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What drives three boxers to be the best

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Jesus Flores  works the bag at the Canal Street Boxing Gym in Lawrence.
Jesus Flores works the bag at the Canal Street Boxing Gym in Lawrence.John Blanding, Boston Globe staff

Jesus Flores, 22, 5-10, 195 pounds

Title: 2015 New England Golden Gloves heavyweight champion

Hometown: Lawrence

Amateur record: 13-4

Profession: circuit board assembler; attends Northern Essex Community College

How he began boxing: "I wanted to be a wrestler and I came into the Canal Street Gym to work out. I ended up being better at boxing and fell in love with it. I like the art of it. A lot of people see it as a brutal sport but there's a lot more to boxing than just punches. It's more of a chess game."

What drives him: "It's just wanting to be more: to become a role model, and have a stable future. My dream is to become the best man I can be. That could be becoming a world champion or having a successful career. I just want to do the right thing and become a role model and just be someone that people look up to."

Xavier Vega tapes up before a training session in Lawrence.
Xavier Vega tapes up before a training session in Lawrence.John Blanding, Boston Globe staff

Xavier Vega, 21, 5-7, 152 pounds

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Title: 2015 New England Golden Gloves welterweight champion

Hometown: Lawrence

Amateur record: 33-3

Profession: construction worker

How he began boxing: "My dad was a boxer and boxed for the Junior Olympics. I always wanted to box but I have one kidney and my mom was real cautious about it. When I was 17, I started to box at the gym.

What drives him: "If I can, I want to make it in pro boxing and become the world champ, hopefully. But if that doesn't work out I would like to become a cop in Lawrence. I'd like to help the people around here and make a difference."

Yamarco Guzman
Yamarco Guzman

Yamarco Guzman, 22, 6 feet, 165 pounds

2016 New England Golden Gloves middleweight contender

Hometown: Lawrence

Amateur record: 8-2

Profession: electrician

How he began boxing: "My parents didn't let me box until I was 17. I came here and this gym is a big family. Our coaches, they're not just trainers, they're like our second fathers."

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What drives him: "I want to be a good story out of Lawrence. I want to be something that when you see me, you can say 'That kid didn't go with the crowd; that kid actually stood up and did the right thing in life and became successful, not necessarily money-wise, but he made something out of himself.'"

STEVEN A. ROSENBERG