Austyn Broncho in the ring.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — Local boxer Austyn Broncho earned his spot to compete in the Golden Gloves of America National Tournament of Champions for the first time in August 9-14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He had to make it through a series of bouts to qualify, including State, which he got to walk through since his opponent fell ill. He fought at Regionals this past weekend against Utah’s best fighter for a championship belt. He won by unanimous decision and made the Regional team for the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves, which includes boxers from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.
Austyn fights at the 165 pounds open division, which means he has more than 10 bouts. He estimates he’s had over 100 bouts since he started boxing 14 years ago, when he was just 7-years-old. In that time he’s notably made it to state five times, made it to regionals three times, and won the Junior Olympic Nationals, and the Indian Nationals.
Austyn dedicates much of his time to training, working for the BIA Range Department as a tech, school, and fatherhood. He even takes his son Nieves with him to the gym.
His training consists of a mix up of cardio, like running up to 18 miles per week; or mixing it up with jump roping to save his knees; he does six rounds with no breaks and stays constantly moving. He also works to strengthen his core with isolation exercises, and using bands to do rotational movements. He does a lot of sit ups as well, sometimes up to 1,000 of them in one training session. On top of that he works on defense skills with his dad and coach, Jimmy, who cuts up a foam noodle to help him practice reacting to punches. He also does a lot of bag work and fits in sparring time when he can because he has to go elsewhere to do it.
Jimmy, Austyn and Golden Gloves coach.
Austyn says he fights all his fights differently and he’s never the same fighter twice, because he’s always learning and studying to beat his opponents. One of his favorite fighters is Mike Tyson because he was so good at defense.
Austyn is excited about fighting in the Golden Gloves Nationals and said he put a lot of work into it.
“It’s not only a big thing for me but representation of Native American people, because not a lot of us can make it that far or have that self-discipline and self-motivation,” he said.
It also means a lot because he’s seen his older brother Jeremy box and grew up inspired by the Rocky movie series, his grandfather William Ignace was also a boxer.
He tries to incorporate rest days, but even in that time he does his best to keep his mind going. He reads, which helps him take his mind off training. He’s interested in reading about stocks and bonds. Pushing his body with so much physical work sometimes makes him sore, but he does his best to overcome the soreness by changing focus and strengthening his mind.
Austyn said the pandemic has slowed him down a little, making it difficult to get bouts. USA boxing only allowed certain states to be opened. Gyms were also affected, but he still stayed motivated to train. Therefore he worked with what he could when gyms were closed and aimed to do 500 reps of pushups and 300 reps of squats, and so on.
The physical aspect is not only where he needs to remain focused, but also his diet, he eats a lot of plain oatmeal, plain eggs, plain rice, plain chicken, and no salt or sugar. He tries to drink a gallon of water a day and stay away from processed foods, which means he doesn’t eat out very much and has to stay away from alcohol.
He has realized boxing is not as popular as other sports around the area, and he hopes to change that. More importantly he wants to promote living a fit life, considering how much diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues affect Native people.
Austyn says his ultimate goal is to go pro and in order to do that he needs to stay with Golden Gloves and hopefully win this tournament, as well as to participate in more national tournaments and get that experience. He wants to build up his amateur career and have as many fights as he can.
Austyn is also enrolled at Idaho State University where he’s studying to complete his bachelor’s degree in registered nursing. So far he’s completed 56 credits and is currently set to take 10 credits this fall.
Austyn says he always sets goals, even daily goals to stay on track.
For youth considering boxing he advises, it’s all about having discipline, having that mentality; good time management; knowing how to come up with solutions for problems. He also says when he was younger he lost a lot of fights, but encourages young boxers to not give up because they can grow from that. He says you have to have good mental health and the ability to overcome depression and anger management. He says running helps balance him and a good balance in life is everything.