Francisco “Bebu” Verón is a Physical Education student at the National Hurlingham University (UNAHUR) and one of the boxers from the Argentine Olympic Delegation who will seek a medal in Tokyo. “Things were never easy for me, but dreams belong to those who seek them,” highlights the athlete from José León Suárez, who himself Marcos “Chino” Maidana considered that he has “money for a World Champion.” The highest international sport match, which will take place from this Friday to August 8 in that Japanese city, has among its representatives for Argentina two students from public universities ready to compete: Verón and Victoria Sauze from the campus of the Leonas, who is close to becoming an accountant at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
The Olympic boxing team that is already in Tokyo is made up of Mirko Cuello (57 kilos), Ramón Quiroga (52) and Francisco Verón himself (75 kg), who in addition to dedicating himself to sport works as a taxi driver and grocer, and fantasizes about “ one day have my own house ”. The 22-year-old boxer trains six days a week, double shift. Training, strict respect for coronavirus bubbles, good nutrition and rest are part of the demands of the discipline of the team of which “Bebu” is part. They have a clear goal: to reap a medal for Argentina at the Tokyo 2020 Games (the name was respected despite last year’s suspension). “We are already one step away and we have to be 100 percent. I believe that we are going to give that to speak. It is an opportunity that occurs once in a lifetime and we are going to take advantage of it ”, highlights the fighter at the University Supplement.
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But that’s not the only challenge on his mind. This year the pandemic and virtuality allowed him to enroll in the Physical Education career at UNAHUR. “My girlfriend, who also studies there, signed me up,” he says. In his first semester, he promoted two subjects and is preparing the end of the third. “I always wanted to study, since I finished secondary school, at 19, but the selection, the trips, the training camps arrived right there and it was complicated for me because it was face-to-face. The truth is that virtuality favored me, ”says who will compete in the 75-kilo category.
Although the training sessions are tough, Verón does not lose footing in the studio and faces his new challenge with the same tenacity that the KO seeks in each of his fights: “Luckily I am doing well on both fronts. It is very difficult after such intense training sessions to start studying, but I decided to go to the Games and go to college and I am one step away from achieving it ”. For the athlete, both activities, far from being canceled, feed off each other. “The training gave me a lot of knowledge for the study. Training with the national team made me learn many things that I later applied in the race; and the study helped me to open my head, to be able to think things from another side. Always with discipline, which is fundamental in both areas ”, he asserts.
Although he acknowledges that there are days when study times are scarce, mainly “when one prepares to make history”, he highlights the “support” of the family, his girlfriend and his work team that accompanies him in each of his projects to meet your goals. Verón highlights how difficult it is for an athlete to become part of an Olympic delegation. “You have to go through South American, Pan American, pre-Olympic, world championships, concentrations. You miss the family a lot, but those barriers that you go through are preparing you and making you stronger and stronger, ”he emphasizes.
With more than a hundred fights as an amateur and several as a professional, the boxer defines himself as “stylist and intelligent”, to whom the rented fights “served to further strengthen his hand” and imagines “bringing a medal to the country.” Verón is hopeful: “I have confidence in myself. I have had international contact four years ago, I have already traveled to almost 20 countries and, without underestimating anyone, I think we are about to achieve a podium ”. In addition, in March he won a gold medal at the Istanbul International Tournament, organized by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), where in addition to beating five rivals, in the final he defeated the Olympic medalist Karman Sahsuvarli, from Azerbaijan, which positions him as a serious candidate.
He knows that what is coming is the maximum that an elite athlete can aspire to, and he also knows that the opportunity comes at its best. But regardless of the result he gets in Tokyo, his intention is to continue studying, although as he explains, it will depend a lot on whether the “university allows to continue studying at a distance”, since most of the fights are outside the country and that “forces you to surrender remote”.
Despite being one of the promises of Argentine boxing, and one of the protégés of “Chino Maidana”, who has him in his company CMP (Chino Maidana Promotions), he continues with his normal life, helping his family in everything which can. “Bebu” is just another boy from the “Lanzone neighborhood”, where he lives with his parents and four of his eight siblings, six of whom are boxers. He is also a referral and when he can, he attends the family store. “I still live with my parents. I help in everything that is needed, not only with the income from the fights but also by contributing in the warehouse and with the remis ”. His goals do not end only in his sports and university career: he dreams of his own roof. “I know that the little house is going to happen one day, it is my dream beyond sports,” he says in a voice that fills with colors when he talks about this project, which he understands as “the goal of all those who they fight from below ”.
The words seem to fall victim to his enthusiasm. But they have a clear order. Verón knows where he is going and prepares for it. Almost organically, for each thing that is projected it tells you how to achieve it. In his speech, dreaming and materializing those challenges are two constants that are concatenated and in that way, between gloves and study zoom, he wins the center of the ring to life. The medals seem to be waiting for him in Tokyo, in José León Suárez and in the faculty.