Boxing club returns to UM, can now train on campus

Senior Nick Amodeo (right) works in the ring with Keith Jackson, a trainer at the Biscayne Boxing & Fitness Club, on Feb 13. The Committee on Student Organizations recently approved the boxing club for a return to campus as an official club sport. Monica Herndon//The Miami Hurricane

Miami, raise your mitts. Boxing is officially back at The U.

After a lot of paperwork and red tape, the Committee on Student Organizations (COSO) along with the Federation of Club Sports Officers admitted the boxing club into its roster of student organizations and club sports earlier this month.

“We were hoping to be approved [by COSO] before we went home for winter break, and I was planning on coming back a few days early and littering the school with boxing club flyers,” said junior Ryan Wenger, the club’s president.  “Nothing is ever as quick as it seems.”

What this means for the boxing club is that the group can now promote on campus and train in the Wellness Center. Prior to approval the club met downtown at the Biscayne Boxing & Fitness Club under the guidance of trainer Mickey Demos Jr., whose father is in the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame for his time in the ring as a Hurricane.

The NCAA suspended boxing as a sport in 1960.

“A lot of people can’t make it out to [Biscayne Boxing] all of the time,” senior Daniel McCormick said just after being voted captain. “We know as soon as the boxing club gets on campus it’s going to blow up.”

Wenger is now in the process of applying to join the National Collegiate Boxing Association, an organization composed of college boxing clubs around the country that compete against each another. It is a subsidiary of USA Boxing.

Wenger’s long-term plan doesn’t end with gaining admittance to the NCBA, however. He has been busy talking to other schools in Florida about setting up their own boxing clubs, with the ultimate goal of forming a league of college boxing clubs in the state.

Florida State University is already onboard.

“Some healthy competition is always enjoyable, and it’s fun to play into the rivalry card,” said Nathan Crock, the president of Florida State’s boxing club. “It’ll be nice to show Miami a thing or two about how to box.”

All joking aside, Wenger and Crock want to get the University of Florida involved as soon as possible. The thought of a boxing tournament pitting Hurricanes, Seminoles and Gators against each other is all too enticing.

“Together we’re going to be writing an email to the University of Florida basically saying, ‘We’ve got two-thirds of the big three [schools] here in Florida, we need you guys,’” said Wenger, who also mentioned the University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and cross-town Florida International University as other possible members for the league.

For now, Miami’s boxing club will focus on getting a select number of its members ready to spar competitively, something that Demos stresses takes time and patience.

Demos sees amateur boxing’s popularity at Miami and other schools as a testament to the fact the sport is alive and still relevant.

“The demand on college campuses is incredible,” he said. “What we’re seeing in college boxing – the explosion of the sport – is an indicator that it’s very possibly going to be the next sport to move from club status back to varsity status.”