2000-01-22 / Front Page

Local Fights For A Dream


By John McLoughlin

Let's get ready to rumble! Those magic words excite boxing audiences around the globe. For Max Daguizan, the excitement of boxing is one that is very personal. The 19 year old Far Rockaway resident has spent more than five years in the boxing ring, accumulating wins and learning much about life and himself.

Growing up in the Beach 41 Street Houses with his parents and six siblings, Daguizan had an interest in boxing at a young age. Often he would play-box with his friends in front of his building, but a true passion for the sport grew when his brother began boxing at the New Bed-Sty Boxing Center. After begging his brother on numerous occasions to take him to the gym, Daguizan, at age 14, finally had an opportunity to show off his talent.

Initially Daguizan trained hard because "I wanted to show my brother I could be good." But it didn't take too long before boxing got into the blood of Daguizan. After school he would train two hours a day, six days a week.

In 1998 the 119-pound Daguizan entered his first match. He competed for the novice title in the New York City Golden Gloves tournament and won. That was followed by a win in the Empire State Games and a silver medal in the Upstate Empire Games.

His first national tournament was a few months later in Colorado Springs. Daguizan recalls being nervous, having only fought in five matches. Most of the other contenders had experience in excess of 30 fights. But, Daguizan was determined and left that tournament with a silver medal.

Daguizan won the 1998 Metro Tournament and went on to the regionals, where he lost in the semifinals. The winning streak ended for Daguizan, which impacted the fighter. He decided to not compete in the 1999 Golden Gloves and stopped boxing for four months.

"Boxing is a very emotional sport…far beyond the punches," Daguizan said. "You have to keep a focused mind….it {boxing} could eat you up alive."

Daguizan missed the sport and went back to compete in the 1999 Metro Tournament, where he faced tough fights but came out victorious. With this win under his belt, he headed to the regionals once again. He was looking for a rematch with the boxer who beat him in 1998, but that boxer was disqualified earlier on in the tournament. Daguizan went on to win the regionals and was now positioned to try for a spot in the summer Olympics.

He returned to Colorado Springs earlier this month to compete in the U.S. Championships, which would have led to the Olympic trials. He lost, but didn't take it as a failure. "I'm proud of myself," said Daguizan. "I competed with the best…some people would have loved to be in my position. I'm not giving up."

And that's the fighting spirit that makes Daguizan a successful boxer, a successful young man, and keeps his focus on the future. He has his eyes on the Golden Gloves for the open class title, which will put him against boxers who've been in the ring for years.

As he continues to train at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, Daguizan can't help but thank his trainer, Harry Kiett, and the "Far Rockaway residents who supported me from day one."

Turning pro, which according to Daguizan, "Requires the right people to sign you up," is a goal, but Daguizan is also pursuing a career in the music business, specifically in R&B and hip-hop. He presently is sending out demos, hoping to get a break in the near future.

As for Rockaway kids who want to get into boxing, Daguizan recommends to go to the library and take out books on the sport, watch competitions, and never stop believing in the possibilities. It was Daquizan's belief in the possibilities that has allowed him to rumble in the ring of life.


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