09/16/2014 06:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'One Blow Could Change.. Life': Boxer Overcame Rough Childhood To Become Inspiring Athlete

This boxer's strong will and spirit both inside and outside the ring pushed him to shatter expectations and become a winning athlete.

Bobby Hornsby, 24, of Atlanta, Georgia, was confronted with a host of challenges growing up. When he was 2 years old, his mother left his physically and verbally abusive father, and in that same year, Hornsby's father was sent to prison on murder charges. He says he spent much of his childhood wishing he had his father around in his life.

"Growing up I longed for a relationship with my father. My mother had no idea that I cried myself to sleep at night because I wished he was present," Hornsby told HuffPost in an email.

At age 15, Hornsby decided to channel his energy into boxing, after his mother offered the sport as an alternative to the play fighting he was often involved in with his friends. Hornsby says he chose to learn from his father's mistakes and take on the sport as a positive passion. He diligently practiced boxing and watched himself win more and more amateur championships. Now, almost a decade after his discovery of the sport, Hornsby has become a professional boxer, with a record of 8-0 wins.

It is Hornsby's determination and relentless fight that is featured in a new Gatorade ad from the brand's "Win From Within" series, which showcases athletes who have overcome adversity to become strong people in their everyday lives, as well as within their sport.

While the boxer's own drive has led him to excel, he credits the sport with teaching him some major life lessons.

"Boxing was the one thing that challenged me enough to capture my full attention and is a sport that demanded my respect," he wrote in his email to HuffPost. "The biggest thing that I have learned is to never give up, because one blow could change the outcome of the whole fight, [as well as] life."

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