Back in November, I photographed the Lugo brothers — Nathan and Elijah — along with their coach and father, Michael, for Sports Illustrated. There’s something I just love about shooting in a boxing gym … the grit, the colors, it just all seems perfect for photographs.
I was lucky to get Bryce France to assist me on the shoot, which was at the family’s boxing gym, Lugo Boxing & Fitness, in Marietta, Ga. It was for SI’s “Faces in the Crowd” segment that has been running for years and spotlights amateur athletes and coaches around the country.
These guys are impressive! From the article:
“Together the Lugo brothers have more national titles (36) than losses (28). Though they are trained by their father, Michael, it was their mother, Angela, who encouraged her oldest son to try boxing in 2011 to defend himself against bullies. “In school, I would get picked on,” Nathan says. “When I started training, I had the confidence. I carried myself different.”
Nathan won the first of his five Silver Gloves national titles in 2014—the same year Michael opened Lugo Boxing & Fitness in Marietta and Elijah took up the sport. He saw his brother bulk up from training and wanted to be strong, too. Elijah lost his first 13 fights, and Michael questioned whether he was keeping Elijah in boxing for his son’s benefit or his own ego. Before Elijah’s final bout of ’14, Michael gave him two options: let his USA Boxing membership expire and leave the sport, or stick with it for one more year. Elijah fought, won and decided to stay.
“It was after that fight that his whole demeanor changed and he became this hungry animal,” Michael says. “And he never stopped.”
Since then Elijah has won two Silver Gloves; Nathan has claimed three Junior Olympics titles in four years. Both will compete at the national championships in 2021 in Shreveport, La., where Elijah hopes to win the 165-pound division title and follow his brother’s path to the U.S. junior team. Nathan’s sights are trained on qualifying for the 2024 Summer Games.”
—[Continue reading] about Lugo Brothers for Sports Illustrated