Sgt. Reyes Marquez of The Old Guard knows a thing or two about precise movements. As a member of the United States Army Drill Team, every movement he makes must be completely in sync with the other members of his platoon. As an All-Army boxer, the slightest misstep or arm movement could be the difference between a victory and a painful knockout.

The attention to detail paid off at the All-Army boxing championships at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Marquez defeated Spc. Nathaniel Hicks of Fort Carson, Colo. to win the 152-pound weight class.

That victory gave Marquez the chance to represent the Army in the Armed Forces Boxing Championship at Fort Huachuca. He won silver there, losing by a single point to Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Gomez, who is the fifth-ranked amateur boxer in the nation for his weight class.

If the progress he's made at the beginning of his career is any indicator, Marquez has a bright future indeed.

He started boxing in October 2007, following the footsteps of his brother, a boxer at West Point. While boxing was a hobby to him, he didn't take it seriously before he was at Fort Myer, and met his future boxing coach.

Originally wanting to box like his brother, who is taller and has a better range, Marquez was soon molded into what coach Theordore Hohney, retired Marine master gunnery sergeant, calls ''The Snake."

''When he first started training, he wasn't fighting to his full potential," Hohney said. ''He kept evolving as a fighter, and he started to remind me of Sergio Mora, 'the Latin Snake.'"

His first fight was as a 165-pounder against a 188-pounder with several professional fights under his belt. Hohney made sure Marquez's opponent would test him, and Marquez passed the test with flying colors, winning the fight.

''I always taught him above his skill level, against proven fighters," Hohney said."

Even though he had only five fights under his belt, Marquez was accepted into the All-Army boxing program.

''They usually don't take people with less than 10 fights," Marquez said. ''But I knew my training would at least give me a chance."

Marquez, who fills one of the four "soloist" positions with the Army Drill Team, credits his coach, as well as his command for helping him become the fighter and Soldier he is today.

''My leadership was incredibly supportive," Marquez said. ''First Lieutenant [Glen] Brown, the drill team commander, Sergeant First Class [Devin] McCann, [drill master], Sergeant Roscoe Brazil, my squad leader and Captain Justin Michaels, my former company commander, were all great."

Next on the horizon for Marquez is the World Class Athlete Program. If all goes according to plan, Marquez hopes to compete in the Olympic games.

"He's got his eye on the Olympics in 2012, and if he continues on this course, he can do just that," Hohney said. ''His love for the game, the attention he pays when he's being taught and his complete confidence are something else. The harder he trains, the better he'll be."

More photos of Marquez
http://www.army.mil/-slideshows/2009/05/06/20653-fighting-his-way-to-the-top/

Armed Forces Boxing Tournament results
http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/05/05/20613-seven-soldiers-strike-gold-as-all-army-dominates-armed-forces-boxing-championships/

Page last updated Tue November 10th, 2009 at 08:35