Putting up a fight: Marquette University Boxing Club

Putting+up+a+fight%3A+Marquette+University+Boxing+Club

Students at Marquette University put up a fight in boxing club, an organization that allows students to safely coach, practice and compete in the sport of amateur boxing. The club offers boxing opportunities to many different levels of experience and gives students an opportunity to enter the fighting ring.

Sahara Adhikari, a graduate student in the College of Engineering, said she has been a member of the boxing club for almost a year now. Adhikari went into the club with little knowledge of the sport, but now said that she is very thankful for all of the skills she has learned.

“I didn’t know much about boxing because this is new. I reached out to them because I wanted train for my own self-defense and when I joined here it was really nice, so I continued my training,” Adhikari said.

Three times a week, the Marquette boxing club meets to practice and improve their skills. These meetings take place at the United Community Center Boxing Gym and the Rec-Plex Boxing Room. The organization offers two teams for students to participate in.

The first team is the fitness team, which allows students with a lower level of experience to get a taste of the basics of boxing. The second team is the competitive team, who go through more advanced training in order to get them ready to compete in real competitions.

Pouya Mirzaei, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, is the president of the Marquette boxing club. He said the head coach of the team , Angel Villarreal Jr., trains some of the strongest amateur boxers in Wisconsin. The team also has other assistant coaches such as Alex Alarcon and Ian Santiago. Alarcon is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and Santiago is a member of the Milwaukee community.

“Our coach is also pretty cool and gives us extra attention and coaches us and we have extra coaches as well,” Adhikari said. “They teach us techniques. I have never done boxing before and I was kind of intimidated to come here at first, but they made us feel comfortable and taught us a lot about boxing.”

Adhikari said that even though she originally joined the club for herself, the community she has built through the boxing club has been a huge part of her experiences here at Marquette. She said that as a female boxer she has felt very supported by both her teammates and her coach.

“I would love to see more females join the boxing team for Marquette University. It would be pretty cool to spar with more female boxers because we sometimes have to spar with the male boxers now,” Adhikari said.

Brandon Schuster, a senior in the College of Business Administration, is also a member of the competitive team. Schuster, along with other teammates and coaches, traveled to Iowa State University for a boxing competition. Even though this was his first competition as a Marquette University boxer, Schuster brought home the win.

“It was a great experience and a great team bonding experience as well,” Schuster said. “I got the unanimous decision victory. Me and my team were all there to support and I really believe it really kickstarted the club and put the Marquette boxing club on the national collegian level.”

Boxing means a lot to Schuster due to his passion for fighting. Schuster said that he started to take the sport seriously about two years ago, and it now gives him something to strive for as well as a sense of purpose. Schuster is glad that he now has the chance to compete as a Marquette student alongside his fellow peers.

“We’re all family here. It is more than just a sport, it builds a team and family, and our club believes that boxing brings people together. I love it,” Schuster said.

Mirzaei, who has always loved boxing, came up with the idea to introduce it to the Marquette community through a club. He met with Alarcon, and by searching for resources they were able to start the Marquette boxing club. Mirzaei credits a lot of the start-up to their coach, who he said has become a mentor to the students.

Mirzaei said that his goal for the future of the club is to grow stronger and larger, through attending more competitions and even hosting one of their own. He said that a lot of the club’s motivation comes from Schuster’s recent victory in Iowa.

“This milestone has set a goal for each and every student-boxer in our club, pushing them to work harder,” Mirzaei said. “I am confident that our club will be able to host a show sometime in the next couple of semesters.”

Timothy Littau contributed to this report

This story was written by Phoebe Goebel. She can be reached at phoebe.goebel@marquette.edu