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Sunday September 24, 2017
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Two Lives in Boxing

 

continued

"If you don't get your schoolwork done, then you've got to take a time-out from the gym," McGuire says. "Hey, if you can do three rounds in a boxing ring, you can do a sheet of homework . . . I try to get them to understand that, you know."

Mike Johnson fought professionally for fourteen years until retiring in 1998. At the high point of his career, he was ranked in the top ten in the world for the 140-pound junior welterweight class. Like McGuire, he volunteers his time to the club.

"It's good to see those guys when they start out from nothing-they don't know how to punch, nothing-and to see them catch on and start to feel more comfortable throwing punches," Johnson says. "The satisfaction that you start seeing on their faces, when they realize, 'I get this, I'm good at this,' it's just good to see that, to see them grow."

Rawls plans to soon become the first A-Squared Fight Club boxer to turn professional, and McGuire hopes to see Olympians eventually coming out of his program-especially since it looks like the next games will be the first in which females will be allowed to fight.

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