Mayweather vs. Pacquiao’s ‘Fight of the Century,’ inspired local fighters

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ARVADA, Colo.  -- The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on Saturday encouraged fighters in the Denver-metro area.

Every day, young fighters fill the Grudge Training Center in Arvada.

“It’s really helped me become more confident in my life,” said Samantha Little.

“It’s positive. It’s fun doing the sport,” said Jovanni Avalos.

“It’s something to do, it’s a stress reliever,” said Makayla Saiz.

The sport has changed lives, especially for 18-year-old Cecelia Martinez.

“I have a total of eight fights and I just won my first fight, last March,” said Martinez.

But Martinez wasn’t always winning in the ring. Four years ago, as a freshman, she was getting into a lot of trouble.

“Just following the wrong crowd and being with the wrong people at the wrong time,” said Martinez.

“She was going down the wrong path, getting in fights and the wrong stuff, getting in trouble at school every day,” said her father Fidel Martinez, Sr.

Then, she turned to boxing.

“When I’m upset and I’m having problems outside of the gym, I come in here and it feels like everything just goes away,” said Cecelia Martinez.

Cecelia or “Cece” fought to turn her life around. She graduated high school last year.

“Getting in here has changed everything about her. Her whole mentality of life is different,” said Fidel Martinez, Sr.

Now, with her father and trainer in her corner, she’s set on becoming a professional fighter and inspiring others to find something they enjoy.

“Find something that you love, it’s something that will drive you to your dreams,” said Cecelia Martinez.

Grudge Training Center also offers training in MMA, wrestling and fitness classes for people of all ages. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit http://grudgetrainingcenter.com.

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