Billings Montana 6th Grader “JoJo” Heading to Nationals for Boxing
She doesn't lose. She eithers wins, or she learns. I haven't forgotten what JoJo Martinez, now a 6th grader at Ben Steele Middle School in Billings, first told us about her career in the sport of boxing. One year later, JoJo Martinez is heading to nationals.
We caught up with JoJo and her dad Austin Schnizler last week before they took off for the tournament. Austin tells us they're launching their own boxing gym in Billings called "Grit and Grind Boxing."
Austin told me that they're just happy to be able to compete after all of the ups and downs from the past year as many events were getting shut down due to COVID-19.
As Victor Flores reports for The Billings Gazette:
Martinez is currently in Shreveport, Louisiana, for the pandemic-delayed 2020 USA Boxing National Championships. The Billings preteen will fight in the 114-pound intermediate female division, made up of 12- and 13-year-old girls. She’s the only 12-year-old in the group
As we told you back in 2020, JoJo Martinez had been on the boxing circuit for a little over a year, and she was already taking first place in national tournaments. In 2019 she was voted as the Montana Most Outstanding Boxer of the Year. She was also one of only about 350 people that "The Rock"- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson followed on Instagram at the time.
JoJo also teamed up with "The Rock" on the "Project Rock" marketing campaign with Under Armour. Austin said they were pretty excited to recently get a package in the mail from Under Armour featuring $1,500 worth of clothing and other products through her endorsement deal.
Best of luck to JoJo at nationals.
Here's the audio of our conversation with JoJo back in 2020 when she was still just a 5th grader in Billings: (Photo'ed below with Montana Talks host Aaron Flint. You know- the guy with the really bad boxing stance...)