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Grand Island boxer returns to the sport after the death of his former coach

Toby Juhl stopped boxing six years ago, but has fought three times in 2020.
Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 10:13 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Six years ago, Toby Juhl trained with Frank Rodriguez in the boxing ring, but Juhl quit boxing.

“I was kind of going down a bad path,” Juhl said. “I got away from boxing, I was getting in trouble, just making bad choices. There are no excuses to why I got away from it, no legitimate ones, it was just my bad choices.”

Last year, Rodriguez passed away, prompting Juhl to start training to fight again.

“Ever since then, I got in shape and just finally got around to competing,” Juhl said. “It was to honor him, I know that’s what he would have wanted. We had big aspirations for my career, beyond amateur, and just things never panned out. When he passed, I just wanted to do something to make him proud.”

In 2020, Juhl has boxed in three matches, including two wins at the Buffalo Bill Brawl this weekend.

“I know he’s proud today for sure,” Juhl said after his championship victory Sunday.

Juhl currently trains without a coach, but every time he steps into the ring, he has Rodriguez in the back of his head.

“It’s instilled in me. Frank is with me every time I get in there,” he said.

After winning the championship belt in North Platte, Juhl was proud of the progress he’s made over the last few months, and wants to continuing improving.

“It feels good, I feel like I earned it. I hope this is just the start, we’ll see where it goes from here,” he said.

Juhl credits Rodriguez with shaping into the person he is today.

“He was the man. He is the one that made me what I am today, so I owe it all to him. I love you Frank,” Juhl said.

Copyright 2020 KNOP. All rights reserved.

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