EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

January 9, 2013

Young boxers fight for a place to call home

Believe a regular place to train would help them win

(Continued)

He said the other places club organizers have looked at are too expensive. The club has offers for temporary space, but because every training session would involve set up time and then dismantling of their equipment, the boxers and their supporters need a regular place to call home.

“People have helped us out, but we can’t keep going back again and again, interrupting other gyms,” Ferguson said. “And our guys need a place they can depend on and call home, too. It’s hard for them going into another gym that they know is temporary. It’s unsettling.’’

Haverhill’s two best junior level boxers, 15-year-old Isaiah Colon and 13-year-old Jadiel Gonzalez, both Junior Olympic Silver Gloves boxers, lost their regional matches in Oneonta, N.Y., on Saturday.

Isaiah fought New York champion Edgar Berlanga in the 156-pound category. Isaiah, with four wins and three losses, put his one-year’s experience up against the New York fighter, who has seven years in the ring with 96 wins and 11 losses to his credit.

Jadiel, also with one year’s experience, fights in the 90-pound category. He has six wins and one loss and lost to to David Dancil Jr., who has more time in the ring with 19 wins and nine losses.

If either of Haverhill’s young fighters had won, he would have advanced to the national championships in Independence, Missouri.

To train the Haverhill boxers, Ferguson works with three other volunteer coaches — Joe Calnan, Angel Tricoche and Juan Morales. The organization’s mailing address is: Haverhill Inner City Boxing, P.O. Box 1104, Haverhill, 01831. The phone number is 978-914-2116.

Ferguson and Calnan held a tag day just before Christmas and raised $1,000. They used it to finance the trip to the regionals last weekend.

Haverhill once had an established boxing culture and Ferguson and Calnan want to return to those days. But they want their club members to develop more than boxing skills.

“We’re looking to do more than turn out boxers,’’ Ferguson said. “We want our new organization to offer academic tutoring and encourage community service in the club members. If the boxers fall behind in school, they lose time in the club.”

Friday night the club takes its Golden Gloves level boxers, those 16½ years and older, to the New England Golden Gloves in Lowell to try for a spot in a regional competition.

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