Double the Punch for Boxing

McJoe Arroyo and McWilliams Arroyo were born in Puerto Rico on 5 December 1985 and grew up in Fajardo and Luqillo, which are beautiful coastal towns that are popular with locals and tourists for their pristine beaches. But instead of lazing in the sun and taking in the splendor of the island, the twins were exercising in the gym and developing their boxing skills. After ten years of dedication, their efforts have been rewarded, with both brothers fighting their way onto the team for the Beijing Olympics.

Representing their country is a dream-come-true for the brothers, who will be the second pair of boxing twins to compete in the Olympics. Their goals to achieve more than just local recognition began the moment they realized that boxing was no longer a hobby for them, but a way of life. Of course, being brothers they wanted to avoid fighting against each other, so their solution to this problem was simple: McWilliams fights in the fifty-one kilogram, or hundred and twelve pound, boxing division and McJoe in the fifty-four kilogram, or hundred and nineteen pound, division.

McWilliams has enjoyed a very successful boxing career, winning gold in the 2007 PanAmerican Games and finding victory in events such as the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships and the 2006 Central American Games. He was also notified of the honor, on 2 July 2008, that he would be carrying the Puerto Rican flag at the Olympics. McJoe, who qualified for the Beijing Olympics at the same event as his brother, has also gathered a few wins at various events including the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games and the XXVIII International Golden Belt Tournament.

Puerto Rico has been participating in the boxing division of Olympic Games since 1948, but has never been able to capture the illusive gold medal. They have won a silver medal and five bronze, and it is a fact that weighs heavily on the brothers’ minds. Even though they are determined to do their best, they hope that their efforts will bring home a few medals, and hopefully it will be gold in color.