Our cover story in the September Advocate is all about athletes. They’re not professionals, but they all take their sport of choice very seriously.

One athlete we profiled is 20-year-old boxer Max DeLeon of Old East Dallas. DeLeon, who played football at Woodrow Wilson High School, dreams of turning pro.

But his greater dream is to become an architect. He is in school at the University of Texas at Arlington, and he says boxing helps him stay focused in all aspects of his life. He puts the same work ethic and concentration into his studies as he puts into the gym six days a week.

It gave me goosebumps when, amid all the chatter and noise of Vivero Boxing Gym one weekday afternoon, he told me this: “There’s always going to be someone bigger and better than you in boxing. If you get a college education, nobody’s going to take that away from you.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.