After less than a year of training, Brown County High School senior Cash Myers is a state champion boxer.
On April 6, Myers won the Golden Gloves state championship in the 165-pound weight class at the Tyndall Armory in Indianapolis.
He said it was the best experience of his life.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the whole year,” he said.
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“Right at that moment when the ref called it, it was like it all ended right there — like my whole year just ended and I could finally relax. It was just the biggest relief I’ve ever felt.”
For almost a year, Myers would come home from school, eat and then head to B-Town Boxing Club where he would train for hours, getting home around 10 p.m. five to six days a week.
“Pretty much if you want to do anything in amateur boxing, first you have to win the Golden Gloves,” Myers said.
Teams from Kentucky and Indiana competed in the championship. Myers won by a technical knockout in the 17-to-20 age division at the end of his first round, after earning three eight-count stops against his opponent, Ethan Williams of Ashby Boxing.
A standing eight-count is when a boxer hits his opponent hard enough that his head flies back. If the referee sees the hit, he can break the two boxers apart and stop the fight for eight seconds to give the opponent time to recover. If a boxer gets three eight-counts against an opponent in one round, the fight is over, Myers said.
“He did that, plus put the kid on the mat,” dad Toby Myers added.
“My baby’s brutal,” said his mother, Roberta Chirko.
“I just admire Cash because when he is passionate about something there’s no problem for him doing it,” she said. “With this boxing, I said, ‘If you want to do boxing, you sign up. You get yourself there,’ and he did all of it.”
Cash played varsity tennis his entire high school career. When that sport was winding down, he was looking for another one to “fill the void.”
“Within a week, I fell in love,” he said.
He always enjoyed watching boxing growing up, and once he started training, he realized he enjoyed the movement and the punching, too.
“It is an individual sport, but on the team you train together, and I really liked the atmosphere of training with a team,” he said.
Cash was an all-conference tennis player his junior and senior years, running up a 17-4 record.
“The fact he did all-conference this year and Golden Gloves this year and eight months of school, to me, is remarkable,” Toby said.
It might not be obvious that there are similarities between tennis and boxing, but there are, Toby said. You have to work to win multiple matches at one time and you don’t have much interaction with coaches, he said.
“I was trying to figure out, ‘Why does he like this so much?’” Roberta wondered. “After he won, that face of his was all I needed. It was something he did on his own. … I had never seen him look like that.”
But watching Cash compete wasn’t easy for Mom. She was able to get a play-by-play from some spectators sitting behind her.
“They were like, ‘Turn around! Turn around! He’s doing good!’ So, I would turn around and Cash would hit that guy’s mouth guard. Then I’d turn back and they would go like this (flinch) and I’m like, ‘OK, he got hit.’ Then they’d go, ‘Alright, turn around again!’”
Toby also drew parallels between this win and another championship in Cash’s past. In 2013, Cash was a member of the national championship-winning We the People team.
“I think that made Cash put his eye on excellence,” Toby said.
“It makes you a different person. You want to keep winning,” Cash added.
In order to train in the evenings, Cash said he would use his study hall at school to get all of his homework done.
He woke up early on Saturdays to run, turned down opportunities to hang out with friends and to take a spring break vacation all because of his training.
“If I had something I really needed to do for school, I’d miss boxing, but I tried not to do that,” he said.
He also gave up eating sugar, as well as his favorite snack food, Doritos.
This was his first time competing in the Golden Gloves championship. Next year, he plans to compete in a division that will allow him to compete at the national level if he wins.
He plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington next year and to continue to train at B-Town Boxing Club, which isn’t far from campus.
He’s considering studying political science.