Waipahu Boxer Wins National Tourney

A week away from the boxing ring is a rarity for 15-year-old Keoni Adric these days, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Long before his first trip to the Waipahu Boxing Club as a 7-year-old, boxing already was in his system.

“My dad (Keoni Adric Sr.) and I used to watch boxing together on TV,” said Keoni. “I already wanted to box. I wanted to get into shape, and I enjoy the competition.”

Keoni’s commitment to boxing already has netted him some good results. Since he began competing, he has won 10 national and world titles. Most recently he traveled to Reno, Nev., where on Jan. 11 he captured the 132-pound weight division of the USA Boxing Junior World Team Open Championships.

Next up, he will compete for the United States Junior World Team this summer at the 2013 AIBA Junior Men’s World Championships in Kiev, Ukraine. Keoni and his coach, Adric Sr., will train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado for three weeks prior to leaving for the Ukraine.

“It’s exciting,” Keoni said. “I like to travel, go to new places and meet people. I’d like to go all the way in boxing when I’m older – the Olympics and beyond that, (compete) professionally.”

Keoni credits his parents – Keoni and Michelle – as well as his grandmother Joanne and the late legendary boxing coach Al Silva (of Waipahu Boxing Club) with aiding in his development. Adric Sr. believes his son’s work ethic has been among his biggest assets.

“He is very disciplined when it comes to this,” Adric Sr. said. “He’s kind of grown up. Boxing has shaped him well, and having been with a coach like Al helps.”

Silva, who tutored the likes of professional boxers Jesus Salud and Brian Villoria, died last year, and since then Adric Sr. has been coaching his son more exclusively.

“It takes a lot of our time, and I’m with him every day,” he said, “but it keeps him out of trouble. He was gifted – he always had the talent – and as the years went on, he’s done well.”

Last week, Keoni had a rare week away from the boxing ring. He enjoys fishing, riding dirt bikes, hunting and hanging out with friends when he has time.

“I train 15 to 20 hours a week, six days a week when I’m getting ready for a fight,” he said. “I had to work at it, and the harder I worked, the easier it became with fighting. I get excited to train. (My work ethic) comes from both sides of the family and coach Silva. After a (successful fight), I have to work even harder to prepare myself for the next one.”