While some city boxing gyms are struggling to keep their doors open, Lawrence has had quite a resurgence in boxing and now as four gyms. Last night IntenZe boxing visited in preparation for the upcoming fight show (dinner show!) at Merrimack Valley Golf Club in Methuen.
Lawrence Boxing’s Henry Rodriguez, pictured below with trainer Dave Romano, a 2012 Central Catholic standout, will make his boxing debut at the Mack.
Jose Madeira of IntenZe with Mel Peabody
Lawrence Boxing’s youngest member, Josiah Vargas
What sport doesn’t he do? I caught up with Memo, or Yosvaldy Tejeda the other day and asked him some questions. He’s been coming to the gym for a while now but the buzz around him in the papers was about his stellar season as a XC runner. Whatever he does, he is determined to be the best.
1. Where were you born? When did you first come to Lawrence?
(YT) I was born in the Dominican Republic, in a town named ( Bani )….. I moved to Lawrence when I was in 8th grade
2. What was it like when you first came here? How is it different? Weather? Friends? Food? Did you live in a city back in the DR or the country?
(YT) When I first moved to Lawrence I didn’t really like it because I didn’t know anyone here. I lived in Pennsylvania from 3rd to the start of 8th grade so I had friends and not here.
3. Are there other athletes in your family? One thing I’ve noticed is that good athletes run in families, there are grandfathers or grandmothers who were good at something sports-related. If yes, what did they do?
(YT) There’s not really any athletes in my family….. They just tell me to keep doing my job and focus on it…
4. You are a very good runner, when did you discover that you were faster and could run longer than everyone around you?
(YT) I find it funny when everyone asks me how did I discover how good I am in running .. I find it funny because I don’t even know .. This is my first year running and I only tried it to stay in shape to play basketball and baseball but I fell in love with running and now I just love to run …. I discovered I was faster than the people around me when they would get tired and stop and I was still running so I told my self if I work hard then I’m never gonna get tired enough to the point that I have to stop….
5.There are lots of sprinters, but a distant runner is different. It takes a certain patient person who can put their body through that punishment. Distance running and boxing have a lot in common; do you find that to be the case?
(YT) When I first started boxing I didn’t like to run but I understood that to be a good boxer I had to like running to gain stamina…. I love running and I love boxing so I think is a really good combination and I’m going to keep doing it because is really good to do them…
6. You seem to enjoy challenging yourself with sports, Why? What is your favorite thing about each sport you are good at? And, do you have a hard time figuring out which one you like the best?
(YT) I challenge my self a lot and I do it because I love competition and I hate losing … I hate losing more then I love winning .. So If I challenge my self to work hard then I won’t lose which is what I hate.. My favorite thing about each sport I do is the competition … I don’t know what I love the most they always ask me at home what do I like better and I just laugh because I don’t know it’s too hard for me to say … “I LOVE THEM ALL”
7. Plumbing is such a smart career choice; people will always need a plumber. If not plumbing, what would like to spend your days doing?
(YT) If I didn’t spend my days doing plumbing then I don’t know what I would like to do because I never thought about that … All I do is play sports and sports that’s my life …. I don’t know anything else I would like to do is really hard to do…
8. You live on Brook Street. There was a famous poet, Robert Frost, who lived in Lawrence and wrote about the brook that runs behind the parking lot next to your building. Here is the poem, about that little stream in your backyard…any thoughts on this?
Robert Frost: A Brook In The City
The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear
A number in. But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run –
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under,
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.
(YT) I read the poem and I really liked it …. I liked because I never would have thought that someone would write about the place that I always pass through….
(YT) And I want to give a special shout out to four special people
1.) Mel Peabody for being the best trainer in the world and I know that we are going to be successful .
2.) my running coach santomassino for helping me get better at what I’m so popular now for which is running a lot of people In school know me because of running thanks to my coach ….
3.) my mother for being the best mother in the world … That’s all I got to say for her my mother is the most important person in the world for me
4.) my plumbing teacher Mr. Henrick for helping me with my personal problems and little problems and for having so much patience with me .. Sometimes we argue but I got a lot of respect for that man
I will be adding names and captions but for now I wanted to see some new faces on the blog.
Mel Peabody and company were invited by Robert Hayes, Librarian at the Tewksbury Public Library to demonstrate and discuss boxing fundamentals as part of the library’s month long, town wide reading of Bob Halloran’s Irish Thunder, The Hard Life & Times of Micky Ward. The discussion was lively and former area amateurs Peter Dugan and Wayne Andrews shared their memories of how things were done back in the day.
In addition to being a trainer, Mel works as cut man and half of his talk was devoted to the art of stopping up a boxer’s bleeding cut in 60 seconds or less.
One audience member turned out to be Dr. Gertrude Bailey, who has a school named after her in Lowell. Dr. Bailey fondly remembered having Mel’s children as students more than a few years ago.
Thank you to Robert Hayes for coming up with the idea of using Halloran’s book as a way of engaging the local and not-so-local boxing fans.
Denise Moses and Gio Monroy demonstrate who the medicine ball is used to improve punching
How to stop a cut
Bobby Franklin of Ring 4 Boston offered his memories
From left to right: Robert Hayes of the Tewksbury Public Library with father, Giovanni Monroy and his son, Gio Monroy
Dr. Getrude Bailey and friend with LBC’s Mel Peabody
From left to right: Bobby Franklin, Wayne Andrews and Peter Dugan
Dave Romano, Jeff Hong and Mel
Mel, Angel Vasquez and Giovanni Monroy
Jeff Hong, after winning his bout
Second night of Golden Gloves and LBC was represented by two boxers, Jeff Hong of Methuen and Angel Vasquez of Lowell. Jeff will be coming back.
A few of us braved a longer-than-should’ve been drive thanks to Mel’s woefully outdated GPS to attend Chris Gilbert’s third professional fight at the Civic Center in West Warwick, RI.
Gilbert’s four round fight made the 2 hour, backroads-only trip home to Mass. worth it, here’s the report from BoxingNews24:
In what may have been the New England Fight of the Year, undefeated Chris Gilbert, 151 lbs, defeated Dustin Reinhold, 150 ½ lbs. The two waged an all-out war for four rounds. The win raised Gibert, Windsor, VT, to 3-0, 2 KO’s. Reinhold, Fall River, Mass., fell to 4-2, 2 KO’s.
More info to follow, but for now, here are two boxers from the LBC who will be in Somersworth, NH this weekend for a fight show.
Mel worked 4 out of the 5 winning corners last night at New Hampshire’s Fight to Educate at the Verizon Center in Manchester. Vermonter and friend of LBC Chris Gilbert had a great night. LBC supporter Joe Titone shared his table with Giovanni Monroy and friends, and all enjoyed mugging for the camera with guests of honor Gerry Cooney, Vinny Pazman Pazienza and John Ruiz.
Mel Peabody and Vermonter Chris Gilbert visited Peter Welch’s Gym yesterday for some potential sparring and speaking on camera for a documentary on boxing in Massachusetts. Mel braved the bright Kleig lights long enough to give his two cents worth on why the sport of boxing is in decline.
Peter Welch provides boxing fitness classes for the uninitiated masses who love visiting this Southie gym as well as training for devoted professionals of the square ring and the octagon.
Below is the sculpture by artist Collin that greets visitors to the gym
Jimbo Curran and Tommy Connors