Athlete of the Week: William Madera

March 16, 2009, 11:06 a.m. (ET)

Name:  William Madera
Age:  18
Hometown:  Albany, NY 
Height:  5' 7"
Weight class:  141 lbs.
Coach's name:  Jerrick Jones
Club name:  Albany Boxing

Like many football players, Will Madera needed to stay in shape in the off-season.  He began boxing and after sticking with the sport for a few months, his coach asked him if he wanted to compete.  After his first bout, he was hooked and made boxing his primary sport.

That was four years ago.  Madera boxers out of the Albany Boxing Club under Jerrick Jones.  The 18-year-old says his dedication, speed, and power are his greatest assets in the ring, and he credits his parents for his work ethic.  "My mother loves me with all her heart," he says.  "She encourages me.  She backs me 100 percent.  My father as well."

Madera's fondest boxing experience was attending and competing in last year's National Golden Gloves in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Although he did not bring home a championship, Madera says he learned a lot from the experience.

Madera is currently a senior in high school and, upon graduation, will attend the Hudson Valley Community College where he will study mortuary science in the hopes of taking over the family business.  Since the school is close to home, Madera will continue to box while he takes classes.  He plans on trying out for the 2012 U. S. Olympic team, and will then become a professional boxer.