hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

Sports

March 20, 2013

They're beating the odds

With no gym of their own, city fighters still winning bouts

Angel Tricoche weighs only 78 pounds, but he packs quite a punch.

So does Jadiel Gonzalez, who weighs 90 pounds.

As the old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’’

And some good, old-fashioned boxing training doesn’t hurt. In fact, it’s necessary.

Angel, 11, Jadiel, 13, and other young members of the now-closed Haverhill Boxing Club are keeping up their training — often outside in the cold, usually late in the day. On a good day, someone cuts them a break and lets them train in the corners of gyms in Lawrence for a few hours.

They lost their gym in November. The Haverhill Boxing club moved out of the old St. Michael’s Church on High Street due to financial problems and has been looking for a new home since. But the club’s trainers continue working with the boxers, not only to teach them the sweet science of fighting, but to keep them off the streets and instill discipline and other good habits in them.

Despite the odds, it’s working. The young boxers are winning more fights than they lose.

Jadiel has six wins and only one loss. Angel brought home a gold medal this month. He won it March 2 at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival Boxing Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, where he defeated Staten Island, N.Y.’s Ujkan Bujupi,12, in the finals.

In New York, earlier this year, 15-year-old Isaiah Colon of Haverhill 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 Berlanga, who has seven years in the ring with 96 wins and 11 losses. Isaiah lost, but if he had won, he would have advanced to the national championships in Independence, Missouri.

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