Somerville Boxing Fight For Your Future.
- Andrew Rivera
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
- Mazac Gambardella
- Keith Conway
- Perez Campusano
- Alex Rivera
James has been a member of SBC for a little over a year, joining to get in better shape and to create new, healthy routines for himself as a foundation for his recovery. The 25 year old, South Medford native first tried boxing as a kid. He then played football in highschool, but some unfortunate choices began to sidetrack his success. Now, with the environment and training available at the club, he's proud of the progress he's made both in and out of the ring.
James currently has four amateur fights to his credit, and he's looking forward to adding more in the future. In addition to spending time at the club, he's giving back to his community and giving others the information and insight they need to make good choices in their lives. He's added public speaking to his list of accomplishments, including speaking with students as part of the grassroots organization Medford Overcoming Addiction.
For those in recovery or yet to enter recovery, James encourages routine, exercise, and social activity- all components of his own foundation for recovery, and needs amply met by the Somerville Boxing Club. "It's great for stability," he says of the routine of hitting the gym and the development involved in becoming a boxer. "If you have anger issues, or addiction- it keeps your mind focused on one thing."
Now James is focusing his own life on the future, including getting back to full-time employment, more success in the boxing ring, and the added success of helping others overcome their struggles.
Fran Hennessey has been a member of the Somerville Boxing Club for over three years. Introduced to Stoney through mutual friends, Fran came to the club looking to help others and make a difference in the lives of the kids who came to the club. "I love helping out the kids." Though Fran didn't come from a boxing background, he found many ways to contribute his time and enthusiasm to the club. In return, he found great friends, and the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.
"It's a great sport," he says of boxing, "and the best conditioning you can get." Though he wasn't a boxer when he started, it's all the same to the members of SBC. Fran's arrival at the club, like all members, is always met with a wave, a handshake, or an update on what's going on in the ring that day. "They've accepted me," he says, lighting up with a smile. "I've learned a lot here, and I help out where I can."
What impresses Fran most about life at the club is the effect it's having on members. "Some of the success stories- it's unbelievable the turnaround in some of our members." He immediately thinks of club member Anthony (link this). "Anthony was heavy, very insecure. He wouldn't look you in the eye. [Now] he's a gentleman. What a change in him. I think he's one of the best stories down here." Fran laughs, a big, proud guffaw, "Ask his mother! She loves that he comes down here. It's a way of life, and he doesn't miss a day."
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
A longtime boxing enthusiast and active club member, boxing for Darren is a way of life, and a family affair. "My whole family does it." His cousin, a pro boxer, is training for a fight in Puerto Rico at the time of interview. The excitement for Darren comes from both his family history in the ring, and his love for the club that has fostered his talent and given him a place to train, pitch in, and decompress.
"It's a place you can go to let go of some steam," He says. " I've been around boxing for a long time. I wouldn't know life without boxing." Both a member and a volunteer, Darren sees the potential for both the sport and the club to change young lives. "It brings kids a way to channel their energy into something positive. It teaches them discipline too. It's a place where you can grow." He stresses that, no matter what members are looking for, they can find their comfort zone here. Whether just training and conditioning for health, or to hone their skills for bouts in the ring, you'll find the right atmosphere and training here. "You can come and train and get some fights if you're interested in fighting." Even for those not drawn to the boxing ring, the conditioning, the positive environment, and support provided by SBC make it a great avenue for kids and adults looking to make positive change in their health and their daily lives.
As for Darren, he has his eye on the prize. A former New England Golden Gloves champion, he's eager to get back in the ring after taking a year off for other pursuits. "I want to get a title under my belt, and this is the place to do it. It's changing a lot of people's lives."
- Isander Beauchamp
- Cully Curran
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.
- Jalam Garcia
- Joey G
In the year that Richie Jones has been a member of Somerville Boxing Club, many facets of his life have undergone a transformation. The 28 year old boxer began his training at the YMCA Cambridge with his cousin and younger brother. After showing professional promise in the ring, he was introduced to Stoney with the hopes that the boxing veteran and mentor could take Richie all the way to pro.
Richie was not always on the trajectory toward success. Several run-ins with the law and association with gang activity landed Richie in juvenile detention. After a move introduced him to a different crowd, he left the gang life, but drug-related charges landed him in South Bay Correctional for two years. He realized then, it was time for a change.
Richie got out of South Bay, and dedicated his life to being better. He started boxing, and came to Somerville Boxing Club as a way to hone his skills, occupy his time, and improve his life overall. Boxing has greatly improved his health- he no longer drinks or smokes - but the real transformation has taken place in the way he interacts with the world around him. "I used to walk the streets and pick fights just to see if I could win them. It's ten times better to feel positive about yourself."
Now Richie is encouraging others to take the same path. He invites friends to the club, selling them on the low-pressure environment and friendly atmosphere in the club. "Want to come work out, want to get in shape?" He asks. So far, two friends have taken him up on the offer of free training, a safe place to hang, and the chance to learn more about the sweet science.
Richie's future has promise. While he's currently looking for work with the union, his real goal is clear. "I want to go pro.
- Nicki "Smiles" Colecca
If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.
- Tom Gorman
- Danny J
- JD Debski
- Rashidi Ellis