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Every Fighter Should READ THIS: 10 Red Flags That Your Gym is NOT for Fighters

by A. O’Toole

  1. No shoes.  BJJ and wrestling aside, if you don’t have an any-shoe-goes area, the chances are that you are in a dojo, not a fighters’ gym.
  2. No cussing.  This may seem dumb, but it’s an indicator of an all-too-friendly kids’ place.  If it’s an isolated incident that a young kid is in, of course no one should cuss, but if fighters are suppressed in their victimless expression, perhaps the gym is for just one denomination – sheltered children and squares.
  3. No open gym.  This may be the biggest red flag, because open gym is when fighters put in their master work, extra conditioning, meditation-like time, and personal fine-tuning.  It is also an indicator that serious fighters are training less than 8-12 hours a week.  SMH.  You should be shaking yours.
  4. No open coaching during open gym.  If there are open gym hours – if it is strictly and always just that – and the trainers don’t help out, you may as well go to L.A. Fitness.
  5. There are classes only.  So much for the fighter’s experience, the individualization.
  6. All members have errands other than their self-commitment.  You clean, hold mitts, run classes (with no pay), etc.  If it’s not a wholehearted choice and it’s actually common practice, get out now.  Such a place is probably just a white-collar gym where quitters feel they’ve done something.  Training should be your ONLY focus as a fighter or potential fighter.
  7. People don’t go there to hang-out.  This may sound a bit odd, but every good gym I’ve ever been to operates like a club; members come by and watch sparring or just mingle and talk fighting on their off hours.  Also, if it’s a dojo atmosphere, everything is considered a distraction and they avoid distractions at all costs.  Real fighters need to get used to the chaos and they deal with it.  You should too.
  8. The gym doesn’t have all the equipment that fighters normally use.  A missing speedbag does not mean anything in and of itself, but it’s an indicator of a much deeper issue.  The place does not invest in the fighter experience.  It seems so immaterial, but it says everything about the training.
  9. You can’t get fights.  If a trainer’s whole motivation is something other than preparing you and getting you fights, think about it.  I need not say more.
  10. Fighters only avoid the red flags above by spending more money.  Money, money, money.

10 Red Flags: Gyms That Put Money Before Fighting

by A O’Toole

  1. The instructor does not screen you on your goals.  It shows he doesn’t invest in the individual’s needs and purpose for joining.
  2. Visitors are not welcome any time the place is open.  This tells you they only want people to see some things.  Perhaps they don’t want people to watch the laughable training.  Hiding something?  Maybe the fact that they are “bait and switching?”
  3. They require you to buy their equipment only.  This is scam #1 for making extra monies.
  4. They sell supplements as a side business.  Anyone who knows business, knows that it takes 100% attention.  This is why there are so many fledgling clubs and part-time trainers.
  5. They rent the space for birthday parties that can close the gym at given times.  What fighter wants to attend a martial arts or boxing club where they hold kid birthday parties?
  6. Dress codes.  Another part of money making and brain washing.  Buy their uniforms and be institutionalized.  “Look really professional because parents with money like that.”  Fluff that.
  7. The gym advertises on an amalgam of arts of fighting that don’t mesh.  Going to an mma club that also teaches Ninjitsu?  Paintball and boxing?  JKD suspiciously changed to mma?  Whatever makes a fast buck without dedicated work for the owner, that’s what you get.
  8. Pay for testing and advancement.  This is the new norm in the industry of swindlers.
  9. They don’t refer people who aren’t fit for their school to other places.  They simply try to sell someone who is clearly looking for something else on being right where they stand.
  10. Registration fees.  Insurance is surprisingly cheap for martial arts schools, so that’s just a big lie when they say it’s for insurance purposes.  Paying a few months upfront is understandable, but the registration thing is another industry norm, and another complete scam.

Hero Worship and the Black Belt Bait and Switch

by Al Alvir

Any person who is getting into any area of information exchange must learn the process of the exchange of knowledge and, with an open yet skeptical mind, discern what he/she is being told.  This is much easier said than practiced, because people want to blindly follow – it’s just easier.  What ability does anyone have to discern if they have no basis of understanding of a given subject?  Extracting truth is the responsible shopper’s responsibility.  Too bad there are too few of those kinds of people.  It’s why people get duped and conned, brainwashed and chopped-up.  There is a type of person who tends to get brainwashed.  Martial arts and fitness salesman from every discipline harness this laziness, or stupidity or gullibility or vulnerability.

Martial arts and fitness businessmen can be among the most unethical salesmen, so tied up in the scam that they don’t even know they’re lying anymore.  They know that people listen to authority figures, not for the validity of what they are saying, but for the authority figures’ authority.  That can come from many Ad-Hominem posits (look it up and know it, it may be the basis for your whole foundation of belief in the martial arts) – fight record, trained under so and so, owns large schools, or is simply just famous.  There are relations here, but no evidence to the person having any solid philosophies or the most basic sense of imparting knowledge.  It is simply a show that is being sold.  Maybe they’re like really good multi-level marketing gurus who abduct you with charisma.  Maybe it’s the black belt bait and switch.

Whatever it is, it is a sale on HERO WORSHIP.  Once a victim falls under a hero’s spell, he will believe whatever he is told.  He will pay for a hero’s dvd’s, bow, and brag about his hero.  He might even “work” at his hero’s dojo for free.  The scam can be as innocent and as vicious as any, but it’s still ubiquitous in martial arts.

Some of the most renowned martial artists – even decent ones in my book – use the hero worship thing to their advantage.  Some really well-rounded skeptical martial artists may even be susceptible to the con.  Perhaps they have trainers who tell great stories and show a different move, a different counter for another counter, every single day.  This sort of thing can be overwhelming and awe-inspiring; the kind of thing that may make a martial artist think “this teacher is the greatest fighter ever, he will kill anyone because he knows these moves.”  Bullshit, because the student never even had a chance to see his coach in a fight.  Bullshit, not because it is absolutely impossible, but because it is absolutely unproven.  Furthermore, with the understanding of how people learn, the teaching of a different move every day is the easy way out.  It is part of the hero worship con.  It’s a con because it doesn’t work in imparting knowledge to students, and it’s a con because it makes students think they are learning more than they are learning.  It’s a con because the money keeps on rolling-in.

