COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Air Force is home to one of the few boxing programs in collegiate sports. It also happens to be one of the best.
"They started back up with collegiate boxing back in 1980, and since then we've won 19 national championships," said Air Force head coach Blake Baldi.
So what makes the Falcons so good?
Assistant coach Captain Dalton Hall said the answer is simple: "The commitment, the focus, the dedication that they put in day to day in the gym is second to none."
The best boxer at the academy is James "Levi" Knox. The senior won the national championship at the 165-pound weight class last season, which is even more impressive considering he didn't put on the gloves until his freshman year.
The inspiration for starting? A movie, but it wasn't Rocky. In fact, he's never seen that famous film.
"My freshman year I went out to see Creed and thought that looked pretty cool, but I didn't realize how painful it was," Knox said.
Levi played through the pain and last year it paid off as he won a national championship, and since then things have changed.
"People know my name for starters," Knox said. "I went from the kid no one knew to the person people are following. Like when I run they run with me."
Just like in Rocky. Maybe Levi Knox should see Rocky after all, after he wins another championship.