in a ring I told her dad she's probably going to win nationals this year."

And she did. Johaunna won a regional fight on the amateur circuit in January and advanced to the National Silver Gloves Tournament later that month.

She had been boxing for just three months but she defeated an experienced opponent to become the national champion in her weight class.

"When she won it was just like ‘yeah I won.’ It was just another fight for her," said Strever. He goes on to say, "I don't think she understands the gravity of the situation of winning a major tournament like that."

Now with one title already under her belt, Johaunna has her eyes set on 2024.

"When I'm older I want to try to get on a boxing team. The USA one." Johaunna continued saying, "To be able to go and represent the country that’s the finest of boxers, that's the top of the top."

Schnizier says Johaunna is always looking to work out and get better, and the family believes with her dedication at such a young age she can do anything she sets her mind to.

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