In 2024 it’s possible that Boxing will be part of the Para Olympics. Robert Grant 28 year old, amputee, has an opportunity to help pave the way.
April 21 in San Antonio, Texas, Robert Grant, father of 3 (twin 5 year old boys and 1 old little girl) will step into the USA Boxing ring for his first amateur match as the main event. His Para Boxing match will be part of a process evaluating to see if Boxing will be added to the next Para Olympics.
Robert Grant has been training in Sweet Science for a year and a half; starting under Tony “The Warrior” Valdez and now working with Josh Herrera at Santa Fe Lights Out Boxing. Speaking of Herrera Grant says, “he’s always been excited to work with me. I love his energy. He doesn’t let me quit. He’s on me and treats me like he does all his boxers. I get no special treatment because of my disability or whatever you want to call it. I feed off his up beat energy. It makes me want to work harder.”
Robert Grant had his left leg amputated below the knee after being the victim of a hit an run. A car hit Grant who was riding his motorcycle shortly after leaving his home to go pay bills, on his motorcycle.
In Roberts words, “I felt it get really dark. I’m like what’s going on. Next thing I know, I’m flying into a windshield and flipping up over a car. I hit the ground and popped right back up. Shocked like man, i just got hit by a car. I took a second to check myself out and make sure everything was good. My helmet had flew off. I checked my arms they were good. I looked down and I see a bunch of blood. I’m like dang; and I look at my left leg, it’s completely shattered. What happened was my foot was underneath the gear shift. So, when I got hit my momentum threw me back. It ripped the gear shift lever off and shredded my foot. What I did after I saw my foot was: take off my shirt, wrapped it around my leg like tourniquet, picked up my phone called 911, sat there an waited.”
Amazingly Robert remained claim waiting between 45 minutes to an hour for the ambulance to arrive. With that amount of blood loss, Robert knew if he fell asleep, that would be the end of his life. Instead he called his parents, his brothers, and his fiance to inform them of the accident. Robert was eventually air lifted to UNM and three days later had the amputation.
The Healing process from surgery was 2 months, Robert is a quick healer. Robert would be given his first test socket two months later. Once the socket was on “I was gone. I was so anxious to walk after having been in bed. Having been helpless. As soon as I put it on, I started moving. It was kind of like having to learn to walk again. I was so determined. I just practiced and practiced. It was painful at first, but I got through it”.
Robert grew up an athlete playing: baseball, basketball, and football. When it came time to start physical therapy Robert didn’t need a cheer leader over his shoulder, instead opting to tackle the challenge solo. This included learning to use the prosthetic on his own. Robert’s competitive fire never wavered. Robert first tired track and field but it wasn’t for him.
Even as a little kid, Robert had always been a fan of Boxing, but his parents didn’t allow him to participate. Stating it was too violent. Roberts favorite Pugilists: are Parnell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr., Winky Wright, & Floyd Mayweather. One day while sitting on the couch looking up amputee sports, a boxing match came on. So Robert went to Google and the National Amputee Boxing Association popped up.
Not long after Roberts’ training began it become noticeable that it takes time to get use to a prosthetic and boxing at the same time. Robert describes it like this, “It’s a lot of shuffling, constant movement. It wears on your legs more than football, baseball, & Basketball did to me. It’s a process getting use to it, with the prosthetic you’re kind of limited with your movements. In Boxing you have to push yourself to that next level. To a level that I’ve never been to; because no matter what, when you’re in that ring there’s no giving up, anything can happen. It’s a challenge every time. You’re always hit with something different, you’re facing adversity each time you step in there. I like accepting the challenge”. Like most young Boxers, Robert is learning the value of speed over power. “I got the best foot I could find. I saw a dude in circus doing back flips and was like that’s the one I want. I have to be able to get in and out, be able to move.”
Robert’s motivation, in his words, “this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I want to show my kids no matter what happens in life don’t let it get you down. There’s always a next opportunity and you have to keep going. After everything I could have easily curled up in a little ball and been in my own world feeling sorry for myself, but i’m the type of person who welcomes these challenges with open arms. I just want to keep going. I want to show them dad wont give up, why should you.”
How far does Robert want to take his Boxing career? Robert stated, “I’d love to turn pro, but I want to win a Gold Medal for my country first. I’m excited to be part of this. I’m glad to be making history and paving the way for people to come after me”
Eighteen months ago Robert Grant started his Pugilists journey. Little did Robert know his desire for athletic competition would put him in position to have a historical impact.