Many people think that boxing is no more than two people throwing punches at each other within a squared ring; few understand the components that lead up to even stepping foot between the ropes. The blood, sweat and tears exuded by a fighter inside and out of the gym, the discipline to make weight, and the sacrifices required to put 100 percent into all aspects of training.
For 22-year-old Sean Cogavin, boxing isn’t simply a hobby or a ‘recreational sport’; it has become a way of life. Since lacing up the gloves for the first time only a few months ago, Cogavin immediately felt his connection to the sport.
Training out of Aces Boxing Club in Boonton, New Jersey, Cogavin has always been the first one in and the last one out of the gym, motivating veterans of the game while inspiring newcomers.
After only months of training, Cogavin got his taste at amateur boxing, and despite suffering defeats against more experienced boxers in his first four trips to the squared circle, he refused to get down on himself and become complacent with his training.
All of his hard work paid off this past Friday night when he earned his first ‘W’ as an amateur boxer, stopping his opponent 40 seconds into the second round of their bout.
“I needed a win, and needed it big,” said Cogavin about the win. “Each loss, I didn’t really feel like I was getting discouraged, I was just wondering what I was doing wrong. I am in the gym six days a week. Going in I was confident, but a little skeptical and nervous. My opponent was given a standing eight count in the first round and I could see that my punches were hurting him. In the second round I stepped on him, knocked him down, and when he got back up, I jumped back on him and the ref stopped it.”
Cogavin proved to himself and all of his teammates at Aces that hard work and diligence inside and out of the ring pay off. Never did he become down on himself or think he didn’t belong in the sport. Instead he continued to work hard and knew that he would be victorious if he stayed perseverant.
About the win, Cogavin commented, “I can’t even tell you how good it felt. I thought, ‘thank God!’ The kid I fought had a lot of fans, and to go in and be an underdog on his turf and come out with the kind of win I did, it was great. I can’t even put the feeling into words.”
Through his first four fights Cogavin went to battle with fighters who had been training the majority of their lives, and the young pugilist knew that each time out was a learning experience.
“It’s a brand new sport for me, so I knew I was going to take some losses in the beginning,” said Cogavin. “Each of my four fights were tough, against guys who had more fight, more experience and more gym time. I’m playing catch up.
"Taking some beatings is part of the game. I was expecting it. It didn’t beat me down though. Each fight my eyes opened up more and more. Now each fight I am calmer, and I know what to expect.”
There’s a reason why boxers a rare breed. Boxing isn’t a seasonal recreation sport like basketball or baseball. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
"To be successful with the gloves on, boxers must be able to commit 100 percent to everything they do, from their roadwork, to maintaining their diets, to showing up at the gym and working hard day in and day out.
Sean Cogavin is a testament of what can be accomplished through hard work and an unrelenting desire to improve and work towards achieving greatness.
Going forward Cogavin is looking to remain active and try to fight every weekend leading up to the Golden Gloves tournament in 2013.
“In boxing you have to keep your head up,” said Cogavin. “Each loss is nothing but a learning experience. Keep on chugging along. Each time you fight you gain more and more experience. It takes balls to do what we do.”
22-year-old Sean Cogavin has the work ethic of a seasoned veteran, and continues to get better every fight. There isn’t much that can stand in the way of the hard hitting, slick southpaw, and there is no doubt that he has not only the heart and the drive to go far in this sport but also the skills, tools and resources.
“I’d like to thank Aces Boxing Club and everybody along the way,” Cogavin closed with. “My mom and dad always give me a great deal of support, and even boxing writers Chris Cella and Steve Janoski. What you guys do, it makes it great.”