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Freeport PAL leads way at LI boxing championships

It's been said that a boxer's success goes hand in hand with his training.

So it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Freeport PAL boxing program produced four champions over four days at the Long Island Amateur Boxing Championships at Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence.

Leading the way for Freeport PAL was Patrick Day, who won three times in three days, including a victory over Lewis Aponte for the 141-pound novice division championship last night.

Day credited the steady training routine developed for him and other boxers at Freeport. "We have the strictest training regimen," Day said. "We all train together and run together . . . There's a lot of continuity amongst us."

The most exciting moment in the ring over the four-day tournament for Day was his first-round knockout of Tony McArthur from Gleasons Gym on Friday. It was the first career knockout for the 17-year-old.

Day's success didn't end with the belt, though. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to help fund his future boxing endeavors.

Freeport's second championship was Kalib Walker in the 178-pound novice division. Walker, 17, mixed in an assortment of straight right jabs and body shots to top Rondy Marji.

Like Day, Walker attributed much of his success to the Freeport PAL coaches. "There are a lot of things that comes with boxing," Walker said. "We all have to eat right and stay in shape . . . And the coaching is great. They won't put you in the ring unless you are ready to go."

Other winners for Freeport included Christian Chaves, who won the 114-pound Junior Olympic division title Wednesday and Herve Duroseau, who stopped Victor Navas of Heavy Hitters Boxing Club for the 165-pound open championship last night.

For Freeport trainer Joe Higgins, having the courage to get in the ring is only part of the battle. To be a successful boxer, an athlete must be in condition.

"It's impossible to reach the right level of comfort in the ring mentally or physically unless you train properly," Higgins said. "Think about it . . . We are asking these kids to go into the ring and take hits . . . You can't do that if you aren't in the proper shape."

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