I have been a boxing fan for as long as I can remember, growing up watching the great fights with my father and brother. I had wanted to learn how to box, if nothing else, for the fitness aspect of it all. The first place I looked into was the famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, NY. When I visited the gym, they happened to be accepting folks that were new to boxing to train with real trainers and then fight in an actual bout – it was a no-brainer for me to sign up immediately.
Unfortunately, the outcome of my first bout was not a favorable one, but it was a successful experience in that I got in the best shape of my life and raised a lot of money for a great cause. Three years and almost 100lbs later, I am now preparing for my 5th fight for the Give a Kid a Dream foundation, and I think that it is safe to say I am hooked at this point.
I had played sports since I was a kid. Football season turned into hockey season which turned into baseball season. So, after my 4 years of playing football at RPI in Troy, NY, my athletic career was essentially over . . . until I found boxing. I am now a typical white-collar athlete, working in the office during the day and sparring at night. It is certainly not a typical hobby to take up, but one that I am happy that I made the decision to do so.
My record now in four Give a Kid a Dream events is unfortunately 0-4, no wins, so why do I keep coming back? There are many reasons.
The main reason I continue to fight is for the Give a Kid a Dream program. Give a Kid a Dream is a really great program that has helped many kids in the 25+ year history of the program. After meeting many of the kids that are in the program, I realize exactly how much it means to them and the direct benefits it has had on their lives. Bruce, Perry and Teresa are great people, and they do such a fantastic job running the program. It makes it a very easy decision for me to continue to raise funds and awareness about the program and help in any way I can – even if that means getting hit in the face a few times!
I am lucky to have the best trainers one could ask for –Devon Cormack and Heather Hardy. I would not even be able to compete if it was not for their efforts. I realize that they are busy with their own careers and real life outside of the gym, but they continue to take the time to help me improve my boxing skills. Words really cannot express how appreciative I am for what they do for me, which is more than the probably realize. While I have made tremendous strides over the years of working with them, it would be nice to get a win for them.
The boxing community in New York City runs deep, and this cannot be more evident than at Gleason’s Gym where many boxing legends have trained at some point in their careers. The folks at Gleason’s have been so respectful and welcoming that it makes it very difficult for me to stop going to the gym.
My family and friends have provided me with a huge amount of support in my four bouts. Fight night is a lot of fun for them as well, and they always look forward to the next one. For them, it also doesn’t hurt that the entire night goes to support a great cause.
Selfishly, I would like to get a win for myself. I heard the NFL great Ray Lewis say recently, “The game is a about a 1-on-1 competition and most of the times, the 1-on-1 is really with yourself.” This was about football, but I think it applies to both boxing and life. I like training towards a goal, and I have worked very hard through the years to realize that goal with a win.