Produced by Casey Magnus and Zarif Alibhai
Nine months ago, in March 2014, Devin Reti lost his mother Donna in a fight with cancer. Now, Devin is fighting back the only way he knows how – by boxing.
“She really, really realized I had the talent,” says Devin. “She believed in me more than anybody . . . In her last moments, she said, ‘Devin, you can go to school any time. You can work any time, but pursue your dream so you have no regrets’”.
He says he knows his mother is watching over him and that he gets his strength in the ring from her. Fighting is his way of winning the battle she couldn’t and honoring her last wishes to fight for his dream.
“The way I feel closest to my mom is when I fight,” says Devin. “Before I fight I’m always thinking of her and before I enter that ring, ever since she got diagnosed and she told me to go for it, I’ve been thinking of her and she gives me that extra push, to push in that last round.”
Devin’s father Doug knows that many boxers don’t make a big pay cheque, but he’s proud of him for following his dream.
“I love my son regardless of what he does, and so does his Mom,” says Doug Reti. “We’ve always known of his talent, even when he doubted it. I’m proud to call him my son. I just ask he keep his hands up and head moving.”
At 21, Devin is already a national champion and Golden Gloves winner, but for him, there is still a long way to go in making his mother proud.
“I want to go as far as I can,” says Devin. “I’m not in it just to say I’ve done it. I hope to fight on TV and go for a world title”
After finding out his mother was terminally ill, Devin left school to take care of her, but got her blessing to pursue his dream as well, which is to be a professional boxer.
“It gave me something to fight for,” says Devin. “Someone to fight for. Someone beyond myself to fight for.”
His motivation seems to be paying off. Devin won his first professional fight on Nov. 29, 2014.