By: Matthew N. Becher
We are always looking for the next king of the sport, the next great showman, the next big thing. Most recently it was Floyd Mayweather Jr., before that it was Oscar and before that it was Tyson. The sport is always searching for who will fill the shoes of the best overall star once that star decides to either hang up the gloves or fades away. But what if we could see not the very next number one pound for pound champ, but see a future great, what if we could follow someone from the very onset of what it may take to put in all that work, all that determination from the youngest of ages.
Prince Duarte is a 5 year old kid, who just happens to love boxing. He is currently training out of the famed Mayweather Boxing Club, and the Pound for Pound amateur boxing gym, both respectively out of Las Vegas Nevada. Prince is like any other 5 year old kid, except he has dedicated his young life to training and bettering himself at the sweet science.
Prince is trained by former world champion Roger Mayweather, who told us that “Prince is the youngest I have ever trained since Floyd, and he is as good”, and that “he will be great when he gets older”. The young Duarte is also sponsored by former multi divisional champ Chop Chop Corley’s line called Corley Sports Apparel, and saw Prince training at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, “My first thought when I saw the kid training was, wow he really loves what he was doing, he was enjoying it. I gave him a sponsorship because of the love and passion he showed for the sport of boxing.”
I spoke with both Father and son to get a feel of what it is like to be putting in so many hours towards a sport that many rarely start until an older age and few this young can actually enjoy. Going into the conversation, I was pretty undecided on whether this was some kind of gimmick or if a 5 year old could really be this dedicated, on his own, to such a grueling sport.
Boxing Insider: So how did your son get into the sport?
Marcel Duarte: Zab Judah is one of my friends and he invited us to one of his training camps when he was getting ready to fight Paulie (Malignaggi), and Prince was just turning three at the time. When Prince got there he just automatically liked it, and after that he kept saying “I wanna box, I wanna box”. After that he met Floyd, and then Senior (Floyd Sr.) started to work with him. Then Roger took over and he has been working with Roger ever since.
Boxing Insider: Is Roger Mayweather his main trainer?
Marcel Duarte: Yes, Roger is his main trainer, and another guy named Rich, from pound for pound trains him at the amateur gym, here in Las Vegas. He goes to both gyms, he goes Monday through Friday, sometimes on Saturday. But he does two workouts a day.
Boxing Insider: What does a daily workout consist of for a five year old?
Marcel Duarte: He gets up, he is home schooled, so he does his homework. Then he goes to the gym, first he does jump roping, then he does footwork, after that he works on the mitts with Roger, and then they get on the heavy bag. After that we go to the next gym, and he works with Rich on technique. Then he gets something to eat, and ends with a mile run every day.
Boxing Insider: Does he see this as a future? I know he’s only five, but what does he take out of the boxing?
Marcel Duarte: He says he wants to be World Champion someday. He talks about the golden gloves, he is around all of that here in Vegas. He’s been around Floyd, and Zab, and Chop Chop, so he sees what it’s all about. And in Vegas he gets a lot of fans gravitating towards him, since they have seen him on pay per views, 24/7, All Access. All of that has helped his confidence. It pushes him to love the sport even more.
Boxing Insider: Hey Prince, I heard you are really good at boxing, who is your favorite boxer?
Prince Duarte: I like to watch Mike Tyson. Because Mike knocks people out.
Boxing Insider: Do you like boxing every day, do you have fun? Are there other kids boxing with you?
Prince Duarte: Everyone is older than me, but I can still watch.
Marcel Duarte is a former professional basketball player, and his father was a former professional boxer. The athletic ability seems to be instilled in the young Prince’s DNA. He is asked by his parents about taking days off, and just going to the waterpark to “just be a kid”, but Prince seems determined to keep training, he just really enjoys boxing.
They say to become great at something, truly great at it, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice to achieve that goal. If that saying is true, then I am really looking forward to seeing an older Prince Duarte, who started boxing at 3, once he gets around 20,000 hours of boxing under his belt.