This sort of thing is seen much less in boxing, mainly because there are few designations of authority, and title belts only become the next man’s drive to be better-than.  Boxing coaches tend not to partake and perpetuate the hero worship, but it happens.  Once, I demonstrated some hard punches for my boxers – they never see me throwing full tilt and I don’t get in the ring anymore due to some physical ailments – but they started talking about how amazingly I threw punches and how I’d kill other guys in the gym.  I quickly shot that idea down, because the last thing I wanted was a group of fighters starting the ball rolling on hero worship.  I may know more than any one of them, but I was no longer in shape to even go three rounds.  So let’s call it what it is.  Fighters like Mike Tyson had a specific kind of respect for Cus D’Amato, but it was something entirely different from hero worship (I’ll discuss this in another article).

But it does happen in boxing when fame and resume comes into play.  No one knows why Freddie Roach may be the best trainer, but he got the designation because he had the best fighters – someone new comes every year.  But anyone would get the best fighters if he had the opportunity to cherry-pick his talent while his gym floods with candidates to work with.  Still, no one on the election board, or whoever decides trainer of the year, actually knows who is the best trainer.  It’s subjective to the point of having almost no reference and no control group.  So perhaps the best way to tell who is the best is to see the grassroots production – how much do the fighters who go nowhere know?  That might be the most logical gauge, on the opposite end of the spectrum of hero worship.

Hero worship is a poor state of mind for any fighter.  The problem is the majority of martial arts coaches use it as a sales tool.  John Danaher gives pristine speeches that fool people, even unintentionally (but I don’t care), into thinking he is the be all guru of BJJ (he once stated his tactic of how to extract info from youtube and he used the ad hominem route, then reneged).  Some boxing guy self-proclaimed as the Mittologist does so, too, perhaps obliviously, through the use of the stupid moniker.  There are dumb people out there who will rather listen to a “Mittologist” than a boxing fanatic who studies this stuff 70 hours a week.  George Dillman famously harnesses hero worship through a complete hoax – you discern – of Chi or Ki.  He knocks down people without touching them, and says they must believe they will be knocked-down in order to feel the power.  People line up in droves to buy this stuff and topple over at his mere suggestion.  I once attended one of his martial arts seminars (before the Chi madness) where he was tapping people out with pressure point manipulation, and perhaps I was even then unsusceptible to the idiocy.  There is much more to the story – the a-hole yelling at me, my skeptical questions, etc.  But it ended with him lining people up as they tapped at his slightest touch.  I, however, let him dig his fingers deep into my arm joints to the point I thought the guy was going to have a heart attack before I finally tapped.  And I tapped from the general discomfort only after shadow-boxing a punch to his face and groin.  He let go and gave me a death stare.  I suppose that was when he was still a beginner with the Chi stuff, because I didn’t flinch.  George Dillman, what an embarrassing martial arts figure.  But this stuff can be seen in almost every other school or on Youtube where instructors fold their students in showy onslaughts of violent technique – the students just get thrown around and fake-punched, and the instructors sell it as “realistic encounters” as they puff their chests as though they were just in a fight.  It is as if they all believe their bullshit.

Students in any field tend to revere their teachers as they brown-nose with wide-eyed enthusiasm.  They tend to sheepishly patronize.  Traditional-martial-art-minded martial artists tend to tap quickly to moves and fall without resistance.  I’ve done it once or twice, too, but only for the reason to move on with the practice, but you will see students with the greater tendencies to hero-worship, lengthening their learning curve and perpetuating things being done wrong and even perpetuating lack of toughness.

Top mma guys often make themselves out to be pristine leaders in their fields, but that has always been part of the hoax and part of the intriguing beauty of martial arts.  They make lofty quotes and hold themselves high like celebrity gurus; but trainers should just be what they are: people with the time by which they have accumulated knowledge and who now have more time and impart continuing knowledge.  Along with talents, smarts, and fanaticism, coaches could help their fighters benefit to differing degrees.  But I ask them to please spare the pretentious mumbo jumbo and lofty quotes that may raise their appeal to naïve teenagers and uneducated alcoholics.  Realize that they continue to harness the effects of hero worship and brainwashing.  Any great teacher should strive to make someone born of the opposite mindset and impregnable to the like.

He’s usually called a fighter who wants to be the best.

Even better than his teacher.

Mittology – A Review

by Coach Al

I’ve borrowed some of Roger Mayweather’s mittwork for the live, conventional mittwork that I do. But by no means can I ever condone it solely to be proper mittwork. A New Jersey based trainer, Coach Rick, or his corny pseudonym, “The Mittologist,” sells this stuff on youtube and even has some $199 con for becoming certified in Mittology. Floyd Mayweather wannabes across the globe are following suit.

Say goodbye to the old-time art of live mittwork.

Mittwork nowadays across the US consists of guys throwing fast combinations of quarter punches with their hands held really low and little hip being used. The Mittologist is not the only one selling this. Coaches get into the set patterns and find that it’s the easiest way to take people’s money (I’ve heard that from a few coaches themselves). Because this Mittology, above all benefits (if any), is fun for most people – especially beginners. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be just a money maker and flashy, but after the set patterns are learned, this stuff is disgustingly easy – especially for the coaches.

First of all, the coaches don’t have to go through the grueling hard work of coaching distance, angles, and strategy when doing this Mittology stuff. There is no randomness, bumps, clinches, spins, getting hit, punching at the same time as blocking, and there are no options (you must move in the set patterns). Second, it is still exciting and fun, yet it has the incomparable variable of being safe. It’s like the TaeBo of mittwork – the people, even actual boxers, think they’re really getting authentic boxing mittwork, but they’re getting more of a workout as opposed to real moves and real education.

After having one vapid boxer of mine – one who came to me already brainwashed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. – actually purchase the Mittologist’s videos, I watched a few of them with an open mind (just on November 19, 2012). No doubt, I think the Mittologist guy probably knows better and is just making a business move on the sport, making videos that are virtual knockoffs of Roger Mayweather’s set patterns. This whoring is what I have a problem with. I can’t say that technical and detailed work isn’t done with fighters away from his mitts, but I am saying that this mittwork is brainwashing viewers into thinking that it’s “the secret to better boxing and coaching.” I’ve heard no mention that sparring and alternative work is essential. Not once did I hear mention that conventional mittwork is good to work into his routines. And it really gets on my nerves that there is a stupid certification that seems like anyone can buy. What governing body gave him the right to certify anyone? Can any coach make up some stupid gimmick and certify it? I have a number system that I created for communicating angles and head locations and punches; should I certify people who pay me? Where is the profession and years of understanding boxing inside and out that goes into the coaching? He calls it technical mittwork, but it is almost absolute in being the opposite of that. This is my issue with many youtube coaches. There are probably only 3 known ones that I can cosign. There are innumerable hacks on youtube, but at least some, even the non-boxers, don’t make up catchy names and rename boxing moves like this guy.  My point is that much of the sale of these videos gambles on people’s perceptions and their false correlations: they think Floyd Mayweather Jr. was successful doing this stuff, so they think this stuff must work the best. It is the classic idiot’s trap. It’s akin to an ad hominem argument – an argument made against an opponent, as opposed to an argument against the opponent’s argument. If I said Roger Mayweather sucks on the mitts, someone might retort that I don’t have the best fighter in the world, so I must be wrong. Such illogic are important factors to understand when deciding for or against this type of stuff. Many coaches I speak to agree with me, yet some of them are doing this mittwork because white-collar recreational boxers buy into this stuff.

