Glancing at the walls of Troup's Byron Payton Gymnasium, one can tell that East Texas used to dominate the sport of boxing.
Thanks to Tyler native Shamarian Snider, who just won the American Boxing Organization Heavyweight Championship, some of that dominance has returned to the region.
"I knew I was good when I started beating good people. I was like I think I can handle the pro level. I was like let's do this. I've just been racking up wins and trying to get them out of the way, trying to be something special for East Texas," said Shamarian Snider, professional boxer.
Before boxing, Snider was a football player whose career ended due to an ACL tear. Then he was a dancer on the Dallas based TV show "Dance Club 21". It wasn't until street fights began to threaten his everyday life, that Snider first entered the ring.
"I ended up going to the boxing gym, Shawn Vascocu's boxing gym. Within an hour I liked it, and he [Shawn] believed in me. He told me that if I stuck with it I could go far. It could change my life," said Snider.
"He is a natural. He was a dancer before he became a boxer. So he moved really well for a big guy. He is a real flamboyant kinda guy, his personality is made for this," said Shawn Vascocu, Snider's boxing coach and Troup Boxing Director.
It may have taken Snider a few misses to find his calling, but now that he knows where he belongs the true win for him is helping others knock out their demons.
"To know that I've gave people hope, I've changed lives. I couldn't ask for nothing more," said Snider.
Snider will continue his professional career fighting to put up more banners in the gym that gave him a chance at greatness. His next fight is scheduled for the end of this month in Mexico.