This Latino Is Bringing The U.S.A. Its First Medal For Boxing In 8 Years

Thanks to an impressive win this past week, 20-year-old Nico Hernandez is bringing the U.S. its first medal for boxing since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Win or lose, the Wichita, Kan., native is set to bring home at least a bronze medal. But Hernandez has much higher aspirations.

If you haven't checked out the newspaper yet go ahead an pick one up ??

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

“I won’t be satisfied until I get the gold medal,” Nico told the Wichita Eagle.

Hernandez began fighting his way to the Olympics at the age of nine, when his father, and coach, took him to a local gym.

My Father gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person He believed in me ??

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

Nico’s first sparring experience left him bloody and bruised…but he was hooked.

Love this picture #Blood #WarriorStatus #Boxing #Usa #PuertoRico #NoPain

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

To achieve his Olympic dream, Nico has to make sacrifices that most people his age will probably never understand.

How im feeling after only been gone a week lol

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

Nico is extremely close to his family.

And they’ve supported and encouraged his passion for the sport.

Me and Grandma after my fight at the @tone_loc316 Memorial Show #Winning ??

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

But competing and training often takes him away from those he cares about most.

Me an the #Fam #OTF #ThrowBack

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

However, it’s this level of dedication that has taken him to start his career with an amazing 25 wins in a row.

#TbT Got like 5 more since then. #Boxing #Champ #MakinMyDreamsComeTrue #Nationals #Boxing

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

Nico would eventually lose a match, but the biggest loss Nico faced came in 2014. An accident on the job took the life of his friend, Tony Losey, a fellow boxer. He was only 22 years old.

Got the shirts in if anyone wants one tell me there $20

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

Tony and Nico trained together for years, but their bond was much deeper.

Gonna miss workin with you. Miss you already bro. R.I.P #CandleLightTonight

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

They were like brothers.

#TBT Me and @nicotheboxer with Paulie Malignaggi

A photo posted by Tony Losey (@tone_loc316) on

Tony’s death affected Nico so profoundly, he took time away from the sport he loved to grieve.

Nico considered walking away from boxing. Eventually, he decided the best way to honor Tony was to continue pursuing the dream they both shared.

Newest ink ?❤️????

A photo posted by Nico Hernandez (@nicomhernandez) on

“When I’m in my corner praying, I know he’s right there with me. And I know he’s looking after me, watching over me.” Nico said to the Los Angeles Times.

This Friday, everyone will be there rooting for Nico as he fights the biggest match of his career.

Tony will definitely be there.

READ: His Abuelito Worked In The Fields And He Wants To Pay Him Back With A Gold Medal

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