McGee defeated the best 110-pound boxer in California last month to win his region and earn a trip to Mobile, Ala. for the Junior Olympic National Championships.
Registration is July 31, while the competition takes place Aug. 2-5.
All the winners of the 14 regional tournaments get bids to nationals, but boxers in Silver Gloves as well as last year’s winners, if they can still fight in the same weight class, can also compete for some of the nation’s top amateur honors.
One of the challenges of amateur boxing is not knowing your opponent and going into fights blind.
“You go in there hoping that you perfected your style and you got your style to where you want it to be,” McGee said. “Whoever trained the hardest and trained the best is going to win. That’s the challenging part of amateur boxing. You can fight some random guy you’ve never heard of before and he can beat you and knock you out.”
McGee trains at the Mighty Mites Boxing Club on Gentry Way in Reno five days a week for about three hours at a time. He has sacrificed a lot of his free time in order to pursue his passion.
“I had to work hard. It took a lot of dedication and I had to miss time with my friends and everything like that,” McGee said. “In the end, I know it will be worth it. Boxing is a unique sport. It’s different than normal team sports. It’s a one-on-sport, so if you fail, you fail because of you. It shows you that when you do it, how hard you and your coaches work to get where you’re at.”
Two other boxers from Mighty Mites also qualified for nationals, including a young man who is trying to win the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing and a chance to represent the Red, White and Blue in London.
Alec’s father, Lance, is extremely proud of his son’s accomplishments. To train for multiple hours a day and still do well in school, Alec has shown his maturity and dedication.
“I was always active playing sports, but I never boxed before. He fell into boxing and this is like his fourth year,” Lance said. “It seems like this is the thing he was meant to do. I support him 100 percent. His two younger brothers are involved. Every fight, every practice, I’m right there in his corner. His accomplishments are my accomplishments. He keeps me on the straight and narrow. He makes me very proud.”
The young boxer is just as grateful for the people backing him in his corner.
“I just want to thank my dad and all my coaches at Mighty Mites. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.” Alec said.
One of the perks of the path McGee has chosen is the opportunity to travel around the country meeting new people. He won the state title in Las Vegas and then went to regionals in Los Angeles.
“It’s the best feeling every time you get in the ring. Every time you travel, you get to meet new people and other boxers,” he said. “One time I got to meet Sugar Shane Mosley and Oscar de la Hoya. It’s a real inspiration for me all from traveling.”