Guilford grad wins Chicago Golden Gloves

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- For what many people may consider a dying sport, boxing continues to thrive in the Forest City.

19-year-old Julissa Reyna made history Thursday by winning the Chicago Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament.

She defeated Nafeesa Bean in the 178-pound Novice division.

"When I was laying down, just looking at the wall, I was like 'Man, I did that, that's pretty good," said Reyna. "It was a good feeling, I slept good last night."

Reyna graduated from Guilford High School in 2017. She spent four years in the wrestling room but picked up boxing last year. Reyna has had plenty of exhibition and sparring matches, but Thursday was her in-ring debut.

"It was kind of hard, going from wrestling to boxing, you just want to grab them, but you can't," said Reyna.

Patrick Coleman, owner and founder of Pat Cat Boxing, calls Reyna a pitbull because of the way she attacks her training.

"I had to teach her how to box and that was the hard part and she got it," said Coleman. "She trained twice a day for about a month to get this right."

Reyna will compete at the Ringside World Championships in Missouri this July.