Even after trainee's Olympic defeat, local coach still proud

MARQUETTE–Even though his latest student was defeated last night in her second match in Rio, a local boxing coach says he’s proud of Mikaela Mayer and her hard work.

Al Mitchell has trained 11 Olympic athletes in his 50 years as a boxing coach. He now runs Al’s Mitchell Combat Sports Academy in Marquette, but in the past, he’s been on the Olympic Committee and taught an Olympic Program at Northern Michigan University.

Mitchell said that he enjoys training younger boxers and watching them grow into Olympic athletes. He said, “The good part about it is a lot of these coaches get other kids when they’re 18, 19 or 20 and then turn ’em pro. To me it’s blessing training kids 8, 9, 10, 11 and watch ’em turn from cold to pro.”

Mayer lost yesterday against Russian boxer Anastasiia Beliakova. She went one and one in her first ever crack at the Olympics.