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Just Do it
By Ray Kilgore

If Dustin and Dylan Mason had an agent, they would have no problem being official spokesmen for Nike's slogan just do it. The brothers took up the sport four years ago, and have been model boxers with their clean lifestyles, and strong work ethic.
In November, they have most weekends penciled in for bouts, not to mention, they are full-time students who maintain good grades. Although Dustin just finished a two-hour workout, which included sparring with Hoshang Ismail, he was preparing to run from White Bear Lake to Maplewood with teammate Justin Griffin. Dustin hadn't eaten dinner, and it was passed 7:00 P.M. and he was scheduled to box the following evening. Meanwhile, Dylan was working hard on the stair-stepper after sparring several hard rounds with Hardewell Ismail.
The brothers' mood for this interview was like their workout level: intense. For example, Dustin reminded Dylan it was that time for the interview and Dylan looked irritated at having to get off the stair stepper. But, it was Dustin's look which said it all. As this writer looked for his prepared, questions and tried to make small chit-chat, Dustin wasn't interested and wanted to get on with the interview.
The brothers' father Rick is the motivating force behind their start in boxing. Rick is at the gym daily, he has driven the boys from Farmington, where they use to live, to White Bear gym, and he has taken his rent money to fund the boys' trips to attend out of state shows. "They said when they make it, they are going to by me a house" says Rick with a smile. Dustin, age 15, and Dylan, age 13 originally wasn't interested in boxing. Their father, who boxed professionally when he lived in California, kept at the brothers because he knew what the sport could offer in keeping his sons off the streets and teaching them the lifelong skill of discipline.
"[At first] I didn't think I was good enough [to box]," says Dustin. "But I kept at it [and] now I love it." As far as Dylan is concerned, he shows natural talent. Last year, Dylan says he took third in the nation, and both brothers add they made it all the way through the Junior Olympics but couldn't advance because of their ages.
Dustin and Dylan are fans of the sport following top fighters. They like watching ESPN's classic channel, and fittingly, Dustin, who is the bigger puncher of the two, says Mike Tyson has become his favorite fighter, and Dylan, who's the natural boxer of the two, enjoys Ali.
The brothers are so gung ho, they tend to engage in physical sports one being basketball despite consequences; For example, Dustin played basketball for almost three hours before one of his bouts, and he raised his blood pressure so high, the doctor wasn't going to let him box. "Basketball helps to keep my mind off the fight. I can't sit still." But his father says learning to relax is something Dustin will have to be taught since he's risking his health and bouts playing basketball beforehand.
The brothers box at 120 and 100 pounds, and go into bouts confident; yet, they acknowledge once they boxed in a competition and got psyched out. "I watched a guy fight [and] thought I could beat him" contends Dustin. "But then I heard people around me saying how good he was, and when I got into the ring, I held back, and lost." Dylan adds, "Yea I did the same thing last year. I got a lot of butterflies and choked." They enjoy fishing when their not boxing, and like spending time with friends like Justin Griffin.
Their father admits that the boys have had a difficult life, and that he and their mother are no longer together. Even so, the boys have adjusted well, and have taken a good attitude about the situation. When many amateurs turn pro they lose their desire to put in one hundred percent. Dustin and Dylan hope to go pro one day and if they do, they'll be a head of the game if they continue their work rate. Dustin and Dylan seem to understand the theory behind hard work, and this should help them make the transition into not only being successful boxers, but thriving adults as well.