PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – From a small gym on Third Avenue, it was a seemingly normal training day for boxer Sunny Taylor. That was until the phone rang with a surprise caller from the U.S. Air Force World Class Athlete Program telling the hopeful applicant he made it. “I’m really looking forward to getting some great things out of you, man,” the phone call said. “These are the goals that we set out to accomplish and we’ve accomplished them,” said Delbert “Sunny” Taylor. “We have many more goals to accomplish along the way.” WATCH: Lindsay Ward Reports
KDKA Exclusive: Local boxer called to train for the Olympics
One of those next goals?
Going for the gold. His acceptance means he will now have the opportunity to train for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. It also means his coach who has been jabbing at this for 38 years can retire, calling this moment the pinnacle of his career. “Sunny is probably the most accomplished amateur boxer in Pittsburgh in the last maybe 40 or 50 years,” James Hoy said.
His coach went on to describe Sunny as one in a million, which makes sense considering he now joins an elite group of only 155 young athletes to ever achieve this accomplishment. It might be a tough road to Paris, but it’s nothing Sunny can’t handle. “We’re just going to keep working just as hard as we’ve been working,” the newly-minted Olympian said.
Royce Jones joined the KDKA news team as a freelance reporter in January 2020. Royce covers a variety of story topics from breaking news, crime and human interest to the strange/unusual. No matter the story, Royce will meet the challenge head-on.