The Mittologist claims that this mittwork instills fluidity and reaction. I contend that live mittwork does that and more. Live mittwork, on the other hand, doesn’t have the shortcomings of fake blocks and shoulder touches and quarter punches. When I do mittwork, I really punch at the fighters, and I really review the techniques and strategies. I have mittwork for opposite stances and for same stances. I mimic different fighting styles and throw punches in different ways. I often wear a body-shield so fighters can go to my body at will. I catch punches with the mitts on my head, too. My mittwork is comprehensive, not just aerobic. Fighters get to feel almost like they’re in a fight. I treat every boxer differently, and I feed the mitts differently to each of them. They, in turn, learn fluidity and reaction without the hoax. How is Mittology any better than this convention? How is Mittology any good, period? Is it like Karate’s Katas versus sparring. Do boxers even shadowbox the way they do this mittwork? Do they fight that way, too? The answer is an expletive and “no.”

I am knocking this stuff because I think its widespread appeal is based on gimmick and exploiting the ignorance of people who don’t know boxing. Perhaps the guys who do this know more than what the rote mittwork exhibits, but I am only going off on the mittwork itself. Check out the mittwork on the internet. The boxers often don’t protect their heads, they don’t turn their hips, and they don’t turn over their punches. They don’t even really roll or block punches. They aren’t even actually punching too much of the time. This doesn’t make all these mittwork routines necessarily wrong, but the fake stuff is a major part of the selling of this crap. The appeal is that it’s fast and non-stop; it looks cool to people who don’t know how easy it is. Manny Masson does a similar routine with Yuriorkis Gamboa, but the techniques are almost fully completed, thus the punches and movements are more realistic; this is much more difficult, although Masson also just touches Gamboa’s shoulders. And I question how random any of their stuff is, as well. When you watch live mittwork, you will see mistakes every round (e.g. missed counters, late moves, hesitations, and people getting touched with punches). Live mittwork is not based on set patterns and solely verbal queues. It’s live, physical, and cerebral, and you benefit from getting as close to sparring as you can while practicing detailed strategy and technique. Even the set patterns have their randomness as it’s mixed in with all the other work. Mittology seems to be just another workout drill, like bad double-end work in which guys don’t really throw complete punches and don’t move realistically.

When I argued with my ignorant boxer on how stupid I thought the patty-cake Mittology mittwork is, the young boxer even said to me, “If this mittwork is so bad, why is the Mittologist’s wife a golden gloves champ?” I told him to look up Logical Fallacies and then, only then, work on an informed opinion.

No matter what, I will never give him a behind the back mitt feed. I’d rather lose him to the grift.

The Jab vs. The Straight Lead of JKD

By Al Alvir

Having just read The Straight Lead by Teri Tom, I was compelled to write about “The Boxing Jab.”  The straight lead works as a more powerful jab than the boxing jab, and it indeed has more reach than the classic boxing jab.  The problem is that the straight lead serves no additional function from a ‘regular jab’ than to make up for its lack of power in the wrist (as the straight lead’s form is to not turn the wrist) with explosive hip rotation.  JKD people tend to overstate the effectiveness of hip rotation in the jab, simultaneously underestimating the effectiveness of shifting weight and the dynamics of not rotating the hip with the jab.

The boxing jab serves as a tool for measuring distance and for setting-up an opponent.  The boxing jab, too, has numerous contact spots (aka pop spots, meaning the point of snap (this is discussed in other articles on Shootafairone.com), as a fighter has the luxury to jab shooting his hip with various torques.  This is a bad habit, however, for an educated fighter, because he is giving away positioning and taking his 2 farther from his opponent.  Also, when a fighter shoots his hip for a jab, it’s wasted energy, as it complicates such a simple weapon.  If a fighter can be successful throwing a straight lead, I promise that it will only be situational and will not happen against a person with better attributes.  I, myself, used to train the straight lead and was effective with it when it was effective (I meant to state it that way), but I found that I was way out of position for intelligent onslaught after missing.  But as I always say, “test it.”

It’s just a jab, either way.  It’s likely not going to knock-out anyone worthy of fighting.  The reason jabs are so important and effective is that jabs can be thrown rapidly and at repetition without unwise commitment.

The biggest problem of JKD’s straight lead teachings is that the teachers often aren’t schooled, or simply don’t teach, the progression of functionality; in other words, they skip the education on all the functions of that lead hand.  One example is keeping that lead hand up as insurance for 2’s coming from the same stance (same lead).  Simply put, JKD men often complicate the functions of the lead hand.  This complication, or over-complication, coupled with trapping and kicking and groundwork, makes it a ridiculous testament to its absurdity.  I mean, a damn book on a single punch was written for an amalgam of students the world over who are at opposing ends of JKD practice, and from which the majority of the pool is no good.  My friend, Bryan Lamont, is a JKD coach – one of the few good ones – who criticizes the poor JKD concept guys as well as acknowledges that most traditional JKD guys as sloppy and “all over the place.”  He remains loyal to JKD, yet I see him stray as I think any good JKD man should.

