‘Without Her, I Would Be Nothing’ – Walter Goncalves Wants To Repay His Mother For All Of Her Sacrifices
Walter “Iron Hands” Goncalves is certain that he wouldn’t be where he is today without the love and support of his mom.
The #2-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender – who will return against Jacob Smith at ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video on December 8 – didn’t have an easy childhood, but his mother never let him feel the true impact of their family’s poverty, instead bearing the brunt herself.
As Goncalves grew up with his parents and brother in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, poverty was rife and times were tough.
Still, the family’s matriarch was always there to lead the way and tell her son that better days were possible if he worked hard enough.
“Iron Hands” told onefc.com:
“My mother has always been and will always be my greatest inspiration. She has always helped me a lot and continues to help me to this day, in good and bad times. She is the foundation of our entire family.
“She always inspires me with her willpower and her determination to win and achieve everything in life. She always showed me the right path and taught me to overcome difficulties with our effort and always with our head held high.”
Though it’s not always easy to appreciate when you’re young, parents make sacrifices all the time for the well-being of their children.
However, when the family was in the midst of their leanest times and there wasn’t money to put food on the table for everybody, Goncalves remembers his mother going without so her sons could get the sustenance they needed.
The 25-year-old recalled:
“She sacrificed a lot. When I was very little, we often weren’t able to have enough food for the family. Sometimes there was only food for two people, and she would stop eating so that my brother and I could have something to eat.”
Goncalves: “I Will Train And Fight To Achieve Everything I Can For Her’
Life is still not easy for Goncalves’ family, and his parents run a snack stall at a local fair to try to make ends meet.
That means long days in the blistering heat, with the next day’s stock depending on the current day’s sales, so it’s a hand-to-mouth existence.
“Iron Hands” wants to change all that, and as a top-ranked athlete in the world’s largest martial arts organization, he hopes to give his mother a better life:
“They still face many difficulties on a daily basis. So, always after earning my money from my fights, I try to help her with the rent. But I know it’s not much. I want to give her many things, not just pay the rent. I want to make her happy with her own house so she can eat well and no longer have to worry about food and rent.
“She works hard every day at the fair together with my father under the hot sun. I hope one day to take them out of this job and give them a home.”
It’s the least Goncalves can do for his mother’s unwavering lifelong support and the constant backing she has given him for his martial arts career.
Now competing on the global stage and ready for another epic matchup live in U.S. primetime, “Iron Hands” feels close to making the kind of life-changing money that will transform the future for his parents.
“I always had my mother’s support. To this day, she supports me a lot. She always asks me to go train and, when I don’t go to train, she gets on my case and scolds me. This is an extra motivation for me. It makes me happy to see that she supports me, that she cares about my training, and never lets me give up.
“Without her, I would be nothing, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. I owe her a lot, and I’m sure I’ll be able to achieve all my dreams, especially buying her house.
“I will repay everything she did and does for me with my effort and my focus on my work. I will train and fight to achieve everything I can for her.”