Rob Potter | Democrat
SEVERAL MEMBERS OF the recently formed Liberty Boxing Club spent last Saturday afternoon training at the Liberty Fitness Center. In the front row, from left to right, are Mike Maltese, Joe Grossman, Omar Choudri, Leroy Stewart, Mike Familetti and Nick Vallone. Behind them, from left to right, are Cindy Fracasse (proprietor of Liberty Fitness Center), Chris Clark, Chris Mirra and Mike Diescher.
Newly Formed Boxing Club Already Big Hit in Liberty
By Rob Potter
LIBERTY May 18, 2007 If someone happened to walk into the Liberty Fitness Center last Saturday afternoon and listened very closely, he or she would have heard the distinctive “whoosh” sound of several boxers jumping rope simultaneously as part of their training ritual.
The Liberty Fitness Center, which is located at 85 North Main Street in the village, recently added amateur boxing to its extensive list of fitness classes and programs.
Cindy Fracasse, proprietor of the Liberty Fitness Center, noted that the facility recently became a certified U.S. Amateur Boxing Club by USA Boxing®.
In addition to open boxing every day, the Liberty Boxing Club offers a sparring class with amateur boxer Omar Choudri, who is Fracasse’s assistant, from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday evenings and lessons with Christopher Ali from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday. Ali is a Certified Amateur Coach with USA Boxing® Metro and a Golden Gloves official.
“We are all very excited about all of this,” Fracasse said. “We want to bring boxing back to Sullivan County.”
Fracasse has been in contact with officials from the International Boxing Academy of Monticello about a possible collaboration in bringing live amateur boxing cards back to the county.
One such card has already been planned.
The Liberty Boxing Club, in cooperation with USA Boxing® Metro and the Golden Gloves organization, will host an amateur boxing card on Saturday, August 25 here in Sullivan County at a location to be announced. The card, which Fracasse said will feature 10 to 15 amateur bouts, is slated to begin at 5 p.m. that day.
“With the proceeds from this event, we want to purchase a boxing ring for the kids here in the county,” she said.
To date, the Liberty Boxing Club has about 20 regular participants who hail from all around Sullivan County, including Grahamsville, Liberty, Livingston Manor and Monticello.
Coach Ali and his assistant, Leroy Stewart, who grew up in the county, use the first hour of the regular Saturday program for jumping rope, stretching exercises and some sparring. In the second hour, the boxers hit the heavy bag and speed bag.
“Coaches Ali and Stewart give them homework to complete during the week,” Fracasse said. “Endurance is very important in boxing, so these guys run 3 to 5 miles a day.”
The boxers also use the fitness center’s 22,000 lbs. of free weights in their training.
Fracasse noted that the Liberty Boxing Club is for anyone age 12 and up teenage boys and girls, adult men and adult women.
Safety is first and foremost at the club, as all of the boxers use proper headgear, gloves and other protective equipment.
One of the regular boxers at the Liberty Boxing Club is Chris Clark, who grew up in the county.
“I love boxing,” he said. “This program is really great. It’s good for younger guys to train in a very positive way.”
Fracasse is very optimistic about the Liberty Boxing Club and how it can positively affect many young people here in Sullivan County.
“The sky’s the limit,” she said.
For more information about the Liberty Boxing Club, please call 292-0756 and ask for Cindy or Omar.