The straight lead mumbo jumbo and the detailed stance to the deferential treatment of Bruce Lee’s “writings” are all akin to hero-worship and go against what I believe were Bruce Lee’s teachings which were to keep things simple and direct.  The Straight Lead, as every single JKD book I’ve ever come across, is all about teaching style cookie-cut to a whole flock.  When Tom “scientifically” talks about stance, she undermines the effectiveness of infinite stances.  Boxing coaching – like baseball batting coaching or any proven sport – is broken down into the most fundamentally simple functions, allowing for the individual to evolve from that foundation in a very personal way.  Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson to Roy Jones Jr. to Floyd Mayweather Jr. got their styles from that foundation.  In JKD, Bruce Lee made a horrible mistake, as he himself prophesized, by setting specific “rules” or a “way” on style by detailing “his style.”  (*Aside:  Teaching such a linear stance will handicap some people from evolving and finding their own styles, as it is a more difficult way to learn how to shoot hips, weaving, slipping, offense, and moving in angles. This may be better explained in a different article, but I digress…)

Now, I am not against the straight lead, as it is called here.  Great boxers do it all the time.  Floyd Mayweather Jr. does it, but many boxing men call it an “up-jab.”  It’s a sneaky way to fit the punch between a opponent’s guard, and to find him from a greater distance.  Many boxers practice it as a sort of uppercut with the palm up and the punch rising under the chin from jab distance.  I always dismiss that stuff as signature stuff not to be taught on a greater scale.  Furthermore, it is important to know the most basic way of jabbing effectively before progressing into jabbing from different body angles, shooting the hips, and throwing the jab away from the face (aka “Lead hand no man’s land”).  Turning the fist and not the hips will provide for the best distance finder and the most practical use of energy.

Even if a well-schooled fighter throws a straight lead, he will not throw the straight lead from a high guard.  And well-schooled fighters sometimes have to have a high guard.  He may have to jab down and without turning his fist, he cannot produce the snap behind the shoulder; the vertical fist would have to be thrown with all the triceps muscle.  On a smaller note, a jab covers a little less area with the vertical fist and doesn’t cut someone as easily – this common boxer contention, however, is not the major reason turning the fist is better.  Additionally, a Floyd Mayweather Jr. shell stance is the best proven stance to throw the straight lead, but it’s important for fighters to get that chin behind that shoulder.  Mike Tyson did his version of the straight lead, but his speed advantage and his size made it necessary at times to turn his hip so explosively.  Punching up also naturally protects a fighter on that side, as the shoulder blocks the chin.

JKD practitioners such as Teri Tom discuss science behind punching, as I have in some earlier articles, and she and I are on par with the science.  Bruce Lee said “several inches and snap,” and I say “2-4 inches and snap,” but the difference is arbitrary.  But Tom discusses the Impulse-Theorem and retraction, to which I contend the reason turning the fist is better (again, see my other articles on the science of punching).  Take the hip out of the equation, and anyone will see a little more pop with the turning of the fist.

The Straight Lead is a great conversation starter, but it’s filled with misleading information and points that are amiss.  If Tom knows what she is talking about, the semantics can be challenged.  The cookie-cutter science may seem to simplify, but that’s a fallacy.  There is nothing simpler than custom skills and honest, uber-personal evolution while maintaining what this book complicates:  basics.

After all, it is just a jab.

I can hear it already… Straight Lead zombies swearing that it is much more elaborate than that.

New York Daily News Golden Gloves 2012 Fight Log

A Sojourn In Doing Work

by Al Alvir

Walking out of St. Bernard’s Hall after the opening round of the 85th Annual New York Daily News Golden Gloves, I was struck with a feeling of anger.  Anger at amateur boxing scoring, and anger at ignorant spectators.  Friends, fans, and fake-friends can say whatever they want about what could have been done, but they don’t know what the camp knows about what was done.  No one else knows what went into that fight.  No one knows the discussions and the preparation.  To lose on the brink of victory was an agony that a fighter can be proud of while the misery weighs on his stomach alone.  Well, my stomach too.

My head even felt like it was ringing from some good shots, and I was only working the corner.

6 months ago, I invited my friend DJ Morrissey’s younger brother, Eric, to come train at my house gym.  He didn’t know anything about boxing.  He punched like a baseball player, but he moved like clay and he followed commands like a robot.  He convinced me that he wanted to absorb every nuance of boxing from the foundation up.  After a couple days, I instructed him to get comfortable throwing touches because boxing is a fine skill, not a toe to toe brawl.  He understood that he was not really a big guy, so I wanted him to box and move.  He was an average looking heavyweight, weighing in at 194 lbs., and I thought, “If I could get him to sit on those shots right, he could rock someone.  But can he be calm and take a punch?”  After two weeks of showing up on time, not flinching during mitt-work, and doing what he said he’d do, I considered that this kid might be a fighter.

I was used to years of guys who couldn’t remember to bring their hands back to their faces.  I knew Eric from some previous acquaintance, but he was another type of good, respectable, and respectful guy in my gym.  Sort of like a soldier.  He took boxing more serious than anyone else I’ve trained as a beginner.  I know he did his homework.  Other guys clearly lie.  When you come back and you don’t bring anything new to the gym like a new pop in a punch, a quicker step, or an extra round, a trainer questions you.  I tracked his punch output and the number of ab-work reps he did per round, and they increased every week.

Eric showed up every day.  He was on time.  He muscled through training and sweated faster and more than the regular guy.  I promised him, if he would just stay mentally strong, I’d guide him.  I welcomed him to test me, test my knowledge, in order for him to know that I was the real deal when it comes to the technical skills of boxing.  I wasn’t going to let him in that ring throwing punches “like an asshole,” as we vulgarly describe how it looks when guys with bad technique dare shadowbox in public.  He worked out with DJ and lapped his progress exponentially.  There were only one or two times Eric showed frustration unbecoming of a fighter.  I remember telling him that I was disappointed that he reacted like that.  I told him what I tell all my fighters, to “deal with it and keep going.  I’m right here.”  From that day on, Eric didn’t stop until he heard my command or heard that bell – even in the gym.  He had the look, dejected at himself, and he told me, “That’s my bad.  It’ll never happen again coach.”  I believed him.  He made me believe him.  He asked for a locker and retracted, “Actually, I know you want me to earn it.”

I have experience, so I figured this guy I outweighed by about 70 lbs. couldn’t hurt me.  I also knew that meant I couldn’t box my own overweight shadow for any serious fighting, but I asked Eric to move around with me for one round.  He didn’t hesitate to put on the gear.  I remember catching him with two decent shots and he didn’t “get retarded,” as we call it in the gym.  Eric didn’t turn his back or do some move we never practiced.  He didn’t even leave the pocket.  And he didn’t seem hesitant to punch me back.  The biggest thing I noticed was that he didn’t lose any cool in there.  I was so impressed; it’s hard to put something so subtle and intangible into words, but I just saw something in him; maybe it was just instinct.  The next day, I asked Eric if he wanted to sign a contract and make the New York Daily News Golden Gloves our goal – a lofty one at that.

He enthusiastically signed his life to me.

