2004-03-26 / Sports

Golden Gloves Champ To Jump Into Pro Ring

By Tommy Hallissey
Golden Gloves Champ To Jump Into Pro Ring By Tommy Hallissey

A decorated Far Rockaway amateur boxer has his sight set on a professional career.

After nearly qualifying for the Olympics in 2000, Max Daguizan, a 23-year-old bantamweight boxer, spent the last four years on hiatus due to personal problems. This January, Daguizan returned to the ring to regain the Golden Gloves championship. The loss of a close decision in the quarterfinals marked Daguizan’s last amateur bout. He finished with a record of 16-3. In a few months, Daguizan will return to the ring as a professional.

Daguizan boxing career began at the tender age of 16, in part, because of the influence of his older brother Billy, a trainer at Bed Stuy Boxing Center. "I was always interested because of the science and the craftsmanship of [boxing]," said Daguizan. As Daguizan grew older, he became more serious about boxing, constantly training and sparring.

By 1998, Daguizan was in top form, and it showed in his best amateur year. That year he won both the Gold en Gloves championship and the Em pire State Games. In the Everlast Under-19 National Championships, Daguizan took home a silver medal.

But the U.S. Championships in Colorado Spring would be Daguizan’s last fight for the next four years. After the tournament, Daguizan felt his head wasn’t in the ring and hung up his gloves. "If your mind’s not set, and your mind’s not right, I wouldn’t suggest anyone getting into the ring," said Daguizan.

During all that time off, Daguizan never forgot his love for boxing. He continued to shadowbox while watching fights on television. The hunger for the ring never left him. Eventually, the allure of boxing was too much for Daguizan to avoid. He returned to boxing this year for the Golden Gloves championships. Daguizan made it to the quarterfinals before losing what he felt was a bad decision. "The ref said, ‘I’m sorry. You know you won the match,’" said Daguizan. The loss was a catalyst in Daguizan’s decision to fight professionally

Daguizan said he feels his left hook and positive mental attitude will carry him far in the pro ranks. "I’m like a truck. I keep on going regardless of who is in my way," said Daguizan. Though his trainer concedes that Daguizan still has a lot to work on, before his first pro fight. "He can do anything he wants to do if he puts his mind to it," said Harry Keitt, trainer. But Daguizan’s weakness is, "he doesn’t put out enough effort," said Keitt.

With his pro debut fast approaching, Daguizan is feeling that hunger to box again. "I can’t wait to get back into the gym," said Daguizan.

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