This NYC Boxer hopes to make a splash in the 2020 Olympics

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The Brooklynite with the lightning footwork

Boxing has taken Astrid Amandzi around the world and back as his combination of speed and advanced footwork has made him quite the underrated prospect. What could end up being a glitzy career in the ring though, started in the school yards of NYC, when his classmates learned the hard way, to never bully him again. “I was 8-9 years old, getting picked on, so at first it was self defense and my dad would always watch it,” He says. His father knew that remaining out of the scuffles would help turn his son into a man. What he may have not have known however, was that it also helped in producing one of the toughest boxers in the city. Amandzi made it out of those schoolyards with his jaw, and his pride intact. These days, he hopes to expand his dominance around the country and eventually, the world.

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“I was 8-9 years old, getting picked on, so at first it was self defense and my dad would always watch it.”

Amandzi’s story starts in Brooklyn, where he remained before moving to Queens around 6 years old. Since finding his purpose as a boxer, his style has been compared to a number of legends by those who’ve watched his ascent. “I’ve been told I fight like Roy Jones from my coach TJ,” He says. “I’m very fast with immaculate footwork.” His talent in the ring is not quite reflected in his ranking, but Amandzi and his camp aren’t concerned with the politics of boxing. He believes that by continuing to grind, everything else will fall into place, especially with the coaching staff he’s surrounded by. “I love my coaches TJ & Coach Moe,” He says. “I promise you, no matter how many fights you have, they’ll make you feel like you are the best and can bang with anyone and that’s something you need.”

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“I’m very fast with immaculate footwork.”

Boxing earned Amandzi a scholarship into the prestigious West Point University and a spot in numerous competitions around the world including Rio De Janeiro last year. His crowning accomplishment thus far though, will be representing Uganda in the 2020 Olympics. Despite being born in the U.S, representing his true homeland is something that is extremely important to him, and a responsibility that he doesn’t take lightly. “Participating in the Olympics to me is VERY BIG,” He says. “I wouldn’t say I’m running from competition in the US but I know it’s politics to it unless I’m knocking out every single person at the trials and over seas.” Fighting for Uganda and Africa as a whole would be important on a personal level for Amandzi, and could possibly jump start his career. While the former schoolyard brawler’s goals may sound like a dream to some, he makes it clear that he is very much awake, and in touch with reality in his journey. “I don’t have dreams,” He says. “My dreams are my reality when I’m woke. I believe in everything and I put God first and everything he puts in front of me and makes me successful at is the dreams.”