___________________________

My fighters go by a number system that I developed along with MotionFACT Fight Analysis – a software system I conceived many years ago and developed with Wilson Lee, engineer.  In it, every punch has a number.  Body-blows have numbers.  Head movement has a number to indicate location.  For communication purposes, we train cut-offs and pick-offs.  Everything is broken down into a system.  Even counter-punching and “punching while the other guy is punching” is tracked.  All boxing trainers do the strategy to varying extents, but it’s just my way of simplifying what needs to be done with fighters.  It sounds complicated, but it is ridiculously easier than drawn-out instructions.

Eric knew nothing about MotionFACT software, but he learned early what something like a “slip the 2-1-12-deep 3 spot-13-pivot” was.  In a regular boxing gym, that’s a whole lot of confusing jargon.  So, I think it helped Eric, as it does with other guys, shortening the learning curve.  Eric was a tough Irish kid who began moving like a greener version of John Duddy, pun unintended.  He didn’t turn his hips quite like I wanted.  He didn’t know how to get cute even shadowboxing.  And he wasn’t fluid like a dancer.  But in time, he learned how to pop his shoulders at different spots.  He understood the strategy and set-ups.  He approached boxing with the respect the science deserves.

I only wondered: does this kid have the heart I believe he will have?

Eric wasn’t a typical Floral Park kid.  He was “never a herb” as one of his close friends noted.  Unassuming is a clichéd way to describe fighters who don’t look the part, but Eric actually does look like a fighter to anyone who knows fighters.  In a crowd of annoying loudmouths and chest-puffing pussy-cats, one would be smart to assume that the guy who doesn’t have his hat cocked sideways eyeballing every guy who walks in the room is the fighter; that’s Eric.  Eric doesn’t do drugs but he was humble enough to be associated with self-described quasi-junkies.  Eric, not a street-kid by any estimation, seemed quietly confident in any situation even before becoming a fighter.  He’d fight anyone.

By many accounts, Eric was always just a good kid who didn’t get into problems unless DJ got him into one.  I see him as a Queens kid who didn’t suffer from the insecurities of a lot of adolescents who live on a border of two towns where two identities oppose each other, where idiotic youth have to prove they’re from the realer side.  As an adult with a Master’s degree in psychology, he proved to be someone who not only didn’t care how big the next guy was or where the next guy was from.  Eric never gave two shits about his own size or where he himself is from.  It’s just whatever.  That’s real.  So, I had a guy whose approach was so right that only two things changed outside of that phone booth ring (what we call my ring): his weight and abstinence from the occasional beer.  I was invested in the kid and he probably didn’t know it.  I began to care for Eric almost like a son; I thought, “Imagine when my real son fights.  I’m gonna be a mess, then.”  I wanted to do everything I could to make sure he realizes the achievement of being able to compete with someone who trains to take him out.  I thought, “I now have a 165 pound monster-to-be… with determination and discipline… we just gotta get some sparring and find that hunger?”

_________________________

When I was a kid who jumped from boxing gym to boxing gym, I used to say, “I’d drop out of high school if someone believed in me.”  It goes to show my lack of character that I needed someone else to validate me and see my potential, but it’s a great anecdote that precedes my work as a trainer.  I still don’t understand how those trainers didn’t see how devoted I could have been with the right guidance, and that’s what I want to offer any child or adult who I train.  I aim to offer guidance and to find something to believe in my fighters, even if it’s the most minor goal to someone else.  All I wanted in return was them doing work.  I give, they give.  I just don’t want my kids dropping out of school.  When I see a fighter who gives his time and commitment and his own motivation to the art, it makes me work harder.  It’s a bond maybe only the trainer feels.

_____________________________

I called about 30 boxing gyms in the five boroughs for sparring.  I got zero call-backs.  Zero.  Some guys I managed to speak with said they’d call me back.  It never happened.  I even followed-up to no avail.  Steve Gentile of Core Boxing in Howard Beach was my first success.  Steve was a great help for me, as he had one of his guys, Carl, spar Eric.  Eric felt the nerves of going to another gym.  Two new guys with little ring experience, but good training, managed to do good work.  Eric worked some planned moves that made me realize, just that night, that Eric is making some fast progress.  Another trainer would say it is premature, but I felt Eric could get better to at least win the first round of the Golden Gloves tournament.  Plus, the guys at Core Boxing were nice enough not to let Eric get beaten-up too bad.  He walked out with his chin down but his head high.  I owe thanks to Steve, Carl, and the other guys who offered the good work.

After that, training took off.  Eric was moving better every week.  He got his locker, and his confidence soared.  Yet I didn’t have to check his ego because he was humble.  Against a 201 pounder, Pierre, from Kingsway BC, Eric got bloody, as he was every other week, but he held his own.  DJ makes fun of Eric’s nose, bound to break but bloody with every breath.  “His nose bleeds when he sleeps,” DJ mocked him, along with other borderline anti-Semitic pokes.  Pierre surely had to hold back some, but the boxing was good on both sides.  Eric faced guys of various sizes.  The best day of sparring was also our low point of camp.  It was at the Westchester Boxing Club.  Nicky “Knuckles” Delury, a very knowledgeable boxing trainer, asked me to train some fighters at his gym.  I told Nick about Eric needing some more work, as he had hopes of going into the gloves, so we set-up a 5 round round-robin.  Eric had some medical issues that week, but I had a rule: no copping pleas and no missing sparring with other gyms.  I note that because I learned something from that experience – Eric could deal with adversity, even if it’s not just the tall, heavier, and more experienced guys on the other end.  Eric got his head-whipped.  He didn’t jab and he didn’t move his head.  He threw too few punches.  He kept looking for his shot, but didn’t control the pace and make his own openings.  The sparring seemed like a set-back, but it happens to everyone who boxes.  I knew Eric would never quit in the ring.  The scary thing was that I thought Eric was going to quit by the next week, with or without his medical condition which I will not disclose.  Thankfully, it actually made Eric work harder once he got better.  I discussed pulling Eric’s golden gloves plans, but we collaboratively decided that he’s going to have to spar a couple more guys and step up his work to get my approval.  He did that.  I had my concerns about winning, but I believed he would hold his own.  Eric knew I was behind him and he took the entry saying, “Let’s fuckin’ do it.  Whatever happens I’m going to fuckin’ win.”

A lot of blood, boogers, sweat and tears went into this camp.  Fight date was scheduled for February 1, 2012, at Mary Queen of Heaven – St. Bernard’s Hall in Brooklyn.

