BEAUMONT, Texas — Every once in awhile, you run into a Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. These type of individuals transcend in their affiliated sport.
Zyloin Edwards, of Beaumont, is a child prodigy. She's not your typical 12-year-old girl. Behind the sweet smile and hair braids, she's a national champion, who's a force to be reckoned with.
"I knew Zyloin was going to be a national champion the day she came to that tryout," Shedrick Lewis, owner and head coach of Victory University said.
"The first time I put her through the agility drills, I told her dad that and I've been saying that," Lewis said.
Lewis knows all about coaching national champions. After all, he coached two prior to Edwards.
"Cymone Kearney, he ended up winning the 178-pound division," Lewis said. "He was number one in the United States of America. Then, the following year with Jalani El Rahim, he was the 132-pound national champion. So I had two national champions- now a third."
Despite Edwards' lack of experience, Edwards still competed at the 2019 national championship.
"Going into it, I was hopeful," Lewis said. "Zyloin is the underdog because we don't have as many fights as the other girls. So, I was hoping that eventually we would lead to the number one slot. It didn't happen that way. As fate would have it, we drew the number one seed."
Edwards entered the fight nervous and shaking. But after one look at her opponent, that all change.
"Once I got in and looked at her, I felt good," Edwards said. I was in control of the fight before it even happened."
With her new found confidence, Edwards defeated Starr Penrose to advance to the national championship.
Then, after three rounds against the number two seed, Aubrey Muniz, Edwards was crowned the national champion.
"I started crying after I won," Edwards said. "It was a neat feeling. Something that meant a lot to my family and coach."
For Lewis, it was a surreal experience.
"Knowing the trials and tribulations that we had to go through, it was well worth it," Lewis said. "It made every punch worth it."
Lewis has little to no doubt that Edwards will defend her title by the end of the year. After that, the sky's the limit.
"By the time Zyloin is between 16 and 17-years-old, she's going to be the first female boxer out of Beaumont, Texas, probably out of Texas, to win a national championship," Lewis said. "And go to the Olympics."