Boxing dreams come true for Fresno man with autism

EMBED </>More News Videos

Hundreds of boxing fanatics are at the DoubleTree in Downtown Fresno watching some of the best in the Central Valley fight it out in the ring, but it was one very special boxer that captured people's hearts. (KFSN)

Hundreds of boxing fanatics are at the DoubleTree in Downtown Fresno watching some of the best in the Central Valley fight it out in the ring, but it was one very special boxer that captured people's hearts.

Sitting in the roaring crowd Sunday afternoon, it's hard to tell this was Clayton Kraft's first time fighting in front of an audience.

"I feel pretty good," Kraft said. "He may think he's going to be tough, but I'm going to even tougher."

The 40-year-old may be an amateur boxer but he's had decades of experience overcoming adversity. Clayton was born with autism but also a passion for boxing, and it's a passion his coach knows all too well.

"He's always asked me I want to fight in the ring one day," Pak Fights promoter JR Correa explained. "I said, 'let me see what I can do and see if I can make arrangements to have this done.'"

For the past several years, Clayton has been driving to monthly training sessions with a persistent edge to win his first boxing match one day.

"All I got to do is learn how to stay focused on my match, my opponent, so I can knock him down," Kraft said with determination.

After months of planning in front of cheering friends, the Mac Attack had the opportunity of a lifetime by taking part in a special exhibition bout at Saturday's Pak 16 event.

"He's got a really good jab," Correa said of Kraft. "And a really good uppercut, so it's going to be interesting watching this fight."

In the end, the crowd roared when the words "winner by unanimous decision" were announced. Clayton won the fight and a little more.

"I just wanted to say how long I've been trying to do this, it's been a dream of mine," he said proudly.
Related Topics:
newsautismboxingfresnofeel goodgood newsFresno - Downtown
(Copyright ©2016 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments