Born and raised in Cheyenne and he’s the first to let you know it. Isaiah Tafoya is a proud Wyomingite, whose passion for a pair of gloves has driven him to dedicate his life to the sport of boxing.
Tafoya has recently decided to move from the amatuer ranks to professional boxing, a decision capable of changing lives — his as well as those around him.
Tafoya showed an appetite for the sport from an early age. According to his father, Domonic Tafoya, his early attraction to everything boxing was difficult to ignore. Mimicking the boxers he could find on TV was a daily routine for young Tafoya.
“I had a wall in my house that was worn out from him punching it,” Domonic said.
At 8 years old, Tafoya’s amatuer voyage began. With guidance from Ray Montoya, head coach at Southside Slugger Boxing Club, Tafoya has excelled in the sport. Over the past 13 years, boxing has taken Tafoya far and wide, competing in national tournaments against high-level opponents and even ranking among the best amateurs in the country. Even with success in the amateurs, Tafoya plans on going further and beyond by boxing at the professional level.
“My style has always been that of a professional,” Tafoya said.
Tafoya credits his success largely to the experience of his team and is grateful for the knowledge they have handed down to him. According to Tafoya, his evolution in amatuer boxing has proven to himself what he’s capable of doing in the ring, and he looks forward to making some noise in the professional ranks.
“He’s taking that mentality. It’s not a sport, it’s a job now,” Montoya said.
Tafoya and his team at the South Side Sluggers Boxing Club plan to work with local promoters to kick off Tafoya’s professional career and hope to debut in a professional bout early in 2019.