KILLEEN, Texas — From the Army to the ring, boxing is often a show of independence.

"You know, it's just you out there," Reshard Hicks, a former Fort Hood soldier said. "You've got to depend on yourself. I like the thrill of going head-to-head, you going against somebody else and just having the best man win. So, that's what kind of drew me to it."

Hicks, 34, moved to Killeen while serving in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division as a mechanic.

"I was always a soldier first," Hicks said. "I was in the Army a good deal before I even started boxing. I loved everything about being in the military. Boxing just took me on another path."

Now, he's a professional boxer with a pretty impressive 12-0-1 record.

Focusing on his career and training others in Killeen is paying dividends, too.

Saturday Hicks beat Dennis Knifechief in Austin by 8th-round technical knockout (TKO) to defend his World Championship Federation welterweight belt and claim the American Boxing Federation's welterweight belt.

Hicks also holds the Texas welterweight belt and one from the American Boxing Bureau.

"I've always said that if I'm going to do something, I'm going to go all the way," Hicks said. "I don't believe going in half-anything. I always give 100 percent, no matter what I'm going to do. I always said I'll start small and finish big."

Finish big, he did. 

In Saturday's fight, Hicks knocked Knifechief to the ground in the late seventh round for the third time in the fight. Knifechief took nine seconds to stand following the blow.

The referee called the fight with about two minutes left in the eighth round as Hicks was on the offensive, again. 

Now, he'll keep moving forward, with his sights set on his fifth belt still with the goal of getting that major draw.

"I've been fighting a lot of young guys and trying to get a lot of recognition to get the good fights," Hicks said. "But, it's been rewarding."