______________________________

I don’t claim to know more than any decent trainer, but I’ve had my hands taped before.  I’ve taped guys in the gym.  I’ve even pulled a mouthpiece out of a pro-fighter’s mouth in the corner at a sparring session.  Wow, that was a big deal, right?  And I’ve worked with fighters at all amateur levels and a couple of low-level pros.  But this was my first actual fight working the corner.  No, not standing in a corner shouting instructions.  My body-of-work, a boxer I developed from a blank canvas only 6 months ago, was on center-stage.  I was coolly nervous.  I had my tape ready to go, precisely counted pad and all.  Then Brian Adams, 3-time champ and golden gloves director, brings out three 10 yard rolls and tells me to use half a roll of tape.  “Eric’s the first fight,” he ran over and told me.  It threw off my taping science, but I acted cooler than I was.  I lined up little desks around me and started racing the other trainer to tape.  Eric probably heard me say, “There’s no rush,” thinking I was talking to him.  I was really talking to myself so I’d slow down.  I put my strips of tape all around the chairs.  I dried Eric’s damp palms and began working.  “It ain’t brain surgery, but it’s an extension of the brain to me.”

When Eric put on those gloves, he seemed tentative and uneasy.  I told him no lies – I always say it how it is.  “Man, you did the work.  You have a better education than these guys.”  I said in my usual confidence.  “But this could be the hardest day of your life.  I believe in you.”

As Eric continued to hop around, I noticed a room full of fighters and veteran trainers just watching us in the middle of this warm-up room that was actually an elementary classroom.  I whispered to Eric, “Let them shits go.”  If he can shadowbox confidently in front of these guys, he can let it go in the ring.  I stood in front of him and let him punch me in the shoulder and chest.  He looked like he was in the zone, but he didn’t let his punches go right away.  It reminded me of Westchester.  So, I looked him in the eye and broke the ice.  I started shadowboxing with him and he snapped a few punches at my chest and almost punched my shoulder out of its socket.  It was a most relieving pain; Eric is mean today.

_____________________________

Eric and I have become friends.  I’m the senior-most of our group, and boxing is the focal point of all of our new friendships.  I hope my son becomes a fighter.  Even he comes downstairs and knows that “daddy is not the fighter.”  I’m like no one in my own gym, a guy with a quarter century of information on fighting, but too absorbed in boxing to absorb in myself.  Yes, I’m the boss.  But when guys like Eric come around, or “become,” I find myself admiring them.  I once wrote this poem that puts it well:

“Men adore fighters, the purest of whom must get up. We fall in love, the closest thing to a love for a comrade, when we witness even a stranger traversing through the blood and sweat straining his mind to find an angle, omitting emotion, deferring affliction, and battling back from the very position where he birthed his wounds… On ground that bares no advantage at any moment, but of will and skill.  And as he appears to be beaten, men of all applaud him, their eyes embrace their tears, in victory or loss.”

It’s we to me when Eric bodies this kid.  It’s we to me if anything bad happens to Eric, but I don’t foresee that at all.  The hard work is his.  The glory will, too, be his.

_______________________

In the moment, I only hear some jerk cheering on the other kid’s jab. He was one of the trainers who sat in the back room while Eric warmed up.  “That kid doesn’t hear you,” I wanted to say. “But I can’t hear myself because you’re sitting here rooting for the blue corner.  My kid is gonna whip on yours.”  Eric did appear stiff, but he used his good footwork to move in and out.  The other kid was strong, but Eric was tough and smart with better technique.  We were doing well, but the other kid hit him with some thudding, clean blows.  “Not the right pop to stun E’s chin.  He can’t turn his punches over too well,” I said to DJ (the other second in our corner). “E’s gonna get this kid.”

After round 1, I looked at Eric’s face.  I will never forget that look.  It was a winner’s look.  “Oh, man, this motherfucker’s mine,” Eric told me.  I usually advise my fighters in sparring to do at least one specific thing.  I find it helps all fighters.  But Eric is a thinker, and I didn’t want him thinking any more than he naturally does.  So, I smiled and said, “I know this kid can’t hurt you.  And he’s acting hurt all over. He don’t want a fight.  Let’s step up the activity, let the 1’s go.”

Round 2, the crowd was all Eric.  People tend to not like the guy who runs.  Eric did exactly what we trained.  Not enough head movement, but he “stalked and moved.” He threw big shots and it appeared to everyone that the other guy was hurt on several occasions.  I could hear the crowd as it grew in favor of Eric.  The other kid was good, but I like my fighter.  Just a bit more output and we could win this.  At the bell, DJ said, “It’s close.”  I went into the ring and I let Eric hear me give a little laugh.  I wanted him to know I was confident in him.

“Eric, you’re the better man.   It’s close, but the kid is punching more.  You’re walking through it and the kid keeps looking hurt.  You gotta let it go.  You hear these people?”

Eric looked me in the eyes.

I bent up and spoke through the side of the headgear.  “They fuckin fell in love with you.  Your family loves you.  Everyone is loving you right now, kid.  Let’s give them what they want and make them love you more.  Let’s go for ours.  This is it, son.”

“2 minutes?” Eric asked while he was still very focused.

“Knock this muhfucka out.”

“2 minutes. Let’s go!”

I put the mouthpiece back into his mouth properly. “I luh you, kid.”

Round 3, I felt like I was gonna drop the guy in blue.  I felt like I needed one more punch to the body and he would go.  Punches were whipping from all angles.  The kid was reeling back.  Every punch Eric threw, I felt was mine.  I heard the guy behind me and he changed his favorite.  Eric was stalking and stalking.  He was bleeding, of course.  Eric then gets hit with a straight shot and continued stalking the other kid, and the referee jumped in and called a standing 8.  The crowd went crazy, booing.  The guy behind me started yelling at the referee.  But I know USA Boxing, and those bad referee calls are so common.  I believe the referee was looking for a way to have the doctor look at Eric’s nose, but the pace was so hectic.  The nose was fine and we knew it.  Eric just bleeds.  Eric continued pressing the fight and making the pace.  At the bell, Eric walked over to the other corner and congratulated them for a good fight.  I thought there was a chance Eric got the nod, but that is probably just bias.  The other kid was good and deserving of the win.  All my respect goes out to him.

On the way back to the makeshift locker room, the classroom, that guy who sat behind me stopped me and asked me, “Do you guys train out of Gleason’s?”  Still focused on the fight, looking down at my bloody towel, I replied, “No, unattached, but I have a gym, Eastern Queens BC, not yet registered.”  He shook his head, “Man, you guys did great. Tough call.” I bumped fists with him and thanked him.  A few other people said that they thought Eric won it. “At least if it were a professional fight,” one guy added.

