SPOKANE, Wash.--Top boxers from across the country were preparing Wednesday to showcase their skills in Spokane.
Spokane will host the USA Boxing National Championships for the third time in three years.
Two Washington locals planned to go for the gold. One to defend her gold medal, another to bring one home.
“Competing for the U.S. is great. I love it just for the simple fact that it is something that I love to do. And it's just not competing for the U.S., it's competing for myself. It's making myself a better person,” said Nicholas Jefferson.
Jefferson, 21, first got in the ring at 8-years-old. He said he got interested in the sport after watching his older brother compete.
“When he had his first bout, I went to go watch him and was like, 'oh my gosh. There's nothing better to beat up on somebody and not get in trouble for it,” said Jefferson.
Jefferson trains in Tacoma. He boxed his way to a silver medal at the National championships at Northern Quest in Airway Heights in 2013. He is aspiring higher for 2014.
“There can't be nothing else but a gold,” said Jefferson.
Gold is what Featherweight 2013 USA Gold Medalist Jennifer Hamann of Seattle took home in 2013. She achieved that goal after boxing for only four years.
“I just wasn't expecting it because I'm fairly new to the game. The other girls have been around for a long time,” said Hamann.
Hamann went on to win in the International Competition.
“I felt last year was easier because there were no expectations. There's definitely expectations this year,” said Hamann.
Both athletes hope to eventually make the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.