BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Like most boxers, Chris Milton’s first time in the ring was far from a knockout.
“I lost my balance and she gave me a shove and I fell backwards,” Milton said recounting his first time training. “Everyone was like ‘oh you got beat up with no punches yet!”
That was two years ago, and now Chris is a bona fide boxer. Yet, he continues to battle his biggest opponent everyday as he suffers from cerebral palsy.
“I was born with it and my right side has trouble growing muscle. It is like having an arm that has weight on it everyday.”
Cerebral palsy landed a blow to the entire right side of Chris’s body. He has to work twice as hard to balance and hit with his right hand. But, the 27-year-old never issues an excuse.
“Growing up my Mom and my friends said I don’t have a disability. They just said go for it and get better at it.”
Chris trains almost every day at Goomba’s Boxing Club in Tonawanda and landing punches inside of the ring has led to confidence out of the ring.
“In high school I was always in the small classes with others with disabilities. People never really noticed me. But, here I feel like this is my family.”
“When Chris first came in he was looking down and wondering what people where thinking of him,” Goomba’s Boxing Club owner Joe Skubis said. “Now he doesn’t think about that. He says, ‘Hey I am Chris Milton and I am a boxer and this is what I do.'”
Chris’ doctors are at a split decision on whether or not boxing is good for him. On one hand the fighting could improve his muscle movement and on the other hand an injury could be dangerous. Regardless, Chris is far from ready for his final round.
“You only live once,” he said with a smile. “This is what I want to do.”