King of the ring

Cheyenne, WY, Letter Carrier Stephan Martinez stands near a photo of himself in his Marine uniform.

Before Cheyenne, WY, Letter Carrier Stephan Martinez became known for his crisp uniforms and friendly service, he had a reputation for fancy footwork and a powerful punch.

Martinez, a prizefighter in his youth, was recently inducted into the Midwest Golden Gloves Hall of Fame. The news surprised co-workers and customers alike.

“They had no idea, but now they do,” Martinez said. “Some walk by me and say, ‘Hey, champ.’”

In his prime, Martinez took several state and regional championships, among other recognition.

He later joined the Marines and became one of the corps’ boxing champs, then won the Western U.S. Open and competed in Olympic trials.

Martinez’s last fight was in 1984. He won an inter-service silver medal but left the ring with a broken jaw. Keeping a promise to his mother, he hung up his gloves.

Martinez is proud of his boxing days, although he takes greater pride in his 25-year marriage and military service, as well as his postal career.

“I love my job. I feel very blessed,” he said.