By Harry Kane
The second annual boxing tournament at Dilboy Stadium is quickly approaching, and all the boxers at the Somerville Boxing Club are training for the big fight night on Aug. 23.
Rashida Ellis, 18, is a five-time national champion fly weight boxer. She weighs in at 132. Ellis is from Lynn but trains at the Somerville Boxing Club six days a week. “I like all sports. But boxing, I like it because it’s fighting. I just love to fight,” Ellis says.
As a senior in high school, Ellis is always busy, either studying or fighting. “We train hard to box. It’s nothing easy. We have to jog every day.”
The boxers come to the gym and throw on the hand wraps, she explains. “You come here and do a lot of shadow, which is throwing punches to the air, hitting the bag, doing jump rope,” Ellis says. Sometimes she flips the tires. “It’s hard work every day, that’s it. On sparring days it’s even harder, ‘cause you have to compete with the others.”
“It’s an opportunity for a lot of young kids who don’t get to play the team sports,” said Norman “Stoney” Stone about the upcoming tournament. “We got over 500 members. We’ll probably have 15 bouts that night.”
Stoney, 62, managed and trained former WBA Heavyweight Champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz. Now he works with the kids down at the Somerville Boxing Club on 11 Otis St., alongside trainer Alex Rivera.
Rivera, 39, has been training boxers for some 20 years. He was a fighter back in the early 90’s and started a gym in Lynn, but moved to Somerville two years ago. “The City of Somerville has been good to us,” he says. “I take pride of putting good fights together. When they come to see the fight, they have a good time, but they can experience amateur boxing at its highest level.”
“Fight Night’ takes place August 23 at Dilboy Stadium.Tickets are available at the Somerville Boxing Club, 11 Otis Street, $20.00 adults, $10.00 youth. Call 617-625-6600 x.2250 for more information.