Seniors Tim Hargett (right) and DaQuante Jones spar before a boxing match. (Anniken Williams/The Viking Press)

By Kyle Brown
Sports Editor 

Many young men dream of being professional basketball, baseball or football players when they grow up. Two 17-year-old seniors, Tim Hargett and DaQuante Jones, fell in love with boxing.

“I never thought I would ever think about boxing,” said Hargett, who is also a soccer player at Kinston High. “It was just something I enjoyed watching but never actually thought about putting on a pair of gloves.”

It may seem strange for a kid who’s about 5-foot-11 and about 165 pounds to want to box, but Hargett says heart is more important than size.

“It doesn’t take a giant to box but it all depends on how much heart you have,” he said.

On the other end of the of the ring is Jones, a good friend of Hargett’s. Both take lessons at “Get It In Fitness and Boxing.”

Jones, listed at 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, seems like he could pack a punch, especially since he is officially enlisted in the U.S. Army while he is still in high school.  Jones has a history of boxing. He took lessons as a child but gave it up as he got older.  Lately he has found the motivation to start back getting in the groove of things and put the gloves back on to continue his tenure as a boxer.

“ I use to lift weights a lot in my sophomore and junior year and I felt like I needed to put my strength to work so I decided to give boxing a shot again,” Jones said.

These two guys don’t take this boxing thing as a joke either.

Jones compares the lessons he takes at boxing as tougher than the time he spent at basic training for the military.

Hargett, meanwhile, said he feels as though boxing is an outlet in his life and it helps him determine his own destiny whether he wins or loses.

“These past few months have been the most disciplined months of my life in training for boxing,” Hargett said. “It changes my whole outlook on things.”

Both boxers said the sport teaches toughness and acts as an outlet.

“Not trying to sound cocky but the cockiest boxers have the edge and I try to have the edge against all of my opponents,” Jones said.  “My motto is ‘EBE’ — ‘Eat or be Eaten’ — and that’s what I fight by.”

Both Hargett and Jones said they wouldn’t mind seeing boxing become more popular with athletes in Kinston.