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How We’re Living: Masters Boxer Hoping Gleason’s Tourney Won’t Get Re-set

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UPDATE FROM KEVIN MOORE: “It has been a crazy time. So I’m still signed up and I have paid for well 3 tournaments so far. Reno, which was supposed to happen this weekend but is officially re-scheduled for some date in the future, Gleason’s, which I’m hoping I will not have to reschedule, and Las Vegas, which I’m hoping will not have to reschedule either.

I also found out that there is a masters boxer here in Colorado that is a few years younger than me but my weight and were were going to try and sign up for a show bout this month before everything was cancelled.

I am still training. I run about 5 miles a day and try to keep up with my boxing via a bag I have downstairs. My gym has been closed for two weeks, but our coach has allowed a few of us who are trying to keep in shape the ability to come and spar. There are about 4 of us right now that show up. I record the sessions with my Go Pro and then release it to the gym, so they can have some sports to watch. I made a joke last week that I should sell the footage to DAZN and Vegas to make Masters boxing huge during this time of no sports at all.

All jokes aside, it’s been rough especially for the athletes. We put in a lot of work and shutting down is very difficult if not impossible. I have been able to help a few of my gym-mates by sharing work-out routines and just hope that this will end and life will continue. I feel really bad for my teammates who were both able to fight  and whose fights were postponed at the CO Golden Glove. The guy who did fight had a pretty rough one and now isn’t able to get back into the gym to “get back on the horse” so to speak and it may cause him to not come back to the sport. The other guys spent so much time in the gym making weight, preparing for a fight, getting an opponent and then being I guess postponed.

A lot of the athletes are quarantined and no longer working out… me I’m a bit different, I’m much more afraid of gaining weight and having my diabetes go uncontrolled than I am of this virus. So trying to maintain is very important. There are a lot of coaches and USA boxing putting out different work out routines so that the athletes can stay in shape. I just hope we make it out of this soon so that the sport starts to flourish again.

I hope you are doing well. I’m also very excited to be coming to New York and fighting at Gleason’s Gym. I just hope my competitors aren’t relaxing too much. As my gym-mates commented last Saturday during sparing …”Kevin has gotten a lot more aggressive while in quarantine!”

It varies, of course, but many folks don’t come to boxing because everything in their life is going swimmingly.

Four years ago, Kevin Moore weighed 280 pounds, dealt with his Type 1 diabetes, and got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so he wanted to drop some weight. Moore had never been a sports guy, but he liked hitting the bag, so he hunted down some lessons.  His story isn’t a straight line upwards, constant happiness from that point on.

Three years ago, Moore says, his wife of 12 years left him for another guy.

“Needless to say, that hit me pretty hard, especially in the self-esteem/self-confidence area,” he told NY Fights. “So trying to make it through one of the hardest times in my life I remembered what the boxing coach who worked with me said; he said if I was 20 years younger, he could have taken me far told me. I took private lessons once to twice a week plus class five times a week. I asked coach if he thought I could get in the ring about 6 or 7 months in and he told me probably not. I kept with it and proved him wrong. Yes, it has helped my self-esteem and confidence. I have never been prouder and what’s funny is my fight weight is the same weight I was when I walked out of Army basic at 18.”

On June 12th, the 48 year old Moore, a resident of Denver, Colorado, will glove up again, as he’s signed up to take part in the Sixth Annual Gleason’s Gym Masters Boxing Tournament.

Bruce Silverglade, the Gleason’s show runner, is totally enthused about the tourney. He believes he will get 100 respondents, because word has spread, most everyone who takes part describes it as a highlight of their life.

Moore, a data programmer for a global investment firm, clued me in, and recalled how he prepped for his first time in the ring. “I trained very hard, I still had to drop 30 pounds to make it to my 178 fight weight,” he said. “So a lot of work and a lot of time later I stepped into that ring for the first time. I then signed up for my second, and I’m signed up for four this year but probably going to do a fifth near the end of the year. Yes, it has helped my self-esteem and confidence!”

So, how did he hear about the Gleason’s Masters event, anyway? “I heard about the Gleason’s fights through the Master’s Boxing Group on Facebook,” he said. “Because of the notoriety of the gym, it became one of the top tournaments to go to on my list. Oddly enough we, my team-mates and I, had to get special permission to fight on Friday because we help corner our gym’s participants in the Haymakers for Hope charity boxing event that happens on that Thursday. So it’s going to be a rough red-eye out to get weighed in and fight but it will be worth it!

“This will be my fourth master’s tournament, the first was the Vegas Invitational last July, my second was Sonny’s Masters Tournament in Phoenix, last November, and I’m preparing now for the Master’s National Tournament in Reno in two weeks.”

And, I wanted to hear about that first bout, what Moore took from it: “My first fight was very interesting and I did learn a lot from it. I lost in the second round because of a hook that wobbled me a little bit. The refs at that fight were pretty new to Masters boxing, I found out, and were pretty quick to call bouts.”

I asked for more takeaways, which I think could help inform you if you are on the fence about attending the Gleason’s version. “Masters boxing has a lot of really good boxers. It is very different from novice boxers of younger ages who tend to brawl, versus box. A minute thirty round is much different than two. You must come out boxing and keep that pace for the entire time. There is a pretty solid community in the Masters boxing arena. There are some really great men and women and it’s an honor just to be a part of it,” Moore continued.  “You can’t tell what you are going to get even knowing their number of bouts. At this age, the person could have no bouts but been boxing for years and years…I was 47 at the time of my first fight and I had found the Vegas tournament on Facebook. I thought, and trained, as that was going to be my only chance to compete. My coach had no idea how to deal with a Masters or a Masters fight, either. So I really thought it was my one chance. The biggest lesson I learned was that is not correct at all… There are men there in their mid-70s that are still fighting. I have a lot of time to keep going and keep learning!”

He told me he’s been fortunate to have found a good home at Denvers’ Topeira Boxing Club.

“It’s a bit small, but has the best owner/coach, Joaquin Romero. He has gone with me and is going with me on all my tournaments. I sat in Vegas with guys who were from Vegas and trained at clubs in Vegas and their coach didn’t show up,” said the father to a 13, 17 and 25 year old. “Not only has my coach embraced Masters boxing–we have our own Masters-only spar day at the gym–but he promotes it and has changed his training style for masters. We took two fighters to Vegas and four to Phoenix and I think we have about 7 or 8 going back to Vegas this year with us. I have never been prouder to be a part of that club!”

Here is more superb nuts ‘n’ bolts info from Moore: “We hold to the USA Boxing standards, which means special head gear, 16 oz gloves and mouth guards. I suggest a custom one, it’s a lot cheaper than dental work! We do 1:30 rounds for novices and 2 minutes for open class. Not to mention they try to match us within five years, age-wise, and also people who have a similar number of bouts.”

Moore’s enthusiasm is contagious–check out his answer when I asked what he’s most excited about:

“What’s not to look forward to!? Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York! The fighting mecca of the world! Just getting to fight in Gleason’s gym is crazy. I can’t wait! No matter the outcome, it will be an experience that very few people will ever have! Like I said, my team mate Lou and I are red-eyeing it out to be there, which is going to be rough enough, but well worth it! I make a joke at gym, that is actually true. I did have a therapist and he was expensive, and I was never feeling better. I gave him up for one-on-ones with my coach… It was cheaper, and I always felt better after!”

About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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