A Boxing Family Story



A Boxing Family Story

By Michael Woods

Tomorrow night in the MSG Theatre, in the Felix Verdejo corner, Tommy Gallagher, a face familiar to NY area fight fans will be present, there with a bag full of Q tips, and coagulant and other tricks of the cutman.

He will be there because he's family…

He's more known as a trainer, and he had that role back in the mid 80s, when he trained Ricky Marquez, the man who tutors Verdejo.

“Tommy will be there because I trust him, because Felix trusts me to make these decisions,” Marquez told me Friday.

Marquez had an abbreviated pro career. He went 3-2, after fighting in the NY Golden Gloves with Tommy G in his corner. The Puerto Rican hurt his right foot and that injury wouldn't heal up, so he retired in 1988.

He knew pretty quick that he wanted to stay in boxing and fate sent him a winning lotto ticket in the form of Verdejo, who walked into his gym at age 9. “And I saw right away, he had what you can't teach,” Marquez said.

And tomorrow, you will see a gorgeous element of a game which has a bad rap for being filled with bad actors. You will see a story of continued loyalty, of trust, of family, boxing style. Tommy G, NY fight royalty, in the ring with the kid with a million dollar punch, and a two million dollar smile, and lotto winner Marquez.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.