As a trainer, I found that you learn who your friends are and you learn who the people are who don’t know boxing.  You also learn who is not on your side.  When you take on such a challenge in life, some of your closest people may wish you the worst, haters wishing failure on people doing things they only wish they had the courage to do.  No one knows what we expected and if we met our goal for being in this tournament, so when anyone in our association said Eric did “okay,” I am really bothered.  He did amazingly.  He was a warrior.  You have no respect for the sport if you don’t realize that I in no way taught him to be tough.  And this is why I only respect fighters and people directly involved with fighters.  Still, no one knows what Eric went through to make it those 8 minutes.  No one knows what he was feeling.

_________________________________

I came home from the fight and took my son, Mason, to the gym to play.  I spent an hour staring at him jumping around the ring, making sure he didn’t do anything crazy while I was rerunning in my head what I could have done differently to help Eric to have taken a victory.  Maybe if I had waited till next year?

I watched Mason put on headgear that covered his whole face because his toddler head didn’t fit into it yet.  He couldn’t see, and he made a cry.  In a somber tone, I led him with my common mantra, “Whateva, don’t be a bitch.  Deal wit it.  I’m right here.”

My fighters know I’m with them every step and slide, too.  If I don’t like you, I don’t train you.  My fighters should be certain that I would never let them get into something that they couldn’t walk out of proud, that they couldn’t do what they set out to do.  The only uncertainty we all have is if next year ever comes.

Considering Eric Morrissey’s camp and the heart he bore in the ring in that finale, we all should be proud.  Now.

* Thank you to Nick Delury and the whole Westchester BC, Steve Gentile and the whole Core BC, and Kimera MMA.  DJ, Eric’s brother, also deserves credit for his support.

2015 New York Daily News Golden Gloves News Feed

February 10, 2015 from the Pacplex in Brooklyn

The following is a funny breakdown of the last few fights yesterday.  This is not journalism, but I got an email from a boxer who broke down the last of the 165 novices.  It’s classic.

“Bout 9:

Armenian got his ass handed to him. Great fight. The dude from Ardon was nice and beat his ass. Won each round. The armenian looked like a semi juice monkey. Went all 3 rounds and the win announced by decision

Bout 10:

Gleasons dude suckeddddd so bad. Dude from atlas won 2nd round knockout

Bout 11:

Starrett dude led the rounds. Good body shots and put gleasons douche in corners a few times throwing non stop punches. Put gleasons in the trash place it is and reminded everyone how wack that gym is and what a JOKE. 3 rounds, Starrett won by decision”

Thanks Anaid.

The 2015 Golden Gloves kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, January 28th at BB King’s.  Stay tuned to our news feed……..

archives:

2013 New York Daily News Golden Gloves News Feed

Finals News provided by 2013 Golden Gloves Quarter-Finalist Boxer, Eric Morrissey Fight 1 (201 Novice):  The novice class heavyweights got the night started for the 2013 NY Daily News Golden Gloves Finals.  Both Devaughn Greenwood (Judah Bros BC) in the gold corner and Joel Paul (Gleason’s Gym) in the blue corner came out swinging at the sound of the bell.  It was apparent early on in the bout that this matchup would not be a display of technical boxing skill, but a slugfest.  At the end of the first round neither fighter appeared to have a distinct advantage.  Greenwood and Paul showed signs of fatigue in the second round and their punch outputs suffered.  By the third Greenwood was in control, utilizing head movement and more accurate punching, culminating in a decision victory and the first golden glove of the night. Fight 2 (106 Women): The second bout of the evening featured the 106 lb. women.  Neena Ajwani in the gold corner representing Mendez BC and Jeanette Gonzalez in the blue corner representing Kingsway BC appeared poised for action.  Ajwani came out of her corner dancing and throwing the jab while Gonzalez stalked and threw combinations when she was able to close distance.  In the second round Ajwani resorted to switching stances ineffectively and loading up with her right hand.  Although she got caught a few times with her hands low, Gonzalez scored consistently in the second with more effective boxing.  There was little engagement in the third round with both fighters pumping out short, non-committal jabs.  Ajwani and Gonzalez stepped up the action in the fourth and final round.  Ajwani, seeming to sense she was trailing on the scorecards threw each punch with bad intentions, but struggled to land.  Gonzalez countered Ajwani’s aggressiveness with dynamic combinations.  At the end Gonzalez wins the decision and the Golden Glove with more active hands. Fight 3 (123 Open):  With the first controversial decision of the evening, Jaime Estrada of Newburgh BC (gold corner) edged Wilfredo Morales of Mendez BC (blue corner).  Morales controlled distance and pace in the first two rounds by pumping his jab, moving his feet and landing tight hooks and uppercuts.  Estrada’s continued pressure fighting eventually paid off in the third round as he landed several clean right hands that kept Morales backing up and hesitant to engage.  The judges appeared to favor the pocket-fighting style of Estrada over Morales the runner, yielding Estrada the decision. Fight 4 (152 Women):  In the second women’s bout of the evening, Nisa Rodriguez of Mendez BC (gold corner) utilized patience and experience to capture another Golden Glove over unattached Jennifer Ignotz.  Ignotz started strong, moving in and out with a 1-2 as Rodriguez stalked her opponent.  The tide shifted in round 3 as Rodriguez took control of the ring and Ignotz appeared to tire and over-extended herself.  The 4th round was all Rodriguez as she found her range and scored two standing eight counts, sealing her victory. Fight 5 (152 Open):  These boys came to fight.  Jose DelaRosa of Atlas Cops N Kids (blue corner) exploded out of his corner throwing body shots with bad intentions.  It was clear early on that DelaRosa was a brawler and his opponent Peter Dobson also of Atlas Cops N Kids (gold corner) the better boxer.  Despite this Dobson was willing to play to his counterparts strength, stand in the pocket and trade with DelaRosa through all three rounds.  A bloodied but not beaten DelaRosa gets his hand raised in a tough decision. Fight 6 (165 Women):  Alicia Napoleon of Mendez BC (gold corner) steamrolled Krystal Correa of Yonkers YMCA (blue corner) earning the victory with a Referee Stopped Contest in the 2nd round.  Napoleon landed jabs and power punches at will as Correa plodded her way around the ring.

