SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The route to becoming a professional athlete usually starts as a kid and takes years of developing your craft. But for North Sioux City’s Deonte Walker, his rise through the ranks has been as sudden as his left hook.
“It almost felt like a, it felt like a rebirth. Like after that moment happened it was kind of like wow… this is crazy,” professional boxer Deonte Walker said.
In February of 2021 Deonte Walker decided to pick up boxing.
“He just walked through the door and I’m like this guy is way too happy to be a professional boxer,” Walker’s primary trainer George Giovanis said. “He was like hey coach, he’s just smiling at me, I just said I’m going to slap that smile off your face in a month, you know.”
After spending a year at Northwestern College playing football and running track, Walker left school in search of something different.
“I just wasn’t really happy with where I was and I knew that I was still young, still strong, I was just kind of wasting the ability that I had,” Walker said.
But that would change. Walker began training at 15th round boxing starting at 9 am, six days a week. He leaves for work by noon, then comes back for a second training session at night after work.
“You know, its inspirational how hard working he is and he’s probably our hardest working fighter we’ve ever had,” Walker’s trainer and promoter Evangelos Giovanis said.
That dedication would pay off. During his first amateur fight on December 11th, Walker would come away victorious with a second round knock out.
“A baseball player explained it to me like when you hit the ball and you know that’s a dinger, that’s gone. Like that’s what it felt like. It just felt real smooth, I was like focused in the zone. Man, it was a great feeling,” Walker remarked.
Walker would go on to win his next 6 amateur bouts, bringing his record to 7-0 with 4 KO’s.
“The fight should be a showcase of all the hard work you did. So, unless something unfortunate or unlucky happens to you, you should get your ‘W’. You’ve earned it,” George Giovanis stated.
Walker’s first professional fight is scheduled for July 16th at the Sioux City Convention Center. If interested in attending, we’ve provided a link with ticket information under this story on keloland.com.