Jayden Santiago is a ten-year-old boxer originally from the Bronx, NY but now, Waterbury, CT. Jayden is apart of Champs Boxing in Danbury, CT. Jayden began boxing two years ago and has been putting his heart and soul into the sport since. As a leader in the gym and in school too, it can be hard to realize that he's still ten-years old. With an attitude and focus like his, the sky is the limit for Jayden "Lelolai" Santiago.
In early February, Jayden, his parents, and coach traveled to Independence, Missouri where Jayden competed in the Silver Gloves National Championship, a tournament with different age groups and weight classes. Jayden competed in the 50lb weight class that weekend in Missouri and went on to win his bracket. Jayden competed in two tough, gritty fights as he stayed calm and collected all weekend, eventually becoming the winner of the 2023 Silver Gloves National Championships. He battled against tough opponents from other parts of the US with high skill level, just like himself. When he got back to CT, New England MMA writer Dylan Napoleone had the chance to talk to the Champ:
Jayden talks about the win a couple days after everything settled in and he returned back to CT and his normal routine after being in MO for a week and winning the 2023 Silver Gloves National Championship. Jayden also touches on his mindset and determination throughout the week.
When asked about his support system, Jayden highlighted that his family, friends and coaches encouraged him each day to partake in jump rope exercises in order to cut some weight each day.
As Jayden mentioned, he spent about a week in Missouri at the Silver Gloves Tournament. Listen to Jayden describe his time in MO while he wasn't competing.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be such a young student-athlete when it comes to a sport that requires such commitment? When Dylan asked Jayden about his training schedule, the answer sure was impressive.
When talking to a young boxer with so much potential, you start to wonder about their dreams and goals in the long run, forgetting that sometimes they're so young and living in the moment, not worried about the future just yet. Not in this case. Jayden has his plan ironed out whether he goes with Plan A or B.
Listen as Jayden describes his daily routine when it comes to being a student-athlete.
Win a big win like this, Jayden had lots of "thank yous" to give after coming back to CT as a National Champion. He speaks about the amount of support he had all week and how happy he was to be able to win this tournament with the people around him.
After such an amazing showing in his first tournament of the year, Jayden speaks about his plans for the rest of the year.
It will be exciting to watch Jayden grow in his career as he is just ten-years-old at the moment. As a National Champion with much momentum flowing in the New Year, 2023 is already a great year for Jayden. Keep your eyes out, Jayden has a bright future ahead!