“Blood” E. Morrissey’s 2013 Sojourn by A. O’Toole with Al Alvir

This year at the New York Daily News Golden Gloves, shootafairone.com covers the 165 lb. novice class solely, in the corner of Eric Morrissey out of Eastern Queens Boxing Club. Opening night of the class took place at Judah Brothers BC.  Eric Morrissey faced unattached Joe Adames out of the event’s neighborhood of East New York, Brooklyn.  Eric had improved since the year before and was ready.  Adames was a tough but unschooled lefty who Eric felt like he could walk through, but instead took a 5-0 Decision.  Eric showed the class that he had an almost “open class” style and surely a seasoned boxing education. The second round of the Daily News Golden Gloves was held at Morris Park BC.  Morrissey faced off against opening night’s closer and one of the field’s favorites, Brandon Parris of Kingsway BC and a defector of Judah Brothers BC.  Eric outpunched and won with his hands up, blocking punches from the slick but sloppy lefty.  Parris’s coach was loud and sore from the 3-2 loss.  One spectator said, “Maybe Parris should jump ship from [Parris’s trainer] now.” Eric Morrissey’s Golden Gloves Quarter-Finals berth showcased a bout against the field’s most decorated novice, Henry Beckford.  Beckford was a Junior Olympian and another slick lefty facing Morrissey.  The bout was one-sided as Beckford kept his 6″1′ range as the referee stopped the contest from some phantom punch in the middle of the 3rd round.  Eric Morrissey, 30, unhurt, said he’s going to get back in the gym, work on more pressure fighting, and look forward to 2014 — even if it’s in the second best Golden Gloves tournament, The Chicago gloves.  He made the final 8 of a field of 61. (Below is coverage from the 2012 New York Daily News Golden Gloves)

January 26, 2012

by DJ Morrissey The 152 pound novice class of the Daily News Golden Gloves provided plenty of action  at the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square, Long Island on this rainy and dreary Thursday night.  The night featured several high quality, technically sound bouts for the boxing aficionado as well as some defenseless brawling for the more casual fan.  Now on to some analysis of the fights.  Danny  Cancelleri (Unattached) overwhelmed Jalil Talemaque in the second bout of the evening until the ref called an end to the action in the second round giving Cancelleri a TKO win.  The smooth Cancelleri used his jab early on in the first round to feel-out his opponent and find openings which he exploited later.  The victor’s skills became evident as the fight progressed as Cancelleri worked different angles to present a problem that Telamaque could not answer. David Tirado (Suffolk PAL) and Kwesi Baird (K2 BC) brought plenty of crowd pleasing action to the ring in the 4th bout of the evening.  The fighters traded shots from the opening bell to the end of the 3rd round which kept the crowd buzzing.  Tirado, a lefty presented a problem early on for Baird as he controlled the action and the pace of the bout.  With Tirado dictating the action Baird needed a difference maker and he found one in the second round with a big right hand that rocked Tirado and allowed Baird a offensive flurry of his own; in the end though Baird had no defense for Tirado’s straight left hand and he walked away victorious in an action, packed, crowd pleasing tilt. Lefty, John Acosido (Unattached) dominated Rashaud Bobian (New Legends) with an impressive display of perhaps the best boxing skills displayed on the evening.  Controlling the action from the opening bell the smooth Ascoido, whom the crowd affectionately started calling Pac-Man due to his strikingly similar mannerisms in the ring, used his jab to control the distance and pace early on in the fight and work his way inside for combinations. The robotic Bobain valiantly attempted some offense of his own but Acosido’s superior footwork and head movement proved too much for his opponent. In the Shootafairone.com Fight of The Night, Garinchard Sainevil  (Freeport PAL) and Benjamin Baez (Unattached) put on a display of skills and brawling that had everybody in the crowd on the edge of their seats.  Sainevil dictated the action early as he used a stiff jab to control the distance and keep the rabid Baez at bay. Angling away from Baez’s right hand, Sainevil loopy left hook became crisper as the round wore on and began catching Baez’s despite his solid defensive skills. When the bell rang for the second round both fighters came out swinging early and traded several shots early on. Sainevil, who employed the stick and move tactic which took Baez off his game, mysteriously decided to play into Baez’s hands and fight inside as both fighters began to trade body shots.  Sainevil was playing right into his adversary’s hands, literally.  As the action continued on the inside, Baez began landing vicious uppercuts on Sainevil. This trend continued throughout the third round as Baez became and uppercut machine, landing them from both the left and right hands on his way to victory and leaving many to wonder why Sainevil decided to fight Baez on the inside, especially with the success he had early on using his job and footwork to stay away from Baez and his devastating inside fighting. Other Results Sirojiddin Bazarov (Unattached) over Keion James (Unattached Kalan Smith (Unattached) over Roberto Vegas (Veteran’s Memorial) Gregory Thomas (Unattached) over Igor Huic (Gleason’s Gym) Redinson Reyes (Unattached) over Khari Turner (Atlas Cops N Kids) Damien Bailey (Tiger Schulman) over Robert Maloney (Unattached) Fight of The Night Benjamin Baez (Unattached) over Garinchard Sainevil Fighter of The Night John Acosido (Unattached)  

Opening Night

The 85th annual NY Daily News Golden Gloves opened up Thursday night at the world famous B.B. King Blues Club and Grill to a packed house filled with boxing faithful, celebrities and boxing royalty alike.  The seven fight card featured the 141 pound Woman’s division and the 201+ pound Open Men’s Division.  Elija Thomas of Willis Ave BC outboxed Malla Fountin of Main Street BC with his superior footwork in the first superheavyweight slugfest of the night.  Klitschko look alike, Wielaw Zagaja, outpointed Michael Cserenyi of Veterans Memorial in a highly competitive fight of the night candidate. The decision was controversial as many in the crowd disputed the judges’ score cards and felt Cserenyi deserved to have his hand raised as the victor.  Eugene Russell of Kingsway BC looked impressive against Dwayne July of Main Street BC as he used his stiff left jab and an abundance of body work to control July and keep him on the ropes until the ref called a halt to the action at 2:56 of the second round.  In the best woman’s 141 pound fight and another fight of the night candidate, Tiffany Chen took on Michelle Herzi of Main Street BC in a highly entertaining bout.  Chen and Herzi traded blows for three rounds, throwing everything but a proper punch or anything resembling defense and fundamentals, as Chen bested Herzi on the judges’ cards by landing more of her wild shots than those of her game opponent.

Other Results

Alexandria Williams- Freeport PAL over Lyiesha Warner- TKO RD 1

Christella Cepeda- Yonkers YMCA over Claire Huntington- Mendez BC- TKO Rd 1

Amanda Wang- Mendez BC over Latesha Warner- KO RD 1

Fight Of The Night

Tiffany Chen vs Michelle Herzi

Fighter Of The Night

Eugene Russell- Kingsway BC