I’m a rising heavyweight prospect with perfect KO record and build rockets and do ballet in my spare time

With a fondness for building rockets and practising ballet, Richard Torrez Jr is not your typical heavyweight boxer.

The American Olympic silver medallist fights on Saturday night against Willie Jake Jr on the undercard of the super featherweight world title fight between Oscar Valdez and Emanuel Navarrete.


Torrez packs a serious punch having knocked out every man he has faced in the ring so farCredit: Getty
But, outside of boxing he likes to build rockets with his friends


But, outside of boxing he likes to build rockets with his friendsCredit: Twitter: @skysportsboxing
As well as learning ballet


As well as learning balletCredit: Twitter: @skysportsboxing

Torrez has had five fights so far in his professional career and has knocked out every opponent he has come up against in the ring and no one has taken him out of the third round.

But, when Torrez is not KOing people, he unwinds in different ways to his peers – apart from Vasyl Lomachenko, who inspired the hobby.

He told Sky Sports: “Dancing didn’t really come about until Lomachenko.

“Lomachenko said that he did Ukrainian ballet and that’s how he got his footwork so great.

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“I would go to school dances, but I wouldn’t know what I’m doing at all. I’m nowhere near the best dancer, I wouldn’t even call myself a good dancer, I would say I try and I kind of fell in love with it, it was really cool.

“I would see changes in my boxing too, I would move a bit better, I feel light on my feet.”

And Torrez loved ballet so much that he even played the part of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.

“It was terrifying,” Torrez said. “It was worse than going to the Olympics because you go in there and you’re so out of position, but you’ve just got to rock with it and it’s taught me some valuable lessons on how to just to be ok with yourself.”

And he even played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast


And he even played Gaston in Beauty and the BeastCredit: Twitter: @skysportsboxing

While ballet may have come to Torrez later in life, he has always had a passion for building rockets.

“At high school, I think what surprised me most is I liked hanging out with the nerds more than I liked hanging out with the athletes,” Torrez revealed.

“My friends to this day who I still hang out with, we build rockets and we’ll go and do escape rooms, which aren’t your stereotypical pro boxer things to do.

“We almost got suspended for building rockets in high school, because we asked the chemistry teacher how to make more efficient fuel and he didn’t like that so he called all of our parents, we’re still doing it though.”

But, ultimately, Torrez’s main priority is boxing and he is looking to reach the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.

Standing at just 6ft 2in, however, which is relatively small in the heavyweight division, Torrez is going to have to overcome some much bigger men on his way to the top.

Although, in Torrez’s eyes, his smaller stature is actually an advantage, as he told talkSPORT: “I think the smaller you are the harder it is to hit you.

“So, I think that might be beneficial to me. I understand that they are big guys, but bigger sometimes that means lumbering as well.

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“You get these guys who have one really good shot, but after that the round might be over for them.

“I’m a guy who has an engine on me and I’ll show everybody that small heavyweights are here to stay.”

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