WACO, Texas — Jaime Lerma is a former Welterweight World Champion and Olympian boxer.
If you asked him, he'd probably say his biggest accomplishment is being a boxing coach in Waco.
"This a great stress reliever and it's cheaper than therapy," Lerma says with a laugh. "Boxing teaches you about more than just boxing, not just in the ring. I wish every kid in the world would be in a boxing gym for at least one year of their life. That will change their outlook on life forever."
Lerma started boxing at six years old. He fell in love quickly.
His father passed when he was 8 and he stopped for a year before returning to training.
From then on, boxing became his escape.
"Once I got out and started training again, five years later, I was number two in the nation. I wanted to do it for my dad," Lerma said.
Lerma went on to become a professional boxer with a record of 25 wins and 8 losses.
He was a Junior Olympian and won a silver medal.
He accomplished what anyone who aspires to be a boxer could accomplish.
After he stopped fighting professionally, he came home to Waco to take over as the owner of the Waco Boxing Club. Now known as Lerma's Boxing Club, he's been in charge since 2001.
He has had great success as a coach and was recently featured in Waco's #WeAreWaco video series. He says he loves coaching kids and giving them an outlet to succeed in life.
"My reward is seeing the smile on these kids faces when they're in here," Lerma said. "Seeing the comfort that they feel in here and the camaraderie they get with one another is great to see. Selfishly, what I do want in return is to see these kids achieve, whether it's a boxing, life, school, being a mechanic, musician, I don't care what it is."
Lerma says he wants kids to get out and experience the lessons life teaches. He says boxing is one of the best teachers of life lessons.
He has classes Monday through Thursday all year long. He takes kids all over the state and even the country to compete and he doesn't earn a dime. He does it purely for the love of the sport.
"We do this because we love what we do. We love helping the kids we love being part of the community in a positive way. Helping, not just helping the community but help guide them to do something better with themselves and to watch want to achieve more."