With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
Richard Torrez Jr., looks to continue moving up the heavyweight ranks since M&F talked with him in September. “The Gentleman Boxer” looks to add to his unbeaten record (6-0) this Saturday (Oct. 14) against Tyrrell Anthony Herndon in Rosenberg, TX.
As we found out during our chat, Richard Torrez Jr.—aka “Kiki” as he is known affectionately to his loved ones—is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. And, while he is amassing boxing fans around the world, we also learned that his biggest supporters are his mom and dad. Fascinatingly, Richard Sr. and Kim Torrez don’t just cheer their son on, they train him too, taking on the roles of his coach and nutritionist. It’s a winning formula that has seen Kiki rack up six professional wins in around 18 months and just nine rounds of action.
Eager to get inside this family boxing faction, M&F decided to meet the parents and find out how Richard Jr. is following the path to greatness.
“Proud is an understatement,” beams Richard Sr. when talking about his son. “Not only has he made me and the entire family proud, he has brought me great joy.” It’s a sentiment, of course echoed by his mom; Kim. “My family is my world,” she adds. “My husband and I have always functioned as a team for over 28 years. So, the kiddos just grew up with the ‘we take care of each other’ mindset.”
Supporting and cheering on your children is one thing, but devoting your entire lives to leading your adult off-spring to greatness takes another level of commitment. Richard Jr. is now the fourth generation of boxers in the Torrez family. His dad was a quarterfinalist in the trials for Team USA at the 1984 Olympics, and is able to pass on the knowledge that he learned from the various branches of the family learning tree.
“Some of the exercises that Richard Jr does might seem unorthodox, but they are exercises that are time-tested and proven to make men strong physically and mentally,” he says. “My first memory is watching a fighter my dad trained, named Russell Pope, hitting the heavy bag under a carport that my dad had turned into a gym. The gym consisted of a heavy bag, hanging from the rafters, a speed bag frame, and a boxing ring that was made by drilling holes into the poles that held up the garage.” There’s no doubt, the old-school way of training is very clear to see in Richard Jr.’s training style.
“Joe Frazier is an awesome example of training hard in an unorthodox way,” explains Richard Sr.. “Growing up on a farm, my own dad, who was also my coach; Manuel, would always tell my brother and I that the work that we did there would make us stronger athletes and better boxers. He would talk about fighters from back in the old days boxers like Jack Dempsey, Tony Zale, and Kid Gavilán who were all tough as nails. He’d say that they didn’t get that way by working out in an air-conditioned gym, lifting weights.”
While Torrez Jr does lift weights, and trains in the family boxing gym in Mission, TX, he’s also sent out into the great outdoors to hit rocks with a sledgehammer and runs 3-5 miles every morning. It’s a carefully thought regime and his mom, Kim is able to make sure that Jr is able to face the elements. “We need to keep him hydrated,” she explains. “It gets really hot in the valley and the [Tulare] boxing gym does not have air conditioning. Heat exhaustion is common in the valley and heat stroke is dangerous. Kiki trains hard regardless of his surroundings, but water alone is not enough to replenish what’s sweated out in a workout. We give him electrolytes both during and at the end of his practice.”
Kim’s care for Richard Jr goes beyond traditional motherly love. To support her son’s quest to be the best, she studied nutrition to provide the best fuel possible for a future champion. “I became a member of the National Council on Strength & Fitness and study nutrition for elite athletes,” she tells M&F. “I also work closely with Taylor Maggio, the nutritionist for combative athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. She is fantastic about putting together meal plans with healthy choices. She understands the dynamics of striking a healthy balance between foods that fuel the body and foods that you just like to eat. My husband’s primary focus is on how Kiki feels, moves, and his stamina. I adjust the meal plan from his perspective. When caloric intake is changed, it’s done so to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance levels to meet the needs of Kiki’s training regimen.”
“Kiki eats 6 times per day in a regular week,” his mother explains.
Breakfast: Eggs, Greek yogurt, whole-wheat bagel, all-natural peanut butter and banana
Morning Snack: Fruit, turkey pieces, pita chips, vegetables, cheddar cheese chunks
Lunch: Chicken breast, mixed salad, rice or pasta, (Sweet Loren’s gluten free dough) cookies
Dinner: Salmon, corn tortillas or rice, avocado, vegetables
Evening / Recovery Snack: Thorne whey isolate protein shake with banana and ultra filtered milk/oat milk, plus 1 scoop of no-sugar-added ice cream
Final Meal: All natural almonds, banana, fat free Greek yogurt
On sparring or heavy cardio days, calories are increased with healthy snacks such as trail mix.
“Kiki generally averages just a little over 5,000 calories per day,” explains Kim. “This will vary with his weight loss or gain, his father’s instructions and his activity level.”
For the Torrez family, preparation is a permanent endeavor.
“The length of a (pre-fight) training camp depends on my son’s level of conditioning going into camp, our opponent,” says Torrez Sr. The Gentleman Boxer is scheduled to fight again on Oct. 14 against Don Haynesworth. “He does an excellent job of not letting himself get ‘out of shape.’ He eats healthy and stays in decent shape year-round. He is not always in the boxing gym but he’s always active. The benefit here is that when we get into camp, we can focus on developing his skills and not trying to get into shape. Along with the traditional boxing workout and strength and stamina exercises, we also play reaction games. He’ll juggle, or even play chess in the gym after practice. At this point of his career, training camp usually lasts for one month,” explains Dad.
There’s no doubt that the Torrez family are all in each other’s corner, but even when tensions are high, their love and mutual respect sees them through. “Being my son’s trainer is, and has always been like two porcupines hugging,” jokes Richard Sr. “It’s difficult, but it can be done as long as you remain respectful of each other. Sometimes, we can lose sight and forget that I am his trainer and I have to remember that he’s my son. The roles overlap which can cause issues. My son and I have been around each other so much that we know what role the other is in when it happens. “I want Richard to one day be able to retire comfortably with enough money to create generational wealth for his children’s children. I hope that one day he will be sitting on a beach somewhere and he can say ‘Pops, you did me right.’” Mom concurs. “I am, and always will be, in my family’s corner regardless of whatever path they choose to take.”
Richard Torrez Jr looks to make it 7-0-0 when he faces Tyrrell Anthony Herndon (17-8-1) on Oct. 14.