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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 26, 2003 - Issue 92


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Chinle's Yazzie Earns Bronze at Nationals

by Oree Foster The Navajo Times
credits: photo by Oree Foster The Navajo Times

Dougald YazzieCHINLE, Ariz. - Dougald Yazzie, a 16-year-old, 189-pound boxer, has a lot to be proud of.

Yazzie, a member of his father Douglas's boxing club in Chinle, finished 1-1, garnering a bronze medal at the 2003 National Junior Olympics Boxing Championships in Alexandria, La.

Top boxers from throughout the United States competed for national honors at the Louisiana event.

Yazzie, who has 55 bouts under his belt, began his boxing career at age nine. Yazzie became a serious boxer three years ago, striving to become one of the best.

"I competed against the best fighters in the 50 states at the junior olympics in Louisiana," Yazzie said. "It's always tough and there are so many talented boxers at the national level. I held my own and did the best I could."

Yazzie added, "It was a dream to compete in the nationals. I competed for my father's boxing team, Yazzie's Boxing Club. I represented my family, Yazzie's Boxing Club, the Navajo Nation, the state of Arizona and my region. I always wanted to compete in a national tournament."

Yazzie captured first place at the state championships. He won both bouts when the referee stopped the fights. The referee stopped the bout in the first round of his first fight. Yazzie dominated his opponent in his second match. The referee stopped the bout in the third round.

"I felt pretty confident, because when I fought I was in excellent shape," Yazzie noted. "I trained hard and work hard with my conditioning."

Yazzie's next stop was in the regional championships.

Anticipating a tough match, Yazzie prepared himself against the best.

Yazzie won his only scheduled bout, capturing the regional championship outright. Yazzie won when the referee stopped the fight in the third round.

"It was a tough bout," Yazzie said about his regional championship victory. "I was in good shape. I worked hard to get where I am. I landed some good punches. The referee stopped the fight in the third round. I felt good and I was in best shape and conditioning."

With state and regional championships in hand, Yazzie qualified for the national championships. Yazzie won his first bout at the national meet, stopping his opponent in the third round.

Yazzie lost in a decision during his next match.

"I was disappointed that I didn't win, but I felt good at the same time," Yazzie noted. "I won the state and regionals and I qualified for the nationals. Not everyone qualifies for the nationals. I lost by decision. I did the best I could. On that day, my opponent was the best."

Yazzie says he is preparing for the prestigious Gene Lewis Boxing Tournament in Mesa in November.

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