Local Fighters Seasoning Their Punches

For many amateur boxers, Christmastime means hard workouts.

The snow starts to fly, temperatures drop and many an amateur boxer seeks the shelter of a cozy gym to begin training for the .

, a 20-year-old Carol Stream resident and a member of in , plans on fighting in the open division in March and wants to win it all. 

He was eager to spar six rounds Sunday at the . DeCore missed last spring’s tournament because he injured his hand. But his hand is not a problem anymore. He’s working on regaining his wind and his strength.

“I’ll be sparring 15 rounds by next week,” DeCore said. He went six rounds Sunday.

Two other members of Pug’s — Chris Hill and Jimmy Gustafson — also plan on entering the tournament as novice fighters.

. Gustafson is a 16-year-old student at Jacobs High School.

“Fighters have to start training now if they want to compete in the Golden Gloves,” Gary Dobry said. “You can’t put off your training until after Christmas. There isn’t enough time. You’ve got to be in here sparring every day if you want to get into shape and win.”

Dobry said winning an open division title belt qualifies an amateur boxer for the national tournament, which could lead to a chance at making the U.S. Boxing Team or the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.

Dobry said his boxers are doing high-intensity interval training and dozens of rounds of sparring every week.

At the other boxing club in Crystal Lake ...

Down the street at the Mango Boxing Club, less than a mile from the School of Hard Knocks, about a dozen from that gym are planning on signing up for the Golden Gloves, including Justin Seeberger, who won this year's 125-pound senior novice title.

Doug Mango, the head coach, said Seeberger is coming off hip surgery, but he was confident last year’s champ would be ready in March.


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