Carrillo corners the competition

Freshman excels at boxing outside of Rider athletics



Emmanuel Carrillo is a five-time national champion boxer who also plays multiple sports at Rider.

Meghan Helton, Reporter

Emmanuel Carrillo Jr., the freshman soccer player and cross country runner named after his father. He takes the field wearing black and gold, seemingly no different from the next athlete. 

But he’s not always clad in school colors during competition. When he’s in the ring, he wears the colors of a champion.

Carrillo began his boxing journey when he was only 6 years old. His father, a three-time National Golden Glove winner, introduced his son to the sport.

“He wanted me to follow in his footsteps or something like that,” Carrillo said. “At first I didn’t really like it, but now, it’s my favorite sport.”

Since the beginning of his short career as a boxer, this body-puncher has reached heights most athletes his age can only dream of.

“He’s actually won a few championships,” Emmanuel’s boxing coach Mike Zapata said. “He’s probably got a little over 100 fights in his career so far, and he’s a five-time national champion. He’s won the Junior Olympics one year, Golden Gloves multiple times and we’ve won several local tournaments.”

Training under the close eyes of his father and Zapata, Carrillo has a strict workout schedule to follow.

“Before my practice, I’ll do five miles and then I have strength and conditioning,” Carrillo said. “I’ll do what are called HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts and then go to the gym. Basically, I’ll hit the bags, jump rope, speed bags, stuff like that.”

Aside from being active and exercising, Carrillo also has to be very careful about what he eats.

“You want to maintain as close as you can to the weight that you’re actually going to be fighting at,” Zapata said. “It takes a lot of healthy eating for sure.”

So how does a freshman balance his academics, other extracurricular sports and being a champion?

“Staying up late with school work and then going to practice,” Carrillo said with a sigh. “I’m used to running because of boxing so I’m pretty good at cross country. I mean, it’s difficult, but I do it.”


Boxing, however, has won over Carrillo’s interests and his future plans.

“It’s just different from most sports,” Carrillo said. “Training, tournaments and all that stuff that we do. Hopefully, I’ll get on the USA team and win a gold medal. Then, turn pro and win a world championship.”

Carrillo is not alone in his aspirations, as Zapata also believes in his young protégé.

“I think sky’s the limit for him if he really just sets his mind to it like he is doing,” Zapata said. “I know that our next stop is the 2020 Olympics. This year in December, he’ll get a chance to fight for the Select team. If he wins, he’ll actually make the team. I think he could actually become pro.”